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The Chicago 2018 Birthday Weekend, Part 4 of 4: Food!

Spumoni!

Spumoni! Best dessert of the trip. Chocolate, pistachio, and whatever the other one was.


Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

For Anne’s birthday celebration this year, we headed up to Chicago for yet another weekend — this time mostly to attend the inaugural Ace Comic Con Midwest at Navy Pier, and partly to see if downtown Chicago contained any sights we hadn’t already seen and/or shared. In past years we’ve shared pics of the Lake Michigan shoreline, the Magnificent Mile, and scenic Navy Pier, among other locales you can find with MCC’s “Chicago” tag alternating in between their frequent conventions…

…some of which include Chicago food samples. Our luck with finding decent meals varied throughout the weekend. Thumbs-up restaurants thankfully outnumbered the more perfunctory stops.

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Our 2018 Road Trip, Part 23: Mistakes on the Hudson

spinach calzone and baked ziti pizza!

Strip mall pizza. Sometimes it’s a good thing. Sometimes you know you’re settling, and missing out on what you really wanted.

We’re no strangers to disappointment. Not every plan we make goes through without a hitch. Some circumstances are beyond our control. Some are controllable, but can flop anyway. We do what we can with the skills we have, the circumstances at hand, the prayers that are answered, and the Plan B’s when the answer is “no”.

The average travel blogger tends to skip the parts where things went wrong, or the scenery wasn’t worthy of a magazine cover, or the occupants of the vehicle were severely cross with one another. Longtime MCC readers know that’s not quite who we are. It’s one among hundreds of reasons why we’re not in any of the really awesome blogger networking cliques, but we enjoy what we do anyway, both on location during the trip and in reminiscing online after the fact…especially when we can look back on unhappy moments and savor the relief of getting past them.

On Day Four we had a fascinating appointment planned in the late afternoon, but to make it happen, the early afternoon had to be turned into a 2½-hour marathon of sacrifices and tension. Thankfully that, too, would pass.

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Our 2018 Road Trip, Part 18: Upstate Monday Mealtimes

hot apple crisp!

I’m an adult and if I want to start an entry about three meals with dessert, no one can tell me no.

Sometimes we’ll try to pinpoint a few restaurant options during the vacation planning phase. Sometimes we like to throw caution to the wind and see where fate and Google maps lead us. We’ve had pleasant surprises. We’ve resorted to desperate measures.

For Day Three of this trip, only one of our meals on was planned in advance. Two were discoveries on the go. All of them were satisfying in their own ways. But we knew one thing by the end of the day: we were burning through our meal budget far too quickly.

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Our 2018 Road Trip, Part 11: Sleepy Time in Syracuse

Thai beef short ribs!

What has two thumbs, goes to an Italian restaurant in New York and orders the only Thai dish on the menu?

By the time we finished paying our respects at Frederick Douglass’ gravesite, we agreed Day Two had dragged on for far too long and needed to end. We had to wend our way out of one upstate New York city before we could finish the evening with a stroll around another.

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Indiana State Fair 2018 Photos #4 of 4: Random Acts of State Fairing

Spongebob and pineapple!

Spongebob and his fruit drink stand weren’t new, but I will never get tired of them.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides, cooking demos, concerts by musicians either nearly or formerly popular, and farm animals competing for cash prizes without their knowledge. My wife Anne and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context. Usually we’re all about the food…

…but as the old Indiana Beach commercials used to say: There’s more than corn in Indiana!

It always annoyed me that we as a state felt we had to say that, after years of corn-heavy culture that our ancestors apparently endorsed and enforced. Some of them made the Hoosier State what it is today, but we used to take a lot of heat from other states for all that corny corn-corn-cornity-cornadocious corn talk. By the same token, food isn’t the only reason to attend our State Fair! It’s my favorite reason, but our annual explorations go beyond just eating, more eating, and the walks that connect the eating moments.

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Indiana State Fair 2018 Photos #3: The Art of the Fair

Where Does My Poop Go?

Every great scientist starts with an inquisitive mind. And every inquisitive mind has to start somewhere.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides, cooking demos, concerts by musicians either nearly or formerly popular, and farm animals competing for cash prizes without their knowledge. My wife Anne and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context. Usually we’re all about the food…

…but we’re also excited to see what new works of paint, photography, building blocks, and science have been offered up for the various competitions. The State Fair holds its massive celebrations on behalf of our farmers, but Indiana has no shortage of artists, either. They come from all demographics, work in multiple media, bring ideas from pop culture as well as from their own home life, and all contribute in their own ways to the Hoosier State hometown legacy.

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