February 5, 2009

recap: leigh comes to the windy (frigid, icy, snowy, face-numbing) city

warning: i don't think i have ever put so many links in one post in my whole life.

hi all!

yesterday didn't allow me to blog-- i had to work on printing out a lot of work, which always leaves me in a pickle--you have to watch and tweak and adjust print settings when you are printing graphics (on nice papers) so it doesn't leave much ability to multi-task. i settled for 7 episodes of little house. i ate a lot of food, too.

in any case, as promised, i am going to get myself caught up and briefly detail leigh's visit.

leigh arrived fresh on the tail of my san fran visit, so she had a real view of my apartment: no fancy clean up job. we started off the early day with a trip over to have some brunch at my favorite little place (maybe my only favorite place?) in streeterville: the cute little café that hugs the ridiculously lovely peninsula hotel. of course, we took a little jaunt through the main floor of that decadent hotel, first. and pretended that we already owned all the fur and diamonds in the little windowboxes in the lobby. the concierge smirked at us.

pierrot gourmet
(as that cute little café is called) is so calm-- i really like it there. i have a lot of important memories there, in fact: my mother and i sharing a sandwich a while back when she made a visit, while i was still in college... lunch with my whole family the day before my graduation... a sad conversation i had over the phone this fall... and now i have a new memory! brunch with a dear friend of mine. :)

we followed this deliciousness up with a walk down michigan, so she could experience the magnificent mile for the first time. we hit up all the glamorous stores... H&M, Forever XXI...you know the kind. big spending. that night i made rice casserole, which is a highly delicious and very affordable food item... leigh has since made one for sister, i hear. (i will share that recipe in a post to follow.)

we topped it all off with cookies, tea, and watching our long time favorite special--'living dolls'--on youtube. it details the life of some child beauty pageant contestants, namely one Swan Brooner and her TERRIBLE mother, and nothing tops it. i recommend it highly, for the sake of this alone:

the time the two of us have wasted in pursuing this trashy documentary... it's appalling.

the next day was meant for evanston! we took the shuttle after a slow morning and got lunch with a friend of mine who happened to be free, enjoying the deliciousness of unicorn cafe, as a little peek for leigh into my college days. mmmm.... the windfall sandwich. we were so cold that we really elongated that meal--tacking on an amazing cookie. then we hopped across the street to look in at what asinimali and crossroads trading inc. had to offer. (in my case, they had an $8 banana republic sweater wrap and a $7 striped club monaco shirt to offer.) then we got a shuttle home, with plans to make some chicken stir fry.

funnily enough, we ended up being far too lazy to cook! maybe the sandwiches at unicorn are just very filling. we had a bloody mary (how crazy of us!) and some snack foods, and basically played scrabble all night instead of being normal, dinner eating people. very fun. :)

thursday was one of the museum of science and industry's free days, so we hopped into a cab and spent the day playing there. we even saw an IMAX movie about the marine life of south africa. so pretty! and we had a lot of fun with all the exhibits. i especially liked one exhibit about the internet... leigh caught me "swimming through the internet". it's a very special look for me, wouldn't you agree?

that night we had plans to meet up with leigh's uncle who lives in river north. funnily enough, i got us lost because i didn't pay attention to cardinal directions. no matter. we weren't late enough to make it problematic, and we had plenty of time to enjoy her uncle's company/beautiful apartment/delicious h'ors d'ouvres. mmmm spinach artichoke dip. he then treated us to a lovely little dinner at the exceedingly quaint la scarola. i had eggplant parmesan.

we hit the sack early because i was set to teach at galaxie the next morning. i deviated from my norm and taught a simple course this time-- 'secret stories'. i taught the basics of book folding, to enthusiastic reception. i had mostly repeat kids and a small group, so i basically got paid to chat up some nice, smart kids. they had great book ideas, too--my favorite was a girl's book--entitled 'where is the love'-- that had pictures of hearts, kissing couples, and head-over-heels-in-love faces, all of which were followed by the word "EW!!!!" hahahaha. kids are hilarious.

i came home to leigh, who having just woken up, sympathized with my comment that i was STARVING. we cooked up the neglected stir fry and enjoyed it while watching a special on scandalous pageant queens. (can i please remind everyone that is was record level freezing last week? and that i don't usually drain my brain watching people strut around in spangles?) is it bad that i can't remember what we did afterwards? what i do know is that we made tacos for dinner. and they were amazing. and this is coming from a woman who honestly could go without ground beef for the rest of her life. amazing.

saturday was lovely... we had brunch at ann sathers at my suggestion with some of leigh's friends from gwu who live around here now. (they were great fun and i hope to hang out with them again!) it was long and delicious and i had too much coffee. we followed that up with the art institute--happy hooray. i blew leigh's mind with my ranting on about contemporary art (haha) until it was nearly closing time and time for us to go home and nosh on leftovers.

which we did. a lovely combination of stir fry and italian food with some two buck chuck. (yay trader joe's.) then we headed out to hang out with the same girls we had brunch with, which was an EXCELLENT time, spent at their very homey apartment and then at fado irish pub. i sincerely enjoyed myself, partly due to the STRANGEST band ever. we could not stop laughing.

sunday was lazy! we took our time. leigh had moved her tuesday flight to monday due to weather warnings, so we just enjoyed eachother's company for most of the day, before heading off to Mass (sad! my last Mass at Holy Name for a while--there was a fire yesterday!!!) and then out to dinner. we decided to forfeit the superbowl purely so we could have more time for conversation. we had a nice dinner at bistro zinc. another place i have a lot of emotional attachment with. the food was great, the company even better.

we browsed children's books across the street at barnes & noble for a while, and then left, having bought bananagrams--my favorite game of the moment. we played into the night, and i dreaded leigh's departure the next morning!

now she's home in nj and i miss her-but what a week it was!

and as if i couldn't get any luckier with seeing friends... weekend anna is headed out here for valentine's day!!!! just when i thought i was going to have hide in a cave for the whole holiday. i love anna.


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