Apr 28, 2006

i discovered something last night that i must share: Wheach Beer. what is Wheach Beer? it is a delicious wheat beer flavored with peaches, made by the makers of a delicious pumpkin beer, O'Fallon Brewery. you really must try it if you see it in the store. packaged in a simple orange cardboard box (similar to the black jack-o-lantern sporting box the pumpkin beer comes in), it grabbed my attention at the liquor store, and i simply had to bring it home. my taste buds were rewarded....this is totally delicious beer. and it is fun! and pretty to look at!

Apr 24, 2006

so this weekend hubb and i (me twice, hubb once) visited a prospective condo building. and we're going again tonight. this process gives me ulcers. what are our priorities, and can we really give up a huge bedroom and a deck for a great price and an ideal location? i'm not good at this! i am NOT a person who settles, but i'm thinking our "perfect" place does not exist for a price we are willing to pay for it. apparently i have no idea how to compromise.

we also drank a lot this weekend. and we ate a lot. and we tried fan si pan on chicago ave for the first time. and we loved it. the honeydew limeade is totally kick ass, and we shared an aromatic chicken wrap that was divine. they start delivering today, and have added more delicious sounding items to a new menu. hubb and i are enamored with the little restaurant, and i plan to be eating/ordering from here often in the near future. if you haven't already, you really must go.

we also shopped a bit in between walking around in the warm sun, and i came up with a great 70's flowy skirt and some ultracool seagull earrings. fun times.

i'm wishing the office was closed today so i could be outside and even out my splotchy tan.

Apr 20, 2006

the vacation...so it went:

day 1:
ORD -> LAX, morning. we arrived to a sunny day, a doughnut, and my aunt and uncle happy to have us stay with them for the weekend. we spent our time with them eating tons of mexican food, drinking, sightseeing, driving up and down scenic roads, shopping and playing pass the pigs. we also visited a nomadic art exhibit on santa monica pier, ashes and snow. it was an unbelievably amazing experience, you really must go if you have the chance, as the exhibit has no plans to grace US soil again. next it is on to tokyo and then europe. also on santa monica pier, i enjoyed the largest margarita ever. good times, LA.

day 3:
LA -> san luis obispo. we started the day off with brunch with an old friend, catching up and sharing our lives. then off to the pch, with dooming clouds, cooler air and then rain. we drove through beautiful santa barbara, which we both agreed will begin our list of possible retirement spots. san luis obispo greeted us with more rain, a wine reception at our bed and breakfast, bubble gum alley, a delicious vegetarian dinner, and champagne.

day 4:
san luis obispo -> san francisco. clouds and fog didn't stop us from enjoying the drive and the views. we visited a tiny town called harmony, with a population of 18. we met some loud and smelly elephant seals at piedras blancas, we saw the tourists at hearst castle. due to intense rains, there occurred a mudslide just south of lucia that deterred our route onto a tiny untraveled road up the mountains to get to 101. though we were sad to miss monterey and carmel, we witnessed some of the most gorgeous views and had a wonderful heart pounding adventure along the way, trying to stay on the road. it rained some more. we arrived in san francisco to the hotel des arts, ate dinner in chinatown, and had drinks to celebrate our arrival at a nearby bar, recommended by a friend.

day 5:
san francisco -> wine country -> san francisco. it rained. there was mud. but there was also wine! and more wine! to celebrate our three year wedding anniversary, we drove up and down the lower parts of napa and sonoma, visiting hess, ravenswood, sebastiani, viansi, and one or two others. wine country was beautiful, even in the rain. the car in front of us paid our toll on the golden gate bridge. we landed back in san francisco in time for dinner, visiting foreign cinema for the best...dinner...ever. perfect anniversary experience. even in the rain.

day 6:
san francisco. finally some sun! we went shopping on haight, ate a painfully delicious burrito, and met up with our friends, jeff and anna. they showed us some sights, up hills for incredible views. i started to come down with the cold hubb had discovered himself a day or two earlier. our friend jeff invited us to a sushi dinner, where i drank much sake to escape my sore throat. a crack addicted homeless woman walked in to the restaurant asking for money. the homeless in san francisco are much more aggressive than i am used to. we watched a poetry reading outside of the 16th street bart station. you can read about that here as well. jeff brought chalk to make the audial experience more visual. it was amazing and i forgot that i was sick...

