Saturday, September 5, 2009

Adventures in Babysitting

Granted, the title of this post may be a little misleading to some, especially those who are familiar with the popular 80s film. But in our case, it's kind of turned on its head. I mean, it's us who gets an advenure when there is babysitting going on. And how lucky we are in that regard.

We are just kind of getting the hang of this babysitter thing to be honest. I mean, we like spending time with the boy and are otherwise pretty beat so, on most occasions, welcome the couch and the clicker. But sometimes, every so often, we get the gumption and actually put a plan together to get out and about for an evening in this wonderful city of ours. Wednesday was one such night! And many, many thanks go to Bubbie and Poppa (Eric's parents) for babysitting -- especially on such a late night out and especially without a TV (ours is in the shop).

About 6 times a year for the last 3 years (at least), Eric has been threatening to charter a moonlight sail. Seriously, I can't tell you how many times I've heard: "We should really get a boat and a group and go out. I'm gonna look into it." On a recent trip down Lake Shore Drive -- the route which so frequently inspires the comment -- I responded with an: "I'll believe it when I see it."

And it worked. Next thing you know, Eric is IMing me with dates and times and boats. And he called. And he confirmed. And we went. Wow.

Ryan (not pictured at left) and Catherine (at left) joined us for dinner at a place amidst the hub and bub on Broadway called Wilde. We sat outside and enjoyed some Irish pub grub -- and after stumbling upon their half-price beer special, stumbled out to Belmont Harbor and met our captain Ben (at left), who was good-natured and witty and charming and, of course, skilled -- everything you'd want in a captain.

It was the perfect night for sailing. Clear night, full moon, fireworks off of Navy Pier, and the first day of rides for that new weird air balloon thing. It really was gorgeous. And despite the modest wind availability, we were still able to put 'er up for part of the trip. Catherine and I even took the wheel for a bit. (Please excuse my lack of sailing terminology.) To be truthful, my time at the wheel was more of a photo op, but Catherine really did take responsibility for heading us south toward the pier.

We had such a nice time. It was enjoyable, right down to our Jamaican cab driver on the way home. I highly recommend the outing. I highly recommend it with the following cautions:
  1. Do NOT end the night on a cheap bottle of red wine purchased at Walmart in Beloit, Wisconsin.
  2. Tether your camera to your body so as not to throw it away in a park district trash can when disposing of the empty beer bottles.
  3. Don't even bother trying to take flash-less night photography on a moving vessel.
  4. Be prepared for one or more days of post-sail "sea legs."
  5. Try not to be such a "motor-mouth" that you miss the beauty and serenity of it all. (Eric's all-too-valid feedback on my overzealous conversational style that night. What can I say? It was good to catch up with R&C.)
  6. Watch out for foot-high plastic fences when you're walking into the woods to take a pee after dark. (This last piece of advice is courtesy of Eric who fell face first in the dirt due to said obstacle. Ouch!)
  7. Wear something nautical. Wish I had. Wouldn't that main photo of me have been that much more stunning in stripes?

See a video of our view of the fireworks below (complete with a silhouette of Eric and ooo's and ahhhh's from me). Good times!


christa said...

ha what woods would those be near belmont harbor? :)wish we were there. sounds magical. what are you doing in michigan on halloween?

melissa said...

I love the commentary! Sounds like a fabulous evening and one that will be all the more enjoyed because of the "delay" in planning.

mrsjtg said...

I think you need to head to the dollar store, get yourself a nice plastic cup and some paint pens, and record the memories from this trip!