Adventures in Chicago
Friday, Feb. 23, 2007 @ 1:55 p.m.
Chicago update! With pictures! We didn't actually take very many pictures because it was too cold for that, just like it was too cold for things like breathing and moving. We did those things anyway, but pictures were a struggle because it involved the taking off of gloves and we wanted to keep all our fingers. We're so selfish, really.
We landed on Friday afternoon after a mostly uneventful flight. We then took a cab to the Union League Club where a nice friend of a friend got us a room. The ULC is one of those old-school private clubs that has guest rooms and restaurants and a dress code. Dress code? Holy crap. It was a very cool place though and we heartily approved, even if we couldn't wear jeans in the lobby.
Once we'd arrived and settled in, we went out for a tipsy and delicious dinner here: Cuatro
As we reeled back to our room, I waxed poetic about the insanely fucking cool mail slot that runs the length of the 23 story building. It runs between the elevators and is clear glass in the center, framed in brass, so if someone dropped mail in from above and you happened to be standing in front of it on a different floor, you can see the mail falling through. (Oh my god, I'm such a nerd but it was awesome.) I declared with drunken fervor that I WOULD buy a postcard and I WOULD mail it using the mail slot and KATE COULD DOCUMENT IT WITH PICTUUURREESs.
I'm a nerd. Observe:
On Saturday morning we had a fancy breakfast at the club dining room called, I'm not kidding, The Wigwam. I had brûléed oatmeal (!!) and Kate had French toast. The restaurant was very formal and sweetly old-fashioned and we loved it. It was like going back into time.
After breakfast we suited up in preparation for walking the four blocks to the Art Institute. Kate had wisely bought us both a set of long underwear horrifyingly called Cuddl Duds(which we of course referred to as Cuddle Duuuuuuuds) but, stupid name aside, I still have arms and legs because of that stuff. We got to the Art Institute and the lions out front were wearing giant Bears helmets. I...I'm not sure how I feel about that.
After a few hours of looking at really famous works of art, we met up with Lisa for a lovely chatty lunch. (We couldn't stop talking long enough to look at the menu. I think our waiter probably hated us.) Stupidly, we didn't get a picture together. I'm a terrible photographer and I never remember to take pictures, ever.
(A small break to tell you that the mailroom guy is, right this second, outside my door and is making my hackles rise. He just drank from the water fountain and did the exaggerated "aaaaah!" afterwards. FREAK.ING.HELL.)
After lunch Kate and I walked all of the "Magnificent Mile", stopping into various stores to let our extremities thaw out. Eventually we found an oasis at the Barney's makeup counter. We both got our makeup done at Chantecaille and I drooled on a few Chloe bags. When our faces were finished being beautified, we decided to start walking back to the hotel, with the agreement that we'd catch a cab when it got too cold. We never actually did that, though. We crazy. On the way back we made sure to stop in at Garrett for the most life-altering snack known to man: the Chicago Mix, a cheddar/caramel popcorn mix that is utterly divine, though it sounds bizarre.
Here we are on the walk back with completely frozen faces:
The chocolate event was that evening so we got all dressed up and met Lisa's husband Matt to share a cab.
The event was crazy. I honestly couldn't believe the scope of it - chocolate as far as the eye could see. The space was this glorious old building with ballrooms and restaurant space and they filled the whole thing. There were a zillion different kinds of chocolates and champagne and savory food and pate and cheese and a wedding cake contest and holy crap, it was something else. The fashion show was kind of a blur and the model wearing our stuff seemed to not want to have much to do with us, which was funny. But, thanks to Lisa, everything happened as it should and the fashion show was a hit. There were little bits of chocolate on the floor everywhere afterwards. At the end we got announced as designers and got to walk out on the runway with the model and chef! When Kate and I went out I grabbed her hand and now a good chunk of Chicago probably thinks we're totally gay. It wouldn't be the first time.
Chef in a man fur!
Sunday was all travel, all day. During our layover at the stupid beige Atlanta airport we saw a winning contestant from the Mrs. Plus America competition. We knew this because she was wearing her sash and that huge tiara. Her husband was wearing a look of despair and a giant cowboy hat. God's Little People Puppet Ministry! Goodness. I...I...wow.
On the last leg of our flight I sat next to a tiny man who did not stop fidgeting for the entire hour and a half. I almost slapped him. If he wasn't fidgeting he was picking at his nails looking at his watch scratching his head checking his shoelaces stretching sighing making weird movements with his lips mumbling scratching sighing GAH HOLD STILL YOU LITTLE FREAK. He's lucky it was a short flight.