Lessons From a Chicago Weekend

by Rachel on October 31, 2011

Um, is it seriously Halloween? And it’s almost 5 PM on Halloween?! I don’t feel back to normal after my long weekend in Chicago just yet. I want another week of fall festivities before I have to go through that pain-in-the-ass task I brave just once a year — putting on fake eyelashes!

Anyway, here are the lessons from my trip!

Lesson #105: If you invite a bunch of people to hang out with you, you need to pay attention to details so you make sure to…you know…show up.

Thursday evening was the meetup I planned for my imaginary friends in Chicago. The plan was to go to a Core Fusion class at Exhale Spa (finally!! I’ve been in love with CF for how long?!) and when I checked the address and put in into my iPad’s map at the airport on Wednesday, I saw it wasn’t far from Beth’s apartment. Thursday evening, I hopped on the bus and as I departed and got closer to my destination, I knew I had messed up. Turns out, Exhale is at 945 NORTH State Street, not SOUTH State Street. I felt like such a flake and was so horrified that I wasn’t going to be able to make it across town in time for the class. I did manage to make it to the Hunt Club by 7 PM for the dinner/drinks part of the night and everyone was forgiving. And awesome! Seriously, I was pretty nervous before the meetup but everyone was so nice and fun and easy to get along with…I had such a good time!

Lesson #106: It’s fun to do touristy stuff even if you’re not a typical “tourist.”

I grew up in Chicago and lived there for a year after high school, but there are plenty of things there I can’t say that I’ve done. I had never been to the Willis (uh, Sears, but whatever) Tower, but Eric said he wanted to do it so we took Preston on Saturday morning. I’m actually really glad he suggested it because the three of us had a great time!

We checked out the views from all different angles before stepping into one of the new clear boxes that hangs out from the building…

and gives you a whole new view of the city!

After the tower, we went to Navy Pier with my family, another tourist standard that I’d never done before.

The scene wasn’t exactly my style but the views were great and it was just an excuse to be outside, which is all I really wanted to do anyway.

We entered Preston in his Jack Sparrow costume in the contest at Navy Pier and he easily had the best costume there. I didn’t take any good pictures of it, but I’ll post some soon — you guys have to see this thing up close. My mom and grandma made his wig from scratch and the details in the hair, the beard, and, really, just in every last inch of the costume were unreal.

Unfortunately, he totally blew it on the “presentation” part of the contest; I’ve never seen a kid walk across a stage that fast! Even doing his Johnny Depp stagger, he was still across in the blink of an eye. My mom was pretty irritated that the judges didn’t get to see her hard work — rightly so — and got a little “Toddlers and Tiaras” with him afterward.

Lesson #107: Not every trip is going to be a vacation. 

This weekend? Was exhausting. I went to Chicago instead of Michigan for Halloween because the flight was $200 cheaper, but it wasn’t easy to be on strange turf on a holiday weekend. I was on a pretty tight schedule and everything was complicated by my family’s arrival two hours behind schedule (their fault) or Eric’s arrival four hours behind schedule (Southwest’s fault).

There were a lot of things I wanted to do in Chicago, but it quickly became apparent that all the people I wanted to see while I was there had a lot going on too and that it would be pretty difficult for me to run off and do what I wanted to do whenever I felt like it. Or at all. And then I realized that this trip wasn’t about me. It wasn’t a vacation…it was just a trip. And if I achieved my main objectives — enjoying some fall weather, seeing my family and best friends, and seeing my best friend star in a play — then the litte things I wanted to do weren’t that big of a deal. All the travel delays really threw off my plans, but we all adapted, and I was able to see my mom, grandma, and brother and spend a lot of time with my best friend Beth (who I hadn’t seen in two years!).

By Saturday night, Eric and I were completely exhausted after running around all day and just packing in so much trip in such a short amount of time. After Beth’s show (which was amazing, by the way! I was so proud!), the first time we sat for more than five minutes all weekend, we just couldn’t muster the energy to put on our Halloween costumes and go to a party. All three of us were just wiped out. I felt bad because I really wanted to want to put on my costume and go out and have fun, but…I just didn’t want that. All I really wanted to do was take some allergy meds, put on comfy clothes, and eat snacks from Trader Joe’s (there is no Trader Joe’s in TX, people!!!) with Beth and Eric at her place. I felt bad about not wanting to go out in costume in Chicago, because it seemed lik exactly what I’d want to be doing…but…leggings and snacks won in the end! These are two of the people I love most in the world, and watching them interact and get to know each other while I just sat there binging on eggplant dip was so fun and so great for me…maybe even better than going out Halloween. And you know how much I love Halloween.


So everyone just fucking moved Halloween this year??? There is pretty much nothing to do in costume tonight and I’m really annoyed about this. Apparently it all happened over the weekend. Now I’m finally rested and in the mood to wear my costume and go out and I have no where to go! I’m going to end up putting on my costume, drinking copious amounts of something orange and highly alcoholic, and crashing a haunted house block party in my boss’s neighborhood in the ‘burbs. So what if we don’t live around there and show up without any kids? The bull and china shop costumes are sweet, so no one needs to know who we are or where we came from, right?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hannah October 31, 2011 at 5:28 pm

How fun! As for the lack of Halloween spirit, I completely get that. Over here on the college campus everyone had parties this weekend, so I think a lot of people are just burnt out. I’m going to hand out candy tonight and study for a midterm tomorrow. Truthfully, I can’t wait.

That Jack Sparrow costume looks like it was shrunken from the movie!


2 Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel October 31, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Preston looks SO legit in that costume. I mean, check out that face. Really. Johnny Depp would be proud.


3 Eden October 31, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I normally don’t like it when bloggers “recap” their trips. I cringed when wrote mine. But I must say, you did well. I get lost easily that I joke with my dad I could open up a wholesale gps store called “Lostco”. I know, lame.

Anyhow, Halloween is always moved to the weekend when it falls on a Monday. It’s like the law of physics or some shit like that. If it makes you feel any better, all I did this weekend was watch old episodes of full house on nick at nite. Full house on nick at nite!? THAT is scary.


4 Tiffany @ texan on the run November 1, 2011 at 1:09 am

i hear TG is coming to tejas!!!
sorry, not sure if it’s going to houston…i just know dallas for sure


5 Dori November 1, 2011 at 9:43 am

I am beginning to think you taking a live Core Fusion class is not meant to happen.


6 Kali Ravel November 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm


In other news, I am meant to be at a Halloween party right now, but I have flu. Snufflesnuffle.:(


7 [SMASH] November 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Vacations can be so fun but SO exhausting. But hey, you got a lot done in a very short amount of time, so at least you made the trip worthwhile. I need to visit the Chi.


8 Michelle December 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm

I’m from Chicago! :)


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