This past weekend, Maria & I took a really wonderful trip to Chicago where we visited my totally awesome cousin Tim & his completely lovable girlfriend Sarah. Here's a little recap:
Saturday morning on the road, the weather started off mild & the sky pearly gray, though it wasn't long before it developed into rain that followed us all the way into the city. Driving into Chicago from the south means paying lots of tolls. Maria is so funny. When we hit construction, she said, "What? They're making us pay to drive on this road?!"
the endless toll booths!
Wow— the skyline was deep in fog... this was our view as we approached the city!
Once we arrived in Chicago, we met up with a high school friend, Zach, and took the El downtown to do some shopping. It was Maria's first time on an underground train! We discussed what underground trains are called in different cities (the Subway in New York City, the Metro in Paris, the Underground in London... etc.) and wondered how fast the train was moving (no idea).
Maria's first time on an underground train! Zach was less excited. =)
After shopping, Maria, Tim, Sarah & I walked to dinner at Dee's. We enjoyed lots of great conversation with the staff, several of whom know Tim and Sarah from their weekly visits. Our bartender (also named Tim) showed us some hilariously cute photos of his high-maintenance Miniature Schnauzers who won't nap without pillows!
Our sushi was seriously awesome. My Fashion Maki had spinach, salmon, masago, yellowtail, tuna and cucumber. So good. We finished with delicious hot sake, which had a really nice anise flavor. And then Tim-the-bartender treated us with complimentary shots of bright blue & tropical-flavored Malibu... something.
delicious sushi & sake at Dee's (left to right right: Tim, Sarah, me, Maria)
After Dee's, we took a cab downtown to the Trump Chicago Hotel to drink cosmos at Rebar on the second floor. It had floor-to-ceiling windows looking over the Chicago River, which was just beautiful at night.
Tim took this picture, in which he says Maria looks like Margaret from HBO's Boardwalk Empire (played by Kelly Macdonald.) I actually see it. What do you think?
weird cantaloupe-textured columns at Rebar
After Rebar, Tim had another location (name long-forgotten) in mind. We began to walk there, but before we arrived, we came upon Fadó Irish Pub. Sarah commented that she had celebrated her 21st birthday there, and for kicks, we decided to step in. Upstairs, we found a totally awesome party in full-swing. Selective Recall was on-stage playing Tommy Tutone's "867-5309 Jenny" & everyone was dancing. The atmosphere was laid-back but high-energy. We ordered drinks and danced to all these fabulous classics, & Maria & I danced on stage with the lead (who looked strikingly like Richard Simmons)! We ended up sticking around until 2 a.m., when Selective Recall called it a night.
my goodness. how beautiful!
Maria with her new bestie, Richard Simmons!
We finished up the night with great music at The Redhead, a really fun piano bar. Of course, there was lots of Billy Joel: "Piano Man," which we sang along to, but also "Half a Mile Away" and one of my personal favorites, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant." Additionally, though, the performer played Coldplay's "Yellow," Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" and John Mayer's "No Such Thing" (a Studio B favorite). It was a really nice mix of music to wind up the night.
silly & lovable!
Sunday morning, we were sad to say goodbye and head back to normal life... But it was a perfect day for driving, despite the scary semis on the interstate. =)
also, just because the northern Indiana windmills are so beautiful: