Jul 6, 2004

Here I am, T-minus four days in Evanston and counting, not doing much work today as I recover from a fabulous 3-day weekend. Friday night Hubb got off work early and met me in Evanston for a little shopping and dinner. We attended an art opening at a gallery on Division where I fell in love with everything after a glass and half of wine. We then rented Spellbound, which made us laugh and laugh and laugh. Best...documentary...ever.

The rain on Saturday let up enough for a quick walk to the bank and back. We rested and napped and enjoyed each other's company while the rain ruined countless barbecues for our fellow Chicagoans. It was nice to not have anything planned. We met some friends for a mexican dinner (margaritas and civiche to celebrate American independence) and then briefly attended a party where we totally missed seeing any fireworks, but spent part of the evening in the presence of a little pet American alligator.

Sunday's weather was more hospitable to outdoor activities, so we packed some water and napkins and headed down to the Taste. We had a pretty good time people-watching, and due to our penny-savvy food choices, we stuffed ourselves on a mere $21, ending with lobster tail and a frozen chocolate covered banana. Yum! We grilled a late dinner on our roof, and ate during sunset to the sound of a million firecrackers going off all around us. After the sun went down the real show began! We had a 360 degree illegal firework show for nearly three hours. I can't even describe what an amazing experience it was. It engaged all the senses: the sounds of thousands of screaming people, firecrackers popping like crazy; the sights of beautiful fireworks exploding all around, the smoke that filled the air and lit the sky a brilliant purple-pink; the smell of the firecracker smoke drifting over the rooftops, the grill cooking our meal and then our neighbor's; the explosion of a particularly low and large firework, so close that we could feel it in our chests; the taste of our dinners, smoked and grilled during this Independence Day celebration. It was an amazing Fourth of July. The best ever.

Yesterday was spent being lazy, as it should have been on a rare work holiday. We laid around reading, napping, e-mailing, watching tv. We ventured out for a nice long walk to window shop and get a lunch burrito, then to the Art Store for a canvas and some paint. We finally hung our pictures on our naked walls, and are that much closer to looking settled. We still have an empty expanse above the couch, and a large empty wall in the bedroom, but some yard sale Audubon prints and our presently blank but soon-to-be-art-covered canvas will fill the void soon enough.

Maybe it was the unplanned schedule of the weekend that made it so special to me, maybe it was the experiences spent with my husband, maybe it was the starry-eyed, newlywed state we were in, but I can honestly say this weekend was one of the all-time best ever. It was a wonderful way to begin this new chapter of my life. I can't wait to see what next weekend will bring...

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