Tag Archives: friends

My 27th Birthday

20 Jun

As an only child the thrill of my birthday will never cease to be the highlight of May. I love the attention but most of all, as I discovered, the feeling that all of my friends (there were about 15 people in total!) came out to celebrate with me/for me. It’s a humbling and exciting feeling. And it made me drink. A lot.

My weekend started out how it usually does – hitting the Mt. Prospect community garage sales during the day with my parents. After a few hours of scoring goodies (including a $0.50 JED lunch box from the 80’s that I sold on eBay within a week) I packed up and headed back to the city to get ready. My friends started arriving for pre-dinner drinks and at 7:00 the whole group headed to Renaldi’s, one of my favorite pizza places in Lincoln Park. My friend’s husband, Brad, ordered Fireball whiskey shots (followed by the manager buying a second round) and I think that was the beginning of the end.

After pizza and drinks we followed my very-strict schedule of dive bars along Lincoln Avenue near my apartment (so people could easily grab their cars and head home if they needed to).

We went to the following bars (I can’t tell you much about the experiences at most of them because it’s a little fuzzy):

Rose’s Lounge

Atlas Brewing Company

Patsy’s Place

JP Burke’s Patio & Tap

The night ended (for me) around 1:00 am and luckily my friend Kayla was staying over so we got each other home safely. I wasn’t feeling the best so I did what I always do when I don’t feel well and drew myself a bath. The bath felt great. So great, in fact, that I found myself still in there at 8:30 am (thanks Kayla and Marc for checking in on me!). Don’t worry – it’s not as dangerous as it sounds. I am a pro at taking baths and it’s almost physically impossible for me to drown. The way I position myself/the size of the tub does not allow for my head to get beneath the water level unless I’m in a funky, uncomfortable yoga position.

The next day (my actual birthday) Kayla and I had our second-to-last wood working class at the Rebuilding Exchange. That was pretty rough for us hungover party animals. I headed home to the suburbs after that and visited my neighbor’s soccer game, sorted through my treasures from the day before, and picked up an ice cream cake for myself. Around 5:00 my family and neighbors went out to Portillos for a birthday dinner celebration followed by ice cream cake at my parents’ house. It was the perfect weekend!

My parents bought me a paddle board as a present. More on that to come!


Movies in the Parks: Jurassic Park

26 Jul

The cold front from Tuesday that ruined my open water swim is still lingering around Chicago. Last night I met my friends Blair and Gracelyn, both fellow Hurricane alum, at Wicker Park for Movies in the Park. We had perfect 74 degree weather – almost unheard of in July. Movies in the Park is part of Chicago’s Night Out in the Park offerings, which I think are pretty cool. I’m not usually one to venture west to Wicker Park, but Blair tempted me with Big Star tacos to bring to the park, and I was sold. Plus, they were showing Jurassic Park which I haven’t seen since its release in 1993.

Friends at Jurassic Park

Friends at Jurassic Park

If you’re going to check out a Movie in the Park for yourself, which I recommend, there are probably a few things you should know. Similar to my Ravinia Do’s and Don’ts post, I’m going to suggest a few tips for you to consider:

  • DO arrive early. The movies start at dusk (usually 8:45-9) and we had plans to meet at 7:30 thinking we’d be early. Not the case. We arrived at 7:30 and plopped our blanket (actually, I brought a spare bed sheet) tightly between two other groups. They announced that over 1,500 people were there.
  • DO bring food/drinks stuff to do. Not sure if alcohol is legally allowed, but people had it. Be conspicuous and you’ll be fine. I mentioned that planning on getting tacos from Big Star, but just like we weren’t expecting the crowd we got, we weren’t expecting the Big Star walk-up line to be over 50 people long. We opted for Flash Taco across the street and it didn’t disappoint. Wicker Park is home to lots of good food places you can grab & go. Besides the aforementioned, I recommend Piece pizza and Glazed & Infused donuts (inside Francesca’s Forno)
  • DO have enough space to lay down. While chairs aren’t appreciated, your back might get tired and you might want to shift positions. Make sure you have enough room for that. While you’re at it, I suggest wearing comfy clothes.
  • DO get into it. It was hilarious hearing everyone cheer for Samuel L. Jackson, boo the bad guy, and gasp/laugh at the ‘scary’ parts
  • DON’T sit next to a group of smokers (if you don’t like being smoked on). I’m not exaggerating when I say the group next to us smoked 100% of the movie. There were about eight adults and at all times one of them was smoking a cigarette. It really dampered my nice, summer experience. Of course smoking outside is allowed, but when you’re so close to so many people, I wish they would have been more considerate.
  • DON’T bring your dog if it likes to bark and run around. We were in really close corners and it made for some difficult dog situations. Unless your dog likes to lay down for about 3-4 hours straight, consider leaving him at home. (If he does like to chill, though, bring him! How cute!)

    Jurassic Park in Wicker Park

    Jurassic Park in Wicker Park

Overall I had a great summer night with my friends. I loved the movie — I hadn’t remembered a thing so it was completely new (again) to me.

I’m hoping to get out to at least one more Movie in the Park this summer. Have you been to one? Which park? I’d love to hear about the experiences at the different parks. By the way, they made one free bag of popcorn for every person! How sweet!

Jurassic Park in Wicker Park

Jurassic Park in Wicker Park