Have you ever touched dry ice before? Suddenly, there’s a searing cold that borders the line between freezing and burning, and you’re not sure if you want to scream or curl into a ball and rock back and forth silently. That’s the feeling that I associated with visits to Chicago before this weekend.
Yes, I could mostly thaw my bitter heart with the warmth of my friends and loved ones that I was staying with, but as a Carolina girl for seven years, my delicate sensibilities regarding temperature were finely tuned to mild winters and scorching summers. I could handle that. “Cold” in Chicago is a different beast entirely. There aren’t enough layers I could possibly wear to prepare me for outdoor adventures, and I become bear-like in my desire to hibernate in a cave (or near a fire place, if the opportunity presents itself).
This weekend, I emerged from my Chicago cocoon, shedding puffy jackets and elbow-length gloves in favor of thigh-grazing jorts and sheer, gauzy tops that cling to your skin, giving the illusion of wearing nothing at all (I wore bandeaus and tank tops, though, because nip slips aren’t cute in any city). The blossom of the city of Chicago opened up and presented me with a fragrant, vibrant experience rich with sights and sounds. Dogs barking, birds chirping, children pushing the buttons of their handyman father who desperately wanted to use Sunday afternoon to fix that loose step on the deck.
Due to some leftover points from Southwest and a freebie I obtained earlier this summer from Spirit Airlines, I managed to visit four airports in an equal amount of days (Atlantic City to O’Hare, Midway to Philadelphia) in a super cheap trip to that old Windy City. True to form, the city continued to be delicious, but the escapes from the confines of Caitlin’s condo were more frequent, and far more enjoyable.
Our weekend began the way most excellent weekends should: with a giant pile of meat. A trip to Lillie’s Q was in order to reconnect with the gals I met on my last visit as well as my inner cave-woman who likes her meat like she likes her men; served on a slab and accompanied by various sauces and gooey mac & cheese (and now you know what most of late-night fantasies revolve around.) Everything was delicious, and then acted like an edible lullaby as I knocked out the moment I hit the pillow.
The rest of the weekend was filled with delicious treats and lots of outdoor time (a concept that seemed novel in trips previous to this one).
A trip to Revolution Brewing‘s tasting room was inevitable.
Logan Square Farmer’s Market for tasty treats
Retro on Roscoe, a throwback-style street festival featuring cool jams from the 90s, and shenanigans from NOW!
I even got a textured football for impromptu back massages.
And we ended the weekend off in the best POSSIBLE way: a jaunt to Bang Bang Pie Shop for (what else) PIE! And a biscuit.
Now that I’ve been spoiled by a Chicago summer weekend, I’m not sure if I could bear to return in the dark hours of winter…. Though there’s one thing that always keeps me coming back.
Now, to go bask in the remaining days of my “summer” in Philly (is it summer? Because this weather feels very Autumnal…)