Saturday, October 07, 2006

Kayak! | NURD: Uncle Julio's Hacienda & foodlife

Celebrating post-test bliss, we all headed "out" of the city to go kayaking... in the city. Kevin told me about going kayaking the day after the test, and I was mildly intrigued. But after thinking about it, it sounded like an awesome idea. We've been couped up in the library for weeks. It's great to go outside for once and be in the "element". Turns out the "element" is the Chicago River. I thought we were going kayaking in the mountains with forests and rockiness. The mountains I saw were the huge buildings making up the Chicago skyline. The rockiness were the floating water bottles, styrofoam and used condoms in the river.

But I had an AMAZING time. I thought we would have to roll (I remember Will and his roll sessions during sophomore year. It looks scary.) and everything, but that's like intense whitewater kayaking.
It was a beautiful Chicago day. Mid 70s: warm and sunny. Right before, I had a run with Jefferson and noticed how great the city when the weather is beautiful. Make me wanna go out on the beach and read a book or something. Maybe I'll just drag all the 20 magazines I haven't read on my coffee table to read on the beach tomorrow.Anyway, we just took the subway two stops north and headed towards the river. After a quick 5 minute class, we were all set for the water. Too bad Joe flipped over the first minute in the water. That just set in pressure for all of us to not fall in the river. It was cool to learn all the ways you can row in the kayak, going forward or backward, slow or fast and doing a u-turn. Definitely doing that again. Plus, I didn't know that we would kayak all the way downtown. It was awesome seeing all the pretty office buildings from the river with the huge tour boats sending you crashing waves that rock your kayak.

Heading back, we were all starving. So another NURD entry it is. This time it is at Uncle Julio's Hacienda. Great name huh? I love the uncle logo. It has this little Latino man winking at you. It was a pretty classy Tex/Mex place, definitely not a hole in the wall type place. I ordered the Jalisco which was fajitas with chicken, beef and butterflied shrimp. TASTY. Wa-el ordered the same. Erene and Kevin ordered tacos and enchiladas that looked good. Overall a great place with really good Mexican food. But you really can't go wrong and mess with Mexican food.

I forgot to post another NURD entry when I went to foodlife at Water Tower Place. We were all hungry after studying in the library, so we all headed to the food court in the Water Tower Place mall since it appeased everyone's taste.

Now this place was the fanciest food court ever, (even on the website it insists not to be called one). There are at least ten different choices (ie. soul food, salad bar, stir fry, soup/sandwich, steak, etc.). Each person receives a credit card. You order and the person charges you for the food on the credit card. And after you're done eating, you pay your food at the cash register. Really cool concept.

I ordered the stir-fry place. It was cool because you get to pile in a bowl with all vegetables. Joe mastered it by crushing the veggies with another bowl to create space for more veggies. I tried doing that, but it just couldn't decrease in volume. Darn those tough incompressible broccoli. I thought the food was ok. You know when you go to the food court for food because you're hungry. To fill up the empty volume in your stomach. You don't go to the food court for good food. You just go there because you're hungry. It's that kind of food.

To recap: Uncle Julio is good. Don't go to foodlife. Go to the food court at Chicago Place mall across the street. They have Taco Bell. So much tastier (and cheaper).

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