…More Than Sweet Potatoes

Chicago: A Reunion Story

Travel Travel Travel

It seems to be what I’ve been doing lately.

The last weekend in March I went to Atlanta for a kickball tournament.  The following week I went to Arizona to visit my parents.  I spent a week “home” but actually was at a friends place house/dog sitting for her.  Last weekend I went to Chicago.


Some backstory: a little while back my friend Julie and I decided it’d be fun to make a facebook group of all the alumni from our region of the youth group we were in while in high school.  It took off quickly and we were hundreds strong.  Then there was a reunion posted and it was large and planned by the region.  Apparently, the few of my friends who went made the decision to plan a second one… and that’s where our backstory ends.


Jason sent me a facebook message asking me if I would be able to come.  He had made a facebook event.  There was a poll for the dates that’d work best, and I chose the one that – if I could find the money for a plane ticket to Chicago – would actually work for me.  I told him if I could find a cheap flight, I’d go.  He offered to pay for my drinks if I did fly in for the event, and I was sold.  Two hundred dollars later, I was booked and accounted for.

The VERY NEXT THING I did was text my best friend, Erin, and ask if she was available that weekend to play.  We planned “Best Friend Day April 2015” for Saturday.

My flight to Chicago was a bit hectic.  I received a text from Southwest that my flight was delayed a half hour to 8pm.  I rushed a bit less after work to get everything packed and done and head to the airport.  Upon arriving at the airport at 7, I sat down at the bar and ordered a double Tito’s on the rocks.  I closed my tab and while I was signing my check, the overhead speaker called out “final boarding call for flight 652 to Chicago-Midway.”  Upon my obvious sense of panic, the person sitting next to me said “so much for delayed til 8, huh?”  I looked at the server:

Me: Do you have a plastic cup I can take this in?

Server: No.  You can’t take it “to go”

Me: Uh…oh…um…okay…. [then, to person sitting next to me NOT on my flight] don’t judge me for this, okay?  [to the person sitting next to be ON my flight headed to the gate] don’t let them leave without me!

At this point I chugged – CHUGGED – my double vodka and hauled to my gate.

Upon arrival in Chicago, my sister picked me up, I saw the kids (while they slept, mostly) and hung out for a bit before going to bed.

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I took this mid-run on the lakefront trail. Seriously…

Saturday morning I woke up to go for a run on the lakefront.  I’ve only run a few times in the city of Chicago, but never on the lakefront with all the serious runners and cyclists…so I went for it.  I started at Belmont and ran down to Chicago (the street, I was already in the city.)  It was perfect – 50ish degrees, no breeze, the lake on one side, the city on the other, the sun overhead.  Then I went back, showered, and met Erin for brunch at Patsy’s – the restaurant that is below the apartment my ex lived in for a while.  It was an awesome smack of nostalgia to be there.  The food was delish.  Then we walked about a mile to go to the Cubs game.

The temperature had dropped over the course of the day and I had to buy a sweatshirt to combat the t-shirt I was wearing.  We then sat in and watched the Cubs come back from a 2-0 deficit to a 6-2 lead just to blow it in the top of the 9th.  The benefit of blowing the lead is that we got extra innings… and I LOVE free baseball.

After that I went home to do a 5 minute change and head out to the reunion dinner and actual event (at a bar.)  I had a chance to catch up with some people I haven’t seen in 10-13 years and to hang out with the few I have.  I drank, chatted away, laughed and had a good time.  Then Erin met up and we danced like crazy people with random patrons at the bar and became besties with our server – Brooke.

Sunday, I went to brunch with my sister, brother in law, and their children.  Then my sister and I went gallivanting around Andersonville and she then took me to the airport…

…the airport I got to 30 minutes before my flight, checked my bag (with a late tag because I wasn’t the required 45 minutes ahead of my flight time) and prayed that the alcohol I had checked/smuggled wouldn’t break and make my clothes all smell like root beer beer.  I RAN through the airport to the security line where the TSA person let me go in the pre-check line.  I got through there and to my gate within 20 minutes of walking into the airport – which is HUGE at Midway – and walked right onto my plane.

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Yes, I did smuggle 2 6-packs of Not Your Father’s Root Beer back to Florida… too bad it wasn’t the 10.9% ABV version.

And landed back in Florida on time, with unbroken beer, and a huge smile.

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