There are few things better than a last-minute weekend getaway.
One of the great benefits of living in NYC is the our ability to LEAVE and at the blink of an eye by car, bus, train, or plane and be somewhere exciting in 3 hours or less. Some of my fave post-collegiate times have all occured during one of these last minute excursions: Philly, Hamptons, Boston, DC, Naples, Miami, Baltimore, & most recently CHICAGO.
The weather forecast was looking right, so the girls did an impromptu Chi-Town rally (shout to Dani – the closer, Kimberly – Miss Perfect, and J Beezy for hosting us). So by Wednesday the girlies were all locked in for a taste of Summertime Chi in April.
By Thursday, the hopeful sunny weekend weather in Chicago was shot down from 82 & perfect, to 70 with off/on rain. Blower.
Saturday morning I set out for Chicago. I touched down at Midway & the Mitchell sisters came to scoop me up. We headed straight to Sweet Maple Cafe, very dee-lish breakfast spot (i had the spinach, mushroom, bacon, & fontina eggs scrambled hard with a biscuit). Timed almost perfectly, Kelly, Ani, & Dani arrived simultaneously. We did a little posing for the camera. We disucssed the bummer weather and had a ball anyway.
Bellies full, it was time for Saturday Funday so we strolled over to (tiff griff recommended) Cafe Iberico for Sangria. It poured raining while we were drinking, but you never would’ve been able to tell, because we were all smiles. The bill was super cheap, we considered another pitcher, and confirmed that would be over the top, so we didn’t.
Then we had nap time, I knew i’d have to recharge from all the eating & drinking in order to kick it.
We started the night off at J Bar @ the James Hotel. Very cute scene. Diverse, good tunes, and decent specialty cocktails!
Was suuuuuper happy to see my girl J Beezy, she’s that girl who I love & don’t see often enough, calls me Uma & recognizes me as Patty Mayo, & instantly takes me back to having way too much fun during my college years. As Susan Taylor says, I love “people who remember you when….”.
Hmm….who else did we see at JBar? Mel, Clark, Thomas, Shola, Kevin, & Mike, and even Art’s stunt double younger brother Aaron. Quite the impromptu Spelhouse reunion (Mr. Jemison was a disappointing no-show, yes calling him out).
Then we headed over to Le Passage, which is an uber sexy Chicago scene. Had a great time there too. If you’re in town, definitely check that spot out. On the way home we stopped by for some Italian Sausage/Hot Dogs at a rather random, side of the road, uber-Chicagoan spot, again – yummy!
Woke up later than usual and headed straight to brunch at Park 52, in the Hyde Park area (Suze came to kick it!). We walked in and said “OMG, super cute black place”. There was an extremely large group of women celebrating a 35th birthday (waiter informed us that ‘celebrities’ Juanita Jordan & Tichina Arnold were amongst the crowd).
But even more remarkable was the table of black dads & their sons seated nearby. All sons adorable and no older than 5. All dads – also adorable. They ended up leaving to watch the Bulls game on a bigger screen (increased the swag level for sure). We practically drooled on their table. Low & behold that lovely group celebrating 35 years ended up delaying the hell out of our food. But once, we finally received our plates, they were scarfed down nearly instantly. If you’re in the area, go!
J Beezy, Victoria, Mel, Dani, & I rallied for Sushi Samba dinner/drinks on Sunday night. We had a terrific time catching up on all the latest circle gossip, then took it back to the apartment and talked about our own lives. What a great damn near sleepover & wrap party to my girls weekend in Chicago!!!
Overall, I did not feel like a fish out of water in Chicago. I could live there. Healthy balance of city life & suburban ‘hoods. Plenty of great dining, bars, culture, etc. I dig the progressive black scene there…lots of lawyers & doctor couples (rather than the NYC version of Fashion & Finance). I could live there (added to the short list of other non-NYC I could live in DC, Atlanta, and now Chicago).
So after a weekend of purely eating and drinking nonstop in Chicago:
- i‘m fat (back to the gym!)
- allergies galore (it is literally digusting)
- in Jury Duty (bringing my laptop today though)
- and on a social hiatus (until I look like a human being again.)