Tag Archives: Beer

Chicago 2016 – Day Three (Shopping, shopping & more Shopping)

Today was a scheduled day of shopping, the things I have to do to make sure I can get into Chicago to have a day in the city.

But before we headed out we elected to have breakfast in the hotel $40 for 2 cups of coffee, 1 cup of tea (that never arrived) i glass of orange juice, 2 glasses of cranberry juice, 2 bowls of cereal, 1 round of toast & 1 bagel with scrambled egg! Maybe the last breakfast we have in the hotel.

We collected Aunty Jilla from Julie & Joe’s at 10:30 as agreed & headed off in the direction of Aurora & Chicago Premier Outlet (http://m.premiumoutlets.com/default.aspx?id=878)

Center map

I elected to avoid the interstate highway & travelled dow the road adjacent road, this meant we travelled past some interesting buildings & houses. The space between the homes is fantastic, where we squeeze houses in the American’s have plenty of space & green areas. I’d love to live out here but sadly I think I’m too old now to start a fresh life over here, so i’ll settle for visiting.

Finally arrived at the shopping mall & the only way to describe it’s layout is to say it looks very similar to Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet at Ellesmere Port (http://www.mcarthurglen.com/uk/cheshire-oaks-designer-outlet/en/). We parked up in an empty car park & headed off with Aunty Jilla in search of bargains.

Guess up spent first? No not Michele or Aunty Jilla but me, YES me. I was first to go shopping with the purchase of a new casual jacket to be worn with my jeans. That then opened the flood gates for Michele to put the credit card to the test with her best shopping skills.

There was jumpers, tee shirts, shirts, hoodies, shoes, safari set (for Harry), mores shoes, a wallet, even more shoes, a new carry on case as the worry was the suitcases may not be big enough for all the items we need to take home!! The credit card stuttered in Ralph Laurent, but after a quick coffee break in Starbucks it recovered to start shopping again.

Four and a half hours later I estimated that Michele had spent about $1000 on her shopping spree & the question was, is she a happy lady? Yes i think she was. Did we fall out, No. Did i get bored No. Did we enjoy Aunty Jilla’s company? oh Yes, we had a blast.

After dropping AUnty Jilla off at Julie & Joe’s we spotted Elle briefly & stopped for a coffee before catching up with Julie & then Joe when they both returned home from work.

They had had the house inspection undertaken today & albeit that there seemed to be a couple of issues with the house was there enough to stop the sale going through? Hopefully not. We decided to leave them all to it & headed off for tea.

We ate at Houlihan’s at Wheaton (http://www.houlihans.com/my-houlihans/wheaton), we ate here 2 yaers ago with Joshua & this was the only place not to have over-faced us, BUT not this time.

We started off with the stuffed mushrooms to share & had 7 of them delivered, wow they were delicious…………….but they were huge. We could really have only done with 3 not 7! We followed this with 3 sliders for Michele & a burger for me.

Guess what neither of us finished our meals! #overfaced

We are now sat in our room watching Gotham & sipping a bottle of Goose Island IPA (http://www.gooseisland.com/showBeer.html?name=goose-ipa) a very nice beer but not as nice as the Duke I had last night at Granite City (http://www.gcfb.com/craft-beers/always-on-tap/).

Now time for bed as Michele is already asleep after her marathon day of shopping!


A busy week in the office using Revit – AGAIN!

This past week has been a busy one in the office as we’ve been inundated with schemes to produce for all side of the business. Yes we’ve been working for both Social Infrastructure & Property.

JP was swamped with Education Funding Agency work, CM was away on annual leave & as usual we had no support from our colleagues down South! 🙁

I was asked to put my existing workload on the back-burner & take a Property Team scheme on for JP. It wasn’t a difficult job but rather than use AutoCAD we elected to undertake the design in Revit. Revit enabled us to quickly shift the furniture layout around as well as provide an existing, demolition & proposed layouts very easily. Only wished we’d been given the Revit Families training, but we’ve still got to get approval off work for that! We had to space plan an office fit out for a 125 seat office with a mixture of 4 and 6 person desks. There was also a requirement to provide 4 number 6 person ‘touch-down’ desks. In the end all was completed on time & sent to our Quantity Surveyors to price up. We even managed time to create two options. Then it was back to playing catch-up on my core work for the Manchester Education Team with some Development Plans that needed creating. I was also able to clear a planning application for a remodelling of a teachers staff room that required new windows and a door adding.

