My kind of town

(Chicago is.)

Well, it would be if it wasn’t raining and 45 degrees and icky.  Nonetheless, I’ve returned to the motherland for a brief jaunt.

I woke up early.  I am not one of those bat-shit crazy bloggers that gets up at 4:30 for 20 mile runs.  Getting up at 6 for work is pushing it for me, and left to my own natural devices (like unemployment) I drift to a nice 1 a.m. to 10 a.m. sleep schedule.  Anyway,  I got up at 5 a.m., beautified myself, walked the dog, had a bowl of cereal and was out the door to catch my 6:50 a.m. flight.  Barf.

Although I am technically a business traveler, I refuse to understand that this means I have to be uncomfortable in lined wool suit pants on the plane.  I would much rather take 5 minutes to change in a public bathroom than feel icky while traveling.  Clearly:

Traveler tip: I always wear a long-sleeved zip up hoodie over a t-shirt on planes because they are either freezing cold or sweltering hot.  This way you’re prepared for both!

Upon landing at Midway, I knew I was home:

While rushing to get my luggage from baggage claim, I ate this Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana muffin that I made last night with a little almond butter.  I was not impressed with this recipe when I swiped a mini muffin right out of the oven last night, but they are quite good cold.  I think I may have overbaked the mini muffins a tidge, but the big ones were just right:

Except next time I make them I think I’ll add a little bit of applesauce or a bit more oil–they’re a little dry.

Anyway, after various rental car related delays, including one that had me crying on the side of the road to the Thrifty telephone operator (the car they gave me apparently likes to slip from “Drive” into first and second gear), I made it to my alma mater.  Awesome!  Here are some pictures.  I love this place so much.

This is where I worked for four years.  Oh, the memories:

Perhaps it’s silly, but Northwestern is a really emotionally fraught place for me to be.  I was a totally different person in college, and I view a lot of it wishing I’d been smarter.  In college, I was in a really bad relationship.  I was with a guy for two and a half years that I worshipped…but he didn’t worship me back.  He also had a policy of “brutal honesty” which included telling me things like “I’m embarrassed to be seen with you in a swimsuit next to my friends’ girlfriends who are all thin and in shape.”  Lovely.  It was exhausting.

BUT.  I do love the school.  I got an absolute top notch education that opens doors for me all the time, and I made great friends that I love dearly.  And now, I’m replacing all those awful memories with great ones because we’re going to be getting married there.  As soon as I’m out from under my piles and piles of student loan debt, I will be donating to them regularly!

After I was done with work, my mom and I got a pedicure!  I made sure they didn’t shave off my running calluses.

It smudged.  😦

Then I checked into my hotel:

Which I picked because they give you one of these at check in!

Chocolate chip cookies.  Warm.  I saved mine for later, though!  They are so good.

Then I went to dinner with my mom and sister.  YUM.  The place we went is also a famous bakery.  Of course I had to purchase a souvenir:

Who brings bread on a plane?  Yup, me.  It is pretzel bread and it is heavenly.  Honestly, it is taking a whole lot of self control to not open the bag right now and rip off a big piece to eat.  Nobody does food like Chicago!

Anyway, now I’m home from dinner and blogging from bed and watching Glee.  Tomorrow will be some likely uninteresting training for work, then a flight back home to KC.  I’ll be blogging late again, I predict.

And, sigh, no blog-nouncement today.  Soon!  I’m just as excited as you are.  (Okay, probably more.)

What’s your favorite city for food? Mine is definitely Chicago!  You can’t beat deep-dish pizza, hot dogs, and Rainbow cones!


10 Responses

  1. I want to go to Chicago soooo badly! It’s one of the top cities I want to visit in the U.S. We talked about driving there on our Detroit trip, but it was just too far to do on so little time.

    I get really emotional going up to my old university too. Except, I’m still in the same city and have to be up there for work a lot. It makes me miss it 😦

    My favourite food city is my hometown, Moncton. Sounds lame, but the place has great restaurants 🙂

  2. That bread looks deadly – I’m such a sucker for soft-baked pretzels!

    Love your pedicure, by the way. When I go, I always opt for darker colors on my toes rather than white tips. Do you notice that pedicures never chip quite as quickly as manicures?!

    My fave food town is Atlanta (well, the northern suburbs, mostly). We go every summer and a trip to Sweet Tomatoes and J. Christopher’s is always in order. Sweet Tomatoes has the most amazing salad bar anywhere and J. Christopher’s has Blueberry crunchcakes which are basically blueberry pancakes with a little granola in the mix. Holy heavenly breakfast!

  3. Mmm . . . Giordano’s . . .

    Gotta give the shout out to my hometown, Cincinnati! Skyline chili (chocolate and cinnamon in chili!), Montgomery Inn Ribs, and Graeter’s Ice Cream! I love Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip!

  4. Italian beef sandwiches with sweet peppers, dipped. Oh, I miss my native Chicago food! And all of the good neighborhood ethnic foods. But, for my health, it is probably better not to have those daily temptations… Like Budacki’s on Damen.
    And I do feel nostalgic about NU. It is such a beautiful campus. The lake, Sheridan Rd. In the fall, the Shakespeare garden, crocuses on Deering meadow, and even the Tech. Building where I spent so much time.
    But it is a fine day here in south Florida and I will go out and enjoy it today :).

  5. My favorite city is San Francisco. Delicious seafood, awesome wine. You just can’t go wrong.

    My husbands grandmother and aunts live in Chicago and I’ve been begging him to take me up there for a few years now. We live in Texas, so it would be a LOT different! 🙂

  6. U rah rah! What year did you graduate? I was music ’05. Go cats! Also, where on campus are you getting hitched? Also also, congrats on getting so fit — you look awesome! I’m trying to get my fitness groove back in preparation for my may 2010 wedding (and the rest of my life), and am glad to have found your blog via bride on a budget.

  7. U rah rah! What year did you graduate? I was music ’05. Go cats! Also, where on campus are you getting hitched?

  8. GO U, NU! How I miss it… Chicago definitely has the best food!

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