The Waffle House Chronicles...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday in the NYC

Our last day in the NYC. It was the coolest but it was mostly pleasant. It was a day where everything just sort of clicked and flowed...
We got up and Jess wanted to try a real NYC bagel. It wasn't very different than a Bruggers and this was supposedly the good stuff. It wasn't great. I had some of it for breakfast along with some coffee. We then hit the Subway because I wanted to go to the Toys R Us flagship store. We got there way early so we decided to see if the Today show was still being taped. It wasn't but they had the UBS corporate gold challenge in conjunction with the TPC at Sawgrass. Basically I got to play a scaled down version of the famed 17th Island green. I got one 30 yard chip, get it on and win a prize. The green was probably about 25-20 feet. One shot, lots of fans. Somehow I got in the VIP line with the crew of SNL, so I got a free hat. Anyways, one shot, lined it up and smacked it, perfect chip to the middle of the green. I won some HX Tour golf balls! I guess just an hour earlier the cast of the Today show was trying and I guess I am just a better golfer. That's two perfect golf shots and I was one of only three I saw make the green. We then headed to the NBC store and then to Toys R Us which was decent. Jess wanted to see the Chrysler building so we walked that way. Then I made a discovery. For $.99 you can get some New York style pizza. A decent slice and the best slice I've had in quite a while. We got our Chrysler photos and then headed to Grand Central to head to the Mets/Brewers game. Shea Stadium might be my new favorite non-Miller Park stadium. Decent fans, fun time, great promotions and a whole lot more. It kicked the crap out of Yankee Stadium. Anyways, I am walking through the parking lot and we stumble upon the only celebrity of our trip, none other than Mr. Met! I'll post the photo later as it is stuck on Jess' camera. We also got to see the Arthur Ashe tennis stadium. Queens is crazy! The game was awesome, the Brewers kept it tight for a while before a 7th inning JJ Hardy Grand Slam made everyone leave. It was one of the best games I had been too. We got back on the Subway and hit like three others to get to this place that just serves Mac & Cheese. What a great idea (Tracy would love it) as you can do various things (Buffalo chicken style, classic style, etc) and I opted for the 4-Cheese while Jess got the classic. Both were awesome and almost were too much. I was a Mac & Cheese Slayer! We then headed to get some iced coffee and then we found some random market that was 5 blocks long so too bad we already ate a lot. I got a sweet t-shirt though, you'll have to catch me wearing it some time. We then walked down to Greenwich (more Brozek-like content) Village. That was a pretty awesome and we got some cheap gelato. We then had enough, got on the subway and came back to the condo where we are now. We have to get up early to be at the Newark airport for a 9:10am flight. Next post should be from Madison...
I assume the photography on this site will soon win an award...

New York- Almost over...

We are almost done with New York. :( It's been a great time. I believe Jess left off on Thursday evening. Well now it is Saturday evening. I'll put a few pictures in here but many will have to wait until we get back.

Thursday night we headed to a show. Off-Broadway is our style so we hit a show called Altar Boyz. It mocks religion and boy bands. It was the best show I've ever seen. It was very unique, catchy and was laugh-out-loud funny the whole time! After that we just got our explore on, seeing Radio City Music Hall, Rockerfeller Center, Times Square and a bunch of other stuff. A second hot dog and sliders were consumed. Got back late and we were dead tired.

Friday we got up later than normal and hadn't anything really to do. We were staying at the Ho Jo's in mid-town until now but had to go up to the Upper West Side to stay at Jess' parents' friends' condo. They are out of town so we got it to ourselves. It is so nice!!! Before that however we went to Union Square for a farmers market. Although the market itself was lame, we did get to see some neat sights and do some shopping. I love Filene's Basement (which contains Brozek-like content) so we rocked that. Before shopping we had some Dunkin Donuts and after I lost my Bubble Tea virginity. It was everything I had hoped for. We then headed up to the condo and then down to some hole-in-the-wall burger place. It was insane and many people enjoy it all the time. I thought it was overrated though, being mearly average. But the atmosphere was priceless, it has no ads, no signs, and is in some secret back room that was tough to find. We then hiked through central park. We meandered back and forth through the park and walked several miles. Saw everything in the southern 2/3s of the park. I always new the park was big, but it was so much larger than I could imagine and there were far less people than I thought there would be. In fact this morning I took the Johnson's dog for a walk and it was like a bike race and a dog park. And about 300 people playing tennis. Anyways, after that we got back to the condo and it was Friday evening. We chilled for a bit before deciding to go to the top of the Empire State Building. We got to Grand Central Terminal and immediately started walking away from the ESB. Oops! SO that sucked! We realized it and kept going hoping for another Subway but it took forever! We finally got there though and got to see dusk and night. It was the perfect night to be up there, unseasonably warm and not windy at all! Awesome!!! Of course everything else about the ESB is so ghetto, it made it feel totally New York. After that we were starved, instead of walking a mile and then taking two different Subways and walking some more we instead went to Dave and Busters at Times Square! Great eats!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Guest Blogger!!!

