A Mises Weekend, Part 1

On April 8th and 9th my dad and I went into Chicago for the Mises Institute’s Highschool Seminar and their Saturday Mises Circle. With my new job these events came up really quickly and I wasn’t thinking about it until that week.

Friday was extremely icky…rainy and cold, and of course windy. I didn’t get to drive all the way to the train station which was disappointing, but after driving a little in the rain/dark I was relieved to have my dad take over. He was worried about getting to our train on time (and not being run over by rush-hour traffic) if I had gone at a comfortable 40 mph the whole way. 🙂 But I did get to drive all the way home on Saturday and the weather was beautiful.

Not a whole lot happened on the train…we sat on the second level for the first time which was fun at first and quickly became cramped because there’s really no room to stretch your legs. Suffice to say, on the way back we sat on the bottom level. On the bus to the Union League Club I met a fellow passenger who actually worked at the Club, so she was very nice to show us the way. We checked into our room…talked to Doug French and James Fogal for a minute, went to our room, recuperated from the trip for five minutes, admired the 12-story view we had, and then headed to the event. The Union League Club is really beautiful, they have all these gorgeous art pieces everywhere. There was even an original Monet I got to see. 🙂 The highschool event was pretty fun, mostly because one of the speakers was Walter Block who is a riot to hear, and it was the first time I heard a lecture from Yuri Maltsev.

Then we had lunch at the Union League Club with Michael McKay, member of the Club and author of an Austrian econ book, Doug French, Walter Block, Yuri Maltsev, and another person who I’m sure is very nice  but whose name I cannot remember. I don’t know about you but I’ve always had the idea that these leaders of the Mises Institute must be so into economics that they never talk about anything else, but I’m here to report that they are just like the rest of us and can carry on conversations about family, life, and so forth. 🙂

After lunch we went to Navy Pier and walked around (both inside and out). Last summer my friend went to Navy Pier with her awesome camera and got these beautiful pictures of the lake…birds…boats…lighthouses, etc…so I felt bad about my pictures being so inferior that I tried to make up for their lack of quality by taking more than my friend did. Some of them were actually quite good, in my humble opinion. I was getting tired in the afternoon and decided I needed a pick-me-up. Since I’m kinda cheap, we found a McDonalds at Navy Pier in the hopes of getting a nice coffee drink. However…McDonalds was right next to Starbucks and so the girl at McDonalds informed me that they had only straight coffee, no lattes or anything. I was desperate and adventurous, so we went to Starbucks and I got a caramel machiato. Now, I used to get caramel machiatos at Mary’s Market and they were much better than Starbucks. The Mary’s Market one was cheaper, and had whipped cream and caramel on top. The Starbucks version was only slightly sweet coffee and nothing on top. And it was more expensive. So while it was cool to walk around with a Starbucks coffee, I think that I’d suffer a physic loss if I did it again. 🙂

I had been a little frustrated with my dad for trying to plan our trip so thoroughly that there wasn’t anything spontaneous about it. So he didn’t let me get out the map on the way back to the Union Club, we just got on the right train and got off when it looked right. We walked around for a while to find a nice restaurant. We ended up in a rather bad part of the town and headed north a couple blocks till we got to the Berghoff which a friend had recommended. It is a neat restaurant going back to the Prohibition. While it is restaurant and bar now, it used to be a speakeasy which was cool to think about. All I could think about was Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead which was the first and only time I ever encountered the word speakeasy in a novel.

I’m so incredibly busy tonight (yep…so busy I’m going to watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie, lol…) so this will be a 2 part post. Please stay tuned for Part 2 where I describe my unexpected dinner. 🙂

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