Weekend notes, August

8/2: Visitors from Mentor yielded weekday outings to the city, which I duly missed.  Saturday, a morning trip to the aquapark, modest lunch on the 1531 patio, and an eleventh-anniversary date night spent exploring the Logan Square neighborhood of our fair city and featuring a top-notch, hipster-casual dinner at L&E.  I was cautiously prepared to be disappointed despite generally rave reviews, but the no-reservations-accepted wait was only an hour, the whiskey list was extensive, the food inventive, the service attentive and company not so bad to boot.

For the record,

  • Braised Rabbit, Mustard Braised Carrots, Pickled Ramps & Rhubarb, Homestyle Dumplings, Rabbit Jus
  • Housemade Burrata, Braised Celery, Barigoule Carrot, Porcini Marmalade, Black Truffle Vinaigrette
  • Duo of Pork, Berkshire Tenderloin, Whiskey Glazed Pork Belly, Compressed Peaches, Smoked Maitake Mushroom, Green Beans, Bacon Fat Hush Puppies, Peach Puree
  • Fried Chicken Roulade, Buttermilk & Ranch Spiced Farce, Duck Fat Biscuits, Aerated Sriracha, Smoked Green Apple & Cipollini Onion, High Life Gel, Cayenne Chicken Jus

8/9: An empty calendar!  Friday bike-riding after supper at Sunset Woods.  (Still jogging along-side E as he rides, but only in order to be a few steps closer when he tumbles into someone.)  Saturday farmers’-market-peach pancakes followed by the aquapark from its 10:00 open until snacktime… lunchtime… after-lunchtime.  J attempts the big slide (photo via google) and then repeats not-quite-ad-nauseum.  I take a naptime ride northbound, briefly thwarted by a failing left crankarm enforcing a break in the shade near Sunrise Beach.  (How many Sunrise Beaches are there in the world?)  Sunday, morning restocking errands to Whole Foods, Target and Tom’s Pastry (the entire house was out of apple fritters).  A later bike errand with L in the trailer (who excitedly responds to the suggestion with “Shoes! Helmet!” was thwarted by the Coffee Station’s early departure for vacation.  (Nonetheless, a pleasant and breezy jaunt down the rail trail and back up Sheridan and Waverly.)  Afternoon cleaning chores, backyard play and garage tidying.

8/16: Friday ready-for-grade-two haircut at the fancy barber shop.  A bit of limping aroudn for me, recovering from the misconception that I’m still young enough to pound out a quick bike commute and intro-to-masters-swimming class on the same (Thurs)day.  Saturday, magnet-moving (i.e. chores!) morning and visitors from Cleveland West.  Bike riding at Independence Grove – one small loop (3/4 mi.) with intermittent stops-waits-restarts-with-balancing-help followed by a second small loop with a more confident beginning and whoosh – they’re off.  Then, directly to the aquapark for a cooldown and many rides down the curvy slide for the >42″ tall crowd.  In the evening, a sitter for all three boys and an evening outing to the city to see Andrew Bird at the Chicago Theater, whose ornamentation matched the rotating double horn well.  AB’s set started well, with three solo tunes, but some combination of obtuse mixing and the hall’s acoustics got in the way of the full band’s (i.e. the Hands of Glory) first half.  As hoped, they later played several charts gathered around a solo mic – usurping the engineers’ power to mis-mix with their own corrections by moving nearer and farther from each other and the pickup.  Brilliant, tight, harmonious, symbiotic; made my evening.  Sunday, then, brunch at the best place in town to order huevos rancheros and lox in the same breath.  Bike ride to the 0.2-mi asphalt loop around the Lincoln school ballfields, around said loop many times, and back home.  I ran behind, estimating a 7:15/mi pace and arriving at GBR decidedly out of breath.

8/23: Morning pre-birthday trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo, for only J and his parents.  Sunday, a birthday party attendance for E at one of those strip-mall kids’ gymnastics places.

8/29: A four-daiye weekend trip to Cleveburgh. Friday, 5-plus-hound of us departed around 9:30, paused somewhere in Indiana for a picnic lunch, and ended up in Bay Village for suppertime. To Mentor to sleep. Sat morning, a stop-in by the Dysons, then lunch and an afternoon visit to Wilma’s with all the sisters. Evening, just the two of us to Katz Club, carousing at The Bottlehouse and overnight at the Washington Place Inn. The Bottlehouse, you say? Honeydew mead, an incredible IPA-based braggot and an equally incredible rising star coffee stout. Brunch at WP in the morning. Phoenix for whatever’s on tap. Back to Mentor to pick up the kids, an afternoon visit to the great-grandparents, then back to the Heights for a tour of the old stomping grounds. Dinner at Tommy’s, play at the Peace Park, dessert at Sweetie Fry, then off to Broadview Heights to overnight with friends. Monday morning, pancakes and a walk to the local playground before hitting I-80 for the return home in time for a quick dinner before bed.