Tag Archives: IL

Bachelorette weekend

My last days of singledom. In just a short 60-some-odd days, I’ll be a Mrs. I won’t lie to you, it’s pretty weird to think of it like that. I’m so excited though! And will probably stress and freak out a few weeks right before because I always freak out about something.

REB and I are having a traditional South Indian wedding, not sure if I ever mentioned that before. So that meant that my bridesmaids needed saris. Now, we could have just gone to some place here in Michigan, but we would have been royally ripped off since there isn’t a huge Indian district. There are a ton of Indian people here, don’t get me wrong, but not enough clothing stores to warrant a “good deal” when you see them. One option was to order them from India, but that might take longer than we need. So we decided to head to Chicago to visit my sister and make a trip to Devon Ave. aka Little India. It was also decided that while we were there, we would club the weekend with my bachelorette party since I’d be there with three of my four bridesmaids (the fourth lives out of state – we missed you AI!).

I have to say it was probably one of the most fun weekends I’ve ever had! I’ve been to Chicago more times than I can count. It helps having family there, but this time it was just on another level of fun! We did a lot of tourist-y things; something we don’t get to do that often, but it’s always fun. We got the wedding things done that needed to get done, and we also had some fun mixed in.

We left very early on Sunday morning so we could get to Chicago by noon or 1 p.m. We brought the lovely Danny Wood along for the ride. Have I mentioned how much I love my friends? They are a riot and so much fun to be around :)

I won’t go into all the details of Danny Wood and how he came to be, but it began in college with me and that adorable girl you see in the sunglasses. It became an inside joke and has traveled with us for almost…what…9 years now? Unreal <3

After we got to Chicago, we walked around my sister’s neighborhood. Her and my brother-in-law have a condo/house (yes, they own their very own piece of Chicago) in Lincoln Square. It’s almost as north as you can get in the city without being in the ‘burbs. It’s a very cute neighborhood though; lots of cute shops and restaurants in the area. But the real excitement was going down to Devon Ave. I never get sick of visiting Little India. It was a very tiring day of shopping, but we got everything we needed. Walking up and down that street works up a hunger, so we stopped at Uru-Swati, a vegetarian restaurant on the corner of Rockwell and Devon. Usually we go to Viceroy, but we weren’t really in the buffet mood and wanted to try new things. It had a great mix of north and south Indian food. I got the paper masala dosa, which is a two-foot long Indian-style crepe stuffed with potato curry.

 

Food won.

After dinner, we were beat so we headed back to my sister’s for some much needed drinky-drinks. A lot of them to be exact (o_O;

Day 2 was our fun, tourist-y day in downtown Chicago. We took the train down there and walked around to do some shopping. Then the girls planned a real treat for all of us: an architecture cruise of Chicago! Anyone who knows me and my sister know that we love architecture. It was such a fun ride through the city on the river. I learned a lot more about the city and its designers. Even my sister hadn’t done this tour before so it was a real treat for her as well!

 

Danny came along for the ride too, of course

 

Two of the bridesmaids and also two of my besties!

 

Trump tower = huuuuge!

 

Architecture <3

 

One of the best views of the skyline <3

 

Sister! <3

 

Reflections

After the boat tour, we had some time to kill before dinner, so we walked down to Navy Pier. I’ve been to Navy Pier once and it was just to get some dinner. I need to make sure I come back and really take part in some of the fun.

Bob Newhart won me over. Watch out REB! ;)

 

Pretty city

 

 

Ferris Wheel

We went to dinner at Table 52 on W. Elm. This place was an ultimate treat! It’s owned by Art Smith, who is a very well known chef. He owns two or three other restaurants, was on Top Chef Masters and used to also be Oprah’s personal chef. The coolest thing about the night? We saw him leave the restaurant when we got there! He was getting into his Beamer (his M5 to be exact) before he drove off. I’m so bummed we didn’t get to say hi to him. The food was delicious though. It’s real comfort food. All of us ordered something different. My sister ordered the short rib (they looked like little burgers on top of a bread), my brother-in-law got the catfish, one friend got the southern fried chicken (which I didn’t try of course, but it did not look greasy at all!), the other got the special of the night, the walleye. I got the caramelized garlic risotto. I don’t think I need to explain how delicious it was. It was SO very rich, but so very tasty!

