Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby chrisco » 08 May 2017, 17:32

So no one else honed in on PalChris blowing his spot on day 1? Are you kidding me, she has him dead to rights and is just waiting to boil the bunny in the pot. (Hope I got that reference right).

On the communal table thing, its like an orgy. Once you've done it a few times and realize you can be as social or selfish as you want, its no big deal.
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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby mj3528 » 08 May 2017, 17:33

chrisco wrote:So no one else honed in on PalChris blowing his spot on day 1? Are you kidding me, she has him dead to rights and is just waiting to boil the bunny in the pot. (Hope I got that reference right).

On the communal table thing, its like an orgy. Once you've done it a few times and realize you can be as social or selfish as you want, its no big deal.


Observant Kite noticed that and commented on it in the box. Nice work by her.
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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby TheWolf » 08 May 2017, 20:30

And the second half of my trip...

I went to pick up the rental car Friday afternoon and the guy said "I have a pickup truck I'm trying to get rid of. Any chance you want that?" I can't believe no one wanted to drive an F150 around downtown Chicago. I said sure, and he threw in half a tank for gas too for doing him a favor. I should have pushed my luck and said I'd take it off his hands if he waived the fee for dropping off in a different location. Alas, I didn't think of that until later. Anyway, I was happy to get something big and comfortable for the weekend. Getting out of Chicago at 5:00 on a Friday was every bit the nightmare I expected it to be, but we made it to our friends' house just outside of Madison around 8:30.

Quick backstory on who we're visiting - She went to college with my wife, and then they ended up working together for a couple of years too. By sheer coincidence, they lived in the same building as me for about 2 years after college, so I ended up becoming really good friends with them. He's a former Penn State frat douche and current engineer, and is almost literally the last type of person I would ever seek out as a friend. You know, if I was a judgmental prick who decided I must hate him because of his job and frat membership. Somehow we became very good friends, and he's not just my wife's friend's husband. She's a wonderful person, but not really anything special to look at, so I won't give any details on the obvious question. In the past 5-6 years, they have moved to Prague; Southern Pines, NC; almost China but that feel through; and now Madison. We've visited them in every location. Just to avoid the pronoun game for the rest of this post, their names are Nick and Julie. OK.

He grilled some steaks and asparagus that his wife had apparently picked at a local farm that day. You know, because asparagus picking is a thing that people do. Enjoyed a lovely meal with a couple bottles of red wine, then I switched over to beer - Wisconsin-famous New Glarus Spotted Cow - and got reasonably drunk.

Saturday morning we went here for breakfast, which I later learned they do every single Saturday. It was slightly hipstery - maybe that's not even the right word, but it was... something. Very good though, and I would most definitely go back. Their Saturday morning routine includes going to the farmers' market after breakfast, then letting their kids burn off some energy running around the grass outside the Capital building after that. We tagged along, and then she brought the kids home for a nap.

Wolfette, Nick, and I started day drinking. The farmers' market was in a square around the Capital building, and off one side of that square is a pedestrian street that ends at the UW campus. We checked that area out, found that most of the bars weren't open yet, so we walked all the way to the end and hoped to get our first beer at a place on the edge of campus that has a bunch of outdoor seating overlooking the lake. Those fuckers didn't open till noon, so we headed back up the street and stopped at the first open place we saw.

My mission for the day was to get my hands on some Toppling Goliath and see if it would live up to Dong's high praise. I actually admitted why I was looking for the beer, and for the rest of the weekend it was known as "that Iowa beer that your internet boyfriend likes." But it was only like 11AM, so I figured I'd just ask for it everywhere we went and then get really serious about the search later if need be. The first bar served only Wisconsin beers, and the bartender had never heard of Toppling Goliath. Not a good start, but I persevered. I think I had the Capital Brewing Wisconsin Amber at that place, then we tried another beer. This place had heard of TG, but didn't have it.

Stop #3 looked promising. Big sign in the window stating that some craft beer magazine or website or something had voted it the best beer bar in Wisconsin. 30 Wisconsin beers guaranteed to always be available, plus 100 other rotating taps. The bartender said, "I know some places in town get it, but we're not one of them." At this point I have to figure the award they won is bullshit, because Dong would never lie to me; if they don't have TG, they ain't the best in the state. I powered through with a Bedlam, from Madison-based Ale Asylum. This may have been the best beer I had on my trip. It's apparently a Belgian-style IPA, and was pretty unique in that it didn't taste like every other IPA I've ever had. I think we had a 2nd beer at this place too.

Nick had a lunch spot in mind - another farm fresh, yuppie type of place, obviously - so we unfortunately left the place with 130 beers on tap. They had a brunch menu going for the weekend, and I ordered a pulled pork sandwich topped with scrambled eggs and pickled onions. No idea who thought of that pairing, but I'm glad they did. Fantastic sandwich. I enjoyed another Wisconsin-based beer, this one from a place called Lake Louie. The beer was called Ginger Hipster; according to their website it is NOT named for everyone's favorite beloved cunt, but I remain skeptical.

