Thursday, November 25, 2004

My two-week hiatus is over!

I've been back from Chicago for five days now, and I've been taking a bit of a rest from blogging. It usually takes me a few days to get over my jet lag, so I've been kind of in a daze for the past few days.
The trip went well. A few memories from my trip:
-Hey flight attendants from United Airlines flying from Frankfurt to Chicago...I know you've had to take a pay cut, but how about an occasional smile? Oh, and a "thank you" wouldn't hurt either.
-Saturday...I saw my niece - Kiera - play soccer. Then, we all went to Chili's where I had an Awesome Blossom and a bacon burger. Later that evening, Perry, Renee, and I went to see Muse at the Riviera Theatre on Saturday, November 13th. I saw a man receive three stick-on passes after he told a bouncer that he was with "Team Epic". So, I waited about 30 seconds and then told the same bouncer that I was with "Team Epic" and that I needed three passes. He gave them to me, and we were seated in a special reserved seating area at the front of the balcony with a great view of the stage and a waitress who took our drink orders. I wonder what "Team Epic" is!?!?! And let me just say that MUSE ROCKS!!! I was so amped after the concert that when a bum on the street told me he "needed money for a place to stay for the night"...I gave him $5! And, I told him that I didn't even mind if he spent it on beer!
-On Sunday, Perry, Renee, and I went to Costco. COSTCO RULES!!! First of all, it was a real novelty shopping on a Sunday. Secondly, it was nice seeing 20 lb. slabs of ribs, 50-roll packs of toilet paper, gallon cans of ketchup, etc. for sale. The meat department nearly made me weep. Later that evening, Perry deep-fried a couple of turkeys....DAMN GOOD BIRD!!!!
-Monday...some shopping (bought some Michael Vick signature Nike cross-trainers at Sportmart...I'll bet that there aren't too many of those in Switzerland...especially size 13!), went to the dentist, and had a dinner (at 4:15 p.m.!!!!) at Old Country Buffet with my parents, my Aunt Lauha, my sister, and her kids. It's amazing what kids eat. My nieces and nephew basically stuck to Jello, French fries, corn, and ice cream!
-Tuesday...rented a car (Black Cadillac Sedan DeVille...felt like my dad!), had two Whoppers for $3 at Burger King for lunch, did some power shopping (some Tommy Bahama shirts and Kangol hats), and then went into the city to Dave and Shannon's house for dinner where I saw their 2-month old daughter - Stella - for the first time.
-Wednesday...met with our financial advisor, lunch and more shopping (including another trip to Costco where I bought lots-o-beef, and a trip to Home Depot where I bought some cement for my dad) with my mom and sister, went to the Apple store for the PC to Apple switch class where I did not become convinced that Apple is the way to go (it's too bad because I was ready to buy an Apple on the spot...although I haven't ruled it out yet), bought an iPod, dinner with the family at Diana's house.
-Thursday...returned my rental car, went to Finn and Diana's ice skating lesson, helped my dad carry a shower base from the garage to the bathroom he's remodeling at my sister's house, ate some Costco steaks for dinner with my mom, dad, Diana, Colm, the kids, and Jo (my mother-in-law).
-Friday....said goodbye to Jo (I stay at her house when I'm in Chicago) when she dropped me off at Diana's house, went out for breakfast with Diana, Mom, Dad, and Finn at Egg Harbor where I had the special with a side-order of my much beloved corned-beef-hash, said goodbye to the family, the car picked me up to take me to the airport at 11:00, and then I was gone.
Let's just say that I returned to Switzerland with well over my CHF 300 (approx. $250) limit, including: a bottle of tequila, four Tommy Bahama shirts, two Kangol hats, several DVDs (All In The Family Season 1, Mr. Show, SCTV, Farenheit 911, Super Size Me, etc.), cold and allergy medicine, an iPod, cross-trainers, books, etc., etc. Upon arriving at Basel Airport, the customs guy actually put my carry-on through the x-ray machine...but he didn't say anything.
Ahhhh, home sweet home!

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