Chicago and the Blog Love Fest That Was

Chicago.

I don’t even know where to begin. Chicago was…crazy, fun, exhausting, laughter inducing, glee-infested, good food stuffing, plain old AMAZING. This recap will probably not do it justice since it fell in January and January is the month where I forget how to write and publish shit that a monkey could write. With their toes. But I’m going to give this my best shot.

First, some things I’ve learned:

1. Chicago is in another time zone so it is not necessary to wake up at 7am to get there by noon. You will arrive an hour early and feel like an idiot for unnecessarily missing out on sleep.

2. No one really knows who I am or what my old blog was. If you are curious, I will email you what my old blog was.

3. I apparently look nothing like my twitter and blog avatar.

Being that I was early into the city and didn’t realize it until I hit the city limits, I went out for coffee with Matt from Life Without Pants. He probably thought I was a pretty huge idiot when he got the text being all ohhh wait i’m in the city early because I didn’t remember the time difference. Yet he still met up with me and we chatted about my move and blogging…you know what us bloggers usually talk about. It was awesome to meet him and I was so glad I was able to swing by on the way to Jenn’s place! And ok, fine, glad I was retarded and got to Chi-town early.

Friday was kind of a time warp/bermuda triangle type of day in which time was eaten and I had no concept of what time it was at any point during the day. I know I went to lunch with Jenn at Panera, made a header for her blog and ate dinner with her family. I also know we got all dressed up in new party dresses and heels, did our makeup and tried finding necklaces that weren’t eaten by our boobs (we both failed). We then drove down to her friend Mo’s house and that’s when time gets a little fuzzy. I swear it had nothing to do with the champagne and wine we got drunk off of there. Ok maybe it had everything to do with it.

After a lot of laughter and some great stories, we headed out to the bar where Derek had parked himself at. He’s leaving us for Canada (damn Canadians) so this was his goodbye thing. Derek was awesome of course and I am not just saying that because he told me I was a celebrity, like Lady Gaga famous. (That was once he figured out who I was in regards to my old blog.) I am so not famous. He obviously was drunk. But I can’t say I wasn’t tickled by that.

I proceeded to mix vodka into the wine/champagne mix and you can imagine just how drunk I got. We closed down that bar which I’m assuming put us at 2:30 when we got to the next bar of choice which was insanely packed. At some point we abandoned that one too and ended up back at Derek’s old apartment with a few of his friends. There were card games, talking about 20SB and how I don’t look like my avatar at all and there may have been some Mary Juana involved. All of a sudden, Jenn looks at her watch and is all IT’S SIX THIRTY.

Say what?

I had been up 24 HOURS. I wasn’t tired before, amazingly, but as soon as it was realized just what time it was, and the sun started coming up, we became walking zombies. We drove back to her house, instead of going to sleep, with a quick stop at McDonalds for some greasetastic breakfast sandwiches (which we of course screwed up the first time. Who eats a sausage sandwich? My brain automatically goes dirty with that one but i had to write it. Sausage sandwich. Teehee) We then crashed for a few hours before heading to Erin’s Glee party. I was half alive at that point and pretty sure I was still drunk/high and my body was having difficulty deciding whether it wanted to be hungover or not. I’m all about first impressions among some of my favorite bloggers.

It was great fun and these ladies are seriously hilarious. There was video making, blogger round tables, song singing, a lot of Glee watching, doggy loving and I may have eaten my weight in dips, rice krispie treats, donuts and chips. Thank god for conveniently non-form fitting sweaters to hide it all. It was another time sucking day where we all exclaimed at 10:30 at night how we had no idea where the time went!

Renee and Jenn performing Defying Gravity for Ben and Peter

I could have gone out that night but once we walked into Jenn’s house, my extreme lameness came out and I passed out like a brick on my bed while Jenn went to party with her friends. Which was probably good because the next morning we drove downtown to have my very much missed meal of the day (BRUNCH) with the lovely Jamie. There was champagne and chocolate chip pancakes involved and it was all sorts of awesome. Not to mention the restaurant was VERY pink and very cute.

Have I mentioned I’ve never been to Chicago before? I mean, technically I have. I was there about ten years ago for an auto show that I went to with my best MSU girlfriends and we got lost downtown. That was the extent of my first “Chicago trip.” Which is why I never count it, I didn’t see ANYTHING of the city. Sunday after brunch we went down to Millennium Park and the Bean, took lots of pictures, wandered down Mag Mile and then, sadly, parted ways. I wandered back down towards Grant Park to hang out with an old friend from FIT who moved to the city at the same time I left NYC for Europe. She apparently loves Chi more than NYC but it still hasn’t convinced me that I need to move here. I AM convinced that all the Chi bloggers need to move to Colorado with me though.