day 7:
san francisco. ...until i woke up the next day feeling like death. so i ate an orange, drugged up, and went shopping on hayes, which made me feel much better. we visited the de young, which was hosting an arts and crafts exhibit which made me fall in love with the era yet again. and forget that i was sick. until we made it to the end of the exhibit. so i fled golden gate park with some tourists from florida who paid my cab fare, and spent the rest of the day in bed at the hotel. then hubb came home and we got some thai soup. it was delicious thai soup.

day 8:
san francisco. i was feeling much better (on our last day on the west coast.) we drove across the bay to bolinas, a little artist town. rumor has it that they don't like visitors, so they take all of the street signs down to hinder tourists finding their way. but we found it and enjoyed the beach, mountain views, a bookstore with no employees. just a cookie jar and a note "most books $1, good books $2, really good books $5. great books $10, outstanding books $20. leave your money in the cookie jar, make change as needed." an honor system store. refreshing. we ate day old muffins and picked up interesting rocks. we ate burritos in the mission. we shopped, we drank, we ate pizza. then hubb and i boarded a plane from SFO -> ORD, exhausted and snotty and already daydreaming about our next visit to the west coast.

i'm almost free of congestion, and i'm happy to be back, but i'm in love with so much of my vacation and can't wait to visit the left coast again. soon. there are so many more wineries, shops, museums, and tiny towns on the coast that i have yet to see. hubb and i came back to chicago with some wonderful memories, a little bit of knowledge about a city we'd never visited before, and a love for cities and towns that touch the pacific ocean. and tons of photos and now a blog post to document and remember every detail.

this experience both reminded me of and taught me a few things. to appreciate minimalism, tradition, and antique methods. (bathing in clawfoot tubs, for one.) to experiment, and to be open to adventure. to let go of schedules, preconceived notions, plans, but to always be prepared. to really enjoy the little things, and ignore could-be obstacles. to make the most of it, to walk one more block, and to know when to quit. and to just have fun. i forget that sometimes.

oh, and today...happy 20 year anniversary to my best friend, gina. 20 years of friendship, silliness, seriousness, and growing up together.

Apr 19, 2006

I was in LA, I was in San Francisco, I was on the side of a mountain on an unmarked road with no guard rails, I was in Napa....now I'm home, and sick, and tired, and amazed at the wonderful trip and amazing experiences I was lucky enough to enjoy.

I've broken the rules I made for myself a long time ago, and I've posted lots of photos of myself. I'm owning up to my experiences, my words and my life. This is me and this was my vacation.

Here's a taste, with more to experience at flickr. I'll post a detailed account of our trip shortly.

Apr 7, 2006

bad morning. my shoe broke. i twisted my ankle. i've been hungry for lunch since 9:30. i am grumpy. it is drizzly. my hair is frizzy. i want to go home, do laundry, start packing. hope my new jeans shrink a little bit more in the wash. i want to eat a cheeseburger. and fries. comfort food.

i'm craving change, new wardrobe, new house, puppy....something. i hate being still. i need something new, but i'm not sure what it is yet. the same 'ol is killing me.

i'm also contemplating things, thinking about the future, the past, the present. i'm being vague, i know. i don't know what i'm doing.

i want it to be june and sunny and flip floppy and all skirt-wearing and sunglasses on the roof. i want it to be summer. i'm tired of this transition weather. i also want to be wearing less clothes, no more layers on layers, no more chilly fingers on my keyboard. no more drinking too much tea just to keep warm. i'm ready for a sunburn. 4th of july. fireworks.

i need some fireworks.

Apr 4, 2006

hubb and i came within inches of putting a bid on a place over the weekend, and i can't stop thinking about it. we made the right decision by letting it pass, but it was perfect in so many ways! space galore, open-ness, new kitchen-ness, 1-1/2 bath-ness, but location wasn't a strong point, and neither was storage, nor an attractive exterior. but an entire floor to ourselves! windows on every wall! walk up coach house! a customized layout! so last night i sketched out a layout of our "perfect" space, and it just happened to be almost identical to the place we're letting go. damn.

the emotional roller coaster of falling in love with space and going back and forth between being the convincer and the convincee is incredibly exhausting. good thing i had an emotional breakdown last week on an unrelated topic, or i would have been crying all day yesterday. a girl needs to get it all out every once in a while. i'm spent on tears now, and am back down to about 2 on a scale of 1-10. that's 8 whole notches i can take in house-hunting stress until the next blow-out.

so instead of buying a house, i bought some new clothes. two pairs of jeans, a cute green cardigan, adorable lacy shirts for summer. undies. and a rust colored linen dress which i hope to wear on the west coast during my vacation. maybe during wine tastings.