bobcats, buckeyes, and steelers…ohmy what a fantastic weekend!

Meet my partner in crime from this past weekend: Ashley.  This photo was taken on Saturday evening, after about 10 hours of drinking (seriously) before we left to embark on a few more hours.  (Note: That plan didn’t last as long as we had planned.)  But let’s rewind a bit and go back to the beginning of this fantastic weekend in Chi-town, shall we?

To be completely honest, I was a little apprehensive about Ashley’s arrival simply because last week was jam-packed and a bit stressful.  After visiting my new, adorable Wish Kid, Liam, I high-tailed my butt to meet Ashley at the train station.  From there we were off to my apartment for a few minutes and then to Wilde’s for dinner and drinks.  And that, my friends, was the most awake downtime that Ashley and I had…well, until now. 

Playing hookie from work on Friday allowed us time to play tourists all over this town.  We started off in Wrigleyville, showing my sports fanatic friend the world-renown Wrigley Field.  Then we made a spontaneous decision to walk over to the Lincoln Park Zoo, where we spent about 2 hours wandering around the place like we were little kids again.  It was wonderful!  We saw the rhinos for little Liam.  (Note: He think they’re dinosaurs.  So cute.  And they do look like it!)  Then saw the giraffes for Alisha, the tigers fro Ashley’s twin brother, Scotty, and finally, the penguins for Ashley.  (She shared her enthusiasm for them with a 5-year old who was equally intrigued.) 

Afterwards it was time for lunch- with adult beverages of course- and then off for some more fun downtown on Michigan Ave and Navy Pier.  I have to point out that had the most peaceful moments just sitting by the lake, as we escape to the one quiet side of the pier.  We sat and talked about everything, and it may have been there that Ashley officially fell in love with Chicago.  Of course I let her enjoy it, but I also shared that this is one of those rare moments in the city.

Before we knew it, Saturday morning was upon us.  Game Time!  OU (my alma mater) was playing OSU and Ashley and I ventured over with Sarah to the OU- Chicago Chapter Alumni Association game watch.  We all know how the game went (no surprise there), but what you don’t know is how the day unfolded for these five all-day drinkers.  Now I’m going to leave out the details but let me say that it was truly a great day consisting of bar hopping, a random house party, drunk cab rides, random bar conversations, and more bar hopping.  Yep, that pretty much sums it up.  After 10+hours of drinking, we all crashed for the night in our sweatpants.  Sorry boys, we wear sweatpants & tees to bed.  And we don’t have (naked) pillow fights either. 

Sunday Funday began at 7 am for me, as I woke up in a panic realizing that I was hosting brunch in a few hours and had hardly any food in my fridge, and absolutely no coffee nor champagne & OJ (I promised mimosas).  So yeah, I woke up, showered, put on my Steelers’ gear, and headed out the store.  Three hours later I found myself amongst bowls of fresh fruit, a traveler of Starbucks coffee, pancake batter, and a Pittsburgh boy who my grandma ‘set me up (with)’ to be friends with- or so I like to believe that was her plan.

Anyways, after brunch Joe, Stef, Ashley, and I headed over the Steelers’ bar down the street to endure another bar extravaganza; however, this one was a little more tame and filled with unexpected guests.  As life would have it, Stef and I happen to see 3 Hampton alums at the bar.  I had to pause each time and remind myself that I was in Chicago; not Pittsburgh. 

Now let me say that watching the game at the bar was fun, and it was nice to see people from your hometown here in the big city.  But with this weekend’s events I was ready for some downtime, and that’s why I’m telling you that my favorite moment of yesterday afternoon was when Stef and I got some fresh air outside and sat around talking (per usual).

Now I don’t tend to come out and say this on my blog, but I really don’t affiliate myself with Pittsburgh anymore- even going as explaining that “I went to college in Ohio and lived in Columbus” first when people asked me where I come from.  But being there around other Pittsburghers, including my three friends, I felt the change within me.  For the first time in awhile, I was the one who was around people who I went to high school with.  Since transferring to OU (in 2003), I was always with those people who ran into people from their hometowns.  But now it was my turn.  I may not say this again, so I’ll say it now: It was really nice.

It was a great weekend.  It really was.  I am grateful that Ashley was here to help me get out and enjoy Chicago a little more, and for all of the friends- old and new- for doing their part as well. 

Moral of this Weekend: Life is what happens when you’re not too busy making plans.  Live your life moment-by-moment.  Live freely, spontaneously, and without fear.  Afterall, you’re only young once. ♥

Song of the Moment: Long Time Around by the Dixie Chicks

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