A reason why I won’t be moving to Chi anytime soon

The night was capped off by a four hour drive back through the dark to Michigan and involved a lot of singing at the top of my lungs along with Glee. Lets just say I had no voice by the time I got home and was also convinced that Glee needs to cast me in their next season. Watch out Lea Michele. It may have been the only reason I didn’t pass out and drive off the road to my death and when I got home I passed out and my mom yelled at me for not coming downstairs and telling them all about my weekend AS SOON AS I GOT HOME.

I had SO much fun in Chicago and cannot wait to visit again. Of course the people were the ones who made this city and this trip so great and I am so glad Jenn convinced me to come down there! It wasn’t hard to twist my arm though. 🙂

Now I must go figure out a new avatar.

Old Friends, Bargain Shopping, Chicago and a New Lens

I went out for coffee with one of my very best friends yesterday, one whom I don’t see nearly enough. It’s always an adventure with her and I constantly laugh, which is always appreciated. The two of us together usually is a lethal combo of fun, crazy and questions about what drugs we are currently on.

We always meet halfway and usually I am the one who has issues with GPS or Mapquest giving me the wrong directions. If I remember correctly, the last time I almost got in an accident because my GPS was taking me in the wrong direction and the time before that? The GPS man was telling me to turn around and get back on the highway while I was pulling into the parking lot. But this time, Mapquest failed BOTH of us and we ended up doing a search and rescue which ended up with me in the Kohls parking lot and her in a cemetary. Neither of which housed a Starbucks. Eventually we found each other, held up traffic and then made our way towards shopping.

At the mall we found a Starbucks (not THE starbucks we had been searching for) and proceeded to leave the baristas laughing hysterically at with us as we asked them for their addresses. When you’re with us you never know what’s going to happen.

Like when we were in Coach and talking about the prices of jewelry and comparing them to house and car payments. Those sales ladies are still thanking us for making them laugh. And when we were in Macy’s and I tried on a ridiculous pair of sunglasses, made a comment about how I wore them when I was 8 and made some random stranger laugh at me in them. Or when we were in another store discussing Ryan Reynolds and how HOT he was and Sarah insulted the girl behind the counter by saying he hasn’t ALWAYS been hot. (INSULTING, right??)

Maybe this stuff is only funny to us. Or you have to be there to appreciate us. That’s probably it. My retelling abilities? They kind of stink.

I did participate in some retail therapy, which I haven’t been able to do in a while. Got some nail polish with large chunks of silver glitter in it which makes me feel fifteen again and fabulous and a new journal in this years color of choice: teal. But the best purchase, la piece de resistance, has to be this lovely, sexy thing:

That dress was originally $120 at Banana Republic. I only paid….wait for it….$1.50. You read that right. ONE DOLLAR AND FIFTY CENTS. Thanks to a great sale, an extra 30% off and $30 in coupons. I am so proud of myself. I’ve had my eye on this dress for at least a month so when I saw it in my size? I grabbed that shit up. My boobs look fantastic in it.

I plan on parading this dress around Chicago this weekend. You also read that correctly. I said CHICAGO. If you haven’t heard the news via Twitter, I am taking over Chicago by storm this weekend with Jenn. Since I got a new car, it was decided I would drive that down to the Windy City, the city I have never been to before. Might as well make use of my close proximity and ample free time right now! I already have my soundtrack picked out for the drive down (the Glee Soundtrack. I predict epicly horribly sing-alongs) and a lot of plans involving every blogger I can find and old friends from NYC. I AM SO EXCITED. Especially about the fact that I’m totally having a sleepover with Jenn. How jealous are you? 🙂

I don’t predict much sleep happening, but who needs that when you have a good bottle (or two) of wine and some really awesome people, all under one roof?

In other exciting news, I got my new lens, a Nikon 50mm, in the mail a couple days ago and I couldn’t be more excited. I haven’t had the chance to reallyyy play with it so I will definitely be dragging that bad boy out and about with me in Chicago. Be prepared.

I can use my DSLR again!! Ashley is a VERY happy lady.

Have you signed up for my Be My (Blog) Valentine? You totally need to. Last date to sign up is January 19th and that will be here before you know it!