Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'll give you one guess where we spent last week ... Chicago! And what a fun week it was (all photos here). Trips to Michigan Avenue, dinner overlooking the lake, a party at Wrigley Field, shopping in the neighborhoods, Wrigley Field, movies with the folks, deep-dish pizza, Wrigley Field, a quality wedding, oh yeah, and there was that party at Wrigley Field.

Let me back up a bit. The trip was inspired by an invitation to a friend's wedding (Karl Shibayama), but we spent a good amount of time visiting with the family in Arlington Heights, too. Lots of yummy dinners, nights at the movies, shopping, and just catching up with Jim/Dad & Carol/Mom (a nod to how they sign cards to us). I especially liked looking through Jimmy's 50-year high school reunion book filled with classic '50s photos of a skinny, teenage Hutch (sound like anyone you know?). This prompted us to watch one of Chris' high school home videos made for an economics class. He is so adorable, I had to bring it home. If I knew how to make a VHS into a YouTube video, I would post it here.

After a few days with the parents, during which time they managed to escape photographic evidence, we headed to the city to meet Chris' college friend Anne. She lives in the great little neighborhood of Lincoln Square, which like many of the great neighborhoods in Chicago is tree-lined with a lovely fountain in the middle of a Euro-like plaza. Just fantastic! I came to find out that Anne and I have similar tastes, and it was so fun perusing design shops and bookstores with her. She took us to the old Swedish neighborhood, Andersonville, within walking distance of her apartment, where we were in and out of antique stores and modern print shops all morning. Chris and I picked up some great maps that will fit right in with the other prints in our apartment. Anne went out of her way to be a great hostess and we had a lot of fun thanks to her (Thanks, Anne!).

The two-day Shibayama wedding extravaganza started with the rehearsal dinner at, oh, just a little place called WRIGLEY FIELD! Initially, when we headed off to Chicago, Chris was understandably bummed that the one week we're in town, the Cubs are out of town. So we figured at most we might drive by Wrigley just so he could shed a tear or kiss the sidewalk or whatever the sacred ground at Clark & Addison call for. But instead, we got a semi-last-minute invite to the rehearsal dinner being held there. It was quite the experience having dinner overlooking one of the best baseball stadiums, although it was eerily empty. I also got to meet some of Chris' childhood friends and listen to them talk about Da Bears. And he may have been more than a little jealous to find out the wedding party got to run the bases and hang out in the dugout before the other guests arrived. Dinner was delish and so were the adorable little cupcakes for dessert.

The wedding itself was at a restaurant on Michigan Avenue, Spiaggia. From our table we had a view of Lake Michigan and the food, again, was so good. My favorite dish: the veal & fennel filled pasta ... mmmmm! Chris reminisced with his buddies some more, constantly updating everyone via iPhone on the the Bears' preseason game going on just a few miles away, and we got in more than a few dances (Lionel Ritchie and 80s music in general seemed to be the crowd favorite). And just as the clock struck midnight and my feet started to scream from the spectacular but high heels I was wearing, we scurried down to our hotel and slept like babies.

Breakfast with Jim & Carol the next day was a nice send-off, and then we made the trek home to San Jose. Good family, good friends, and a good vacation. What a fantastic way to cap off the summer.

Posted by Kelley at 10:54 AM | 0 comments