 

Cute decor and ambiance. Felt like we were eating in someone's house!

 

All of us!

After dinner, my brother-in-law went back home since he had to work in the morning, but the four of us girls headed to the John Hancock Center to the 95th floor. The 95th floor has the famed Signature Room and Lounge. We went to the lounge as the Room (the restaurant) was closed by then (it was about 11:30 when we headed out from the restaurant). The best way to end the night was a martini and a breathtaking view of Chicago. The best view of the city from the Lounge is from the girls bathroom. Guys are SOL on this one because they only have a wall in their bathroom. The girls get an entire wall of glass to look at the gorgeous city below.

Gorgeous Chicago from the ladies room! Pardon the reflection/glare!

We were also lucky enough to get a table right next to the window. We were told it was the best table in the bar and I believe it!

 

Thanks for a fun weekend, Chicago! I’ll be back soon! <3 <3

It was pretty much the perfect end to a perfect weekend. It was jam packed and we were so tired by the end of it, but I wouldn’t have changed any part of it. I can’t even begin to thank my sister and friends for such an incredible weekend! It was truly unforgettable!

Rural South

Traveling for work is something I never thought I would do as frequently as I do. The down side is obviously being away from home, away from REB, the dog, the bird, my bed (oh how I love my bed) and enjoying weekends there. But a real perk to our job is being able to explore surrounding areas or cities where ever we are. I’ve been fortunate enough to see some amazing places because of this job (The Yukon Territory, Grand Canyon, Eastern Seaboard, etc.). Exploring is a ton of fun and yesterday was incredibly tiring, but we saw some cool places here in the rural south.

We started our day with some breakfast at the local IHOP. Coffee, egg-beaters veggie omelet, and fresh fruit. The perfect start to our busy day!

Then we headed 10 minutes north into Illinois to visit Metropolis. Now, if you haven’t been to Metropolis, it’s a trip! If you haven’t already figured it out, it’s where they have this huge statue of Superman – ha! It’s pretty hilarious. They also have a museum, but we didn’t go through that. We took a bunch of pictures in front of Superman and then visited the statue commemorating Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane. Definitely make a stop in Metropolis if you’re ever in southern Illionis. It’s weird, and kitchy, but that’s what you’ll find in the rural south!

Both my coworker and I love railroads and trains, and we found a track nearby so we decided to go explore that area too….

After we explored Metropolis, we decided to drive an hour west to Cairo, IL. The interesting thing about Cairo, from what my coworker told me, is that it used to be this up and coming town back in the day where very wealthy people lived. However, when African Americans came to the town, they wanted nothing to do with them, so they all packed up and left. The town just sort of deteriorated and literally has become a phantom town.

By the time we were done being super emo hipsters taking pictures of rural decay, we worked up an appetite. As it turns out, we were near some town in Missouri called Sikeston. Another 30 minutes west and we were in Missouri at the famed Lambert’s Cafe – home of the throwed rolls. Down-home, southern comfort food doens’t get much better than this. We waited about 1 1/2 hours (expect to wait that long or longer!) but it was so worth it. To have rolls thrown at you (literally!), all the sides you want (fried okra, black eyed peas, macaroni and tomatoes, pulled pork [none for me though!]…goes on and on!), the most GIANT cups of sweet tea (or unsweetened if you’re my coworker), this place is so much fun. We left completely stuffed. My coworker literally got a skillet of ribs. Unbelievable.

At the end of this excursion, we were so tired. It was well worth it though. The one tip I can give people when traveling: check out all the little treasures nearby! You never know what you’ll find!