Joisey Ken made his annual pilgrimage to Chicago to pay homage to his Vikings (and maybe to spend some time with me too). Arriving before noon on Friday allowed us to get in two rounds of golf this weekend. Friday afternoon we played Old Orchard Country Club, which sounds and looks nicer than it really is. This summer we went to a wedding there and I remembered how awesome the course looked with big, old trees and nice greens. While those are both true, the course wasn't as nice as I had hoped and there were some rough spots. Oh well, live and learn. We had fun anyway battling the wind and the temperature to some degree. Still, for October, it was nice, just not as nice as it has been the last three weeks or so.
We played about as can be expected with Ken not having played in 6 weeks and me using a new grip, stance and swing. We got back into the city in time for dinner at Sapori Trattoria though and were joined by LL and Smitty. Smitty was going to the Ohio State/Illinois game on Saturday, otherwise he may have joined us for golf. Dinner was great though, despite our first sub-par waiter at one of our favorite restaurants. The manager made up for it though by giving us two free deserts and each a glass of Moscato. Nice save.
Being stuffed and tired from golfing in the cold and wind, it was an early night. Saturday was a relaxing morning and then off to Springbrook Golf Course in my home town of Naperville for our second round. The wind was even worse, gusting to 35-40 mph as near as we could figure. Again though, we had fun and I even finished with birdie-par-par. Not too shabby considering the weather and my swing changes.
Saturday dinner was back at Gale Street Inn for ribs. I say back at because we went there last year when Ken was in town and he wanted to go back there this year. Unfortunately they don't take reservations so we got there and put our name on the list and were told it would be 30-45 minutes. Forty-five minutes later we were the only people in the bar area who hadn't been seated. Apparently the hostess accidentally crossed our name out and they forgot about us!! We were just chatting away and enjoying a beer, so we barely noticed anyway. The manager gave us a free appetizer to make up for it, so we were ok. Dinner was great too as we all had ribs and enjoyed them very much! Gale Street is actually rehabbing its old bar area, so we'll have to go back again and see how the changes look.
Sunday morning brought another relaxing start to the day before shopping for the tailgate. It was raining, so I'm glad we didn't try to fit in a third round of golf. The tailgating started when we left at 3, even though the game didn't start until 7:30. Good fun was had by all as we had probably 12 people there including some of the usuals: Sausage Andy and E-Money, along with my buddies Fedor, JC and Jimmy White Trash. Good stuff. Chili, brats, guacamole and bacon wrapped shrimps and dates were on the menu. For my good buddy Doug though, it was porterhouse steak! Yep, I cooked him a porterhouse steak on the grill and it turned out pretty well!! He joked around when I said 6 weeks ago or so that I would bring all of the food for the tailgate, that he wanted a porterhouse. Ever since then he asks every week where his steak is. So I finally got that monkey off my back!
Ken brought our wedding gift with him and he went along with what I did for his wedding gift: a certificate to Golfsmith for him and a certificate for Nordstrom's for his wife. I figure that way they both get something just for themselves while everyone else has given them something for their house basically. Ken and Dawn were very generous and continue to show what great friends they are.
This morning was not too rushed, but I got Ken to the airport by 9:45 and he was all set for his flight. He's returned safely and back to his wife and daughter a little heavier, but no worse for wear!
Just a reminder of where we went....the neon sign didn't show up on my iphone.
Joisey Ken and a crazy vikings fan at the tailgate. This dude was all done up and has tattoos for every team that Randy Moss, and ex-Viking now, caught multiple touchdowns in a game against. That's dedication.....and more than a little insane.
Here we are in our seats with Doug, still full from eating his porterhouse I'm sure! Yes, the temperatures dropped a bit, down to around 50 by the second half.