The last week of July, I headed back to the midwest for a short visit to Chicago to hang out with Daniel, and to go to Michigan to see my family and see my friends Dan and Leah get married.
It was a short trip but jammed packed! I arrived in Chicago on Wedneday, the 25th, and after wandering around in Wicker Park for a little while shopping for a dress to wear to the wedding, I met up with my oldest and best friends, Merry and Katie! I’ve been best friends with them since I was 5 and I’m really glad we still manage to see eachother a few times a year despite being spread out across the country. That’s Katie, and Merry’s partner Tim. Katie lives in Kalamazoo, MI, and Merry and Tim live in San Francisco.
I was vegan the whole time I lived in Chicago, but now that I’m not… visits back include some new foods for me. Yowzers.
After lunch, we headed to one of our other high school best friend’s house, Erin’s! Merry and Katie hadn’t met her baby yet so it was exciting that we all got to visit at once. Of the five of us in our tight group growing up, Erin was the first to get married, and the first to have a kid. Her son, Eli, is 5 months old!
Me and Merry. When we were growing up, we would walk around together and people would yell at us and call us the Hanson brothers. ;
Erin’s dogs kept jumping on each other’s backs to try to get enough height to see through the window in the door. It was really funny.
Tim clearly likes kids. He’s a teacher and basketball coach.
After the gals headed home to Michigan, I stuck around Chicago and met up with Daniel in his studio.
It was really great to see him. I’m glad that despite distance that’s between us thanks to me moving to Philadelphia, we’ve managed to still see each other every few months.
In Daniel’s studio, with his incredible view.
We went out for dinner, and then got goat cheesecake at a really fancy restaurant. We had plans to go see the Dark Knight Rises on IMAX but the early showings were sold out so we had to go at 11:50pm. It is a widely known fact that I rarely stay awake for movies past 7pm, let alone ones starting at midnight. So we decided to pregame with five hour energies to avoid me just having a very expensive nap. I still fell asleep for the first 30 minutes of the movie, but then I guess it kicked in and I was awake for the rest.
In the morning, the view from Daniel’s apartment.
We went out to brunch
and then spent the morning in the Museum of Contemporary Art.
After that, we headed over to the beach to lay around in the sun.
We went swimming and the water was so warm!
Having a beach right in the middle of the city is the thing I miss most about Chicago, aside from my friends.
I miss riding my bike there after work in the summer, and riding bikes there with friends at night.
We grabbed salads for dinner
and headed back to Daniel’s school to see some performances that were happening as part of an art show inspired by the life and work of Mark Aguhar, an artist that was in Daniel’s program.
As soon as the performances ended, I headed over to the commuter train to make my way to Michigan. I took the train in and got to my hometown of Paw Paw around midnight.
In the morning, my sister and her son’s came over, as well as my other sister, and we all went out to brunch. This is my nephew Thomas. He’s five.
and his little brother, Asher, who is almost 2.
at my mom’s house.
They kept winding up that tiny plastic gorilla and it would slowly march forward toward Asher and he would flip out and run away in a really exaggerated way. It was so funny since the gorilla is so tiny.
My oldest sister, Rachel, the mother of two.
My nephew Thomas loves to use the iPad, that my other sister, Rosemary, brings over. He’s really good at navigating games on his own.
Maybe little Asher will be a musician. Myself and my four siblings all took piano lessons for the majority of our childhood. I took them for 11 years and practiced every day on this piano!
In the yard.
After some quiet time at home, we watched the boys at their last swim class. They’re doing great and they were very happy to show off for all of us.
The last of the remaining family cats, Aussie.
That night, after Rachel and the boys went home, my mom and Rosemary and I went to see Spiderman at our small town theatre. It’s a 3 dollar theatre that just has one screen. We would go there most weekends growing up and just see whatever was playing, even if it was bad. Spiderman was terrible.
In the morning, we stopped by the blueberry farm to get fresh blueberries.
Then I took my mom out for brunch.
Later in the afternoon, I picked up Merry and Tim and we headed out for Dan and Leah’s wedding. We went to high school with Dan and he was one of our closest friends. I went to my senior prom with him!
Merry and Tim.
Cara, another good friend from high school, and her partner Dan.
The bride and groom, Dan and Leah.
A reenactment of our high school prom photo.
Dan and Leah lived in Chicago the whole time I did, and just moved to Michigan.
Dan showin off his boots, very fitting. He’s a total farm boy.
Then people started having a very good time.
When it came time for the garter toss, Dan played a pretty funny joke on Leah.
He had this hidden in his pocket and pretended to take it off as the garter.
That’s my cue. I headed home on the early side since I was there alone, and not drinking. Haha.
My mom, the next morning. Living the retired life, doin it right.
I spent that Sunday at in South Haven at the beach with Merry and Tim, and Katie and her partner Kristy.
Katie and Kristy
Merry met up with some college friends too, and we went out to dinner.
We came back to find out that Katie’s mom’s car was dead due to the alternator.
We made the most of the beautiful evening as we waited for the tow truck.
It finally came and we headed back home. I just spent a quiet night in and went to bed early.
In the morning, I took the train back to Chicago.
I met Daniel and we were coincidentally dressed very similarly, with a patterned blue shirt, jeans, brown shoes, and an army green tote bag with leather straps. Haha.
We just got lunch and fancy coffee and walked around the city until I had to catch my flight in the afternoon.
Then I headed home. It was so great to see all of my oldest friends in one weekend.
and to come home to this guy.