All of the fatigue and frustration from last week disappeared this weekend. It was the first weekend in more than a month that I didn’t travel or host guests.. and as much as I do enjoy visiting Chicago, St. Louis or hosting my Dad or friends, it’s soooooo nice to just relax.
After work Friday, I met Matt at Blanc Burger for Happy Hour on The Plaza, KC’s premier shopping district. It was the last weekend the Plaza’s “famous” Christmas lights were lit. They were absolutely beautiful.
Photo from: http://www.fastmall.com/blog/?tag=chicos
After trying some delicious Happy Hour deals with Abita Purple Haze and Schlafly (yum), Matt and I walked a couple blocks to the Palace Movie Theater to catch “The Dilemma.”
The movie theater was aweSome.
Upon entering, we immediately walked upstairs and had to walk through a series of hallways and an overpass tunnel to get to our theater. We quickly realized that this wasn’t shaped like an ordinary theater. The actual, individual theaters sat on top of restaurants, bars and shops and extended down the blocks of the Plaza. When we arrived at The Dilemma’s theater, we realized we were standing right above Blanc Burger! We had gone full circle. When we looked out the window, we saw the entrance of the theater a block away, something like the below:
Photo from joshuakennon.com
The movie was fun. I like Vince Vaughn and Kevin James and they worked well together. And it was fantastic watching scenes from Chicago and Lucent in Naperville.
Saturday was a relaxing day that ended going to Overland Park for dinner at a friend’s house. Sunday was even nicer - we went to the local dead mall to shop. And by “dead mall”, I mean it used to be a very nice mall, similar to the Yorktown Mall. When Zona Rosa, a nearby beautiful outdoor shopping center, opened, it offered TIFS that drove the shops out of the mall and into Zona Rosa.
Currently, this huge mall only has a Macy’s, Bath and Body Works and about maybe five other open businesses. All of the other places are closed.
Fortunately, Macy’s and Bath and Body Works was exactly what we needed. Matt had a Macy’s giftcard and I helped him pick out a stylish belt, wallet and work pants. I visited the Macy’s After-Christmas 90% Off Sale (as is a tradition with my family) and picked out a BEAUTIFUL angel ornament that was only $1 after the discount.
Then, we checked out Bath and Body Works. It was last day of the CHRISTMAS sale!!!! I bought a couple of my favorite Christmas plug-ins for ONLY A DOLLAR! And a couple of candles. And lip gloss. Awesome.
The night ended with Mass and dinner. Dinner was fantastic —- pictures to come later!
Life is good. :)
Merry Belated Christmas, New Year’s and Thanksgiving everyone! It’s been busy. And now the “most wonderful time of the year” is over - I still have Polar Express and Holiday Inn taped. I hope it’s still acceptable to watch them (and even if not, I don’t care).
First, Thanksgiving. I ate a delicious dinner at McCormick & Schmicks in Oak Brook with my parents, aunt, uncle and cousin. Afterward, my parents and I roamed a near empty Oak Brook Mall — for the second year in a row, we paraded around the brightly lit mall as though it was lit just for us.
It was magical.
As Christmas neared in Kansas City, I…
Celebrated Jesus’s coming at Mass,
Decorated the apartment,
Cooked snacks for Christmas parties
And went Christmas shopping at Zona Rosa (where I witnessed the first snowfall).
More to come soon!
… was awesome. A vacation, really, in KC. And like many good vacations, a variety of restaurants and bars were tried.
Matt’s sister and friend came to visit Friday night. We decided to check out Minsky’s Pizza Cafe & Bar, a pizza chain exclusive to Kansas City.
The pizza gave Chicago a run for its money. There were about 20 different pizzas and 42 toppings to choose from. Want sauerkraut and almonds? I don’t know why you would, but you can. The most popular pizza, and our recommendation, was the Papa Minskys, a pepperoni, sausage and salami pizza roasted with red peppers in a special Italian sauce and topped with mozzarella and Romano cheese.
I accompanied the pizza with a Miller Lite, much to the chagrin of my Bud-loving, St. Louis-native friends. I later wore a Cubs T-shirt to further piss them off. Gotta stay loyal to the City haha :)
Saturday morning, I went over to Matt’s and helped make breakfast. Yes, I cooked! Being a resident advisor in college was great, but having all my meals prepared for me was a hindrance to my eventual cooking career (hah). Anyhow, I learned how to make breakfast burritos from scratch. It was pretty simple, but fun and delicious. I may put the recipe up later.
