Saturday, August 20, 2011

On boats

It's a distant memory now. My dad did have a small motor boat that we would take slow rides on the Potomac River. I recall a dreadfully long voyage to an amusement park a good four miles down river.
I got older and met the H-Man. He really had a boat. I mean a real boat. It's actually a good way to travel. It's complete recreation if you are the passenger.
In the Midwest, we've been on Captain Terry's boat in Traverse City, Michigan, Captain John in Lake Geneva and of course Captain Bob in Lake Bluff.
Friday afternoon marked an almost perfect day. We drove to Captain Bob's house and he took his boy's Ford up to Waukegan. He treated us to a fine lunch at the Waukegan Yacht Club. Nolan was especially impressed with the clam chowder. And then his boat was ready to be boarded. We had a bumpy ride on Lake Michigan heading to a place to go swimming. If I didn't know better, I might have thought it was National No-boater day. There were no boats out. The four of us jumped in the warm water and tossed the football around. And then it was time for tubing for the boys. Each boy had two turns being dragged along the lake. Of course I was a tad nervous to see my children tossed and turned but they survived. After this exhaustion, we headed back to land. Captain Bob treated us to ice cream despite my protest. Nice guy. All three boys said awesome and other superlatives to describe the magical day on the water.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


What's not to like in Minneapolis. The weather was perfect. I love the GPS. It's not perfect but it took us places and we didn't have to worry about getting lost.
It was vacation time starring two Minnesota Twins games. The boys had a chance to run the bases after the White Sox beat the Twins. They faked making catches at the wall and took a lap around the bases. Who knew that we would have tickets in the last row? Oh, well, we saw plenty.
I had a list of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It would have taken us almost a month to see all those spots. We did get to try Psycho Susie's. Is it my imagination but are more and more people getting tattoos? They are all over the place. Oh, there was fried snickers and funky pizzas on the menu. Eileen tried a barbecue sauce and onion pizza and one slice was plenty. I did find an amazing beer there from a local brewer. I again used the GPS to find a really cool liquor store. I didn't see the beer on the shelves so I asked a clerk about it. They were hiding it in the back of the store. They had a case left but I wasn't that ambitious. A nice kid (over 21) behind asked me if I was going to take the entire case. I told him my wife wouldn't approve. I grabbed two four-packs and watched as he grabbed the other two.
Oh, at the Mall of America, we ran into a Lake Zurich family. Now that was fun. At the Water Park of America in Bloomington, we watched our boys try surfing. They designed a fake surfing site where if you screw up it really throws you back and off the board.
We would go back to Minneapolis. What a fun time. We also tried Sebastian Joe's ice cream. It rated four stars.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Insulting Carlos May and Keith Van Horne?

Now, I get it. Carlos May is the only Major League baseball player to have his birthday spelled on the back of his jersey. May 17. He was also the Sporting News Rookie of the Year in 1970. Van Horne, played several seasons in the NFL as a tackle and was on the Super Bowl Bears team of 1985.
Now on with our day. Riley and I bought tickets to the Red Sox-White Sox game on Saturday. It was in memory of my dad who died of Lou Gehrig's Disease 30 years ago. The former players were in attendance to help awareness of ALS. We were in the Miller Lite box (I wouldn't drink that beer if I was dying of thirst). Anyway, we had a nice time. Riley and I went up to Mr. May and Riley was horrified that I asked him about his older brother, Lee. Ah, the Big Bopper, Lee May. I also brought up that the great Brooks Robinson robbed his brother Lee of a certain double in the series of 1970. Next up was Horne. Riley was wearing his Red Sox uniform and Horne wasn't happy. I added that Riley was a Patriots fan, too. Horne went back to his meal.
Riley was certainly happy as his Red Sox put a hurt on the White Sox. The food wasn't bad in the box with somewhat fatty but tasty pulled pork. Riley feasted on the pasta and fruit.
It was all for the fight against ALS. I hated to break it to them but 30 years later, they still haven't found a cure for this misery. I still recall how my dear Grandma drove up to see her only son, only to be cut off at the door at the Veteran's Hospital telling her that her boy had died.
It was important that Riley and I were there that night. And sorry for the insults players but we have other teams that we root for.