Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Indoor living, lacerated to the bone.

My Chicago weekend marks another great, amazing, splendiferous weekend of 2009! I was sitting at the airport looking back on all the fun I've had this year, and I almost can't believe it. I almost can't believe the year is basically OVER!

Last Wednesday, I met up with Erica after work and we got a car to LaGuardia, an airport inferior to JFK in my opinion. Anyway, we waited at the gate for a while and with minimal delays (besides Erica yelling "Mom" for me from two rows behind - I'm such a mom these days to my friends?!) made it to Chicago. Her dude Diaz picked us up as the kindly gentleman he is, and they dropped me off at the Days Inn in Lincoln Park to meet up with my hotelmate for the evening, Adam.

Jesse and the Motion City dudes wouldn't be arriving from their rehearsals in Minneapolis until the following day, Thursday, so Adam and I had the night to BE ON VACATION. I called up Ang, who lives in Chicago and blogs at Loud & Proud, and apparently could get to the area quickly - she took us to a little bar with cheap sangria and we had a lovely evening! She's completely adorable and hilarious and our collective sangria conversation didn't end until around two in the morning, and Adam and I were so surprised how late we were up! But, time, flies, fun, etc.


On Thursday morning, Adam and I made the most of the free continental breakfast and woke up at 10:30. Well, actually, I was up at 10am and then tried getting Adam up at 10:30 with a quiet "Adam?" at which he practically bounded out of bed, ready to shower and eat. Just learning each other's habits!

And I tell you what: that breakfast was delicious. Adam here just scored some donuts, but I remember having a smorgasbord of cereal, donut, toast, fruit, and coffee. You could also make your own waffles. And it's all free! (Everyday we woke up in time to get to breakfast before the 11am shutdown time.) These type of things excite me, and thus, I blog them.

After breakfast, we walked to the brown line of the El and met up with our friends Jim & Sam who were also in Chicago for the marvelous shows.

We had a plan: Art Institute to see um, art, and because it was where the friends go in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Yes. Then eats, then Millenium Park, some minimal shopping, etc.

Grabbed this shot of Adam and Sam taking in some pieces.

Adam got this shot of me looking at Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande JatteVery Cameron, you see. This whole area of the museum kept in step with my reading of Madame Bovary, so that's probably what I was thinking of in this picture. The rest of his fabulous photos from the entire weekend are on his flickr HERE.

We saw some great and sometimes weird art, and then we looked for somewhere to eat. We found a restaurant called Midtown and settled in. I'm not afraid to say that I had the best sandwich of my entire life there - a roasted pear, brie, and turkey sandwich. Holy majoly, I devoured it. With a desert pear margarita. Reasonably priced and delicious - I'm sitting her typing and drooling just thinking about it.

Then, of course, we stopped at Dunkin' Donuts because Jim simply CANNOT LIVE without the chain. (True story: Jesse made me take a picture of him next to the Dunkin' in Aruba on our Honeymoon FOR JIM.) Also, Sam conquered her fear of revolving doors (finger accident as a kid) since every building in Chicago has one. We stopped at one of the millions of popcorn stores downtown for Sam, and then at a beauty supply store for me since I am a sucker for nail polish (duhhh). I also totally forgot my makeup bag for the trip, so I look very pale and monotone in all pics of me. But I didn't get makeup, who cares.

Then we headed to Millenium Park to see the mirror bean thing among the other sites:

I think you can tell that we were having an incredibly fun day - and my friends, if I haven't mentioned it before, RULE! They are THE BEST! We wandered away from the bean to see the ice skaters below and decided that we should attempt to ice skate! Jim and Adam were skating pros, given their hockey backgrounds, but Sam and I hadn't ice skated in quite a while. They also gave me hockey ice skates since they were out of figure skates in my size, so I was at an added disadvantage at never using hockey skates before!

However, damn my ankles, it was so much fun! Sam and I would hold on to each other, the dudes, if a precarious moment ever arrived, and neither of us fell on our asses! (A tragedy I kept on imagining in my head.) The rink was playing holiday music over the loudspeaker and we couldn't help but feel festive and sing along as our cheeks reddened in the cool weather. I truly loved it.

Then Erica and Diaz showed up for a hot minute to say hello and check in on our whereabouts before heading off to a dinner together!

Sam gives an enthusiastic thumbs up!

