Hey, welcome to my first post in approximately forever. A combination of trying to stay caught up in Asana Junkies and various book clubs, plus working one billion hours a week has kept me off the interwebs. I also gracefully tripped over a box next to my desk this morning, so, aces all around.
Anyway, two weeks ago I turned 30! When I was in my early/mid twenties, getting older was terrifying. I remember feeling OLD when I turned 24. Like, really old. I was convinced that I was past my prime or something. Fast forward six years and I could not care any less that I'm turning 30. I'm pretty sure yoga is responsible. For one thing, yoga has gently forced me to become more accepting of myself in general, but in addition, it's introduced me to amazing, beautiful women of all ages. Being 30 does not have to mean I am suddenly old, married and boring. I can and will have just as much going for me when I am 35, 40, 50 and beyond. Age truly is just a number.
I was lucky enough to spend my birthday weekend in Chicago with my sister, my husband and a handful of my dearest friends. Kristin and Katie live there already, and RT and Linz flew in from Boston and the bay area, respectively.
Ben and I took Friday off from work, and drove down to Chicago on Friday. Julianna met us at a coffee shop after she'd finished up for the day, I changed out of my road-trip clothes (aka yoga pants) and we headed to Wicker Park to meet up with Kristin, Amanda, RT and Katie at Violet Hour. After hearing stories of horrendous lines, we opted for pre-dinner cocktails and arrived at 6pm sharp, with plans to get pizza and beer at nearby Piece afterwards. Fortunately, we avoided a wait at VH! Unfortunately, we took our time with drinks and by the time we got to Piece, they had a two hour wait. Fortunately, the time at VH was well spent catching up over cocktails, and there's nothing like a speedily made burrito to solve all hunger problems.
After our south-of-the-border adventure, we traveled back to Kristin's place with two bottles of wine and several cupcakes from Molly's Cupcakes. After a few ridiculous Youtube videos, in-depth conversations about the state of our education system ensued and I was reminded of some of the many reasons why I love, love, love my friends. (You can take the nerds out of the liberal arts college, but...etc)
Saturday was a day of many adventures. Julianna had discovered brunch spot Bakin and Eggs a few weeks prior, so we decided to all meet there at 10:30 for some delicious meat products. We were all pretty hungry already when we arrived, and Ben and I started drooling over the flight of bacon, which is exactly what it sounds like. Unfortunately, just as we were about to place our order, our server informed us that they were having a "plumbing emergency" and everyone would have to leave. At first I thought this was some sort of cruel joke. It wasn't, but we did get free muffins.
We immediately began strategizing around where to go next. Amanda and Katie had driven, but Ben, RT, Julianna and I had all taken the bus, so in order to get to our next destination as a group we all had to pile into Katie's Toyota Echo. I'm fairly certain this is not legal.
At first it seemed like we would probably never eat again. If you think this is overly dramatic, try driving around Chicago at 11am on an empty stomach after a night of drinking, no coffee in your system, and repeatedly being told you will have to wait 2+ hours for food.
But finally - M. Henry to the rescue! M. Henry is one of my favorite brunch spots in all of Chicago, and miraculously there was *no wait.* I have no idea how this worked out, but it was clearly meant to be.
After brunch, RT and I took the bus downtown to meet Linz at her hotel. Of course we got lost for about 15 minutes. But, we found our way there eventually and had a dramatic and tearful reunion. Back at Julianna's place, we did what any sane people would do - enact dramatic readings from Julianna's psych textbooks, the bible, Cosmo, and Maya Angelou, with Kenny G playing in the background.
We all met up again for dinner at Wakamono, a great sushi place that's close to both my sister's place and Kristin's in Lakeview. While we were on our first round of drinks, someone - I can't remember who anymore - decided that my friends would all go around the table and name one thing they love about me. It made me cry!! Somehow it was determined that there would be three rounds of love, and I forced them to give the last one to me, so I could throw some love back at my friends.
After dinner we cabbed it over to Old Town, with high hopes for pop rock martinis at Suite Lounge...only to find that Suite Lounge was completely booked with private parties. This marked the third and final time we tried to eat or drink somewhere and were unable to.
At this point we were outside, and it was freezing cold so we snuck into a bank/ATM situation and hit up the Google to figure out where we could drink that was reasonably close by. We found a place about a mile away that looked promising, and walked there (the longest mile EVER. it was really, really cold) only to find that it was boring and full of douchebags. Womp womp.
But it seemed like a total waste not to have a drink at the douchebag bar since we had walked across all of Siberia to get there, so we had a cocktail and discussed where to go next.
Luckily, Julianna remembered a dive bar near her place called Friar Tuck, which she described it as "the kind of place where you make your own fun." If you know me at all, you will know that this is my kind of place. Off we went. What followed was a succession of jukebox magic, singing, and general shenanigans so wonderful that I will remember (most of) it for the rest of time.
After Friar Tuck, we went next door for nachos because what else are you going to do at that point. We finally had round 3 of the "I love you" game, which at that point was pretty much me yelling "I LOVE YOU YOU ARE AMAZING" at all of my friends, in a super tiny and sketchy mexican restaurant occuped by us and maybe two other people. It was...special. I had grand visions of yoga at 8:30 but by the time we got back to Julianna's place on Saturday night it was clear that was not going to happen.
The next morning we had brunch at Ann Sathers, and drove back to Minneapolis. It was a total whirlwind weekend, but we all had a great time. I am so blessed to have such amazing friends - especially friends who are willing to congregate for a random weekend in Chicago in the middle of winter.
|Reunion at Violet Hour|
|Ordering fancy drinks|
|chandelier = classy|
|I always wanted to go snorkeling with a cupcake...now I know I should not do this|
|When given the option, sprinkles in your coffee is always a good idea|
|At Bakin and Eggs, hungry and hopeful|
|The flight of bacon, which sadly never arrived :(|
|Unaware of impending sewage doom at Bakin and Eggs|
|Katie's car = clown car|
|M. Henry to the rescue!|
|J and I, ready to hit the town|
|J and Amanda at Wakamono|
|Side-eye from RT|
|Bottles of wine as big as your leg at Wallgreens!|
|Found a friend for Trixie!|
|Peacing out from the douchebag bar|
|Bringing the classiness to Friar Tuck's|
|Not quite as classy|
|This is probably when things started to go downhill|
|The whole bar sang happy birthday to me...which was embarassing...|
|Friar Tuck has a birthday tradition involving an inflatable sheep|
|posing with my sheep friend|
|nope...that's not how it works....|
|WHAT UP, BROS|
|Amanda and Katie|
|Again with the classy|
Hope you are all doing well! I really am trying to get back to more regular posting but work and other commitments are making it difficult...so we'll see what happens :) It's my goal anyway.