New York, London, Paris, Munich

Everybody talk about Pop Music!

Sorry the title really has nothing to do with this post, well except for the New York part which is where we will start this week long cavalcade of fun.

Let’s start with last Saturday when we had the pleasure of dining at the Culinary Institute of America with our Fabulous friends JP and Earl. We combined their visit with Gayme Night so they got to attend that and see how much fun it is. Below are some pictures of the meal I had, as always it was amazing and delicious.

IMG_1283House-made Garlic Sausage and Sauerkraut

IMG_1284This was the Hubbies Hudson Valley Cage-free Foie Gras

IMG_1285Wild Boar Stew

IMG_1286The Hubby ordered the Hudson Valley Moulard Duck Breast
Sweet Potato Purée, Braised Red Cabbage, Chestnuts, Applejack Brandy Sauce

IMG_1288Rocky Road
Chocolate Malt Ice Cream, Toasted “Marshmallow,” Almond Custard, Chocolate “Pebbles”

IMG_1293The next day we all met for Brunch at a local Tapas place, I will say the food was very good. We took this picture outside before JP and Earl set out on their way home. We had a great time with them and hope to see them again very soon.

Monday was a normal work day and finalization of the plans with my coworker for our travels to our Chicago office Tuesday morning. We had a quick overnight trip for some Sales meetings and the 2013 Recognition Dinner for 3 of the Sales Teams. My coworker and I met at 5:30 am to head down to the airport for our 8:50 flight. The ride was pretty quick and uneventful which I was happy about. The flight left on time and actually landed about 10 minutes early which afforded us the opportunity to swing by the hotel and drop our bags before heading over to the office.

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We stayed at the super fancy Palmer House Hilton, the ceiling of the Lobby area where the bar and restaurants are is spectacular as seen by the image above.

The meetings ran from 12 to about 3pm and then a quick check of the email and check in with my colleague backing me up, and then we left the office to change, and grab a drink in the hotel bar with the Boss before heading to the Recognition Dinner.

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This was the scene from the Mars Gallery from one end of the room. They had a Disco Ball going to naturally I had to snap a pic of it. Each of the Relationship Management teams spent about 1o minutes recognizing those members who met or exceeded their budget numbers for 2013. During the night we had drinks and Nibbles, and then the best of the night came when each of the teams showcased their Team T-Shirts. I may be a little biased but I think OURS are the best, and I am not saying that because I had a hand in designing it.

IMG_1331Here I am modeling it in the hotel room Thursday Morning.

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My SWife (that’s straight wife) HAD to have a picture with me (her Ghusband) and my boss so naturally it was a Selfie!

The next day was more meetings in the morning and then a team lunch. As this was my first time visiting Chicago, it was only fair I guess that I experience Deep Dish pizza. I will say it wasn’t as bad as I thought, spare me the lecture, but I am a NY style city guy. I prefer the cheese and toppings outshine the crust, thin is in as they say. As I said earlier this was supposed to be an overnight trip, fly in Tuesday fly home Wednesday, but the weather had other plans for me.

The admin assistant in our office was on top of things with rebooking flights and hotels for the 6 of us from my office who were affected by the change of plans. So we rolled with it and spent another fun night out and about. After an hour or so more in the office we packed our things and headed back to the hotel, them to go shopping, and me to lay down and relax. I did end up going across the street to pick up a couple pairs of clean underwear.

Social media to came to my rescue, and by rescue I mean getting me away from the antics of the women from my office, and I ended up meeting a twitter friend for Dinner at RJ Grunts. From what I understand this is something of an institution up in the Lincoln Park area. The food was good, bacon cheeseburger, and the company was downright friendly. Tom (without his partner Terry who was working) was a complete gentleman and a gracious host. We had a great visit and he was even kind enough to drive me back down to my hotel. If ever in Chicago again I will be sure to repay the kindness to him.

We were scheduled on a 1:40 flight home, so after another couple hours in the office Thursday morning, we packed up and taxied to the airport to wait and see if we were to fly home. No delays boarding, and only a slight delay in the air circling LaGuardia due to snow removal on the runway and we landed. My coworker who drove with me and I trekked to the parking lot and after some wandering on my part found the car. The weather in NY wasn’t too bad a light rain, but as we got out of the city and closer to home the rain changed and we found ourselves following behind the snow plows. We finally made it home after a whirlwind 3 days.

Needless to say, most of us worked from home Friday. We had plans for Valentines dinner at our friends house with 2 other couples, one of which cancelled. I volunteered to bring Dessert, and it wasn’t going to make itself If I were at the office. We had a fabulous night avoiding the expensive restaurants and crazy crowds with some good friends.

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20140215-140957.jpgThis was the final product, the recipe and be found here.

Red Velvet Brownies layered with Chocolate Pudding, and Chocolate Mousse.

I added an extra depth of flavor with a layer of Dulce De Leche.

All in all it was a good week, and If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Here’s to the 3 day weekend for me with a day of recovery from office shenanigans on Monday.

 

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