Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicago, hold me in your arms

But first I should probably wish all 0 of my followers a Happy New Year! So...Happy New Year!

Chicago was awesome. So awesome that I'm tempted to move there. Kinda. Maybe not, maybe just visit...A LOT.

So early December I messaged my friend Lizard on facebook asking her when we were gonna meet up in Chicago again. (She lives in Davenport, IA. Chicago is a good halfway point for us.) And she promptly replied that we should meet up later in the month. I thought about it for about two seconds and checked out some hotel rates and said to myself, hey why not. We put our plans into action and I started saving and moving money around to get things settled. And then I remembered that my Lexulous nemesis, Greg, was going to be home in Chicago at the same time and thought hey we should FINALLY meet up.

Greg and I met on MySpace like 5 years ago and timing was never right to meet up. Either I was there and he was somewhere else in the country or I had no plans to be in Chicago when he was home or when we were both there one of us had transportation issues. Always something.

Anywho, I was pretty damn excited for Christmas day to come and be over with (I don't celebrate Christmas) so we could get to Chicago and have a grand ol' time. I watched the weather obsessively to see if it would be snowing or super cold or whatever might happen that would make our trip not happen. And thankfully mother nature was nice to us and the weather was pretty good. It was actually warmer in Chicago than it was here at home. Which I would say is pretty rare.

The bus ride to Chicago was packed, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It was the day after Christmas and a Sunday. By the way, I LOVE the megabus. If it's in your area, you should give it a shot for some of your traveling needs. When we arrived I had a plan, because I'm a planner. My plan was to hit up Popeye's (they closed all the ones here because of bankruptcy I think) and have lunch while I waited for Lizard to get into town. Yeah, that didn't happen. I had it mapped out and hopped off the bus, used the bathroom and got to walking. It started snowing and when I got to Popeye' was closed. [insert huge sad face here] I was so very disappointed and I needed a rest, but I decided to just keep walking. It was about a two mile walk, with a heavyish bag, in the snow and the wind. I could've grabbed a cab, but I'm stubborn like that. Lizard arrived at the hotel probably 30 minutes after I did.

Both of us were hungry so we hit up the Indian Garden that was around the corner from our hotel. Pretty much everywhere we ate and went was down the street or around the corner from our hotel. It was PERFECT! Lizard found a Panera Bread (she eats there every day) and told me she would sneak out of bed to have breakfast there the next morning so I wouldn't know.) Indian was delicious, even if it does sometimes resemble baby poop.

Lizard enjoying yummy baby poop.

After lunch we decided to hit up the shops. I made sure to let Lizard know that I HAD to go to the Lego store, it was on my list. IT WAS ON MY LIST! Ha!

We're going to the Lego store!

We hit The Mile to walk off some of that food and ducked into a few shops to get warm. Lizard was looking for a New Year's dress and I wasn't really looking for anything in particular. I just like to look. I did want to hit up Sephora though, but that was really about it. There wasn't anything that really caught Lizard's eye so we headed back to the room, but first made a stop at the Hershey store and then Ghiradelli for some hot cocoa. Hot cocoa with caramel and sea salt sprinkled on top. Divine!
those Reese's cups were a half lb EACH! want!

When we go back to the room Lizard wanted to hit up the hot tub. I didn't bring my suit, but also didn't want to be sitting in the room by myself so I put on my sleep shorts and headed down there with her. There were little minions everywhere. I got a towel and sat on the edge of the hot tub and soaked my feet. It was nice. I tried to read a book, but the minions were splashing everywhere. There was a lot of stop doing that from the parents, but that did nothing. What happened to discipline?

After that we headed back out into the night for dinner. We hit up Kamehachi for sushi. It was kinda late and the wait staff seemed a bit perturbed when we walked in. Oops, but hey we had to eat. At the end of the meal the server came over and asked if there was anything else he could get for us and Lizard asked for something and the server awkwardly laughed and said oh, I actually closed out, I was just trying to be nice. Ha!

Monday my mission was to hit up a bank to get Lizard the rest of the money I owed her for the hotel room. Greg texted me while I was in the shower to find out what our plans for the day were because he was close by. Lizard hit up Panera for breakfast while I waited for Greg (nothing special when we met, just a hey, finally) and then we all walked across the street for a bit to eat at The Corner Bakery. Greg was a sweetheart and bought breakfast. I almost always love a man who feeds me. :) We all sat and talked for a good almost two hours. And I think one of the servers was flirting with me. Maybe? During our good long chat Lizard told me that she looked up to me in HS. Which was nice, but weird at the same time. I don't feel like I was anyone special back then. I wasn't trying to save the world. I wasn't popular. I was just me, doing my own thing. I did my best to be a good person, but I've always been that way. It made me realize that you really never know who's watching you.
Lizard didn't get the memo about black frame glasses. Also aren't we the sexiest nerds ever?
After what turned into brunch we kidnapped Greg and went shopping. He was a trooper. AND he went to the Lego store with me (where R. Kelly was serenading all the children through the speakers, who does that?). He's after my heart for sure. *winks* We're gonna do a travel show using Legos or something like that. Don't steal our idea. I'll cut you. Yeah you.

Dinner time came and it was time to bid Greg adieu.[insert sad face here] We navigated the streets to Greek Town dropped Greg off and hit up Greek Islands for some tasty treats. This was the only place we ate at that wasn't near the hotel. We HAD to have Greek food, it reminded of us Germany (oh did I not tell you, that's where I know Lizard from). I tried grilled octopus and had to have my usual gyro that I ALWAYS have when I go to a Greek place. That gyro was so tasty, I was upset I left my leftovers. I really wanted to finish them. We had a great seat in the restaurant. It was like we were reigning over our kingdom. Also I almost had my eyebrows singed off when someone below us ordered the flaming cheese and I leaned over to see what was going on. Ha!
Octopus, YUM!!!

When we got back from dinner we sat for a few and then decided to head back out into the night for a walk and more shopping. More so to walk than anything. I brought my camera with me to take a few pictures. I need to get better and taking pictures when I go on vacation. It'd probably help if I had a smaller point and shoot as opposed to my DSLR. We stopped again at Ghiradelli for hot cocoa. It's so good how could you not. Once back at the hotel it was hot tub time again. And then rest. We'd been on the go for over 12 hours.

While the sheets and pillows were nice and cozy for some reason I couldn't get any good sleep. I spent both nights tossing and turning and sleeping in different spots in the bed. I don't think Lizard slept well either. I know Tuesday morning we both woke up at around 430 in the morning and just laid there and talked until we fell back asleep. 

Tuesday was check out and more shopping/walking around. I had a great time in Chicago and really didn't want to get on the bus to leave. I could've used a couple of extra days. Lizard and I decided that we'd make than an annual trip. It seems like the perfect time. Right after Christmas there are are some good sales and lodging is a decent rate. It was good to see Lizard and I'm glad Greg and I finally got to meet.

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