Headed back to their house and took the kids to a park on the lake for a while. We enjoyed a couple Spotted Cows, and I took the opportunity to lay down in the grass and catch a 20 minute power nap. They had a babysitter coming at 7. When she arrived, I decided I probably watch too much porn because I could do nothing but picture her in a variety of compromising scenarios. She was like 23 with huge cans, though, so I don't really know what you'd expect from me.

They took us to their favorite restaurant for dinner. Believe it or not, this place had a small menu that changes frequently and relies heavily on local ingredients. They claim to have the best cheese curds in town; I'm no expert, but they were delicious, so I won't dispute their claim. I had lost a bet earlier in the day, the stakes of which allowed Nick to order my first drink at dinner. He told the bartender (who had a handlebar mustache and suspenders because of course he did) to make me "something pink and vodka-based." It basically tasted like pink lemonade, so there are far worse punishments. It did have a flower in it though, so I looked very :gay: drinking it. Then I had a Founders KBS and a Surly Furious with dinner, and we ordered Balvenie for dessert because why not keep alternating between beer and liquor?

The place we went after dinner was an old bank converted into a bar. The downstairs had a big lounge area that used to be the bank vault, and they still had part of the vault door intact. It was actually really cool. They had a "Surly tap takeover" going on, with at least 6 different Surly varieties available. They did not have TG, and at this point I knew I was running out of time. Tried 2 or 3 of the Surly brews, plus a shot that the bartender insisted on giving us because he fucked up our order once, and then I jumped on Untappd to see if any TG stuff had been tagged anywhere nearby.

Turns out there was a bar like 100 yards away with 3 of their beers on tap - Pseudo Sue, Pompeii, and Golden Nugget. I got the Pseudo Sue because it was the only one I'd heard of. I was pretty well hammered by this point, so I'm not really in any position to give much of a review. But I definitely liked it, and would like to try more of their stuff. I wish I'd made more of an effort to find it during the day.

Ate some late-night pizza, had another Spotted Cow back at the house, and passed out around 1:00. Before turning in, we decided to leave our friend Russ a voicemail in which we sang the entirety of Bowie's Space Oddity, saying Major Russ instead of Major Tom, and randomly inserting his name into many other lyrics. Because we're adults.

Sunday we visited the New Glarus brewery. For those not familiar, it's in the middle of farm country in a tiny little town about 30-40 minutes outside Madison, and from what I gather it's neck and neck with cheese curds and the Packers for being the thing that Wisonconites like the most. I had heard of it and knew they only distributed in WI. I took that to mean they're pretty small, but what I didn't know is that means they distribute literally fucking everywhere in WI. I'm given to understand that you can get it at every single beer establishment in the state (both bars/restaurants and retail stores). So apparently they're a pretty big deal.

I know I'm running really long here, but I enjoyed the shit out of this day so I want to make sure I give a proper review of the brewery. The beers are kind of unspectacular, especially if you're used to drinking goony goon IPAs and stouts all the time. They had 5 beers on tap, and all were just very refreshing and drinkable - all lagers and saisons, I believe. Really a nice change of pace instead of trying to bludgeon me to death with hops. The brewery sits on top of a hill in a fake ruin that's maybe a little bit over the top, but I thought it was a really cool setting. Good views out over the fams/village below, tons of outdoor seating (although I didn't see any indoor seating, so probably not fun on a shitty day), kid and dog friendly, they had a food truck and a couple of old dues playing alpine horns to really cap off the "little Switzerland" vibe. I had a great time here, and would definitely recommend visiting it if you're ever in the area.
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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby Gregs Kite » 09 May 2017, 07:05

Other than the goofy, farm to table locally sourced unicorn sunshine kisses restaurants, this sounds like an awesome time. Great posts.
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BostonSucksMyBalls - Thu May 11, 2017 2:07 pm: greg your being a lil bitch in the hall of sand

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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby TheWolf » 09 May 2017, 07:27

The unicorn restaurants were expected; that's where they like to eat and we were prepared for that going in. I have no beef with those places at all, but they're not usually what I'd choose on my own because they tend to be overpriced and pretentious. But I enjoy ed the food and the fact that I didn't have to share a table with strangers.

I forgot to mention the place we went for dinner Saturday night was also a "craft cocktail bar" with a whole book full of ridiculous drinks with made-up ingredients and goofy names that I think may have been literary-inspired, but I don't remember any of them now. But to accommodate this super cool quirkiness, they had a massive whiskey selection, so that was nice. They also had a chalkboard behind the bar labeled "fancy whiskey." There were 5 varieties of Pappy listed, but all had been crossed out by the time we got there. Sad!
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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby Gregs Kite » 09 May 2017, 07:33

TheWolf wrote:The unicorn restaurants were expected; that's where they like to eat and we were prepared for that going in. I have no beef with those places at all, but they're not usually what I'd choose on my own because they tend to be overpriced and pretentious. But I enjoy ed the food and the fact that I didn't have to share a table with strangers.

