So we finally got a table at the Berghoff and looked at the menu. I wasn’t terribly hungry, so we decided to get one appetizer, one main dish, and maybe something on the side, and we’d just split it. My dad wasn’t really interested in the German food, so we went with the seafood. I ordered a smoked salmon appetizer, he ordered stuffed sole, and we got potato pancakes on the side. When the plates arrived, my smoked salmon was served on a small wooden cutting board with pieces of salmon on a bed of lettuce and onions. My first thought was, “wow…that salmon is pink!” I inspected it closer and realized it was not cooked. Our waiter came back to the table and we asked about the salmon. He said it was not raw, it was smoked. But it wasn’t cooked. I guess there’s a very fine distinction between fish being raw and being smoked. But I knew one thing for sure: it was not cooked. Now this wouldn’t be a big deal for the people who have their hamburgers rare. But I’m really picky about this. I want my meat cooked. I hate making meatballs because I have to handle raw meat. At least I don’t have to eat them raw. So I sat there looking at my smoked (but not raw…lol) salmon wondering what I’d do. My dad tasted the salmon and said it was good. I was in an adventurous mood. Hey, I was in Chicago at this cool restaurant. I couldn’t walk out of there without even tasting the darn stuff. So I took a small bite, desperately trying to keep my mind off the fact that I was eating practically raw fish. And it was actually quite good. It did taste smoked. It had a wonderful flavor. And with the onions it was delicious. I think there were four or five pieces of salmon, my dad had a couple, and I had the rest…minus one bite which I just could not finish because I was so full. The lettuce which came with the salmon had this amazing vinaigrette dressing that was really, really good. And my dad’s stuffed sole was also quite good. It had little shrimp in it too. The first time I had shrimp was at Jekyll Island, and they were served cold with a cocktail sauce. I did not like them at all. But I liked them hot with the other cheesy, yummy, stuff in the, well, in the stuffing.
After dinner we went back to our hotel room where I sat eating fudge and watching Indiana Jones. I’ve heard a great deal about the show, but never seen it. At first I was intrigued by the oldness of the film, and at first I thought it was going to be interesting…but that was before the excitement started. For the next hour I was bombarded with these fantastical escapades and predictable last-second rescues from various deathly situations. We thought it would end at 9pm, so we watched until then. It kept going…till 9.15 when it seemed there would be no end at all, so I gave up on seeing the end because I knew what would happen anyways. 🙂
My dad spent about 20 minutes setting an elaborate system of alarms, quiet enough so it wouldn’t scare the life out of me, and loud enough that we wouldn’t sleep in all morning. As it turned out, we both woke up before the first alarm even went off. We were some of the first ones downstairs at the Mises Circle. It took us a while to find a good table because there were these giant pillars scattered around the room that would completely block the view from certain places. We claimed a couple seats at one of the best tables and started talking to people. After a few minutes some of our friends from the Rockford Mises Circle showed up. Our table rapidly filled up. And more came. It was a really nice event for me because I knew quite a few people, but not everyone. There were enough familiar faces that I didn’t feel completely lost but enough new people to talk to that it wasn’t boring or just like a reunion. It was fun getting to know others, and after Doug French made an announcement about our Rockford Mises Circles, all sorts of people wanted to talk to me, so that was nice. 🙂
I had heard several of the speakers the day before, but Jacob Huebert was a new speaker for me. I had heard Roderick Long at Mises U, but never had heard Jacob Huebert. He was amazing! A very bright, intelligent, and talented speaker. While some afterwards were talking about how depressing his speech was, I found it very inspiring and yet realistic. It is easy for me, as a young person, to be swept away by grand and unrealistic ideas, so it is nice to have a balance. And yet we can’t give up on liberty, we can’t just surrender and ever try to achieve more freedom.
Lunch was delicious, and afterwards there was a spirited Q&A with the speakers. The question of immigration came up…and never left. I think nearly the whole time was spent discussing various aspects of the immigration debate, it was quite interesting.
Afterwards we stayed for a while. And stayed. And stayed. By the time we left, the only others there were Mises staff members clearing up the book shop and the recording equipement. We consulted our train schedule and found we could catch a 3.30pm train, and we were so ready to get home we didn’t stop for anything to eat. The train was packed when we got there. It took us some time to find our seats, and it was sweltering inside. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long for the train to get started. However, it stopped at every little place along the way, so it took forever to get back to Harvard. But at last we got there, and discovered it was a beautiful day. Warm, sunny, springy, lovely. I got to drive all the way home, and we survived, as this blog post is proof of, and spent a couple hours filling the family in on all that we did.
So that was my Mises weekend 🙂