Shannon agreed to come with me so I didn't have to fly solo (always smart to bring a baby sitter!), so we booked our airline tickets and started the countdown giddy dance of geeky giddiness.
After a random security check at the airport (seriously dudes?), we were on our way. The flight was easy and we were too excited to sleep. We worked on our embroidery and giggled the whole time. Once in Chicago, we grabbed the el and headed into the city. We took up our embroidery on the train too - WE ARE NERDS.
That night, we had some extra time on our hands, so after eating more burgers than should be legal, we went and saw Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. I'd already seen it but it was super awesome the second time. I recommend it! Go! See it!
The next morning, we slept in (well, relatively speaking. We were in a different time zone, so it wasn't "sleeping in" by Pacific Time Zone standards, but still!) and then headed over to Millenium Park to meet up with everyone at The Bean. It was hot as heck outside and we delicate flowers aren't accustomed to such humidity. So by the time everyone got there, we were super sweaty and stinky. Yay!
It was so great to meet everyone in person! Everyone was so warm and sweet - it was instantly like being amongst old friends.
After hanging out at the park for a bit, we headed over to the art museum for a little air conditioning and a cold drink. There's a bridge from the park to the museum and we got stopped and started several times. The security guard at the bridge stopped us at first because someone had a bottle of water "no liquids on the bridge." Uh, ok. So we started again and then she had an issue with Shane's tripod (packed into his camera bag). Such strange, arbitrary rules for an outdoor bridge!
But we did finally make it and everyone got something cold to drink and some fancy food. I had a trio of burgers that were more fancy than they were tasty. Some of the others ordered some artisanal cheeses and we instantly started goofing on the word "artisanal" and decided that someone needs an etsy shop called "Artist's Anal" because we are awesome.
After that, we made our way over to Navy Pier. We walked up Michigan Avenue toward the free trolley stop and passed some human statues who were not too convincing. I took pictures of them counting their cash and talking on their cell phones.
After the trolley was found, we piled in. It was literally elbow to asshole in there. Someone in the back was getting molested. Me? I was with Benjibot and Mr X Stitch up toward the front, so I was ok.
At Navy Pier, there was a giant macaroni noodle - and since we're the cheesiest group of people ever, we HAD to pose with it!
Then we walked down Navy Pier. I bought the best souvenir of the trip: a $1 paper fan. That thing saved my life.
At the end of the pier, we stopped into the Billy Goat Tavern (home of the famous "cheeseborger, cheeseborger" sketch on SNL) for some awful food. I didn't eat there, but did have to suffer with a Pepsi - even though the sketch gag was that the Billy Goat didn't serve Pepsi, only Coke. But whatever. Everyone else tried a burger and said it was terrible, so I'm glad that I didn't eat anything.
After a while longer wandering around, we made our way to the Hancock Building. Along the way, we stopped at 7-11 for cold drinks (apparently, Mr X Stitch couldn't get over the novelty of so many slurpees) and then walked to the Hancock. We went up to the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor for drinks and to watch the sunset/city lights come up. Some of the best views of the city were actually from the ladies restroom.
Everyone ordered their own CRAZY EXPENSIVE drinks and settled in.
After the sun went down, Jamie and I went down to the restaurant level (95th floor) to take some pictures. LOOK AT WHAT A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER I AM.
The British accent won everyone over, and they all allowed us to butt into their dinners to take pictures. But everyone assumed that we were a married couple, so we had to go along with the ruse to get a better view.
The next day, Shannon and I took the metra train into Geneva to meet up with everyone for birthday brunch to celebrate Bridget (Beefranck) at Nosh. The food was FANTASTIC and hanging out with everyone was even better. Plus, Bridget got some awesome birthday gifts!
How cute are these earrings, seriously??
After lunch, we crossed the street to Designer's Desk which is a phenomenal needlepoint store. I wish that I had more on my list of stuff to buy! Everyone was so sweet and I grabbed a fun little pattern and supplies to make a new needlebook - and everything was on Clearance, so I only spent $8. I wish I would have spent more - keep these dear people in business!!
Downtown Geneva was hosting a classic car show, so we strolled through and gawked at the neat-o old cars.
After a break from the heat in a coffee shop, Shannon and I had to say our goodbyes and catch the train back to Chicago. It was hard to leave! We needed more time! We were having too much fun!
Sunday night we went and got Chicago deep dish pizza (which I don't care for) and then got some souvenirs for the kiddos. We had to get up at the crack of dawn to get back to the airport, but we were too wound up to sleep! We stayed up til about 2am and then had to get up at 5.
Because Chicago traffic is so unpredictable, we wanted to get a cab by 6am to give ourselves enough time to get to the airport by 7. We ended up in a cab at 5:45 and got to the airport in 15 minutes! The cab driver was crazy but man, he was effective! I've spent 2 hours getting to the Chicago airport, I had no idea it was possible to get there in 15 minutes! So we were super early for our flight, which was ok. We just had to stay awake until boarding time.
The flight home was smooth and uneventful and we even got in early - maybe the cab driver was flying the plane too?
It was such a fun weekend that I was sad that it went so fast, but it was nice to be home too.
thanks to Shannon and Vegkat for the loan of photos for this blog post.