Hello everyone!! Here is a blog post from Jess, because Mark is too tired out to post right now. I guess my itinerary for today was just too exhausting for him (baby!).

We got up this morning and checked out the continental breakfast, which was pretty lacking. There was some cereal, mini muffins, mini donuts and oatmeal. I scored some frosted flakes and Mark had a mini donut and some coffee which he deemed "terrible" and promptly threw in the trash. He prefered to save room for Dunkin Donuts.

We headed out to Penn Station to catch the subway down to Ground Zero. We did a short loop around the block where the twin towers were. To me, it just looked like a big construction site. It was hard for me to imagine all of the destruction that occurred there just a few years ago.

We wandered around the financial district a bit more, saw Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange and looked for a Dunkin Donuts (which we were unable to find until much later). We decided to head down the the South Side Seaport to find the TKTS booth. We found it, but it wouldn't open for another hour or so, so we went down to the pier there and checked out the view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

We wandered back to the TKTS booth and scored some tickets at 50% off for Altar Boyz for tonight. We'll see how that works out tonight and Mark will probably post a review tomorrow. By this time we were both hungry, so we headed to Brooklyn to check out Grimaldi's Pizza.

We enjoyed the coal fuelled brick oven pizza and then worked it off by walking back over the Brooklyn Bridge. We then hopped on the Staten Island Ferry to check on the Statue of Liberty and views of Manhattan from the water. It was nice to be off of our feet for a while and take in some great views!

After the ferry ride, we decided to check out Chinatown, but due to Jess' poor navigation skills, we ended up going to wrong way. We decided to skip Chinatown and just head towards gelato instead! It was a good walk and when we finally found the place we ordered vanilla, strawberry, chocolate hazelnut and milk chocolate. It was soooooooo good!!!

We decided to head to the Corner Bistro so that Mark could try one of New York's best burgers. Unfortunately, we only had the address and knew it was on 4th St, but didn't know the cross streets. So we took the subway to what we assumed was the closest station to the bar, but it was still quite a haul. Mark was excited to see an actual game of street basketball going on.

Finally we made it to the bar and Mark consumed a Bistro Burger and shared his fries with me. He reported the while the burger was good, it wasn't anything spectaular. He said it wouldn't make his top 10 list. Surprising, as this was supposed to be one of the city's BEST burgers. So I have one more chance to redeem myself. Hopefully the Burger Joint will work out better for him. Of course I only took a picture of the burger with my camera, and I forgot the cable for downloading the pictures at home, so you will all have to wait until we return to see it.

By that time, we were exhausted and decided to head back to the hotel to rest up until the show. So Mark's resting while I blog for him. :o)

NYC- Wednesday

We made it! After getting up at 4:03am, we headed to the Madison airport and took off at 6:20. I guess they don't really make announcements for flights as we were sitting there watching CNN headline news and they made the final boarding call. We made it and even ran into a guy from the Y on our flight to Memphis. We landed in Memphis, their whole airport reeked of BBQ, it was awesome and 8 in the morning! Didn't have any though. We got to Newark right around noon, got onto a train and were to the Madison Square Garden by 1pm. We headed to our hotel (which actually is really awesome) and ditched our stuff and got ready for the rest of the day. We headed towards Times Square to be outstanding tourists and shopped around and ate at a deli. We then headed north to the Bronx for the Yankees game.

We got to the game a couple hours early! Perfect! Or so you'd think. I guess you can't have backpacks at Yankee stadium but we talked the guy into letting us in. Perfect! Of course our tickets didn't work, for some reason the guy we bought them from forwarded them to someone else via e-mail and I guess that nullifies the ticket. Crap. Did I mention this was basically a sell out? Our options were crappy $50 seats or $12 bleachers which are about 500 feet from the plate. We opted for the bleachers. So we had to go to a new entrance which was around the other side of the stadium. Of course we couldn't talk the people of that entrance into allowing in the back pack. You can bring in a duffle bag or any other sor of bag, just not a backpack. Jess went to check it in across the street and we went out to the bleachers. We were pretty down from the start as the bleachers were crappy. Oh yeah, and good thing I quit beer, the bleachers are dry. Yep, $12 cover charge doesn't allow you to buy beer. But we tried to be positive about it. And during batting practice A-Rod hit a fly ball caught by Jorge Posada. For some reason he turned around and threw it to me, so I got a ball! :) When the game started the weather cooled off and we got in the shade and it ended up being really nice. Yankee fans are much better that Cubs fans.The Yankees even won! So after we headed back to our hotel and stumbled across this gem! A couple sliders to make up for the hot dog I didn't eat at the stadium! Awesome!!!

More to come tomorrow (probably!)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Morning Brew...

