This past weekend, my worlds truly collided. V, my best friend from elementary school, and my best friend from high school (I truly don’t know if I’ve ever given her a name on the blog, but I’ll say Lish from now on) met for the first time and the three of us spent an awesome weekend together doing all the fun, fall, Chicago things.
My Friday started early – my train for Chicago left Champaign at 6:10am. I’m blessed to be a morning person, so it really wasn’t all that challenging for me to be up and at ’em that early. Plus, I got to witness a truly beautiful sunrise while I watched the world wake up. The picture below absolutely does not do it justice.
A short blurb that I wrote about the sunrise on the train: “I got on the train and witnessed a beautiful, fiery sunrise. There is something so magical about getting to watch the world wake up and see the fresh daylight of a brand new day. Like a watercolor painting, I watched the sky fade from red to orange to yellow, which then gradually revealed the light blue sky on a cool fall day.”
I made it to Chicago ahead of schedule and jaunted over to Lish’s apartment. We chatted and did a little bit of work while I waited for V’s Lyft to arrive.
Around 11:15, she arrived!! Hungry and ready to take on the day, I took her to Stan’s Doughnuts where she got an apple fritter (she gave me a little taste and it was SO good!).
As we were walking toward Trader Joe’s (we don’t have one in Champaign, so I wanted to look around), we were handed a flyer advertising the grand opening of a bakery called Molly’s Cupcakes and they were offering free coffee and mini cupcakes for anyone who brought in a flyer. Naturally, we had to try it out! V and I both agreed that the cupcakes were good, but the best part of about the place was the aesthetic: they played up the science classroom theme perfectly while making it fun (swings to chairs? Yes, please!)
We spent a little bit of time walking around Trader Joe’s and then back to Lish’s apartment, but not without first securing the goods: pizza! V is a big pizza gal, and one of her sole requests for our weekend in Chicago was to eat pizza that wasn’t super thin crust. The pizza was a good choice all around.
V, Lish, and I sat around eating and talking for a little while before Lish got back to work (she was working from home) and V and I headed to explore the Art Institute of Chicago. It was the first time in a long that I had been to a museum that wasn’t the one I worked at on campus last year. The change of pace was a much-needed refresher.
It blows my mind that I saw this same Degas piece at Musée d’Orsay in February 2018 and here I was in Chicago, seeing it again a year and a half later.
V and I became a little obsessed with the colorful windows on the contemporary side of the Art Institute. We realized that while it is cool to look through them and see the city masked in color, the most beautiful part about it was the rainbow-esque shadow that formed when you stood in the light. Our bodies became the vehicle for the art itself, which I think is pretty dang cool.
We left the Art Institute around 3:45 and as we were walking toward the Bean, V spotted a Shake Shack. She was a bit appalled that I had never tried it before, so we stopped in and got some fries. They were pretty tasty! I will say that the whole experience was made even better by a baby at the table across from us staring and blowing us lots of kisses.
After being fueled by Shake Shack, we went on a long walk up to the Bean, through Maggie-Daley Park, down the lakefront (where we took a mini photo shoot pause), and up to Buckingham Fountain.
By this point in the afternoon, it was starting to get a little too chilly for the amount of layers we were wearing, so we decided to head back to Lish’s apartment to hang out with her and the pups before dinner.
A few weeks before V arrived, she told me she really wanted to have dinner at Girl & the Goat. We couldn’t get a reservation – it’s a really nice, sought-after restaurant – but we decided to take our chances and just walk in. Originally, we were told it was going to be an hour-and-a-half wait but we got lucky and only had to wait 20 minutes before they had us seated.
Y’all, this place is worth the hype and the price. The four of us agreed that we’d never had a more knowledgeable and compassionate waitress, and the food was out-of-this-world good. L (I know you’re reading this), I am taking you here next time we go to the city 🙂
After dinner, Lish, V, and I went to two different bars – Bar Siena and Federales – and we all enjoyed a glass of red sangria and a shot of tequila in a glass made of ice (which you get to throw at the wall and try and ring a bell once you’ve thrown in back). It was quite the night.
V and I were both awake relatively early on Saturday morning, but we got to watch another beautiful sunrise as a result. Again, the picture does not do it justice.
We spent a long time on Saturday morning hanging out with the pups, drinking coffee, and chatting while we waited for Lish to wake up.
Around 9:30am, the three of us walked a few blocks over for the Printers Row City Market. V and I wanted to have a cheese board when we got back to my parents house later that day, so we picked up a baguette and some amazing cheeses from Stamper Cheese Company. We became all kinds and colors of nostalgic about our respective times spent in France as we walked through the farmer’s market. La France, tu me manques ❤
After the farmer’s market, we headed up to Lincoln Square for an Apple Fest. The highlight of the whole experience is that the festival started with a dog costume contest, so there were dogs everywhere, many of which were wearing cute little costumes. Somehow, the only picture that I have is of a dog dressed up like Snoopy, but honestly, I’m not made about it.
By this point, all three of us were ready to chow down, so we headed back to Lish’s apartment and got lunch at a nearby restaurant called Hax. All three of us got the Angry Bird sandwich and it was delicious.
Following lunch, we packed up the car and Lish drove V and I back to my parent’s house. We immediately jumped back into the car when we got home to do a bit of shopping at Goodwill and Ross. We got caught in a serious downpour during our drive, but we did come home to this gorgeous, pink and purple sunset.
Our Sunday was pretty chill – we grabbed breakfast at Southern Belles, went shopping at TJMaxx with my sister, and came home and watched Eat Pray Love while enjoying our “cheese board”. Far sooner than either of us wanted or expected, it was time to head to the airport for our respective flight and bus ride home.
This was a much-needed weekend; I know that it is insanely special to still be such close friends with someone from elementary school, especially when 85% of that time it has been a long-distance friendship. Love you, V ❤
Thanks for reading and check back soon for more.
Until next time,