This post is a long time coming, and it’s honestly been hard to write because I’m so homesick for Chicago after spending an incredible (FORTIETH!!!) birthday weekend with friends in my hometown.
Who: My sister Emily, my BFF from growing up Aileen & her sister Shella, my fellow midwesterner that I met while living in California, Kate, my bestie forever, and G’s godmother, Shannon, and my #1 girl Greetings from Texas all held down the fort at the hotel for the weekend. Now in addition to this crew, SO many amazing friends from all the stages & phases of my life came out to celebrate. It was a bit humbling and overwhelming at times to look around and see all of the beautiful faces who have walked through life with me. My oldest and greatest friend of all time, Shelane & JCA represented with my very first high school friend Erin and the most beautiful Kate, all the girls we stomped around our twenties who have become lifelong friends, Hoppe, Jill, and E$ (they went to Iowa with Shelane & Kate, so lucky for all of us!). My “work friends” which sounds weird to call them that because when you spend 80% of your days and weeks for years with people, they are more than “work friends”, Eileen, Barbara & Kerry, and the bestest boss of all time, Pat. I learned more from that guy than anyone else in my career or otherwise, and John Hess, although he crosses with the next pack of friends Ryan & Michael who made a surprise entrance at the end of dinner.
Where: The Soho House was our home base for the weekend, and I honestly can’t say enough about their style, service and location. It’s in Fulton Market – right off Randolph/West Loop’y area, which is where it is ALL happening these days. Soho House is right around the corner from Girl & The Goat and walking distance to so many incredible restaurants. A few minute uber or el ride to downtown and Michigan Ave. Probably 10 mins in a car to Wicker Park & Bucktown, and I’d give yourself 15 mins in a car to Lincoln Park and the lakefront, just depending on traffic. It’s worth the price – which is pretty high – IF you are going to have time to stick around and enjoy everything the club has to offer, like the restaurants, rooftop deck & pool, and the gymnasium. Or just spend time in the room relaxing. They nailed Chicago with the rooms – exposed brick with rich antiques, a little industrial, a little posh, sweet & rock ‘n roll all at the same time. OK, who is ready to go back with me?
What: Brunch at Bongo Room; shopping in Bucktown; Drinks at Kaiser Tiger; Wanderlust 5K in Grant Park & the lakefront (brrrrrrr); coffee at Soho House, SURPRISE lunch at Headquarters Beercade, dinner at Momotaro, followed by cocktails back at Soho House.
Sunday morning brunch was across the street at Parlor Pizza bar (my mom and sister in law Tara joined us!) then we all bid a sad, albeit boozy goodbye, before Megan & I headed to Logan Square to take these amazing photographs with Melissa from Iron & Honey. I’m such a fan of all the pictures she takes for my favorite Chicago bloggers so was thrilled to get a chance to shoot with her! As Greetings from TX shares in her post, we were less than our ideal selves, but full of happy and grateful energy, so hopefully we didn’t seem like a bunch of crazies. Melissa? Grabbed a quick coffee with an old friend and headed back to the airport!
I’m going to be super honest and tell you that I missed my boys (all three of them!) SO much and wish they could have been part of the fun, but a quick solo weekend at home with family and old friends was just what I needed. We LOVE living in HTX and have every intention of this being where we raise our boys, and build their life of memories, but I legit cried as the plane took off and I looked down over the skyline and Lake Michigan. I’m just homesick, and I guess I always will be, because Chicago is where *I* grew up. It’s where all of my memories were made, including where we were married and where my big boy was born!
So what is the cure for homesickness? I’ve been making it back one/two times a year, and I think I just need to go more often! Who is with me?
Author: Candace Thomas