The week ended with a couple of pints at a new bar which had opened on Station Approach Manchester called Piccadilly Tap.

Center map

There was quite a turn-out for a Friday lunchtime pint as there was 8 of us from the office who had decided it was definitely needed. So we split ourselves into 2 groups of four to make the cost of buying a round more appealing.

Piccadilly Tap, Manchester 2015

We are still trying to get our CAD drawing sheets created too, its been over 3 weeks now since we re-branded the company to our parent companies name and we are still waiting for the title sheets to be produced. Its getting quite embarrassing but I can safely say no one is waiting for me to create them as someone else (who shall remain nameless) has taken it on to undertake. Its not just the AutoCAD ones that we are waiting for its the Revit one too.

More the same this coming week I expect.

The weekend was much more fun, Michele and I went off to Warrington looking for new cars as our current deal which ends in May 2016. Michele fancies a Mitsubishi ASX crossover, but after having a look I’m not so sure. It looks slightly bigger than the Nissan Quashai that we used to have and I’m not too sure if I want a car that big again. Some debate to go though. Then we did a spot of shopping in Warrington, new work shirts and trousers. Following this we called at Bents Garden Centre near Leigh as they’ve had a new refurbishment undertaken and it looked quite smart inside. Maybe another trip is due before the Christmas period kicks in.

Saturday evening was spent with our friends Warren and Dawn as they’d offered us tea after we called in for a coffee. Dawn made a nice Chilli con Carne which was washed down with a couple of bottles of ‘Old Speckled Hen‘. Dawn had been in work all day and even though we’d not seen them all for a couple of weeks we called it a night just after 21:00 so Dawn could settle down and rest.

Sunday (today) was a rest day, i did a little bit of practice with Revit to keep the skill up as I’d noticed that because I’d not used it for a couple of weeks I’d lost the edge. We called over the road to Michele’s parents to see how they were and they both seemed happy.

I’ve had a chat with my daughter Sam tonight who has been telling me what she’s been planning for the coming weeks with a trip to Sheffield and also Nottingham. She was also explaining that her husband (Matt) and her have set a new business up called ‘Sammy and Matt – business builder and mentors‘. How they manage to find the time in their busy life I don’t know but good luck to them both. If you don’t try you’ll never succeed.

Lewis and Drew have both been busy with work too this week as I’ve not seen or heard from them both either. Oh the catering trade and the hours they put in.

Michele, Josh and I have been at the 6th Form Opening Evening this week looking for options for Josh to do after his GCSE’s in May/June 2016. He wants to do Business Studies at A Level and in his own words become an Entrepreneur. Maybe we should buy him this book?

I’ll wrap up now as Homeland (season 5) is due on Channel 4 tonight and it’s my turn to make the lunch for tomorrow.

Chicago Panorama

Chicago – Craft Beer Week

Guide to beer tasting events in Chicago, from Craft Beer Week to tasting festivals. Plan your trip to Chicago with our beer & brews calendar.

After spending 18 days in Chicago last August (2014) I think its time we saved up again for the 10 hour flight across the Atlantic to re-visit.

The city is a magical place to visit with plenty to do for young & old alike. Not once was I  or the family bored or at a loss of what to do. Even in the suburbs as far afield as Napperville we were kept busy.

But maybe next-time I visit I’ll leave the car at home & try out some of the micro-brewery beers that seem to be becoming popular everywhere. And of course don’t forget the plethora of eating establishments throughout Chicago which cater for every taste you can imagine.

Take a look at these Chicago travel guides we can personally recommend a visit to what must be my favourite city?

Julie get the beds ready we are saving up to come & visit again? x