January 15th, 2008

us two in Chicago

forestcats birthday weekend!

The weekend started Friday night with us going to get a rental car, not wanting to deal with the gas mileage of the truck, or trusting the car borrowed from Al. Then, we went out for sushi. The place we normally frequent was packed, and there was a long wait, so we left, and wandered a couple of miles away. The next place we tried was empty; we got seated at the sushi bar immediately, and we proceeded to feed on a pretty good meal from them. It picked up as we were there. Timing is everything. Home that evening, and we packed.

Saturday morning, after locking the cats up in the kennel, and feeding the horses, we loaded the rental car up, and took the dogs to a pet hotel, part of the Pets Mart in Rancho Cucamonga. Nice and clean, indoors, with climate control, the dogs looked safe and happy. We then pulled into a Fatburger across the street to have an early lunch, and then pulled onto I-15, for our drive across the desert. I'll let forestcats describe the Ron Paul for President desert hideaway in her LJ. We got to the MGM at about three PM, just at check-in time, and after some administrative details relating to have made our reservations online, we were up in the room, unwinding from the drive. Nice view of the strip from the window, 23 stories up. We had 5:30 dinner reservations at Craftsteak, a restaurant executive cheffed by the chef who judges the Bravo TV series Top Chef; the meal was delicious, especially the steaks, though the dessert was only so-so. We followed that by catching the late show of Ka, a Cirque du Soleil show at the MGM. Wonderful. Incredible. I can't believe the things they did with the stage. Outstanding engineering feat. We then proceeded to between us lose about $65.00 in gambling, but we rapidly got bored, and went to bed.

Sunday morning up rather late, we got out to see forestcats's mother and step-father for lunch. We took them to their restaurant of choice, a diner-like place at a local casino. The food was better than Denny's. Back to the hotel room, we prepped for dinner, and went downstairs to Emeril's Fish Restaurant, another one at the MGM, where we were met (surprise!) by axelicious, themodeinliz, and timmy_ritz. Most of us had the tasting menu, which was very good, and then we had to part company, as they were returning to the LA area at that time, while we had a show to see. We cabbed over to the Wynn, and got to our seats at Spamalot just in time. We were up close to the stage at stage right. It was curious to hear people around us reciting some of the more famous lines. After the show, I was buying forestcats a grail, when she grabbed me and pulled me back into the auditorium. Turns out that someone had given her their passes for the VIP tour, so we were taken backstage, into the wig room, the costume room, the props room, and then up into the catwalk and then over to the light stations. I think that they have much more money to play with than I could ever imagine at Dungeonmaster. It was pretty awesome. Back at the MGM, I was becoming a bit peckish, so we stopped in at the Hagen Daz booth, and I had this Carmelized Pear and Toasted Pecan ice cream that was spectacular.

At various points during our stay, forestcats and I made pilgrimages to the lion habitat at the MGM. Nice big furry lions.

Monday, the actual birthday, we checked out. We had a quick feed at the MGM buffet that was filling, and then headed out. We refueled at Jean, made a stop at Primm for me to look at the Tommy Bahama outlet store, and then drove across the desert. Once back into Rancho Cucamonga, we picked up the dogs who got excellent report cards, and who seemed glad to see us; we unloaded at home, returned the car, and then, taking the truck, we went to a quilt club meeting, at which we met twilyght; we missed having maedb, but she was too drained to join us. The lecturer was speaking about using Venetian mosaic floors as inspiration for quilts; she had some nice slides. I missed some of the meeting due to ... well, I'll let forestcats describe what I was doing. We finished the night with a late dinner at Portillo's for Italian beef sandwiches. Yum.

I hope that it was a good birthday weekend for my beloved.