Chi-town was a great way to spend memorial day weekend. What is memorial day weekend? Something to do with veterans or war heroes (conveniently holidays in the Western world sync up to each other. Occassions in the US translate to “bank holidays” in the UK.. yeah and you thought noone would notice)
Anyway, I had booked tickets to Chicago a long time ago. My cousin lives there. I had spoken to her a few times before and asked ever so coyly (to test the waters) “ummm do you go out partying by any chance?”. This was answered by an overenthusiastic “yes” and was followed by a conversation about eating meat and sushi. I knew I would have fun. I had been told she had an awesome apartment too. Me being the cynical skeptic that I am, I took that with a pinch of salt and “let’s see” attitude. Also I was a tad cocky because my apartment in Ny is pretty kick-ass and hard to one-up, or so I thought. I landed in Chicago on Saturday and Cuz picked me up and whisked me off to Wisconsin, where her parents stayed. We had a lovely home-cooked lunch, lots of conversation and off we went to a suburb of Chicago to meet more relatives. Here i was freaked out by all the marriage and Brendan-related questions but overall, it was nice.
We then drove back to Chicago with the intention of freshening up and heading to dinner and drinks with Cuz’s friends. Of course this involved stopping by the apartment. And man, was it an awesome superfantastic apartment – 45th floor on a luxury high-rise right beside the John Hancock building, a stone’s throw away from Michigan avenue and a view of Lake Michigan that would stop you in your tracks. It was tastefully decorated, clean and spacious and trumped my apartment, no questions asked. (And she owns it!) Not that I was jealous, in fact I was so proud of her and inspired too…I want to own an apartment like that before I am 30.
So yes, back to the apartment. We skanked ourselves up and went par-taying. First stop – hors d’oevres at Sushi Samba – a sushi place with a Peruvian (huh?) influence. Interesting but no points for the bumbling waitress who messed up our ordered multiple times. Then we went to Japonais for drinks. With all my exhaustion and lack of sleep, I couldn’t even go through my dirty martini. But then I met a cute-as-a-button bartender who served up a Japonais signature drink called Cucumber Passion. Cucumber Passion is fucking awesome. It’s an alcoholic detox if there is such a thing. The night pretty much went downhill from there but in a good way. 4-5 passions later, I had mustered enough courage to scribble mr.bartender a cute little note on the bill. The tip was generous so he obliged – free shots and free cucumber passions. Whoopeee. Cuz’s friends were suitably impressed at how a newcomer and a non-local could so successfully get free drinks for everyone. To quote the lone guy in the group “You just asked and he agreed?” What can I say except that I am good?
Next stop, Rhino. A real club, not a pansy lounge bar. A real club. Too bad I remember so little of it because between Cuz spotting my drinks and free shots from Japonais, I was a goner. I went back home, slept in my dress and makeup and woke up with the big bad wolf, I mean hangover. Groan.
Sunday was spent recovering from the insane hangover. In fact, I was actually still tipsy as i hadn’t had any water and i am pretty much my blood was 60% vodka and 40% cucumber juice. After scarfing down a scrumptuous scrambled egg and garlic bread breakfast which my cuz so lovingly prepared for me, I got dressed and we headed to Cafe Le Grand, a very decadent looking cafe famous for its brunch offerings. Oh the irony. I could only order a strawberry smoothie and it was delicious. We then went to see Terminator Salvation (I wasn’t really in favour of this) but it was a fun way to spend time with the cuz as I didn’t want her to change her plans or not hang out with her friends just because I was there.
In the evening, her parents came over and we went for a long walk in the most windy fucking city I have ever visited. It was crazy. Chi-town is beautiful and I was especially charmed by the Lake Michigan shore, which I hear is beautiful in warmer weather. Sigh. The next morning we went for another walk and this time stopped at Tiffany’s where I tried on rings. Hmmm….
I then forced everyone to take me to eat Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza. It was great, a little too fast-foody for my taste but still pretty good. I saw this in a pizza documentary once (yes I watched the entire thing!) and they’d spoken about this particular pizzeria so I just had to try it. It is actually a stuffed pie – in this it was stuffed with cheese, onions and spinach. The top layer is then covered with yummy tomato sauce baked. We had green peppers on top too. It had been impossible to get a table but I think it was worth it.
So yes, all in all a weekend well spent.