So, last week was Hubby's 40th birthday and I would love to tell you that he handled it gracefully, but I don't think that would be entirely honest. Now, he didn't come home with a red sports car or some other mid-life crisis toy, but he did complain a lot about getting old. Now let me tell you, I think he looks pretty great, but that didn't help him much last week.
Originally, I had planned on throwing him a huge party that would last the whole weekend with a surprise portion happening at the House of Blues followed the next night with a balcony on Bourbon Street with a band and lots of food. Well, right before I signed the contracts for Wes-Fest '09, he somehow caught wind of it and let me know that he really wouldn't be comfortable with such an extravaganza (he doesn't really like people to fuss over him). So, I pouted for a couple of days and then decided that it wasn't about me, it was about what he wanted (plus, I got the brownie points for planning the event without actually having to follow-through with the work).
Anyhow, what Hubby wanted was a trip to Chicago to see his buddies that he hadn't seen in ages. So, off we went this weekend! We were met there by his friend from New York and his Swedish fiance (NYC & the Swede). We were all staying at the Dana Hotel & Spa which was really cool. The rooms were a little small, but very chic and had the bonus of a little balcony. The biggest plus of the place was the spa and we all had massages scheduled! The guys got theirs on Saturday morning, the Swede and I waited until Sunday.
Friday afternoon when we got there, the first priority was finding something to eat! We made our way over to Lou Malnati's for some deep dish and were so fat and happy afterwards. God, I love melty, cheesy goodness. After that, we definitely needed a walk to work off the pizza, so we started walking toward the river and from there to the lake. I think we probably walked a good two or three miles. Then we found a little bar with some outdoor seating right on the river for some Irish coffee and lots of laughs. I haven't laughed as much in a while as I did over the course of this weekend. The Swede and I get along so well and she has the most amazing sense of humor, I am so thrilled that NYC is going to marry her. (Plus, they're getting hitched in Sweden, so I'll get to head over there for at least a week next summer)
After a while, we decided to head back to the hotel for showers and a little rest before heading out to dinner to meet up with a couple more friends. Dinner was at the Kinzie Chop House and we met up with Newbie and Mrs. Newbie, who live in Chicago and T-Sum who calls Dallas home. Dinner was phenominal and again, we were laughing our asses off the whole meal. It's great when you get a group of people who all get along so well together. No awkward silences for us. I think the only time we were quiet was when our mouths were stuffed.
Following dinner we headed out to one of Hubby's favorite old hangouts, Delilah. It was pretty much a dive bar, with great atmosphere and we continued to have a great time. Another friend met up with us, we'll call him Nugent because he looks just like Ted! There were a couple of other people with us as well, but NYC, Newbie, T-Sum and Nugent were pretty much Hubby's closest friends when he was in Chi-Town, so I think they're the only ones I'm going to bother making up nicknames for. We stayed there talking and drinking until last call (2:00am) and again, we had a blast. It was great not having to worry about whether or not we were going to have to get up early in the morning and take care of Bean. My friend, Sugar Britches (SB, nickname from the Vegas trip) was taking care of her for the weekend, how awesome is that?! I think I'm going to have to dedicate an entire post to her Facebook status updates, they were hysterical!
In spite of not "having" to get up early, for some reason we were both up by 8:00 the next morning. Uggh, I hate the internal alarm clock that happens when you have kids! Well, we had a great breakfast at the hotel, and then Hubby made his way to the spa and I ventured off with the Swede to Michigan Avenue to buy presents for SB and Bean. I also introduced the Swede to the joys of Ghiradelli, I think she shall love me forever!
That afternoon, we gathered up the boys and headed over to an event that the Newbies had put together, a smoked rib cookoff. Yum-E! It was held at a really cool bar called Moonshine, and they had one of the ribs that we voted for. Really good stuff! My kind of event, going around sampling ribs from 13 different teams and drinking beer! Plus, I got to meet Newbie Jr. who is 18 months old and absolutely adorable. I had lots of fun playing with that little boy!
After many ribs and much beer, we decided to go back to our rooms, so we could rest up a little before going out. Plus, I really wanted to catch a little college football. My Gators and Tigers both did great! The guys went and grabbed a little dinner at the restaurant in the hotel, but I grabbed a bite from the Whole Foods around the corner and stayed in the room to watch a little more ball. I gotta tell you, I was pretty tired! I'm definitely not accustomed to going out more than one night in a row with day-drinking thrown in. So, that night when it was time to go out, I wasn't terribly excited about it, but was happy to know that I would be making it back to the hotel early (we had promised the boys they could have guys' night).
We met up with everyone at the Matchbox, so named because the place is tiny. There was no place inside for all of us to sit and talk, so we grabbed a table outside and I was introduced to a gimlet. Yummy, yummy! It's basically like a key lime martini, with powdered sugar around the rim of the glass. So good! We were pretty much the same group as the night before with the addition of MW (Music Writer), who is best friends with Nugent. She was really nice, but I think a bit dissappointed in the rest of the girls when we headed home early. I had to go, though, I was just so beat! Plus, I wanted to be able to enjoy my massage the next morning. I'm glad I didn't decide to hang with the guys because Hubby made it back to the hotel around 6:30 in the morning and NYC didn't make it until after 8:30!
The massage was definitely the best way to end an already great trip. I was so relaxed when we got home and it was awesome seeing my Bean. SB did a great job taking care of her and even did a little housework for me while we were gone. Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have such amazing friends? Hubby was also recharged during this trip from being around his closest friends. I think sometimes the stress of work can get to him and being around people who can totally distract him for a little while is a great thing!
I know I need to post some pics, but I haven't downloaded them yet. I'll try and get them up soon!