Monday, August 23, 2010
Meeting on the Magnificant Mile
So - breezed in last night after a weekend in the 'windy city" - or so it is often referred to - Chicago, chi - town, home of Oprah Winfrey, The "Chicago School" of architecture, and oh yes, Vince Vaughn. Had to throw in Vince's name since we actually bumped into that famous wedding crasher down on the lakefront on Saturday morning, sweating off a few calories like the rest of us. You're looking good Vince - keep up the good work. It was my annual getaway with my BFF and since we were trying to find somewhere to meet in the middle between Toronto and Austin - sort of, we chose Chicago this year. We did New York last year and have concluded (this being our second trip to this mid-west mecca) that it has as much to offer as the big apple without the offensive smell and the possibility of a breeze in the middle of a hot August heatwave. It did not stink and we finally did feel a breeze by day three, so we counted ourselves lucky. We had both just finished reading Loving Frank and so Chicago seemed a rather apropos destination considering Mr. Lloyd Wright's humble beginnings in the city's Oak Park neighbourhood. I highly recommend the river cruise with the guided tour of Chicago architecture. I spent the weekend in the newly re-furbished Ritz Carlton where art deco reigned supreme and with the many buildings done in the same style throughout the city, it lifted the design world's current love affair with the "modern glamour" look of the moment to a whole new level. But this blog is not intended to be a travelogue, so I won't bore you any further with the details of my trip, other than to say, if you get there any time soon, check out Million Dollar Quartet for a fun night of musical theatre. And.....beware of a geriatric, bleached blonde female cabbie wearing a cocktail dress, five-inch stilettos and a thick German accent who is completely unfamiliar with the word "sisterhood". Thaaat beeeech is von scarey frauline. While you're at it, avoid the needy "new to town" driver from Louisiana who never shut up and forgot his GPS at home. We don't care - we really don't. We just want you to know where the friggin hotel is and we want you take us there NOW. If you don't know the downtown very well, head back to the burbs bub - do I look like a bloody native? Anyway, New York does have a leg up in that department - cabbies who actually have personalities and know where they are going.....most of the time. Where was I? Oh yeah. The whole point of this blog was supposed to be about my weekend and what it meant to me. I know I have spoken of this before in past blogs but it is worth repeating. I look forward to these "girlfriend" weekends more and more all the time. For a few days, in some far away city, I can just be "me". I am not someone's wife or mother, or employee. I only need to be a friend. Surely, it is a form of escapism. A departure from the daily grind, the roles we need to play and a maid to make my bed everyday. What more could a girl ask for? In fact, on the one drizzly morning, as we laid in bed watching a movie and eating room service breakfast in our thick white bath robes, we stopped to ponder our good fortune and I knew (we both knew) how fortunate we were and how grateful we both were to be there surrounded in a sea of comfort and luxury yet again, another year of friendship under our belts. We always, always, always have fun - as Oprah would say - I can count on it as "one thing I know for sure".