Even though it’s been almost five years since I moved from Chicago to St. Louis, I still feel like I sort of half live there. My family and a vast majority of my friends are still there, so between weddings, holidays, family events, and big parties that we just don’t want to miss, Will and I probably make the 4.5 hour trek up I-55 at least every other month. I could probably drive that route in my sleep at this point, and come to think of it, I think I literally have – I do it so much I even dream about it.
Last weekend was our latest Chi-town adventure. Normally when we go up there, we try to pack as many people and events as we can into a 48-hour period, and this weekend was no exception. Below is the play-by-play for your reading pleasure.
8:30 am – 4:30 pm: Work. Blah.
4:30 pm: Pick up Gatsby at home. He immediately jumps into his crate when I tell him we are going to go see Riley, my parents’ dog and his homosexual love interest. More on this later.
5 pm: Arrive in downtown STL to pick Will up from work. Start texting him incessantly when he still hasn’t come down after 20 minutes of me waiting at the curb. Give him my best You Have Displeased Me look when he finally gets to the car.
5:20 pm – 10 pm: Drive. Drive. Drive. Cornfield mirage of something resembling civilization. Blink. Drive more.
10 pm: Arrive at my parents’ house in Wheaton. Let Gatsby out of his crate so he can explode from the car like a solo piece of canine confetti.
10:05 pm: Watch Gatsby latch himself onto Riley’s rear end like he’s hugging a redwood tree. Vigorous humping ensues. Riley tries to escape, but Gatsby is a quick one, even on two legs. I feel like I’m watching a sick furry conga line.
10:30 pm: Chat with parents while trying to keep the humping to a minimum.
12 am: Bed.
10:30 am: Go with my mom to meet my cute (and very pregnant) friend Stacey and her mom for breakfast at Egglectic. I try to fit in good breakfast food during all of my Chicago trips as I feel St. Louis is very lacking in that department for some reason.
12:30 pm: Return to my parents’ house to find Gatsby humping Riley. Give Riley an extra scratch behind the ears for being such a trooper and not biting my dog in half.
1 pm: My sister and MK and Vicki (two of my mom’s longtime friends) come over so we can plan our trip to Charleston, SC in a few weeks. We are going to visit MK’s daughter Becca, and I CANNOT WAIT. Palm trees? Yes, please.
3 pm: Head to the West Loop to meet up with a bunch of our college friends. Bar food and beer. Good times.
7pm: BULLS GAME!! I had not been to one of these since high school. Since we were such a big group (there were over 25 of us), we got a special shout out on the jumbo-tron (IWU 2004!) and free posters of some guy named Derrick Rose. Score!
7:30 pm: Take this picture. I am the only one who looks like an ass. Go figure.
8 pm: At this point, I am probably on my 4th beer. My memory of the rest of the night goes something like this: Luv-a-Bulls are wearing sequins and pleather. I find this amusing. Will is wearing his coat everywhere because he’s afraid someone will steal it. Also amusing. Emily puts her gum on the side of her cup while she’s drinking. This is so college. Guess what? I find it amusing. The game is over. I miss B.J. Armstrong. Hey, we’re at a bar! Pineapple hurricane $5 special? Don’t mind if I do! This bar stool is getting increasingly precarious. Time to leave. Stop at El Famous Burrito? Don’t mind if I do! Shouldn’t it be El Burrito Famoso? Huh. Chit chat with Megan and Amit about creepy rural Missouri meth addicts. Aaaaaaannnnnnd SLEEP.
9 am: Wake up. Shockingly, with no hang-over. This is turning out to be a GREAT weekend.
10 am: My parents pick us up at Megan’s condo and we head to North Ave. Beach to watch my brother-in-law Mark dive into ice cold Lake Michigan wearing nothing but a swimsuit and Indian headdress. Mark is odd, but even this behavior is abnormal for him. It’s called the Polar Plunge and it’s for charity.
11:30 am: 3rd Coast for brunch. This is my very favorite hidden gem of a restaurant in the Gold Coast. I’m only sharing it with you because you are nice enough to read my blog, but don’t tell too many people about it. If I have to wait to be seated the next time I go there, I know who to blame…
2 pm: Stop back in Wheaton to pick up Gatsby. His romantic weekend with Riley is over. He looks depressed.
3 pm: Drive back to St. Louis for what seems like THE REST OF MY LIFE. These drives home are always the worst.
8 pm: Home! Oscars! Great end to a great weekend!