After waking the next day from a peaceful sleep, Azucena and I got an early start on the day and packed up for downtown Chicago. First thing on the agenda was breakfast, of course, so we did a quick internet search and came across the Red Apple Pancake House. Internet reviewers stated they served up the best pancakes in enormous quantities – just what I needed after last nights pizza binge. We make our way through Chicago’s various craters and road fissures, and arrive to a nice cozy looking restaurant. The place is packed – a good sign indeed.
Azucena goes for the classic: eggs, bacon, sausage and french toast. I however, did not come to a pancake house for anything less than pancakes. I order the pecan pancakes, a full stack. The waitress looks at me worried and asks if I am sure. This woman must not know who she is talking to – I’m a man god damn it and I will have my pancakes now! LOL. While Azucena and I’s stomaches are mumbling to each other about when the hell the food is going to arrive – the waitress drops off the valuables. Azucena’s plate looks like a good serving portion that would fill up the average person well. Mine on the other hand, was a mountain of pancakes, covered in pecans and powdered sugar. I say a prayer to the food gods and begin pouring maple syrup as if I was waterboarding them – pumping them for the secrets of their tastiness. Sweet, fluffy pancakes make a wonderful meal. But this mountain ain’t going to move itself.
About half way through, I’m feeling the early signs of the “itis.” Rather than do the responsible move and stop eating. I double my efforts and attack more – drinking water to cool myself down and eat some of Azucena’s sausage and eggs (which were delicious!) to mix some proteins and fats into my blood stream. Shani (Azucena’s nickname) begins to help me out, seeing that I’m waging a losing war.
We are chipping away at this now hill of pancakes, and it is down to 1/4 of it’s former size. I take a couple of deep breathes, unbuckle my pants, and start meditating. Shani tells me that I don’t have to finish it all – I understood her loud and clear, “Eat everything on your plate if you want me to call you a man.” I take out some more pancakes down my throat (every bit delicious as my first bite) but it seems to remain the same size. Just as I was about to call it quits, Shani then takes out a layer of pancakes. This revitalized me and I then went into a pancake eating rage and vanquished my foe. With enough carbs to fuel my body for a week, the waitress comes over and gives my ego the pat on the back it craved, “Wow, you are real man! I couldn’t dream of doing that.”
Pleased with myself, Shani and I begin the drive to the Windy City. I am snapping pictures of the skyline as we approach – what a wonderful view. The architecture is gorgeous, streets are clean, skyscrapers jutting out of the ground from all directions – it is like a clean New York. Our first destination was the Field Museum. We head up towards Soldier Field, which is a beautiful football stadium like no other. It has ridiculously priced parking at $19 – but without knowing the layout of the city well, we forked over the cash. The Field Museum was a treat. With exhibits ranging from Egyptian tombs, African wildlife, Native American tribes and the origins of diamonds – it has something to please everyone.
Right next door was the Shedd Aquarium – an indoor bonanza of live wildlife. After looking at a lot of dead, motionless creatures, I appreciated the beauty behind the living animals beyond the glass. We saw frogs from deep green to aqua blue, fish from large and bland to small and exotic. I was easily impressed by everything I saw and it was then I realized that I am still a child at heart – that and my feet were starting to hurt from all the walking. Shani’s feet were in a far worse predicament – being trapped in heels for hours cannot be any fun. After seeing some sharks and a butt heavy turtle (long story), Shani’s feet had enough and we headed out to lunch.
I will finish my food adventure in Chicago in my next blog – I promise. Maybe then I will enlighten you on how I am losing those 8 pounds I put on 🙂