We’ll be married 25 years this November. Together for over 27 years. One of our first trips together was to Chicago, where, after Babson, Becky went to graduate school at DePaul University.
Back in 1995, when a fraternity brother invited us to his wedding in Chicago, this was a chance to visit Becky’s old stomping grounds and explore the city with friends. We ate deep-dish pizza, drank draft beer, listened to music—all not far from where she lived—and we hit the major sites and shopped the Miracle Mile. It was a blast.
The highlight was dinner at Charlie Trotter’s. I felt like I knew Trotter’s already because of the stories I’d heard from when her parents would visit and they’d go out for a special occasion dinner. Also, because in her Newport, RI home, Trotter’s cookbook sat on their coffee table where I’d thumb through it, while talking about my job at Fidelity Investments with her dad and wondering what was taking someone so long to get ready. I knew the menu because it was framed in the kitchen.
When we stepped into Trotter’s on that special trip, I felt like I was inside the cookbook. The menu seemed familiar to me. The tastes were out of this world, and the wine pairings were amazing, thanks to master sommelier Larry Stone. Ahhh, trips down memory lane.
With our kids off to college, there’re nights when Becky will visit our daughter in Boston for dinner with friends. I wasn’t expecting empty nesters to be singular. Anyway, home alone one night like a deserted child, I watched the recent documentary on Trotter: Love, Charlie and thought about that weekend in Chicago. It’s so sad he’s gone. Dead at 54. Such an intense life.
Action Line: Here’s a picture of the menu from our visit. What stands out this morning are two things. One, inflation, and two, advice her dad gave me before we left. “If you buy the book, don’t include it in your tip.” Lesson learned.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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