After returning our rental skates, we headed back to our hotel in Lincoln Park to await the impending arrival of my husband and friends. During the day, Jesse had been texting me from their eight hour journey, which stretched to longer when they blew a tire on the road. Sadface.
But not to worry! They all arrived in merry spirits and we told them about that sangria place around the corner and decided to eat and drink there for the evening (thanks, Ang!) and this time the sangria was only $2 a glass. Actually, everything on the drink menu was half-off! That's what I call vacation money-savvy. Or something. Ang rejoined us that night, along with Erica and Diaz.

The next day I made Jesse get up for the continental breakfast OF COURSE, and then he was off to interviews and rehearsals at the venue for the imminent I AM THE MOVIE show that night. Adam, Jim, Sam, Erica and I then decided to walk to the nearby Wrigley Field where the Cubs play. We were blown away by all the rooftop seating for games we saw on nearby apartment buildings! Amazing! The stadium and area also reminded me a lot of Fenway Park in Boston, as both are situated in the city without giant parking lots surrounding it like the majority of stadiums.

We ate at some placed called the Cubby Bear or Bar or something, I don't even know. It was a giant multi-floor bar that...on that Friday in the off season guessed it, completely empty. But they did have a really funny playlist playing basically every pop-punk act that was popular from 2001-2003. Mainly Taking Back Sunday, I'm not kidding. Weird.

On the way back to the hotel, we passed by some sweet shops, like a vintage place where I bought a couple of sweet rings and the boys got shorts and stirrups that matched the shirts of their favourite hockey teams. Guess what they wore under their clothes that night for the show:

Precious, no? We got to the venue and caught up with the dudes for some food and pre-show hangs. I also checked in with some people who came to the show - Dan and lovely reader Brittany! Then I settled in the balcony to watch Ultimate Fakebook, who are definitely amazing and should definitely be checked out!! Then I got really stoked because Motion City was about to play their entire album I AM THE MOVIE from start to finish!

Erica and I in the bar at Lincoln Hall before the show! (via Sam!)

Remember, I've been a fan of Motion City before I met Jesse, and it was with this album and...actually, before Epitaph even released this album. I sang and rocked along and it felt like 2003 and I was SO HAPPY. Everybody was really belting it out that night and I was caught up in the excitement generated by that crowd. Also, loved hearing "Shiver" and "Red Dress" and "Perfect Teeth" and hey oh, hows about everything?

Jesse was a bit nervous leading up to the shows, as they had some intense rehearsals for some songs they had NEVER played live before. Each night they played at least one b-side and/or one song they had never played before to an audience. However, after the show, Jesse and the dudes had the biggest smiles on their faces and I'm sure they felt quite accomplished with having conquered that feat. I was so proud of Jesse, and it was so fun to rock out with a room full of people who all loved their first album.

Afterwards, we went to a karaoke place Diaz recommended which was pretty fun, but Jesse and I were starving! (By the way, when we entered, Diaz was singing Hole's "Celebrity Skin.") Jesse and I got some foods and returned to the bar only to be faced with a wall of people who would hardly budge for us to get to the back. After some futile attempts and rude people, we decided to head back to the hotel - and Jesse was already exhausted from the evening's show! I mean, here's a picture from that night:

Yeah, we're kinda nuts. (Via Sam!)

On Saturday, after the requisite breakfast haul, Jim, Sam, Adam, Jesse and I went to a local games store that sold old gaming systems and technology. Jesse got really excited about this, of course, and he bought an Intellivision. Yeah. And games. Then we settled in at Noodles, which is one of Jesse's favourite places to eat, and it was soooo yummy. After a walk in the rain, we were happy to be warm and eating mac'n'cheese and tomato soup together.

The dudes then decided to try to hook up this new (old) gaming system, and the girls and I got manicures! I finally found a place (called, no kidding, - no, it's not the address of their website, either!) that carried Essie's Mint Candy Apple color that I've been loving. It was a fabulous treatment for a reasonable price, PLUS they had free wine AND a parting gift of three pairs of socks all wrapped up like a a gift. I mean, amazing, am I right??

My manicure, and those rings I bought the day before!

And that night was when Motion City would be playing their second album COMMIT THIS TO MEMORY------

To be's time for me to start my journey to Massachusetts for the holidays!
A quick preview: some awesome bloggers came out to the show on Sunday night!!! -


  1. Love that nail polish!!!! And your glasses. Can't wait for part two! Enjoy your time in Mass!!

  2. sweet rings!!

    I'm jealous of your fun weekend :)

  3. Aww looks like you had a great time in Chicago. I hope I'll get to meet up with you next time you're in town!

  4. "her dude diaz" ?!???!?!?
    is this how rumours get started or is this a for realz thing i just don't know about ?!???!