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Tag: Chicago

MDE > FLL > JFK > ORD

After six months traveling in Latin America, I boarded a flight (well, three flights) back home to Chicago. It was a bittersweet journey. Sure, I was ready to eat familiar foods, see my friends and family, be back in a city I love. But I was enjoying Colombia. A lot.

A month earlier I was very ready to return home. It was no secret that I just never got into Central America the way I got into Asia and I was just ready to be done with it.

But then I arrived in Colombia, and all that turned around. And now I am so excited to travel more there and all around South America some day in the future. And I really didn’t want to leave.

But, alas, I had my ticket home. And I had a ticket on to Ireland for two and a half weeks after I returned. So even though I was back in Chicago, the adventure was far from over…

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago

Flight from Colombia to Chicago



division to roscoe.

It was one of those October days where you could still eat brunch al fresco. Carrot cake pancakes, a cup of coffee with cream, and a strawberry mimosa for good measure. Where you talk girl talk and boy talk and life talk and travel talk with a friend. Where you walk home, three miles, from Division to Roscoe because it is still sort of warm in that way Chicago weather seems warm when the day before was cold. Where the sky is blue. Where the leaves are orange. Where people you pass say “hello,” because that is the kind of city this is.

It was one of those days where you temporarily forget the back home depression that’s been plaguing you the last few days. And you remember why you love this city.

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn in Chicago

Autumn in Chicago



Really Chicago…Really?


Photo of a Chicago 2016 sign on 90/94 I took yesterday. Chicago lost the Olympics on October 2, 2009.



fast and freaky

Friday

Friday I woke up sick. Actually, I woke up all night sick and needless to say that when my alarm clock went off at 6:45 I was feeling pretty damned crappy. It really felt like food poisoning. Not fun.

Unfortunately I knew I had a big email blast waiting to go at work and I didn’t want us to have to put it off until Monday, so I got myself up and went off to work. Sick + train ride = very very nauseous val :-(

I spent most of the morning with my head on my desk waiting for our design company to fix something before I could send out my email. Finally at around 12 I finished up and left. Sick + second train ride = very very very nauseous Val.

I literally slept the rest of the day away, woke up around 7 feeling better. Watched the first disk of 24 season 4 (Netflix is raping me because I’ve been averaging watching 1 disc per month the last few months). And then went back to sleep.

 

Saturday

Luckily Saturday I woke up feeling much much better. So, what do you do the day after you’ve been out with food poisoning? Why, go drink some beer and watch people eat sandwiches of course!

There was an MLE (Major League Eating) event at the Taste of Lincoln Avenue, so of course I was there! I mean, I’ve driven half way across the country and flown even further to see people eat large quantities of food, I’m not going to miss one that’s right in my back yard!

I managed to get Emily to say she’d go with me, so I called her up to see where and when she wanted to meet. Turns out the party she was at to watch the Cubs lose was about 3 feet from where the contest would be. So I met her and Julie and others there and grabbed some beer and chips. I actually was able to sucker a few of them into coming to the contest with me. If you’re keeping track this was the fifth major league eating event that I’ve been to in the past year. If you’re keeping track, that is.

I left a little earlier than everyone else to make sure I’d secure us some prime spots. Good thing, because by the time everyone else meandered out of the apartment, George Shea had already taken the stage and a pretty large crowd had formed.

Maybe it was the fact that everyone was already kind of tipsy, but we couldn’t stop laughing as the players were announced. I just thought it was awesome that I was able to get others to enjoy my particular kind of crazy as everyone seemed to be enjoying it (well, except maybe Julie, who still thought it was all pretty disguising).

All the competitors were announced. I think my friends particularly burst out laughing at the “four horseman of the esophagus” line. Three of my favorite eaters were eating: Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti, Tim “Gravy” Brown, and Pat “Does he have a nickname?” Vandam. Tim saw me from the stage and waved. :-) After the eaters took the stage the makers were announced and everyone took their positions. Unfortunately the makers were in the back, so you couldn’t actually see them make sandwiches.

This contest was a little different than most. It was the Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Sandwich Making and Eating Contest. It pitted three sandwich makers against three MLE eaters. Could the eaters eat the sandwiches as fast as the makers could make them?

The countdown began and then the eaters were…well…forced to stand there and twiddle their thumbs while the sandwich makers got going. Finally a freshly wrapped sandwich was brought out and the Pats grabbed it and tore it in half. This event was different than most, it was all about teamwork. There were only two counters on stage: one for how many were made and one for how many were eaten. It would be a group total, so they were sharing sandwiches and helping each other out.

At first the eaters were doing pretty well and keeping a good pace, but slowly the sandwiches started piling up. I have to admit they looked pretty hard to eat. I mean, a hot dog is just a hot dog, these had thick bread and meat and probably vegetables and condiments. Pat Bertoletti said afterwards that he had one that was mostly sprouts and “how do you eat that?” Personally shredded lettuce makes me ill (seriously, I know it’s a weird thing but I just can’t eat it) so I wouldn’t be able to eat one of those things (I like their slims…meat, bread, a packet of mayo, it’s all you need in a sandwich), but add in all that lettuce and I’d have a reversal in a second.