I forgot to mention the place we went for dinner Saturday night was also a "craft cocktail bar" with a whole book full of ridiculous drinks with made-up ingredients and goofy names that I think may have been literary-inspired, but I don't remember any of them now. But to accommodate this super cool quirkiness, they had a massive whiskey selection, so that was nice. They also had a chalkboard behind the bar labeled "fancy whiskey." There were 5 varieties of Pappy listed, but all had been crossed out by the time we got there. Sad!


Even that piss swill 15 year Pappy? Holy moly!

How was the beard scene in not only this bar, but the other joints in Wisconsin? Still a thing?
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BostonSucksMyBalls - Thu May 11, 2017 2:07 pm: greg your being a lil bitch in the hall of sand

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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby TheWolf » 09 May 2017, 07:38

Nothing about the beard scene stuck out to me. So either it's not still a thing, or maybe I'm just used to it now.
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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby JichaelDick » 09 May 2017, 07:41

My favorite restaurant in northwest Alabama is a farm to table place.

It is also a buffet. I may have issues.
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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby CourtesyFlush » 09 May 2017, 07:43

Good stuff thewolf--en joyed both posts. I agree I think I like Chicago more than NYC. Both are great, but Chi-town just seems like an easier town to deal with for someone coming from a smaller city.
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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby TheWolf » 09 May 2017, 07:55

CourtesyFlush wrote:Good stuff thewolf--en joyed both posts. I agree I think I like Chicago more than NYC. Both are great, but Chi-town just seems like an easier town to deal with for someone coming from a smaller city.


I think that's what it is. Chicago is obviously a huge city, but it just feels more welcoming and like I can actually relax and enjoy myself. NY is just so in your face with its New York-ness, that I've never really grown to like it all that much.
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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby CourtesyFlush » 09 May 2017, 07:57

TheWolf wrote:
CourtesyFlush wrote:Good stuff thewolf--en joyed both posts. I agree I think I like Chicago more than NYC. Both are great, but Chi-town just seems like an easier town to deal with for someone coming from a smaller city.


I think that's what it is. Chicago is obviously a huge city, but it just feels more welcoming and like I can actually relax and enjoy myself. NY is just so in your face with its New York-ness, that I've never really grown to like it all that much.

Don't get me wrong--NYC is great in its own right. It's easy to get around and there's always something to do. But yeah I think Chicago has a more welcoming feel to it.
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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby JT99 » 09 May 2017, 08:22

CourtesyFlush wrote:
TheWolf wrote:
CourtesyFlush wrote:Good stuff thewolf--en joyed both posts. I agree I think I like Chicago more than NYC. Both are great, but Chi-town just seems like an easier town to deal with for someone coming from a smaller city.


I think that's what it is. Chicago is obviously a huge city, but it just feels more welcoming and like I can actually relax and enjoy myself. NY is just so in your face with its New York-ness, that I've never really grown to like it all that much.

Don't get me wrong--NYC is great in its own right. It's easy to get around and there's always something to do. But yeah I think Chicago has a more welcoming feel to it.


So does Syria
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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby ctz31 » 09 May 2017, 08:58

Good posts wolf. I don't ever forsee myself in wisconsin, but perhaps Chicago one day. Coupla questions: 1.) Did you discuss with the penn state frat douche the hazing murder of that penn state frat douche? Or had that not happened yet? .4 BAC. Impressive. 2.) Tell me every detail about this wager you lost.
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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby bosux » 09 May 2017, 09:03

JichaelDick wrote:My favorite restaurant in northwest Alabama is a farm to table place.

It is also a buffet. I may have issues.


your aunt's pig farm picnic pavilion doesn't count, hoss
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Re: Vacation. Starring you as Clark Griswold.

Postby TheWolf » 09 May 2017, 09:05

We did not discuss the Penn State hazing murder. I don't think I even knew about it until you just mentioned it. I'll have to look into this some more and then get his thoughts on the matter.

I guess it was actually a contest, not a wager. Initially the 4 of us all picked a horse in the Derby and were trying to come up with a prize for whoever's horse finished highest. He suggested the winner picks the first drink for everyone else. But the girls backed out on that because woman. Then when we were at the park with the kids, his oldest wanted to throw rocks into the lake. To pass the time, he and I started throwing rocks at a bat house near the water. We decided to apply the drink stakes to this game, with the first one to 11 being the winner - 1 point for hitting the house, 2 for hitting the metal post that it was on. I blew an 8-4 lead and lost 11-9. It was embarrassing.
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