Author Archives for Ken

The Boozey Bucket List



1.  Make my own whiskey

2.  Make my own rum

3.  Brew beer

4.  Make Jello shots

5.  Infuse vodka

5.  Make Skittles vodka

6.  Make bitters

7.  Infuse fruit with alcohol

8.  Cook a dish with alcohol

9.  Make a boozy dessert

10.  Create a signature shot

11.  Invent a signature cocktail

12.  Make molecular cocktails

13.  Make vodka gummie bears (and eat all of them)

14.  Make drunken melon balls

15.  Make a truly hot pink drink

16.  Invent a delicious beertail

17.  Bake some drunken cupcakes

18.  Make bacon infused whiskey

19.  Concoct alcoholic ice cream

20.  Infuse moonshine

21.  Drink a shot of Malort

22.  Try absinthe

23.  Drink a flaming shot

24.  Have a drink in a coconut

25.  Do a body shot

26.  Keg stand!

27.  Try every flavor of Pinnacle

28.  Drink moonshine

29.  Drink chili beer

30.  Drink a beer from every state

31.  Have a shot that contains raw egg

32.  Drink tequila shots out of Himalayan Salt glasses

33.  Drink sake

34.  Try pizza beer

35.  Have a drink in a glass made of ice

36.  Try bacon vodka

37.  Try salmon vodka

38.  Drink ouzo

39.  Eat the worm out of a tequila bottle

40.  Do a shot off of an ice luge

41.  Try vodka whipped cream

42.  Smoke a cigar and pair it with scotch

43.  Buy an expensive bottle of booze

44.  Go to bartending school

45.  Go to a whiskey bar

46.  Build a home bar

47.  Go wine tasting

48.  Enjoy a drink at a swim up bar

49.  Tour the bourbon trail

50.  Visit a local brewery

51.  Have an interactive cocktail experience

52.  Have a drink at an ice bar

53.  Go to the Stone Brewery

54.  Go to a gin bar

55.  Go to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery

56.  Go to Miller Brewery

57.  Go to the Guiness Brewery

58.  Go to the Jameson Distillery

58.  Go to the real Octoberfest

59.  Go to a craft brew festival

60.  Make a booze-infused milkshake

61.  Make my own moonshine

62.  Purchase a bottle of alcohol strictly because it’s in a cool bottle

63.  Build an awesome shot glass collection

64.  Build an awesome pint glass collection

65.  Try ice wine

66. Drink strawberry wine

…more to come!





Beluga Encounter



In case anyone reading this hasn’t figured it out by now, Jess is a HUGE animal lover, so consequently any chance we have to interact with some animal we jump at it.  Now Jess has already had the privilege of handling many different and exotic animals so trying to find and surprise her with something she hasn’t already done is sometimes a bit… shall we say challenging.  But sometimes we don’t need to look far for the chance to interact with an exotic animal, and in this case we only needed to go as far as downtown Chicago.  Specifically the Shedd Aquarium (one of our favorite places and one of the first places we went together when we started dating, but anyway I digress.)  Did you know that the Shedd has several “extraordinary experiences?”  Yep, you can sign up to have a Penguin encounter, be a trainer for a day, take a behind the scenes tour, and even a Beluga Whale encounter.  You read that right, Beluga Whales.  You can actually sign up to get in the water and pet a Beluga Whale, and since Jess had always wanted to do this and it was on her bucket list how could I not sign us up.

I booked up an encounter for a few months out as it has limited space and the Shedd only offers it a couple of days out of the week.  Gotta be honest, I was pretty excited too and just having to wait for the date to arrive almost drove Jessi crazy.  But soon enough we were in the car heading downtown.  Upon our arrival at the Shedd we got our wristbands (admission to everything the Shedd offers is included with the Beluga Encounter) and since we were early got to walk around a bit and check out the exhibits.  I don’t know if it was the high volume of screaming, running young kids on fieldtrips, or just the excitement of what we were about to do, but we walked around for a few, barely looking at the exhibits.  As soon as it was time we went back and met with our guide who took us and one other couple (told you there was limited space) to the Abbott Oceanarium then into a back room where we were fitted for our stylish waders.  After watching a short video introducing us to the seven Belugas they have there and telling us a little about each one and Belugas in general, it was finally time to strap on our waders and head out to the exhibit.  The encounter area is actually adjacent to the main exhibit area so walking through the main exhibit past other guests I have to admit I felt a bit privileged like I was walking into a VIP room or some other exclusive event while others look on with envy.

We entered the water (icy cold I might add) with the trainer, Jess and I on one side of him and the other couple on the other side of him.  As we waited for the Beluga Jess was almost giddy with excitement and to be honest so was I.  Finally we met Miki, whose name means “little” in the native language of the Inuit people. Miki was born at the Shedd in August of 2007, yet is already 10 feet long and weighs about 950 lbs!  The trainer taught us basic hand commands which we got to try out as Miki performed for use, waiving his flippers, chattering, and spinning in circles (and even pooping!) each time being rewarded with a fish – well not for the pooping part.

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Now I can’t explain it, but while the trainer was speaking to us Miki would just hang out, almost always directly in front of Jessi.  I was actually kinda funny because Miki often seemed to be looking at Jess almost exclusively.

 It seemed like Miki took an instant liking to Jess, as if he instinctively knew how much she loves animals.   I almost (but not really) felt bad for the other couple on the experience because we were definitely  up close and personal with Miki a whole lot more than they were.


After what seemed like too little time (but in reality was quite a while) it was time to say goodbye to Miki, but not before a personal photo op.  You could choose between a Beluga kiss on the cheek or have Miki spit water in your face.  As funny as it would have been, I just couldn’t bring myself to get soaked with Beluga spit, so we both chose the kiss on the cheek.


 Perfect way to end the encounter.  Now it’s time to look for the next one of a kind animal encounter!




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