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Mums The Word

October 27th, 2022 Comments off

I love mums in the fall! Every year it’s a challenge, however, to find the best ones without spending a fortune because I like to get a few different colors. It’s also a delicate balance between picking the correct time to buy and finding quality plants that will produce big blooms. Well, this year we achieved the trifecta and not at the place you’d expect. I got three 8″ mums from Meijer on September 25th for only $6 each.

I dropped the pots they came in into another larger pot with soil in it and I think this has kept them draining well (and I only water them occasionally).

Here’s what they looked like on October 6th.

Since then they’ve gotten fuller and are still looking good because I also brought them inside twice when there was a frost advisory.

Compare that to the big $18 mums our neighbor bought, never maintained, and now look like rotted death, which you’ll have to take my word for since I didn’t get a picture of them.

Categories: Neighborhood, Product Reviews Tags:

Brookfield Zoo

October 25th, 2022 Comments off

I thought it would be fun to visit Brookfield Zoo on our anniversary Sunday (10/23) since it’s been six years since our last visit. I was wrong. So very very wrong. The parking lot was filling up quickly when we arrived which was before the zoo even opened. We paid $15 for parking and had free passes I got from the library. We waited in the car until we saw the huge line start moving and even then we were caught in this massive crowd trying to get into the zoo. From there we went straight to the giraffe area before it got too crowded.

To get away from all the people we explored the relatively deserted nature area around swan lake. I’d say that’s the most peaceful area of the zoo hands down.

We avoided going into most exhibit buildings except for the penguins because I cannot pass up the opportunity to see them!

This photo didn’t come out great but makes me laugh.

We didn’t get to see any tigers which was disappointing, but the lions were very photogenic!

Overall we were only at the zoo for two hours before leaving because the crowds just kept increasing. You should have seen the line of cars waiting to get in at noon! It was a beautiful day out and they were doing Boo at the Zoo (lots of kids in costumes) which was a recipe for overcrowding. I get the feeling they don’t limit how many people they let in either. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many people there before, and I hope to never again.

Categories: Animals, Excursions Tags:

Sonny Acres & Ghoulish Homes

October 24th, 2022 Comments off

Late morning Saturday (10/22) we decided to make our annual visit to Sonny Acres, and it was crazy busy. So much so that we ended up parking on the west side of the farm which we’ve never had to do before.

We made our way over to the food area and I was shocked that they had raised the prices of their apple cider donuts once again. Last year they were $2.50 each and now they are $3. Where does it end? They already doubled the price of their haunted hayrides from $10 to $20.

Well, we people watched for awhile and decided to get donuts elsewhere. I called over to a local bakery but they were all out so we decided we’d try Costco. Well, we happened to be right in the vicinity of a Beef Shack, so we stopped there for lunch first. It was a nice day so we ate outside and then grabbed a dozen apple cider donuts from Costco for $8.50.

Later that evening we did the second half of the Gallery of Ghoulish Homes Tour in St. Charles (there were so many houses on the list this year we split the list in two and did the first half on 10/15). It was ok, but there were too many new houses participating with underwhelming decorations. I feel like if you’re not going all out then maybe a decorating contest isn’t for you. I dunno, I feel burnt out on all the previously fun fall activities we’d do. I don’t know if it’s the repetition, or that they seem to get more boring every year or what, but I think we’ll still go see houses but not bother with Scarecrow Fest or Sonny Acres anymore.

Categories: Excursions, Food Tags:

Retail Therapy

October 17th, 2022 Comments off

This weekend we decided to get out and do a little fun shopping which we haven’t done much of in the last few years. What I mean by that is we go out specifically looking for stuff to buy without an exact item in mind. Perfect places for this are used media stores, so we headed to an area that has both a Half Price Books and a Disc Replay within steps of one another.

Unfortunately we didn’t find much at either, but that’s to be expected since their inventory is always changing. The HPB by us is much bigger but our Disc Replay closed several years ago which is a shame as it’s really fun to browse there. They had two huge bins of Atari games that we rifled through, but no copies of Seaquest were found. I am well aware I can buy it on Ebay, but I like the thrill of the hunt. I’m still looking for seasons 5 & 8 of Scrubs as well. I found every single season except those two recently. What are the chances? We ended up with a $1 copy of The House Bunny but the entertainment value was worth much more.

I was craving soup on the way home so we stopped at Bulldog Alehouse to get a bowl of cream of chicken & rice. Despite it having a cheesy flavor, I really liked it. Price wasn’t bad either.

Categories: Food, Shopping Tags:

BBQ Scarecrows

October 10th, 2022 Comments off

I think we finally found our go-to BBQ place! Finally, after 17 years! I mean, Smoque in the city is amazing, but it’s just too far when the craving hits. I recently read about a place called Route 38 BBQ which is less than twenty minutes away, so we decided to give it a try on Saturday (10/08). Not only is it cheaper than Smoque (we got a meal of double meat plus mac & cheese, coleslaw, cornbread, and mashed potatos for $25 whereas a comparable meal at Smoque would run closer to $50), but dare I say their beef brisket tastes better. It’s so good you don’t have to drown it in sauce. Winner, winner, brisket dinner! (No photos were taken because we greedily ate everything up).

Sunday (10/09) we visited St. Charles for their annaul Scarecrow Fest. This may be the last time. Not only were the number of scarecrows shockingly low, but everything was just blah. I have lost my enthusiasm for the craft booths too, and the food vendors are ridiculous. The corn dog booth had a sign that read “Corn Dogs w/ free fries” but when we asked how much they were the girl goes “$5 for the corn dog and $10 for a corn dog with fries”. Ummm… I don’t think they know what free means! Needless to say, after a disappointing half hour of walking around we went to Atlas Chicken Shack in nearby Geneva to grab some rice balls that we took home to eat.

Categories: Excursions, Food Tags: