Thursday, December 13, 2018

New York City Day One (part 2)

I figured I could knock out some sight-seeing since I’ve never been in the Financial District before.  I wanted to find the infamous “Charging Bull’, but instead went down a street and found the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall.  It was then when I realized more and more people were coming out of nowhere.  Since it was after 12pm, I started to feel frustrated about my hotel room.  My friend was messaging me on when we could meet up, but I told him the situation I was facing.  I kept on sight-seeing.
I eventually found the Charging Bull and the Fearless Girl statues.  At this point my phone was acting up again.  Since I took some pictures I needed to charge it up again.  I walked back to my hotel, hoping my room would be ready, but again, no luck.  I sat in the lobby charging my phone and then went for a walk again to kill some more time.  I found a Century 21 and did some window shopping but I was getting delirious.  It was now 2pm and my room was still not ready.  My friend was getting impatient, and so was I.  I finally got some relief when the hotel told me over the phone that they had my room ready!  I ran over there as fast as I could!
Once I checked in, I showered up.  I was getting a migraine, and decided to lay down for 15 minutes until the Advil kicked in.  Then I jumped back up and got dressed.  It was now after 3pm and I haven’t started my day!  I told my friend I was on my way to meet him in Times Square and off I went.
By now, New York had a ton of tourists.  It was nearing rush hour and I was getting worried I would have to fight off the crowd to get to where my friend was located.  Unfortunately, his hotel was in Times Square.  Luckily I found the right hotel (apparently there are two of the same chain in Times Square) and we decided to get a bite to eat.  By now I was STARVING.  I knew we weren’t too far from the Moxy Hotel.  A friend had recommended the Magic Hour rooftop, and since the weather was cooperating, we decided to take a chance and check it out.  Since it was barely 5pm, there was a small crowd inside, and we ordered some drinks and appetizers to start our night.  I was still pretty sleepy, but the music was getting me in a good mood.  Once we finished up, my friend confessed to me that he really wanted to go to a jazz club in New York.  I started googling some spots and we chose the Birdland Theater.
We were in luck because a show was about to begin!  Lol  What are the odds?  We went downstairs and they sat us close to the stage.  A very entertaining singer came out and blew our minds away.  She did impersonations as well.  Everyone in the room had a great time.  She was also very funny.
Luckily my friend grew tired from his jet lag the day before.  Me on the other hand?  I was EXHAUSTED!!  I made my way back to my hotel.  We decided to meet up in the morning but I was glad we cut our night short.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

New York City Day One (part 1)

As I mentioned earlier, I booked a trip to New York City to see my French friend run the marathon.  It was a last minute thing, but I’m glad I went in the end.  I was pretty nervous about it, too.  The last time I was in New York was 10 years ago.  I remember how tough this city could be.  I also remembered how I would get lost riding the NYC transit.  I was getting stressed out.
Along with Halloween Day being on an unexpected day itself, I really had one day to look over my carry on.  My flight was early in the morning on Friday.  Of course I had thoughts of over sleeping, but it was mostly because leading up to that day, I WASN’T getting much sleep.  My friend made me feel better when he called me Thursday night.  He had arrived from France a day earlier.  For the first time in two weeks, I got a excited about this trip.
I had scheduled an uber pick up around 3:45am-4:10am.  My flight was at 5:57am.  Not exactly 6am, but enough to make you question what time they were boarding.  I wanted to miss the rush hour morning commute so I figured if I arrive at the airport before 5am, I should be fine.  My alarm went off and everything happened so fast after that.  I do not think I ever went into a deep sleep.  I got up and washed up and then changed into my clothes.  I was hoping to sleep on the flight.
My uber showed up right on time.  They even send you a reminder, just in case.  I remember being in the uber and praying that there would be no traffic heading to the airport.  I just wanted this part to be over.
Luckily at the airport, I got through security in no time.  I remembered looking at the other passengers at our terminal.  Some of them looked excited for their trip.  I wished I could feel that way, I thought to myself.
Part of the contribution to my nerves was the weather.  I checked leading up to my trip, and it never changed.  Thunderstorms were in the forecast the entire day.  I grew angry when the pilot warned us early on.  “Well the first half of our flight should be smooth; but the second half won’t be.”  What the hell???  I wish pilots could have a sense of empathy for the ones who are scared shitless of flying!
Well, as it was predicted, the turbulence WAS BAD.  I decided to brave through this and not take anything because it was a short flight.  But I never got any sleep.  It was a long 30-40 minutes of pure hell but in the end, we landed safely.  My body was exhausted from being tensed up.
I loved that I had my carry-on luggage with me.  Once we landed I zoomed out of there.  I didn’t realize how many people were at LaGuardia!  It was a bit frustrating trying to navigate towards the exit.  I was stuck trying to figure out what “bus” line I was supposed to take that will lead me to the subway station at Roosevelt.  A nice gentleman pointed out to me that I was to get a ticket inside the airport before I get on the bus.  I saw the customer service counter with the line forming and got behind someone.  Once I figured out that I was to purchase a metro card I ran outside to see if I could catch my bus.  Not yet!  I still had to obtain some receipt.  Again, someone helped me figure that part out.  I had to insert my metro card in a machine to obtain my receipt.  Luckily the bus was still waiting.  I jumped on and tried to give the driver the receipt but she just told me to “go ahead” and move towards the back.  So much for that.
I arrived at the Roosevelt subway station and checked my Google maps to see where I was going.  So far so good.  I caught my train and felt relieved I was on my way.  Of course once I got off my stop I was lost.  I walked around for a bit and found a Starbucks.  I needed to charge my phone so I went inside and ordered a latte while I waited for my phone to charge.  
Believe it or not, the weather in New York was unseasonably warm.  It neared 70 degrees that day!  I had on layers since it was much colder in Chicago, but by now, I was sweating and getting frustrated I couldn’t find my hotel.  I jumped in a cab.  He drove me up to my hotel (which was a surprise to me).  I finally found it!  What a relief!
Well, not exactly.  Apparently, my room was not ready.  I was thrown off.  I wanted to shower and nap for a bit.  Since I did not have a room yet, they agreed to hold my luggage and encouraged me to come back later.  “So, in about two hours?”, I asked.  “We sold out completely last night.  Hopefully.”  That did not sound promising.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Halloween Parade

This year Halloween Day fell on a Wednesday.  I started to get stressed out about my upcoming trip to New York and other things.  I used Sunday to do laundry and pack my things slowly on Monday and Tuesday.  I also snuck in my workouts since I was very tense.  I use light weights when I’m in this condition.  I like to do the workout movements so I could unleash my tension.  At this point I wanted Friday to come sooner rather than later.
My friend insisted on celebrating on actual Halloween.  There were parties all over, but most of them were late night.  The one that caught her attention was at the House of Blues.  I still had to come home and change but I had a migraine earlier during work.  I took something for it, and it did go away for a bit.  But once I was getting ready, I felt it coming back again.  I had to run out of the house because it was getting late.  By this time, everyone was meeting up at Boys Town to watch the Halloween Parade.  I made my way over there instead.
Luckily I found my friends because it was pretty chaotic when I got there.  The parade was about to start.  It was short but sweet.  People had to sign up in order to participate for the parade, but I have to say, some of the costumes were hilarious!  We all had a good laugh.
The parade lasted for about 30 minutes.  We walked around and tried to figure out what to do next.  Apparently at Fulton Market Kitchen they were having an event.  We took an uber over there but it was still pretty early.  They were having a whiskey tasting and my friends participated while I sat it out.  By now my migraine was throbbing and I tried my best to enjoy the rest of the evening, but secretly I wanted to go home.  We eventually left Fulton Market Kitchen and found ourselves at Punch Bowl Social.  Again, we walked in and the place was completely dead.  By this time we assumed most of the parties were going to get better late night, but I wanted to go home.  It was 10pm and my phone died out as well.  I said my goodbyes and took the train back home.  So much for that.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Halloween Weekend 2018

On Halloween Saturday, (even though Halloween was technically on Wednesday this year), our friend had a house party at her boyfriend’s place.  I luckily had a costume on time.  I had ordered it two weeks earlier and was relieved when it was delivered.  Talk about cutting it close!
Our friend from California was in town that weekend as well.  She wanted to meet up with us beforehand and we decided brunch was the way to go.  I made my way to CafĂ© con Leche and the girls already had a table waiting.  It was fun catching up with everyone.  We laughed a lot.  Our other friend brought her two kids and it was fun seeing them play around.  They’re growing up so fast!
Afterwards, one of the girls still needed some accessories for her costume.  We went to Party City to see what they had.  It was crazy packed in there!  Everyone was doing the same thing!  We waited a bit in line but that’s a reminder to everyone who procrastinates about things like this.
We all hung out at our friend’s place for a bit.  I went home and decided at the last minute that I had time to get my leg workout in.  I rushed to the gym and did my thing.  What I didn’t realize was how much time and preparation took place to get my costume ready.  Since it was in the package I had to iron it out but it was in bad shape.  My friends picked up me at a later time and we made our way over there.  They had on face paint and were also rushing to get their costumes ready.
Once inside, it was a hoot seeing everyone!  I love Halloween for that reason only!  

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A Disco Birthday Party

I had a dentist appointment on a Friday so I took the day off from work since I had to travel to the suburbs.  I finished my workouts earlier in the week and had nothing to do when I got back.  My friend who works at Disco in River North invited me to her birthday party.  I haven’t seen her in a while and wondered how she’s been doing.  I made up my mind that I was going to meet her downtown.
Luckily the weather was in the high 50s.  I opted to wear my fleece bomber with my new graphic t-shirt since I could get away from not wearing a coat.  I made my way to see her but she warned me to get there a bit later since it was still empty inside.  I have not been out in a while and it was interesting to watch people walk around in the area.  Once inside I made my way upstairs and found her table.  She looked beautiful in her sequined two piece.  Her other friends arrived and I recognized one of them from our trip to Las Vegas years ago.  We were goofing around and had a blast that night.  I miss dancing…

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tao Birthday Party

I’m back from my weekend in New York.  Of course I still had to settle in, but traveling to me is exhausting.  I know it has to do with my nerves more than anything, and like most of my trips, it was all over the place.  Regardless, I learned so much and can’t wait to share my experience!
Back to recapping October events.  My friend had her second baby recently, and we were surprised she wanted to do something for her birthday.  She wanted a night out with the girls.  That was fine by us!  We wanted to do something different and made reservations for Tao Chicago.  Ever since its grand opening, this restaurant has been hot in the scene.  We settled on a Sunday night since it was hard to accommodate everyone’s time and schedule.  I got a chance to wear my kimono dress I bought months ago for my birthday.  For a brief moment I thought I should wear it for my birthday but then changed my mind.  Oh well what can you do?
We met at the restaurant in groups.  Our friend in Michigan happened to be in town that weekend and we knew this would be a special surprise for her.  It was nice catching up with them in the meantime.  We goofed around taking pictures.
Once the 2nd group showed up, we hid our Michigan friend at the back bar and were seated at our table.  The birthday girl had no clue.  She cried when she saw her pop out!  What a moment!
We decided to order a tasting menu which suited everyone since we wanted to know how the food tasted.  Everything was DELISH!  I would definitely be coming back to Tao in the near future.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Drews’s On Halsted

Back in September I had a doctor’s appointment on a Saturday.  I hate having to leave the house when it’s my usual chore day, but this was a must.  I got up, had my breakfast, and got ready to head out.  I messaged my friend whom recently booked a trip to Egypt.  I was excited for him, and since I’m a sucker for a good travel story, I wanted to know the details about his upcoming trip.  We decided to meet up for lunch after my appointment.  
He wanted to meet at our spot in his Lakeview neighborhood.  I found him waiting for me at the bar, and that’s where we parked all night.  We talked for hours and caught up with one another.  It was a chill Saturday night and I loved every minute of it.  I’m beginning to enjoy more one-on-one interactions than a night in a club.  There’s so much going on and you never get to enjoy the conversation because of the distractions.  Maybe I’m just growing out of things…