Someone Sneaks in a “Side Trip”

Some of you know our amazingly talented god-daughter, Tina!  You need a scrapbook?  Tina can do it.  You need a clever gift?  Tina knows what to buy!  You need a family portrait?  Tina is the best photographer around.  You need ANYTHING?  Just ask Tina!  She has the cutest “instagram” and her own photography blog, on top of being a great mom to 3 of our grand-nieces.  And, on top of all this, she travels around the country as part of a scrap booking crafting company that caters to thousands of (mostly) women each weekend who want to do “high-end” crafting. She’s done a lot of traveling and is a great partner for discovering.  So, with a few days to spare in between her next work stop, Eddie & I took a ride to Schaumburg to bring her back to the apartment with us.  We rented a “zip car” which is a car sharing program for city-dwellers who don’t have their own vehicles.  You can rent the car for an hour or two up to a full day.  Each car is loaded with some sort of crazy technology that allows a “credit card” type key to unlock the doors from the outside, turn on the car, and even get gas if you need to.  The idea is that if you need some wheels for a couple of hours, this is more economical than say, Enterprise or Budget.  In any event, it worked out great for this little jaunt.  Schaumburg is a little over an hour away from the city, mostly through suburbs just outside of the Chicago city limits.  Tina was all ready to go so we scooped her up and off we went!  When we got back into the city, it was still early enough to do “brunch” once we dropped off the car and walked around the corner to a little cafe that does a great “breakfast all day” called “Beezzee’s” … yum … crepes, waffles, egg sandwiches … you name it, it was delicious.

And that is just the beginning ...

And that is just the beginning …

Another Sunday, another barbeque, another batch of homemade salsa …

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I’m not sure what else we had with this meal, but I’m pretty sure we just drank this salsa til it was gone.  Because of Tina’s frantic travel schedule, she just needed some “home” to start her vacation off right!

After a good night’s sleep, we decided to begin our day with a walk around the city.  And what do we see?  A “fluke sighting” of one of Tina’s favorite “followings” … do you know what that is?  I didn’t, but I’ll explain it the way I get it now.  So, there are a bunch of food trucks out there, all with their own specialties, all over the United States (we had them at Damien one summer a few years back, remember?).  Well, Tina “follows” many of these trucks because of her travels, especially the ones that are famous (via “Food Network”) in their own cities.  Ok so we’re walking down the street and all of the sudden Tina says, “OMG, the DOUGHNUT VAULT is here!”  What??  I have no idea what she’s talking about but she says, “Auntie, we have to follow it.”  So off we go.  It’s a cute little old fashioned station-wagon type thing with “The Vault Van” painted on the sides.  We tear down the street, turn the corner, run up another block, trailing it as finally, sadly, disappears from our view.  Oh no … now what?  Never fear, Tina is here!  She gets out her phone, taps on the screen and says, “they have 2 stores here in the city!  Let’s find them!”  With a little help from our friend Google, we finally find the store, in a beautiful restored building down on Canal Street.  And when they say “vault,” they mean it!

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The doughnuts were as delicious as they are famous.  I mean delicious.  And I don’t even like doughnuts!  I had a roasted almond old-fashioned with a warm, sugary, heavenly glaze and Tina had the roasted coconut.  We paired our breakfast with some chai tea and vanilla steamers and recovered from our morning jog, all while enjoying the vault.  You have got to get off your diet for at least one of these beauties.

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We finished off the day by taking Eddie to a BBQ joint called “Lillie’s Q.” Another lucky find because they actually serve “tri-tip” … we have not found tri-tip anywhere since we arrived here.  They don’t do “tri-tip” out here … I guess it’s a California “Santa Maria” thing?  Anyway, the funniest thing they had on the menu was “Kool Aid Pickles” … is that the craziest thing or what?  I’m not a pickle person but both Tina and Eddie are so …

Kool Aid Pickles!

Kool Aid Pickles!

Go ahead, I dare you to try them … talk to you tomorrow!

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