Archive for January, 2011
Sunday night took us to Thyme Square for a Featured Farmer Dinner.
We packed in a few bottles of our own wine and partook in a four-course tasting that set the bar in terms of food and flavor for the year.
The featured product was pork raised locally and organically from Trent Farms, located near Mendon. The evening’s meal consisted of classic comfort dishes reinvented with a fine dining twist. Chef Shupe and Thyme Square outdid themselves.
Amuse Bouche: “Pigs in a Blanket” Roasted ribs and ale mustard wrapped in a crispy pastry dough.
First Course: “New-American Bologna Sandwich” Grilled, garlic rubbed toast topped with house-made pork bologna and a farm-fresh, fried egg.
THIS NEEDS TO BE ON THE BREAKFAST MENU! I WOULD EAT IT EVERY TIME!
Second Course: “Loaded Potatoes” House-made potato gnocchi with leeks, braised pork and crème fraiche.
Third Course: “Ham and Beans” House-made garlic sausage with white beans, collard greens and mire poix.
Fourth Course: Maple pot au crème and candied bacon. Think of using sweet, crispy bacon to spoon out chilled crème brulee and then eating the bacon.
If you are going to sit in and watch a movie with your girlfriend, you have this sort of obligation to pick out a chick flick every once and a while. Girls like that mushy stuff, right? They also like those froofy chicken fettuccine alfredo dinners. Well, I recently discovered one of the best date compromises on the planet. Just follow my instructions:
1) Invite your girlfriend over for a movie night (you romantic dog, you). But this time, you should actually plan on watching the movie. No, it’s not “Lethal Weapon 4,” “Hard Boiled” or “The Expendables.” It’s a chick flick — kind of.
2) Rent Michael Cera’s relatively new movie, “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World.”
3) On the way home, stop by Little Caesers at the corner of 27th and Broadway and pick up a Hot N’ Ready sausage, pepperoni or cheese pizza for $5. I know what you’re thinking: “Pizza is pretty lame, dude.” But you just bought a chick flick! It’s all about the compromise, so you’re golden.
4) You can light some candles if you want. I wouldn’t recommend it. There is just something unromantically jarring about a slice of sausage pizza grease-glistening by candlelight. Just leave the lights off. It makes the movie better anyway.
5) Red wine? Sure, why not. I recommend Barefoot. It’s cheap and good. Beer? That’s pushing it. Pabst Blue Ribbon? Dude, there’s a time and place for everything. Although you should regularly stock your fridge with PBR, this is not the time for it.
6) Now you’re ready to snuggle. Just pop the DVD in and hit play.
So why “Scott Pilgrim?” It’s a valid question. I could be luring you into a trap. This could be like that night she brought over Sweet Home Alabama without warning you.
Well, the movie really is a chick flick at its most basic level. It’s about this semi-nerdy Canadian guy (Scott Pilgrim, duh!) who falls for this semi-damaged, punker American girl named Ramona Flowers. Here’s the hook: She has seven evil ex-boyfriends that Scott must defeat in order to date her. Scott also plays bass in a gritty, garage rock band called The Sex-Bob-Ombs. The movie is full of good rock music, hundreds of video game references and awesome matrix-meets-comic-book-kung-fu fight scenes. It’s all dude stuff.
The movie is based on a comic book series written by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The cinematography was one of the coolest parts. All the scene and time transitions were pretty inventive, tons of special effects and plenty of close-up and side by side frame shots. At first, I thought the director wanted it to look like a comic book. I was absolutely sure when he overtly emphasized onomatopoeia (like ZWAAAARF!!!) flashed across the screen during the epic battle scenes.
I almost forgot to mention, the movie has one of the Culkin brothers in it. Not Macaulay, not Rory, but Kieran. Awesome, right? I didn’t even know there was a third one. What a triple threat.
I have given you all the knowledge you need. Go forth and impress. This is one of those rare moments where you get to look like a sweetheart for doing something that you like.
Saturday night was an oxymoron of sorts — a stay-in double feature of camp, schlock and pulp with a taste of high-end libation. We had the opportunity to try Opus One for the first time, as well as a 2008 Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, both pricey wines at your local apothecary. Worth it? We shall see.
