My trip to Chicago was fueled by a 8 year friendship with Kay and my work at HarryPotterFanFiction.com. It was originally supposed to be a work-free weekend but things sort of get hazy after that as CBS and CNN got involved. Its one of those things where every time something gets mentioned a memory/event you forgot about surges into your brain. It was an exhausting weekend, a time of your life weekend, and something I will never ever forget. So, I’m taking a page out of Meg’s book and listing some highlights for each day.
-20 something hours on a train that ran out of food. Kay went shopping for emergency rations to feed me as soon as I got off because, frankly, my tweets were beginning to scare everyone. (Pull and remove anyone??). A granola bar never tasted so phenomenal.
-The Italian shop with the best selection of imported goods ever. I stared awestruck on each aisle and found it almost impossible to make choices. I did end up with some cookies from the bakery (this will be important later!) and then Kay got all the stuff to cook me the most fantastic meal ever at her place.
-Got to Kay’s and we curled into comfy clothes while she opened her gifts and then started cooking. Yeah, it was nearing 11 before we even turned on our Godfather marathon. Homemade gnocchi, wine, handmade tiramisu (we’ll skip the debate of the five second rule as it relates to brandy infused frosting) and….CBS.
-I won’t rehash CBS drama because many of you were on in the middle of the night to watch it unfold. The ending result was Kay and I downing french press coffee in the middle of the night, pulling archive data, checking NY flight info, cursing repetitively just to ease stress…and Jay rushing to get a flight to Chicago. This is about when most of the members following on twitter started worrying at what the hell their staffers lives were really like
-A few hours of sleep and a to-die-for breakfast of bananas foster french toast (bananas foster..it’s a staff thing). Next time I shall skip the butt in my face regular with the Mickey Mouse plates in favor of hugs from Chef Troy.
-Most of the rest of this day is a blur to be honest. I know I still wasn’t getting fed Starbucks and Kay and her friend Grace took me on some weird train with drunken sailors with open cans of beer (that’s 12+ right? Warning: blog will contain instances of alcohol use…). Kay’s significant other and I got into a debate in the car about the space shuttle launch, sleeping with British men and whether or not I’d kick Jay’s behind for him. I actually don’t remember if we saw any sights (my camera I’m sure would tell the tale) but we finally did make it to our wonderful hotel right in the heart of the city.
– “Touching” of the hotel general manager. We needed a conference room for the interview and Kay decided to put my southern charm to work. Grace flipped a little with my *cough * method but we ended up with a perfect room (for free!) …and I ended up with an offer of an “awe-inspiring” liaison to see acrobats, watch fireworks and ride the ferris wheel at Navy Pier with the man. For the record – I turned him down as we were awaiting Jay’s arrival. Another for the record? The fireworks were the one “must do” on my list for the trip. Jay owes me fireworks. Just sayin.
-Jay’s arrival is pretty much recorded on all of twitter. His horrible cab ride, being dumped in the middle of the city, the drunk girl with the flower standing on the street corner to welcome him. Kay and I took all this in stride and sat at the hotel bar sipping our drinks, knowing a man who flew across the ocean at a moment’s notice to be with us would find us eventually. It was kind of fabulous like that. (Marco….)
-After grabbing food at Navy Pier for a very humpy Jay (hungry + grumpy, don’t judge) we decide CBS could wait and took off to find some nightlife. Everywhere was busy and we turned away from several different places on Rush Street (I think that’s the area…). We entered this one place that had 80’s music going and then left when we saw it was standing room only. Back out on the street, a debate was raging on what to do until I finally got irritated, pushed our way back into the bar and commandeered us a table right by the stage, the bar and on the edge of the dance floor. Not at all like me (wallflower here) but the waffling was exhausting. Non 12+ things ensue but let’s just say that drinks flowed, dancing occurred, the Brit shook his head at his three girls belting out “Sweet Home Alabama” over the crowds, he almost had to fight a handsy employee (gotta love Brit heroes) and the wait staff quickly learned to keep out table well stocked and were nice enough to quickly replace all the drinks that got spilled. Oh yeah, and this was when the shoes got kicked off. Country girl in the big city…what can I say?
-After a cab ride (and OH how that cabbie despised us…he even locked the dividing window because Kay, Jay and I were pissing him off so much which, of course, only made us roll down all the windows so we could yell at Grace in the front seat to continue our conversation) we retreated to the hotel where poor Grace decided we were all nuts and went to bed when we started flipping on the computers to get to work. HPFF took over and, as exhausted as we were, it all ran like clockwork. We each had our assignments and except for desperate cookie break pleas from Jay (italian bakery to the rescue!) and Jay trying to second guess me when I had to spout archive stats to Kay (he looked them up to check me…and promptly cursed me which was kind of endearing to both Kay and I hearing the proper Brit say dirty words) we managed to get everything done. Last minute calls to the desk (who know me by name now) got Jay linens for the sofa bed and we had a new roomie. Another tidbit I can’t put up on here but let’s just say that Grace awoke the next day to being alone in the two double beds by herself while Kay and I were curled on the floor at Jay’s feet, sheets and blankets for all the beds scattered throughout the suite.
And that…is Day 1, sort of. Obviously, it all kind of runs together