Tuesday, June 7, 2011

O'Hare, I Hardly Knew Ye

For most of my vacation week, I was dreading the trip back to KC as it included a layover at O'Hare Airport in Chicago. My last experience with this vast, labyrinthine airport was not a happy one....stuck on the tarmac on one flight; I missed the connecting flight and was redirected to a gate in a galaxy far, far away which I eventually found after a full sprint across concourses to a destination where I would nervously weather several tense hours trying to get on standby. Yes, I wrote that in one long run-on sentence in order to convey my exasperation.....at ease, Grammar Police. I'm quite gratified to say, though, that this experience with O'Hare was much different.

I will say, however, that once we had landed, I began bracing myself for the worst again...we sat on the tarmac for a good half an hour before our plane was allowed to pull up to a gate. I did have a lengthy layover this time around, so time was not as of the essence. Once inside, I took my time and walked the concourses; quickly found my departure gate and went exploring. I even found that I more time than I realized when it finally dawned on me that my watch was still on East Coast time...

Ah, O'Hare, I hardly knew ye.....Leisurely strolling your concourses, I took all of your offerings in....sleek sushi bar in the middle of the corridor, pop art glass sculptures drooping from the ceiling, giant banners of Oprah's face marking her farewell to her beloved Chi-Town. As I gaze upwards at the mammoth dinosaur sculpture; I remember dashing panic-stricken past its giant haunches the last time. Lost on my newly respectful reverie, I heard my name called out...

Wait, what...?

Yes, indeed, that was my name I heard and I looked over to discover my KC friend Mary and her sister waiting on the first of several layovers on her way to her beloved Budapest. It was great seeing them; not to mention a kick to know someone in the "busiest airport in the world". Bon Voyage, Mary. As there was also time to grab a bite, O'Hare certainly gains some points for the plethora of dining choices that I'm typically bereft of in airports. I had a filling and tasty vegetable frittata with feta, spinach, peppers and onions from La Tapenade, a Mediterranean cafe. So much better than the usual pig-on-a-biscuit that I'm usually faced with. After breakfast, I strolled around and got some pics around the airport before boarding for my flight home to KC. Good show, O'Hare.

Finally home in KC, the weather had returned to Steambath Central but I was thrilled to be back with Keith. The evening of my return was a pretty fair representation of my life with the K-Man as I'd barely had time to unpack before we were off to the Liberty Square Arts Festival so that artists could be wooed and promotional materials could be handed out for the upcoming Missouri Wine Festival at the Elms. We met up with our friends Cress and TJ at the Jem restaurant, and soon, we were all convulsed in welcome laughter. We got a round of drinks: an impressive Jem Juice created from fresh pineapple infused with vodka and I ordered a brew that I hadn't had in some time: an ice-cold Samuel Smith. We also shared herb flatbread with fresh basil pesto, hummus and tomato-red pepper ragout. The revelation was the house-marinated olives. You may know or have read that I am typically no fan of olives....could it be I just don't like the olive juice or brine? These were marinated in balsamic vinegar and other spices and served with marinated red peppers and crumbled bleu cheese. I liked them...I really liked them.

We sauntered around the square, as one can only do in this heat and stopped in Crepes on The Square for dessert. This joint's menu features a host of savory and sweet crepes...A French dish of thin pancakes filled with fresh goodness. We enjoyed our homemade crepes...mine was filled with housemade lemon curd and topped with fresh berries and raspberry coulis and was voted by KC Star magazine as one of the most "drool-worthy" dishes in the KC area. Indeed, it was divine. We left not long after, as I was beat from the traveling.

Its good to be back home in KC.

2 comments:

Bob Ingle said...

GR8 write...

Confounded Cook said...

Thank you, Bob!

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