From Michigan, we made our way back to Chicago! That first night we had a date night at Bad Apple for bar food and glorious beers.
Reggie – Liz and Al’s cat – with the Trump pinata ahead of the family union festivities…

From theirs, we made our way to the wedding party, which was hilariously just at some suburban airbnb home in a Northwest suburb. And the host was there! She earns a living by renting out her house, Uber’ing and performing as an opera singer. At the end of the night she performed some operatic pieces with Liz’s brother on the piano. It was great!

The wedding reception was re-dubbed a ‘family union’ because it brought together Liz and Al’s family and closest friends with the intention to make this a repeated affair (thus, a family re-union).The Trump pinata was stuffed with tiny liquor bottles, lottery tickets, $1s, condoms, chicklets and shitty candy! This is my girl.The next morning we got up to meet one of my favorite people: Molly (the one who went to Nicaragua with me) and her boyfriend Eric. I absolutely adore Molly. I wish we lived in the same city. She’s just so different from anyone I’ve ever known. Eric is also wonderful! I’d never met him, but he endeared himself super quickly. We went from brunch to this old theatre that’s now a charity shop and some stranger walked up to me and handed me a weird polka dot dress saying, “this is for you. I just think this would suit you.” and I had some awkward minutes deciding how long I should hold the hanger to be polite and whether I should try it on even? Is that something a nice person would do even with a pretty awful dress?From there, we headed to the Cubs game! THE MOST FUN. Jack had never been to a baseball game and – besides a crash course in baseball rules from my dad – I mostly explained the game as it happened. It was honestly such a fun game (plus the pitcher was a true stunner: Jake Arrieta. Only shame is he’s a self-described ‘life coach’. You were doing so well, Arrieta!) and very close at one point. They have one of those old school scoreboards with actual people inside of them removing single number panels as the scores change.Fowler!After the game, we meandered – to a Goose Island tap room, then this beer emporium before our byob experience at the incredible Mixteco (Michellin listed Mexican!). From there, we made our way (very late at this point) to the Green Mill for the 11 – 2 am performance that night. I had my favorite NYE ever at the Green Mill with Molly years ago. Also the coldest I’ve ever been (somehow I blocked this memory out from my childhood).We also managed a trip up north to explore my childhood home (Wilmette), which was Jack’s one request (!), so we saw the house I grew up in (no house will ever be as wonderful to me), my old neighborhood, the wonderful Baha’i Temple, Gillson Park, harbor, lake shore and family beach. I really didn’t appreciate it enough when I was little – it’s an absolute dream place to live. Just so nice. Jack wants to move there.Our last full day in Chicago we got up to go on an architecture boat tour cruise, which was terrific. This little old lady with a big ass hat was our tour guide and was just full of endless information, almost an auctioneer with her unbroken anecdotes and stream-of-consciousness deets.
After the tour we went to my friend Gabbie’s family restaurant which – I’m such a bad friend – I didn’t realize is an incredibly famous restaurant in Chicago (Erie Cafe). After a long lunch, we made our way to the Adler Planetarium hoping there would be a sweet Pluto exhibit, but it was only ok. The movies you can see are the real reason to go. You can see these spectacular images of space in a lay-back IMAX theatre. We learned about how scientists can detect distant planets and therefore new solar systems, which was super cool. From there, Millenium Park fly-through and yummy Korean food with Liz and Al (at Bop-N-Grill) before heading back to theirs. Only one more morning, so time in Andersonville for a Swedish brunch and papergoods shopping.Then flying home D: I never wanted to leave D: Jack also (more seriously though) wants to move there. I do too.


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