Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fallcation

I spent last weekend in the wonderful land of Chicago, visiting all my friends and my family. The weather wasn't quite as cool as I would have liked (it's still over 100 degrees here in Vegas), but it was an excellent Fallcation nonetheless.

I flew in Friday, and hopped on the train to Mickey's new apartment, where we pet the cats and talked and talked and talked. May not sound exciting to you, but trust me--it was rad. That night we met up with Gena and Marty and Felipe and Ben and Lindsey (and briefly Alex) for burgers and $10 sangria pitchers on the spacious, shaded patio of Moody's Pub. We stuffed ourselves and relived our post-college days, eventually moving back to Ben's place for board games and relaxing on the back porch. Nothing can compare to Chicago back porches. They are the best.

Lula Cafe is one of the most famous brunch places in the entire city of Chicago, and although I lived in the city for seven years, I never ate there. Until Saturday, that is. Mickey lives in Logan Square now, so we just walked right over. Ran into my friend Shayne, which wasn't surprising, as I tend to run into her all over the country. The food was as tasty as I expected, if a little pricey. We walked around Logan for a while, then went shopping for picnic fixins. (Trips to Chicago are mostly about eating.) Our evening plans involved an outdoor showing of the 1993 Halloween classic Hocus Pocus in a cemetery. Felipe came over and we drank lots of tea, and then we headed out. Unfortunately, the line for the movie wrapped around the block. There was no way we were getting in, so we settled on watching the movie on Mickey's laptop and eating at her place. And talking. And talking. And talking. What can I say? We all had a lot of catching up to do.

On Sunday Mickey and I headed to Mojo Spa for their Harry Potter party, which apparently wasn't quite as magical as last year's. There were fewer activities, which was disappointing, but the food was great (see this photo), and we left with amazing goody bags filled with Harry Potter-themed treats. After that we met up with Felipe for lunch at Handlebar, which, I was pleased to discover, still serves some of the best vegetarian food in the city.

Mickey dropped me at the L, where I took the red line to the purple line all the way to Evanston, where my parents picked me up. My sister was supposed to play a show at Space that night, but the venue canceled last minute. So (stay with me here), my mom's work partner's friend, a well-known investigative journalist who had purchased several tables' worth of seats at the canceled show, moved the party back to his lovely old house in Evanston. So I hung out with a bunch of people I mostly didn't know, eating delicious food, listening to Bittersweet Drive play music and watching the blood moon eclipse. I also enjoyed perusing our host's collection of historic political campaign buttons, because I am a nerd.

Speaking of Bittersweet Drive, you should consider funding their Indiegogo campaign!

Anyway, Monday I just stayed home in the suburbs and cuddled the dogs and hung out in pajamas with my mom. It was pretty great. Everyone needs a pajama day once in a while.

Here's the thing: when I got back to Vegas, I had easily the worst panic attack I've had in a year. This always happens when I travel home to Chicago. I either have a bad panic attack when I'm in Chicago, or immediately upon my return. I wonder whether visiting home triggers them somehow, as it's where I first started getting panic attacks? I don't know, but it's really annoying, and I haven't slept well since. I'll have to get back into my exercise routine. That usually helps.

And now I have to buy groceries as I have nothing to eat in my home. Which means I have to put on clothes. What a shame.

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