So this morning was the opening of the new Barriques on Old Sauk. What was even more important is that the new store manager is our friend Tracy! We just had to go down and visit and wish her luck.
Sorry about the bad picture, my camera has a weird flash. Anyways, we got up at 5:15 to ride down there. 60% chance of rain? Ha! We wouldn't be denied. We got to Barriques at about 5 to 6 and we waited patiently outside while we got a couple drops of rain before Tracy finally let us in. The picture above is the first ever transaction at this new location. One large skim caramel latte, one chai and one pan o'chcolat. I added on a fresh baked molasses cookie for my breakfast, it was the best molasses cookie far!
I enjoyed my latte as well! It was really good! 10 minutes after being served Kyle (Tracy's husband) came in too and we hung out a bit before he had to get to work. The ride to work for us was against a headwind. But the rain held off and we got to work. It was an awesome morning, nothing like a cool ride and some hot caffenated drinks to get a Monday morning kicked off right.

Good luck Tracy! We'll certainly be back and we recommend everyone check this place out. Much more reasonable and less formulated than a Starbucks...and you can even add booze to your coffee or sip on a wine or beer. It's like a cyclist heaven. They even have Monopoly time we rock a game of that!


This weekend was a good indication of what my summer will be like. With the first WORS race in the books and me not being there it felt a little bit strange. But I was riding mountain bikes on Sunday anyways and had a blast!

Friday was a pretty boring day. I got free lunch (Panera) at work because I rode my bike to work that day! I rode all 5 days last week! After work I came home and Jerry and I worked on Jess’ Rock Shox fork. It’s tuned pretty well now, I think it was short a lot of fluid so now the rebound is much quicker. After that, Jess needed some supper. We tried out the Gray’s Tied House and it was ok. Nothing spectacular, it seemed like they made all their foods as mild as possible. We then ran a whole lot of errands.

Saturday I got in 2:30 of basketball straight. It was rough! Got home and rocked the hot tub for a bit while Jess rocked the Farmer’s Market. She got home in time for me to eat some Hot Spicy Cheese Bread and then I rode my bike to softball practice. Our first game is on Tuesday so we needed the tune up. I needed it for sure, it took me about 20 cuts before I was getting some solid barrel on the ball. I sense a season of me spraying singles all over the field. Also got some glove work in which was fun. Rode home and took a nap during the afternoon. Watched Major League in HD which was hot. I think it is in my Top 3 of movies ever. We headed to McFarland for Jess’ friend Sam’s birthday. They have a 6 week old yellow lab puppy and it was so cute! Jess forgot her camera so I don’t have photos to post. I ate some tacos and hung out and it was a good time. We went from there to our work’s casino night! Another great time was had, I lost at poker early, came back with some blackjack, got super lucky in roulette and then settled in with some blackjack where with work party rules I was able to get 7X my original chip total. However the raffle tickets I bought with my profit didn’t amount to anything and all I got was a door prize of socks…which were the same socks that someone gave me the day before, so now I have two pairs. Got home, flipped on some SNL and fell asleep. SNL is quality for some sleep.

Sunday we got up to go mountain biking at Blue Mounds. We were joined by the Balsleys. I cleared a couple rocks I’ve never tried before so I was amped. We tried the new overlode trail which was some sweet XC riding although a couple of the hills are not only too long, but too steep! Of course Jess rode one that I walked so I felt like a winner. But before that was the highlight of the day. This trail kind of switches back on itself, making those most out of limited space. Well I am doubling back and I see Jess. She tried to clear a downed tree (I actually cleared it though it was much sketchier than it looked.) She didn’t clear it and went barrel rolling onto the ground and into the tree. Unfortunately her bike missed the tree as it just tumbled end over end down the hill. At the bottom of the hill was about a 15ft high ravine with a small creek. Her bike ended up in the creek, almost like it was perfectly posed for a catalog photo shoot. A camera would’ve been huge but I didn’t bring it as I wasn’t sure I am going to keep it and nothing ruins cameras (or bike parts, tires, flesh, egos, etc) more than the rocks at Blue Mound. Stephen and I fished out her bike and Jess was ok. The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful until Stephen and I went to the farthest reaches of the trail. I crashed twice, once hard enough that I sliced open my finger pretty good and bruised my knee. Of course in the dumbass moment of the day, I flatted not too far from the campground. No worries! I pull out a was a road tube and needless to say it didn’t work so well. So I walked it out which wasn’t too bad and then Jess picked me up when I got almost through the campground. Afterward Stephen cooked us a gourmet meal (who knew?) and we hung out. Got home and watched some sports and chilled until supper time and then we hit the gritty with Jess’ parents. That night we watched the Amazing Race finale and then got to hear the WORS race reports. Sounds like the WORS show will go on even without me there. I still went and looked at the result to hypothesize on how I might have done but I really wasn’t sad that my name wasn’t listed. Of course last year at Iola I sat out for like 20 minutes with a broken crank and rode the third lap with the only chainring I didn’t bend, the small one, and got almost last.