Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Brain Store

Last time Kristin and I were in Chicago, we happened upon a wonderful little store called Marbles: The Brain Store. It's a small store near downtown that has many of the quirky, logic puzzle games that are either good for one or multiple people. We looked around the first time, but we wanted to go back to check it out a bit more and possibly buy some things. So today, our plan was to go to a coffee shop nearby called Cosi (which is essentially Panera Bread on steroid - really, this place is BETTER than Panera) so that I could read Darwin and Kristin could apply for jobs using their wifi. We would then go to the Brain Store as a reward for being productive.

Today was supposed to be ugly weather-wise. Thunderstorms all day, which I love if I'm not outside in them, but we were planning to go downtown, so thunderstorms were not exactly a good thing. When we woke up, though, the sky was perfectly clear, blue with no clouds, sunny as sunny could be. So we decided to go down to Cosi anyway. We had a fairly productive morning - I read Darwin while Kristin applied for jobs, then we went to the Brain Store as planned.

So the Brain Store. As I said, it has all the fun, brain challenging games you could ever want. Kristin and I were in a sort of Heaven. They have two-player manual tetris, where you flip over cards of the various pieces and have to fit them in as best you can using tetris rules, there's a game where you have blocks in a grid with different shapes on each side and you have to create the drawing on the card before the other player, and another game where you are given certain parameters of the grid and you must fill in the square using those parameters. We also played a game called Quoridor, in which you are basically trying to get your piece to the other side while also building walls so that the other player can't get across. Kristin and I were a bit cut-throat, and ended up boxing each other in, though we suspect we broke the rules somehow. They also had the classic brain games like Rush Hour, Brick By Brick, and Tangrams. We were going to buy something, but nothing really jumped out at us and the games were fairly expensive, so we decided to think about it and probably come back.

When we left the store at 2:00, we found the thunderstorm. The clouds were as ominous as could be. We made our way to the train station as quickly as possible and got there before it started to rain, but when we got off at our stop, it was pouring. We had no umbrellas or rain coats, and we had laptops in our bags, so we waited it out a bit at the station along with everyone else. We even debated taking a bus down the street so we could avoid the downpour. After a few minutes, though, it started to lighten up and we just started walking, remarking to ourselves that lucky for us, our apartment is perfectly equipped for such rainy days given our priority of TV, Wii, and tea. As we passed Whole Foods, though, we decided we didn't have quite enough tea, since I had only brought Earl Grey from home, so we went in and browsed the tea aisle for about fifteen minutes and came home with four more tea varieties, including chocolate mint truffle, Moroccan mint, a normal green tea, and chai. We got home before it poured again, made tea, and settled down with some DVDs before making dinner. So all in all, it was a productive day, and we were happy we had our priorities straight in getting a TV, tea, and the Wii set up.

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