Accompaniments included organic muenster, pepper jack and cranberry goat cheese and an assortment of other snacks. The double bill: “Piranha 3D” starring Ving Rhames, Elisabeth Shue and Doc Brown (“Marty! You made it!”) and “Salt” starring Angelina Jolie and Chew-uh-Chewital-ah-Chewy — the guy from “Love Actually” and “Serenity” (the great “Firefly” sci-fi masterpiece. Browncoats, d’you reckon so? Shiny.).
We decanted the wines an hour-plus before tasting, which allowed us to enjoy much of “Piranha” with a glass of Chardonnay and a sip or Armagnac. If you find yourself sitting down to watch this film, you probably already know what you’re in for: “Jaws“ but, instead with piranhas and Ving mowin‘ a ton down with a speedboat propeller. It’s stupid, gory, hilarious and gratuitous, with a subplot of Elisabeth Shue passing on the duty of an adventure in babysitting to her teenage son — ho-ho.
Soon into the film, the Opus One was poured. We’d heard a lot about it, but never had the opportunity to try it till now. Rumors of doctors buying it by the case have been floating around for years, though I’ve never asked a doc for the truth. Other claims include: “It’s spectacular,” “It’s overrated,” “It tastes like any other Mondavi red wine,” “It’s the same as a cheap Mondavi wine, only packaged in a different bottle and stamped with an expensive label.”
We tasted. My experience was that it had a smooth start, shy flavors and a chalky finish. It was so dry, it left me guzzling water. Too dry. And I love dry. Victoria was surprised at my reaction; she liked the wine. My verdict: save your money and buy a bottle of Abstract or The Prisoner. But, don’t take my word for it. Find out which doctors have cases of Opus One and make friends.
Next was “Salt” and the Caymus Special Selection Cab. “Salt” is a decent action thriller with maybe one too many shots of Angelina kicking herself off the wall to punch an adversary. Lots of intrigue, narrow escapes and the reintroduction of Russians as bad guys amidst a plot that took me back to the ‘80s.
The Caymus poured and tasted far exceeded the taste of the Opus One. Victoria disagrees, but I found it to have more flavor, less chalk, and it left me wanting more. Plus, it’s a great deal less expensive than the Opus One. My verdict: Better, but I’d still save your money, if I were you, and go for that bottle of Abstract.
What’s more American than a $4 pitcher of beer?
The correct answer is cheese. And what’s more American than cheese? That’s easy: a good ol’ fashioned American name like Bill. I realize you might not come up with the same answers to these questions, but that’s probably because you didn’t just wash down a horseshoe with a pitcher of Bud Light at Mr. Bill’s.
Mr. Bill’s is a local bar and grill located on the corner of 12th and Ohio. They run food and drink specials every day of the week. My favorite is the $4 pitchers of domestic beer on either Mondays or Thursdays. I like tavern food too, and I have to say that Mr. Bill’s does it right — greasy and in generous portions. Their menu includes some variety like burritos and seafood, but, for the most part, you will find the dishes that America has made its own: Shredded roast beef sandwiches smothered and mashed potatoes covered in gravy, fried mushrooms, the Reuben and fried cheese balls. My personal favorite is Illinois’ own horseshoe sandwich, but I can’t say the same for my arteries.
For those of you who don’t know what a horseshoe is, I’ll use this paragraph to enlighten you.
The horseshoe originated in Springfield, Ill. Traditionally, It’s an open-faced sandwich on thick toast, a hamburger patty — some eateries will serve with chicken, tenderloin, ham or a fish fillet. French fries are thrown all over the platter, and the whole thing is smothered in cheese sauce. It’s a fried, grilled, toasted, meaty, cheesy, salty, greasy, sloppy mess of delicious.
You know what I like most about the horseshoe? French fries originated in Belgium. The hamburger also originates in Europe. But, you put all this together and smother it in cholesterol — BAM! Stars and stripes!
Belinda and I sat back, packed our bellies, talked and watched college basketball. Missouri whipped Kansas by about 20 points — the only unfortunate event of the evening. There was only one other customer in the whole bar. I guess winter Mondays are slow, but I don’t how they can be. Our check was only $20, including a good tip. You can’t go wrong eating out for two at that price.
TIP: Mr. Bills does take credit and debit cards and also has an ATM.
Chalk another mark in the column of salacious culinary events held in Quincy. Thursday night’s “Wine and Dine” was the first of many all-inclusive meals with wine pairings, a collaboration between Thyme Square Café and Martinis at 515.
