Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Seriously? 5 a.m.??

It's 5 a.m. and there's a whole bunch of things I'd rather be doing that writing my blog, and sleep is right there at the top of the list. It's pointless to just lie in bed though when you're wide awake. I'm not sure I want writing my blog to put me to sleep on a regular basis, but today it would be nice.

Here's the Punke family with whom I went to the Cubs game on Sunday. It was my first visit to the Stadium Club there (down the first base line) and that's where this picture was taken. It was one of the cross town Cub/Sox games and as you can see, they are mostly Cubs fans. Two other folks hadn't made it up to the club when I took the picture and one of them was a Sox fan too along with Sara on the left.

So yesterday was the Fourth of July and we really didn't have anything planned except to sleep in and catch some fireworks somewhere. The leading fireworks options were Ribfest in Naperville or watching neighborhood fireworks from Ricardo's roof in Logan Square. The bonus with going to Ribfest would be, of course, ribs. As you know, we're big fans. So after a slow start to the day which included a visit to greasy spoon breakfast place called The Hamburger King (they sell Korean food as well as a mean Texas omelet), we decided to head out to Naperville.

Traffic was light and we pulled into my parents' driveway around 5:45 (my folks aren't home as they like to spend the Fourth up north at their place in Michigan). By 6:00 we were entering the fairgrounds which had dramatically expanded to almost double the size of last year. The split up where the 8-10 rib vendors were into two sets and one set was right near our entrance, so we set up camp there and got in line.

The standout this year (of the three we tried) was Sweet Baby Ray's. We prefer their sauce, but they also had the meatiest ribs. Behind them was Pigfoot with a pretty good rib and sauce that LL liked better than Ray's, but which I thought was just ok. They did have an appleicious sauce that was pretty tasty though. In third was Mojo's and the only reason we went there was because they had the shortest line when we arrived and we were hungry. I would have preferred to visit Sgt. Oinks or Two Fat Guys BBQ, but the lines were too long. Ray's won third place best ribs this year, but I can't see how someone (other than myself) could beat them. A ribber named Johnson won both best ribs and best sauce, but they were with the other set of vendors so we didn't even see them.

At 7:30 at Ribfest, they open the gates and it's free admission and the fireworks start at 9:30ish. Unfortunately that leads to two problems, getting ribs becomes tougher and tougher and leaving takes longer and longer. So we opted to head home a little after 7 and see if we could catch fireworks at home. No word from Ricardo, so we headed to Belmont Harbor where three set of fireworks were on display! Nicely done folks!

In the foreground you can see the start of one set of fireworks going off which we were mainly watching and in the background we could see the fireworks from Navy Pier. Chicago cut out their own fireworks due to budget issues.

Here's the third set of fireworks right outside the harbor. Not a bad picture for an Iphone.

So we had a happy Fourth and I hope you did too!


el supremo de nm said...

Definitely much, much less of the home grown variety fireworks this year as people are taking the fire danger damn seriously.

terri said...

Sweet Baby Ray's is my favorite sauce! I wonder if there's a Rib Fest around here. I'd like to give it a try.

alexis said...

good for Chicago, trying to reign in their spending a little. I am not the biggest fan of fireworks, though mainly because you usually have to contend with lots of traffic and people to go see them.