Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Wanderers

Well, it's been almost 2 months since we said goodbye to the Fox and Hounds. Bill and I torment each other every time we pass by the darkened building by saying "Wanna stop in to the Fox for a nightcap?" The answer is, of course, always "Yes!"
The Tower Table Gang is still orphaned, searching for a place to land. We have checked out a few places, such as:
Northern Lakes - Location is good. Drinks are slightly pricier in some cases. Cigars are welcome. Bar is a bit bright. They do have a few high-tops in the corner that could accomodate a larger group. It can get a bit "fishy" in there. Staff is competent.
Charlie's Crab - Bar is not really conducive to a large group. Drink prices are comparable to the Fox, but their liqour selection is lacking. The staff can't compare at all to the Fox. Cigars are welcome.
Forte - With a gaggle of former Fox and Hounds staff, this is quickly becoming Bill's and my favorite lunch place. Needless to say, the staff is what we expect - Great! Evenings are a bit trickier with rush hour traffic. Cigars are welcome. Free 2-hour parking in the structure behind the theater. Has a couple of areas that could accomodate a group.
Morton's - Costs are slightly higher than the Fox. Cigars are welcome. Staff is good. It's possible to fit a larger group, though probably not the whole gang.
Maggiano's - We had a "field trip" here on Friday night. We were able to fit 9 people comfortably and could take over more tables to fit more. The drink prices were reasonable. The staff was competent. Not sure about cigars here.
Heroes - Jeff, Julie, Bill and I checked this place out a month, or so, ago. Certainly not fancy. Drink prices are very reasonable. There are a couple of spots in the bar area that could accomodate our group. The staff, if not always professional, is friendly.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

In With the New

I am in the process of setting up my own website.
I am still in the planning stages. I've had the domain for a while now, but haven't made it public.
I am hoping to migrate my blog over there, when I can figure out how to do that!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Good Old Family Road Trip

The long version of my response to this post, entitled How To Survive That Road Trip.
Loved the article! It takes me back to the annual road trips from Michigan to visit my grandparents in Rockglen, Saskatchewan from the mid-60's to the mid-70's. My mother would bravely drive me and my 3 brothers, 1500 miles, alone, before there were interstates routes and DVD's. The scenery was the entertainment and, at the tender age of six or seven, the trip seemed interminable.
Now, almost 40 years later, when I return to Saskatchewan, I find the scenery to be some of the most beautiful I've seen. (I know, I know. It's the prairie, quite desert-like, really.) I believe that those early road trips are a huge factor in how I see things now.
Having made this road trip with my own children with electronic gadgets, in-car video(a TV-VCR combo, strapped to the back of the van driver's seat, atop a cooler), books and toys, I feel that they just didn't get as much out of the trip as I did. Sad!
They missed out on sleeping two to a sleeping bag (Dangerous! Don't try this at home!), in the back of station wagon. They missed out on off-the-beaten path diners and motels, now near extinction from chain restaurants, fast food and hotel chains. We traveled in times of few "rest areas" and made do with pit stops along the side of the highway, along with infrequent gas station stops.
Back then, my parents didn't have a credit card, just a Shell/Conoco gas card. All gas stops had to be at Shell/Conoco stations. Because of this restriction, we became quite adept at the roadside pit stops. My children have no such talent. Pity!