The event was held in the special event room on the South side of Martinis. We arrived early and got drinks at the bar. I pictured knives being sharpened, creating that musical shing-shing-shing sound in Thyme Square’s kitchen; glassware set carefully upon table after table after table; corks popping; the scent of wine reaching around the corner like a cartoon vapor tickling nearby noses and beckoning “Come hither…” There was me, doing what I can only imagine looks like the Potty Dance outside the doorway, waiting to go in and start the feast.
The tables were set up as eight-tops. I sat with Victoria, Megan, and Justin Hale. The four empties at our table were taken by Dan from the Butcher Block, his wife Chris, Bill from Colormaster and his wife Kim. Thankfully, they are really cool people who know my friend, Jeff – a self-proclaimed lifelong bachelor who refuses to pursue relationships with any woman if it means he’s have to spend time with her.
Each course was preceded by a word from David Wedding and Chef Shupe, from Thyme Square. They introduced the course, the wine pairing, then let loose the cuisine.
Amuse Bouche: A bite-size pallette teaser — that I believe was salmon — served with a chilled glass of champagne.
First Course: Smoked trout rillet, green apple fennel salad with honey citrus vinaigrette & house-made crackers. Served with ‘08 Joel Gott Riesling.
Second Course: Sherried onion soup with saffron served with ‘07 Brassfield Pinot Noir.
Third Course: Red wine braised short ribs with carmelized onion & thyme potato gratin. Served with ‘07 Concannon Cabernet Sauvignon.
Fourth Course: House-made pound cake with spiced, braised apples, toasted almonds and Frangelico whipped cream. Served with ‘05 Mary Michelle Ice Wine.
The execution was fantastic. Familiar faces from Thyme Square pulled off the service without any major glitch. If there was any lull between courses, I didn’t notice. Then again, we were at a very lively table. My usual, colorful behavior was welcomed, rather than scoffed at. David and Angie Wedding were very generous with wine refills. The whole event was intimate and classy.
My favorite course of the night was a tie between first and second., but the potato gratin was right up there as one of my favorite elements.
David plans on holding a Wine and Dine once a month. Seating is limited to around 40, so follow Thyme Square and Martinis at 515 on Facebook and be sure to inquire about a spot as soon as you can. It’s worth it. That reminds me…David? Put me down for next month, please!
Saturday — Opened two bad bottles of old wine while watching “The Other Guys” and “The Social Network.” Then we felt the last breath of Christmas at the Birsic White Elephant party. Awesome food, great people, I drank a bucket of Dos Equis and shoved calories into every corner of my stomach. Delicious. Our collective gift was a pint of steamed rice from First Wok and a pair of Booty Pops, which is the underwear that makes your booty POP!
Sunday — Quickly shot a short film featuring a couple of characters from our upcoming feature just for fun. Thank you, Thyme Square, for letting us stay an extra hour to get through the material. Made Michael Mitchell stand in the freezing cold for an hour and make faces at me. Greg, Les, Mike, and Keith were terrific. Note to self: As a director, suck less.
Came home and tried to watch the Golden Globes, but fell asleep.
Monday — Fell down into the pit of despair and freaked out like a loon in a straight jacket, but was able to pull myself out of it and struck the Tim Robbins freedom pose in the rain from “Shawshank.” I declared this week to be the worst week of the year.
Tuesday — Went to Jorge the Crook’s to pick up small plates and had a scotch with a splash of water while I waited. Bartender said: “I’m serious about my splashes” which ended up being true because the scotch had the perfect amount of “splash.” Took the food home to finish the final five episodes of Fox’s canceled “Kitchen Confidential,” co-starring Nicholas Brendon, a.k.a. Xander on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Wednesday — A client called to cancel Thursday’s shoot in St. Louis due to the impending Wampa attack, which meant that I could slow down and concentrate on other biz (is it tacky and lazy just to say “biz“?). Met Susan Pierson and Brandi from KHQA at Martinis for drinks and popcorn and a meat tray — no, the kind from Butcher Block. Ally from the former Ally & Company was there putting on a Cartise show, so Victoria looked through Ally’s stash and picked up a sexy dress, which I was all too happy to pay for.
Thursday — Practically forced Victoria to participate in the Core disc of P90X, which led to a volley of insults cast upon trainer, Tony Horton, for his goofy coaching style. It’s now three o’clock in the afternoon and I’m editing a video for Shottenkirk and preparing for a much anticipated wine-pairing dinner from Thyme Square chef Cory Shupe, which is being held at Martinis’ super special south side room.
