Friday, April 4, 2008

Chicago -take two

So Saturday morning we all woke pretty early... me, I was still on Sawyer time and was wide awake before 6:30. Leslie had already been up and showered by then, and most everyone else was up and around by 8. Everyone was anxious to get into the city. The girls that had ventured out the night before were especially excited to show off their commuting skills... I have to say that was one of the most amusing parts of the trip for me.
It was so entertaining funny different interesting being with a bunch of girls who are not used to public transportation. Who think riding the bus or the train is just as much excitement on the trip as the city itself. Who talk about getting on and off the trains the same as rides at an amusement park!! And who I overheard numerous times wishing they "had public transportation like this at home". It's a whole different take from when you grow up "in the city" (or near enough to be in it often) and frequent buses, trains, the subway or light rail. To many people it's annoying, a way of life, a convenience taken for granted, and at best simply offers fodder for many odd people stories. It was fun to watch and to see the anxiousness and exciting adventure that waiting at the bus stop or boarding the train can be!Well we got down to the Magnificent Mile and man was it cold. They aren't lying when they call it the Windy City! Poor Nicole at almost nine months pregnant could hardly keep up with us all speedwalking to stay warm! We made a few stops here and there; malls were our friend offering us the most bang for our buck without having to duck out in the cold in between stores!
Our patronage included Sephora, the Lego Store, Chiaroscuro (pronunciation on the left), Macys, H&M, and the Disney Store to name a few.

We stopped for lunch at our favorite Gino's. Yummmm.

Maria, wrestling with her cheese and Kim, happy to be eating!

We opted for the table since the walls were too full for our grafitti!

After lunch; more shopping! I realized on this trip that I am not the shopper I used to be. I think most of it was that I just went in to this trip more wanting the "girl time" and hanging out and not so much stopping in store after store to spend money. Especially when the girls were making stops in Sephora and Nine West and stores that are so up there that I've never even heard of the name. I'm not up on the trendy stuff. Kasey, Nic and I hung back and wandered around the mall and hit Borders feeling more at home making a mental list for good old Target on the trip back. I'm just not into shopping for myself right now. And when I am I'm just not going to be spending $75 on shoes or $25 on lip gloss. I guess if I had the money to spend that way it'd be a different story...
I did get myself a little summer skirt (for less than $10!) as well as a handful of things for Savannah at H&M (because their prices are much more my style!!).
More shopping/walking/being tourists pics:
By about four o'clock or so we were all wearing down. We knew the wait for The Cheesecake Factory would be long (60-80 minutes) so we headed that way to put our name in for dinner.
And then collapsed in the hallway outside the restaurant and people-watched until our table was ready (one of those people were kind enough to take our picture!). We were all wiped out and starving and so glad for the amazing food. And of course amazing cheesecake.

We made it back to the condo after another amusing ride on public transportation, involving a poor guy stuck sitting right in the middle of Leslie's segue into a conversation with Nicole, Kim and LeeAnn about who was/will be in the room with them when they deliver their babies. Which turned into short version delivery stories. That poor guy was trying so hard to not hear the conversation... I was watching from behind the girls and it was hilarious! You could just tell he wanted to be about anywhere but there! Then the conversation moved on to crazy talk about weird smells and food odors being stuck on you and Maria went off on how bad Subway sandwiches stink and that she can smell it on a person even if they'd only been in the restaurant for 2 seconds and we started all joking about giving her a test where one of us would go into a Subway restaurant and then all stand in a line-up outside to see if she could tell which of us had gone in... this guy was cracking up at us. I'm sure wherever he was headed, someone was in for an earful about these crazy women riding the CTA blabbing about childbirth and stinky sub shops. HAHA!

Anyway, we made it home, but everyone was so wiped out from walking the city all day that a couple of girls went pretty much right to bed. The rest of us tried out some Nertz for a bit (LeeAnn and Kim? had never played) but throughout the game the rest of us were dropping like flies. I think everyone was in bed by midnight.

We all slept in. I think I was the first one up at 9:15. I honestly can't remember the last time I slept until 9. That is unheard of for me. Even without kids, I am not one who can sleep in. It felt good!
Everyone eventually got up and got moving and we got packed up and out of there by noon. We set up a little mini photo shoot before we left with all us girls and the condo...
and gave our hugs and goodbyes and said so long 'till next year. And there will be a next year! Hopefully someplace warmer...

So that was the end of our fabulous weekend. Well, Kasey and I still had a six hour drive (plus 90 more minutes for her) home, but I'm sure you won't mind being spared the details of that.
I really did have so much fun and it was so great to see everyone and to meet a fellow blogger and to relax and hang out with no kids and no husbands and nothing to do but have fun with each other! I cannot wait to do it again. It is a great thing to get together with people from different areas and from different lives and to really spend some time together and "compare notes" on life so to speak. To get out of the norm and out of the routine and hang out with those that aren't normally a part of your everyday life but are nonetheless awesome, comfortable, hilarious, sweet women who I can always have a blast with! I definitely can't wait to do it again.


Anonymous said...

i loved your post! that is funny about the public transportation! i think shopping with a big group of people can be hard... heck shopping with a small group of people can be hard. it was fun though. i also can't wait for the next time!

p.s. 'kim, happy to be eating': very true. :)

nertzfan said...

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