Anyways, the sandwiches were coming out too fast. Tim threw one into the audience and my friends caught it and ate it. More came out, he threw a couple more but there was still a pile. Soon the clock wound down and their fate was sealed: the eaters lost. The Jimmy John’s sandwich makers made too many sandwiches too quickly for the three to eat.

After the contest I said hi to Tim and to Pat and my friends bombarded him with questions. We went back and hung out at Jason’s apartment, pondered temp tattoos at the fest (Em so needs to get either “Babe” or a Jesus Fish across her chest) and took pictures with Abe Lincoln.

as I was taking a picture:

Honest Abe: Is that a Canon?
Me: Yes.
Honest Abe: Please don’t point a cannon at me.

Later Julie and I headed to the lakefront for Venetian Night. Heather met up with us and we spent too short of a time watching decorated boats go by. Seriously, Venetian Night used to have way less of a crowd and way more boats. This time there was a huge crowd and hardly any boats.

My favorite was some yacht club boat that didn’t decorate at all. The guy kept blowing the boat horn on it and all the old ladies on it quivered and covered their ears. It was kind of funny.

We stayed for fireworks then I headed with Heather to check out her swanky new place.

I was going to go out afterwards but I was still feeling kind of sick, so after two failed cab rides (seriously can cabs get you anywhere correctly?) I decided it was time to call it a night.

 

Sunday

While watching the original Parent Trap with Julie and Em we noticed that in the scene where they all go camping they bring along a couple of donkeys to carry all their shit around. I immediately texted JoeJoe and told him that he has to bring donkeys along when we go camping in a month. He texted back that I’ll have to settle for ponies. There best be ponies.

That’s all I’ve got.



sex tour of chicago

Have you ever been startled because you think you see a person, but it turns out that it’s just a mannequin?

Later do you ever realize, wait, no, that naked man in the corner in the cage is actually a real person?

***

So in typical Val/Emily fashion, this is how my Friday night plans came to fruition:

Val: Look Em, a sex tour of chicago!

Emily: I’ll get the tickets!

Really, neither of us needed any convincing that this was a BRILLIANT idea. And really I could have said any event in there and we’d both be up for it…

***

After work I met up with Em, her coworkers, Parker (who DID NOT bring any hot law students with him), and Julie at Cactus where we got some beers and chatted (except not with hot law students). We left shortly after though to go grab dinner.

We grabbed a cab from an awesome cabbie and got dropped off at the Hard Rock Cafe. We got cosmos and purple hazes. The waiter made us get those instead of Irish coffees. He was cute and an actor and from Effingham and didn’t like when we asked about the cross. We left him our numbers…

After dinner we went outside where our bus was waiting…

Our bus, of course, being the bus for the Weird Chicago Red Light District Sex Tour of Chicago!

Yes, yes. Emily and I spent our Friday night on a sex tour!

Our first stop was an “Adult Book Store” where our guide, Ken Berg, showed us around, explained the differences between types of butt plugs, anal beads, vibrators, etc. etc. Then we were taken into the private booths in the back to watch porn. Apparently it is actually illegal for women to be back there. You had to put tokens into the booth to watch it and then could flip the channels. There was even animated porn on one of the channels and some guy on guy and a lot of anal. Just in case you were keeping tabs.

This creepy guy then introduced himself to Em and I. He was kind of creepy.

The next stop on the tour was the liquor store to get some booze. Em and I got two big bottles and shared. I was already drunk by this point anyways and had to pee pretty badly, but you kind of have to drink when you’re in a bus looking for sex-related things.

On our way to the next stop we drove through the Viagra triangle, and heard all about the advent of brothels and playboys in the city. My only gripe really was that we didn’t really see any of these places, we were just kind of told about them.

Oh well because next up…

It was time to play “Spot the Ho!” aka “Ho or CVS (Common Variety Skank).” We drove up and down Lincoln in an area where all the hooker motels apparently are. We spotted plenty of CVSs and we spotted a few women who we were pretty certain were whores (we even saw one with a guy closing the door on a motel room…) It was a fun game!

We sped down LSD and then past Comiskey to get to our next location:

the S&M Dungeon of Miss Simone.

Basically it was a really nice apartment that just happened to have sex toys, restrains, masks, etc. over every inch of the wall. Mistress Simone is a pro dominatrix who specializes in medical play, which includes enemas and play piercings and such like that. There were several rooms and several apparatuses and a “Cross Dressing Room.”

At one point I was startled to see someone in the corner in a cage but then realized it was just probably a mannequin. But then later when I got closer I noticed he was moving. Nope, the naked, blindfolded man with a rope hung around his penis standing in a cage was most definitely real…

We also saw a “full service” massage parlor that offers full release…But alas they were closed for the night…

The last stop was Batteries Not Included, which was another sex shop. We were schooled on the different types of vibrators. We were told things named after animals were good. What I never understood? Why are vibrators and dildos always given women’s names?

Yup…it was just a typical night in Valryland :-)

p.s. sorry for the lack of photos. I really didn’t think it was appropriate to take pictures of strangers in sex shops and dominatrixes in their natural environment…