Stay tuned for more details on this dinner.
The snow is starting to melt a little. That makes it packable and perfect for all the things you used to do in the winter when you were in grade school: snowball fights, sledding, and snowmen. Belinda and I decided to throw on our winter gear and take advantage of the powder we get here in the Q only a few times a year by building ourselves a snowman. Well, actually, a snowwoman — with a name and a back story.
I grew up with two sisters. It was always a warm and fuzzy family tradition to throw on snow suites like miniature Michelin men and bounce around the backyard on snow days. Looking back, I wish I had the imagination I had now. Don’t get me wrong. It was fun to roll out three huge balls of snow, try to stack them up, and put the charcoal pieces, carrot and stick arms in the right places. But that’s about as far as it went. Now that I’ve grown up, I realize it’s fun to get a little more creative with it.
I have to admit that I had a little Irish whiskey in a flask that fit snuggly in my back pocket. I guess that made me a little loopier than usual, but it’s also practical. It helped keep me warm.
The picture you see in this blog is the product of our creation. She’s our snowwoman friend, Sandy Clout. She wasn’t that difficult to build. The snow rolled up just fine, and we managed to avoid picking up too much grass or mud. She stacked nicely too. But that wasn’t the fun part. The fun part was finding all the accessories from old junk in our house and telling the story of Sandy’s life.
We did use some of the traditional materials, but we also racked the house for junk and old clothes. Like I said, you have to get creative. We ended up finding a matted Rasta-Santa hat with deadlocks that I found in a dive bar in Carbondale, Ill. — nothing I would ever actually wear on my head — a necklace made of plastic mini football helmets that we won at Krieger’s last super bowl, some beer cans and a so-last-year striped bikini we had to cut to fit around Sandy’s bulbous midsection.
After we put all the right pieces in all the right places, we came up with this short bio for Sandy while pitching balls of snow at each other’s faces:
Sandy drove a big rig out of Beaver, Ark. She worked for a company called Big Bub’s Haulin’ Stuff n’ Such, shipping coal slag and fly ash to barges on the Mississippi or a landfill near Flat Gap in Kentucky. Unfortunately, she was carrying a hefty load in the summer of ’98 when her back gave out. The doc told she had to take it easy, so she moved up to Quincy to be closer to her only living relative: Belinda Boden. Even though Belinda was Filipino and Sandy was a born-and-raised white Southern American, no one asked questions. They live together on Hampshire Street. Sandy is a little rough, but they get along okay. Occasionally, Sandy drinks a little too much when watching football on Sundays and she walks outside in her bathing suit to get some fresh air at halftime. No one knows why she wears a bathing suit to watch football.
Maybe I drank a little more whiskey than I thought, but it was fun bringing Sandy to life. She wasn’t the ideal guest, but that makes her all the more real.
Still high from seeing “Black Swan” at Chase Park Plaza and “The King’s Speech” at the Moolah on Lindell on the edge of St. Louis’ Central West End, you might expect that we were in need of some really good food. We chose Rasoi on N. Euclid in Central West End.
I have been on a curry craze the last few months, buying lots of Seeds of Change curry simmer sauces at Hy-Vee. Lately it hasn’t been enough. I wanted a real Indian Restaurant experience and I remembered walking by Rasoi the last time we explored Central West End. I kicked and whined and begged and cried until I got my way and everyone agreed to go there.
We arrived just as they opened and ordered specialty drinks at the bar. I don’t remember what I had, some kind of variation on the mojito, perhaps. Anyway, it was tasty. We were seated and our waiter, Mohammad, did a great job of explaining the menu. It was broken up into different sections: vegetarian, meat, chicken, entrées, small plates, etc. But I had no ideas what kind of flavors were in each dish in relation to the curry, so I asked Mohammad to recommend something hot. “I love hot food. I want to sweat and arrive on the verge of tears Mohammad, but I don’t want to die. Can you make it that hot?” I’m sure he looked at me and thought, “well, this white guy talks tough, but he probably can’t handle heat.”
Mohammad ended up recommending a great dish — something called Lamb Vindaloo prepared with potatoes in hot spices, but he confessed he didn’t spice it hot enough to make me cry. Victoria ordered the Feast For One that I shared with her, consisting of lamb chop, tandoori chicken, malai kabab, prawn angarey, lamb rogan josh, navratan korma, choice of bread and the dessert of the day. I don’t know what much of those words mean, but by the power of Grayskull, was it delicious. The flatbread alone
was worth the price of admission, not to mention the many curries in each dish. Our table was covered with various plates of food. We were passing each other samples of everything. We also got a bottle of Russian River Valley Zinfandel, which complemented the spicy dishes perfectly.
For the first time in a while, I couldn’t help reaching for a few more bites of food despite my stomach telling my brain “no more!” Give Indian a try. If you’re in the Central West End anytime soon, start at the Moolah Theatre and end with dinner at Rasoi.
Few things say “Good morning” like a hot cup of pumpkin spice coffee, black and The White Stripes quaking my tiny array of consumer speakers. So far, the new year is off to a good start — the good far outweighing the bad with no ugly in sight. A kiss, a limo ride, a completed screenplay, new filmmaking toys and a day trip to St. Louis to see a double bill of incredible movies.
I have a love-hate relationship with the theaters in the Quincy area. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to have movie theaters close by, but once-in-a-while trips to St. Louis cinemas are absolutely necessary — like taking a day off at work for mental health reasons. This time, we went to see two films not yet playing in Quincy.
“Black Swan,” which is finally opening in Quincy Friday, Jan. 14, had a screen at the Chase Park Plaza’s theater — part of the STL Cinema chain: “A civilized alternative to the megaplex.” I’ve never been to the Chase Park Plaza, but I’m a huge fan of the Central West End and I’ve heard all kinds of pomp and circumstance about the hotel itself. I expected a lot from this theater. Walking in, I was under whelmed.
While the selection of movies were great, the theaters, themselves, look like they were built for Tiny Elvis. The screen looked no bigger than Pat Taylor’s home theater in the dungeons of Ice Scream. My feet stuck to the floor with each step and the seats seemed a bit dusty. It was like seeing a movie in the Quincy Mall theater circa 2005 when you had to go in practically wearing a Hazmat suit. The Chase also has a so-so selection of snacks and booze, but, hey, they got booze!
A lady sitting about halfway down the Tiny Elvis looked at myself and my brother-in-law walking past her and said, “Oh, tall people, please don’t sit in front of me.” My immediate reaction was not very nice, so I just smiled and kept walking. The theater got about half-full before the picture started. Then everything was wonderful. Not only was “Black Swan” an amazing film — I know, I know, everyone’s hyping it, but it‘s true, unless you‘re Pat Taylor, who said, “meh” — but everyone watching with us in the theater seemed to think so, too.
Would I go back to Chase for another film? Yeah, sure, as long as that film’s not playing at the Moolah Theatre down the road.
The MOOLAH THEATRE! Now THIS is what cinema should be! We went there next to catch “The King’s Speech” and left with an experience that’s making me tear up just thinking about it.
The Moolah is down the road from Chase on Lindell in a beautiful, historic building that was renovated into this cinema temple for 17.2 million bucks. It has a lounge with a big screen projector — bigger than the film screen at The Chase Park Plaza — a pub, pool tables, video games, a grill and a gargantuan screen with leather couches, chairs and traditional theater seating in the back and up on the balcony. There is no bad seat in this house.
We arrived 20 minutes early and found a long line of eager Moolites already gathering. We bought our tickets and found a place in line to claim a leather couch, while bro-in-law and I took this opportunity to get lunch and drinks for everyone.
At the bar, they had a list of customized cocktails based on the film. I was already buzzing with excitement over the theater; time to add to it with libation. We threw back a shot of tequila and ordered wine and a “Lionel Logue” — a coffee liqueur concoction based on Geoffrey Rush’s character in the film. We then picked up a pizza and followed the ladies into the theater. The couch we nabbed was at a bit of an awkward angle in relation to the screen, but it really didn’t detract from the movie.
“The King’s Speech” was so good, I wouldn’t be surprised if it upset front-runner “The Social Network” at the Oscars. But it’s hard not to fall in love with a great movie when you’re in a giant theater, enjoying good wine and cocktails, and sharing the experience with an awesome crowd. At a time when more and more people are disrespecting the movie-going experience by talking, constantly checking cell phones, texting or even answering calls, the people in the Moolah that screening were totally immersed in the picture.
If you’re planning a trip to St. Louis any time soon, I highly recommend catching a movie at the Moolah, but not this week. This week, they’re showing “The Green Hornet.” I suggest waiting for something better.