After a tedious morning/afternoon of furniture shopping for and hauling furniture around, our group decided to check out Fat Fish Blue, a Cajan restaurant in Zona Rosa. It was … interesting. The atmosphere was great, very conducive to the jazz scene it boasts at night. Dimly lit, the sporatic brick and red painted wall design surrounded a pretty large restaurant space with a stage in the center back. Every customer got Mardi Gra beads, which we immediately started playing Cat’s Cradle with. Yes, we’re 3rd graders.
Matt and I split the Bourbon St. Sampler (Daddy’s gumbo, mumbo jambalaya, cup of red beans and rice, corn bread) and the Fried Shrimp Po’ Boy (5 shrimp sandwich with sweet potato fries). The tastes were unique, but really, the food was mediocre at best, especially at its high price. My aunt makes a better jambalaya. Matt’s sister ordered crawfish to split with her friend, and they, too, reported disappointment. However, it was a still a good time and my taste buds did enjoy the variety.
Afterward, Matt and I lost our group. We found them at 54th Street Grill, a bar home to Kansas City and St. Louis. We drank Goose Island and played the “Find the Differences Between These Two Pictures Game” for an hour. Think Highlights for Children. Just more evidence that I’m still in 3rd grade at heart.
That evening, we hit the KC hot spot — the Power & Light District. The district consists of blocks of bars and restaurants, with a huge amphitheater in the center. We started at The Flying Saucer, a bar with 240 beers on tap. Holy guacamole. The Blind Pig, you are no longer as cool as I once thought you to be. I was pretty boring and tried a basic Harp, but I was in the mood for Irish beer that was light, and Harp did the trick! While readily available, I don’t think I’ve ever had it before. Delicious. I also tried the beer cheese soup as a small dinner. Gross.
Next, we checked out Tengo Sed Cantina. Ugh. I should have known I would not be enjoying myself when the big bouncer charged $5 to all who entered. Think Clys on steroids. It was way too dark, way too loud, way too glitzy and way too “hip” for my liking.
And, when we sat down at a booth, the bouncer sauntered over and announced that men were not allowed to sit down unless they ordered some fancy, expensive bottle. What?! Oh, that did not rub me the right way. We left. Never again. No tengo sed para su cantina!!
Last stop: Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge. This fancy-smancy bar was empty when we arrived, but the five of us brought the party. Drinks were $8 — a high price to pay when you’re used to Champaign’s $1 — but they kept sobriety, I suppose.
Dance, dance, dance. That’s pretty much what it boiled down to. It wasn’t a dancing bar and no one else was dancing — we all just felt like it. Loren and I showed the group how to swing dance and Charleston, and slowly not only did our group start dancing — but so did everyone else in the bar!!
It was a fantastic night and a great introduction to Kansas City. More to come later! :)
City skyline on a foggy day
Matt & I
Hallmark Headquarters — celebrating 100 years!
DT KC is much more sprawling and green than Chicago … but it doesn’t have the lake.
The Plaza (taken from the car)
The Plaza (again)… beautiful architecture
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
The past week’s been crazy. I went to Murphy’s for the last time (for awhile at least).
Then, I packed up and left Champaign (*tear*). P.S. Sorry MK for the holes in the wall… hopefully they’ll get patched up.
On the way home, I stopped by Bloomington to wish a good friend well — she just left to join the FBI!!
Once in the western suburbs of Chicago, I’ve been working full-time, unpacking, organizing and preparing for bigger and the better things to come (to be disclosed in good time :D ). And that’s why I haven’t been online… sorry folks.
On Wednesday, my Dad and I saw The Jamez Band in Bolingbrook.
It was a fantastic show for many reasons! First, the music combines the talents of original musicians from many prominent oldies’ bands, including The Cryan Shames and The Allman Brothers Band. They played tunes from not only the Shames and the Allman Brothers, but also Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. A synthesizer added some spice to the music.
In addition, the concession stand sold $1 hot dogs and $2 beers!! You can’t find that anywhere else in Chicago! I accidentally spilled my beer when I first got it (sober as can be…), and the concession worker offered me a new one — free of charge! The atmosphere was also ideal — beautiful weather with a cool breeze, a fountain in the distance, a huge hill facing the stage — it was lovely.
Last night, I met my friend John, who’s flying to Houston this weekend, at the Yorktown Mall’s Nite on the Town Concert Series to see Petty Cash, a band that covers, guess, Tom Petty and Johnny Cash songs (chuckles). Again, the weather was amazing (no humidity)! After, we went to Ballydoyle in Downer’s Grove for a drink. It was a chill, nice night.
Now, I’m off to my friend Sarah’s for a party in Elmhurst. Ohhh, Chicago suburbia.
Also, my boyfriend got a hugge promotion at work. I’m so proud of him. Life is good!