...all things go.
I am back in Los Angeles after my journey to my home of homes, Chicago. Do not be misled by its harrowing winters, my friends; no place is more beautiful than Chicago in summer, and I was more than happy to spend a whole week there.
The first two days were spent with the fam in the suburbs. Got some Kaiser's pizza with dad (the best pizza!), ate some more food because that's the midwestern way, cuddled these dogs.
Friday I traveled to the city itself, where I was taken in by the lovely Gena and given a place of honor on her surprisingly comfortable futon. (Have you read her most recent post on All Together Now?) That evening she and I and a few of her friends went to see Chicago Shakespeare Theater's outdoor production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Loyola Park. They did a fantastic job, as usual. My favorite part may have been the umbrella motif throughout; much of the set was made up of various umbrellas that the cast moved around. Later we went back to Gena's to celebrate the fact that she was offered a full-time job that very day (congratulations again!). Ben joined us there for some girl talk. We all may have had a tad too much to drink. Just a tad.
But that's okay, because when you have a tad too much to drink in Chicago, there are a plethora of brunch locations waiting for you the next day! After inhaling my much-needed salmon benedict, Gena and I meandered and shopped for a while. I desperately miss living in a walkable city. It was so nice to stretch my legs.
Fortunately for me, my trip was over the last Saturday of the month. And when it's the last Saturday of the month in Chicago, you know what that means: 90's dance party at Beauty Bar. The 4th anniversary of said party, no less! Mickey, Alex, Gena, Olivia, Ben, Reed, Ryan, and I dominated the dance floor as we jumped around to oh-so-many sweet 90's jams. According to Gena's fitbit, we took roughly 10,000 steps. And we sure as hell looked awesome doing it.
You can't really tell from the picture, but I was going for a mixture of Sarah Michelle Gellar from Cruel Intentions and Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks with my outfit. I had limited costuming options, okay! Give me a break. Regardless of outfits, the female-bodied people in our group had certainly mastered the classic 90's disinterested stare:
And then Ben and I were super cute!
Okay, enough with the pictures. As you can see, Saturday night was a blast.
Sunday Gena and I did probably the most Gena-and-I thing ever, which was to stay in our pajamas and watch several PBS documentaries about famous historic British buildings. That evening Mickey, Alex, and I went to a spooky WildClaw Theatre staged reading in someone's backyard. As you do. From there we headed to Delilah's, for no trip to Chicago is complete without a whiskey at my favorite bar. Just one though. I was pretty damn tired at this point. What can I say? I'm 26 years old. Gone are the carefree days of my youth when I didn't need sleep. Anyway, Mickey and I were joined by Marc and Dave, and a good time was had by all.
Speaking of the carefree days of my youth, Mickey took off work on Monday so that we could relive our childhoods with a trip to Six Flags Great America! Have I ever mentioned on here that I grew up in Gurnee, right next to the theme park? I was raised on roller coasters, my friends. I have a stomach of steel. Seriously, my parents used to get us season passes every summer and drop us off there when we were bored. I haven't been in years, though, so I was quite excited.
As any coaster aficionado will tell you, drops are better than loops, so we mostly stuck to the rides with the most drastic changes in altitude--warmed up with Viper, then headed over to Raging Bull, which I honestly think is still my favorite roller coaster of all time. Before we left we tried the Dark Knight ride, since they built it after we stopped regularly going there. Not anything to write home about, but I was glad we gave it a shot. The highlight of the day, however, had to be Goliath, the brand new coaster. It is supposedly the tallest, steepest, fastest wooden coaster in the world, and when I was rocketing down that almost-90-degree drop, I was convinced that these records must be true. The best part was that we cut our wait time in half by volunteering to be single riders and fill up extra seats on the train. We didn't get to ride together, but it all worked out.
Then it was dinner at mom and dad's with Mickey and Molly and Aunt Trish and cousins Caroline & Rich and baby first-cousins-once-removed Colleen & Anna. So much food. So. Much. Food.
The next day I flew back, and now here I am, in California once again. To be honest, I wish I could have just flown back to Vegas. Nothing against Los Angeles or my internship or anything like that. It's simply that living in a temporary situation is getting to me. I long for permanence. But I only have three-ish more weeks here, so I'd better make the most of them.
Thank you, Chicago, for all the fun! I miss you already.