I wrote a blog last week about 10 moments that made 2010 memorable for me. I only listed five in that blog, so I’m going to finish the list with the last half:
6. Meeting Fred and Christine Scholl: In May of 2010, Belinda started working for a small French/German eatery called My Koog. I met the owners, Fred, Christine and Clémence (beebee), and the relationship that followed greatly augmented the significance of the phrase, “It’s not what you do, but who you do it with.” If I had to describe Fred and Christine concisely, I’d say they are generous, selfless and worldly. They always want to try new things and they love new experiences in the company of friends. They were quick to offer a glass of wine. After living in this country only three years, they knew more about our politics and current events than most citizens. We vacationed together to St. Louis, ate dinner together several times and I even got to work in the restaurant, which was a privilege. Unfortunately, My Koog closed and the Scholl family moved back to their home in L’alsace, France. We still see them via Skype video chat. Belinda and I miss them and we can’t wait until we can scrape together some money to buy plane tickets for a visit. As always, we know the invitation is as genuine as it is open-ended.
7. Valentine’s Day in Nashville: Nothing’s more romantic than the howl of a Waylon Jennings love song and Belinda loves boots. That’s why Nashville seemed like the perfect place to spend the romantic holiday. I have a friend that moved down there after we graduated from SIUC together in 2008. We stayed with him and he showed us around. Needless to say, it wasn’t what we’d expect from a metropolitan area. First, we ate and drank at place called the Flying Saucer Beer Emporium. Great pub style food and about a hundred brews on tap. Definitely worth a stop if you’re in Nashville. Then we went downtown. Here’s where it got weird. It was like a ghost town. There was hardly a soul around on a Friday night. We found out that a big water main had busted and flooded a majority of the area, but did we go home? No. The bars were still open so we drank whiskey and ran around like untamed animals. We literally had downtown Nashville almost all to ourselves, well, us and Cocoa the cross-dresser.
8. Releasing the Kraken: Sometimes boredom spawns the best creations. Belinda is a bit of an artist in her free time. She was surfing the internet one afternoon last autumn when she came across a mural of an octopus. She turned her laptop around, showed me the picture, and said, “I want this.” I knew exactly what that meant: let’s go buy some paint. I spent the next day turning our west living room wall into a white canvas. Belinda spent a weekend painting a 12’x14’ silhouette-style mural of the Kraken tearing a colonial battleship in half. Awesome, right? Nothing says love like the Kraken. The mural is opposite our front door. It’s awesome to see the flabbergasted reaction as each person walks into our house and I’m really proud of Belinda.
9. Sandblast 2010: I don’t want to go into too much detail because I wrote a blog about Sandblast 2010 back in September. In summary, It’s a weekend long Ultimate Frisbee tournament held on Montrose beach in Chicago. It was a real honor to be a part of it, because you have to get a bid, or invite, to play. I was fortunate enough to get a bid from an alumni player from Western Illinois University. I was also invited to a club downtown for a private party. Only Ultimate players from the tournament were allowed, with up to one guest. The tournament fee included a wrist band and I drank for free. What can I say: A sport I love on the beach with the people I love drinking the drinks we love and all for a $40 fee. Doesn’t get much better than that.
10. Indoor rock climbing trips: For those of you who rock climb, you know that good outdoor climbing spots are a jaunt for Q-town. Jackson Falls, which is four hours away and is south of Marion, Ill., (Devil’s Lake, which is eight and a half hours away in Wisconsin, and Red River Gorge, which is nine to 10 hours away and is east of Lexington, KY. But there are some alternatives. When we really craved a climb, or we were just bored, we’d road trip to St. Louis or Bloomington, Ill. Both cities have indoor rock climbing gyms called Upper Limits, which offer one day climbing passes, annual
memberships, lessons in climbing and belaying and lessons in lead climbing. Even beginners are encouraged to come and learn more about the sport. I prefer Upper Limits in Blooming, because it’s inside a bunch of hollowed out grain silos. The climbs are higher and more dynamic. They also have repelling lessons off the silos when the weather is nice.
So that’s it. Pretty awesome year. These last two blogs were interesting to write. I started to think about everything I did in the last year, and I realized that a year is really long time. I had a much longer list than just 10 moments, but I had to chop it down for the sake of space. I had some really invaluable experiences, and I’m confident when I say that 2010 is a year that will stick out in my memory. The only thing left to do is make 2011 even better.