Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chicago - finding long lost friends,
that I never knew I had
Day one part two

After my run and second shower I headed out the door of the hotel, got in the elevator sat on the couch in the elevator to decided where I was going to go.
This is a new side of me these past few years. To have no plan and just go with the flow. If anything now I feel I error on the side of not planning enough. I knew if I was to plan out my days in Chicago I would feel like I missed a bunch of stuff and then be disappointed. I am in a process of lowering my expectations in life without expecting nothing - does that make sense.

So I looked on my map and figured out where Paper Source was. Every Paper Source store I have been to is in an amazing location so I figured it would be a safe bet at to what part of town to go to first.

I asked the concierge to show me how to get there and then I went off to catch a cab and discover the city.My cab driver was so nice and friendly. He told me his favorite things to do in the city - mostly places to eat and drink, gave me little historical facts as we were driving and asked me if I was visiting friends in the city. I told him I didn't have any friends in Chicago and he said, "then I am your first" He must have known that the people in Chicago would be very nice to me that day.
He pointed out the Pink Pig Slug Bug that even oinks. It was a bit annoying but was my favorite photo from my girls when I got home.
I started in Lincoln Park/Old Town area (not sure which) on North Halstead street. I just starting walking and discovering.

One of the first stores I found was Fox's. It had uber cool clothes but was really crowded and you would have thought they were giving clothes away with the way that everyone was grabbing items off the racks. They even had a security guard in the store, which was really small. I didn't buy anything but was glad it was their fall party because they had food and it was noon and I had not eaten anything but a power bar.
So when I walked past this little diner and looked at some one's plate in the window I knew this is where I was going to eat. I sat at the little bar because I didn't want to waste a table for just little old me.
I ordered the eggs Benedict and these incredible flat potato fries. I was starving and this was the perfect meal to hit the spot. My waitress was in her 50's and very friendly. I was sitting by the cash register so she gave me some Chicago scoop while she was waiting to ring people up. Her identical twin sister worked there too so they played a little joke on me while I was eating. I wish I would have asked them for a photo - they were cute.
I don't look at anything the same after Take Out Photo's architectural challenge. I never did it but always wish I did.
This must be the street that Target comes down to look for lines to carry at their store. Here was Rachel Ashwell's store (I have checked out all of her books from the library more than twice)and here was the method store, a line also carried at Target.
While I was outside this window I decided to call Jill the Good Mail Queen and get the phone number of one her friends who I knew lived in Chicago by a Paper Source store. Her friend has sent me good mail and commented on my blog, but I had never met her.
Jill is always good about sharing everything even her good friends. I called her friend and left a message - I had no idea what to say, "Hi. I am friends with your friend. I am down the street from your house. Have a good day. Bye"
That is pretty much what I said.
I loved every signage out front of every store. I had to make myself stop taking photos or I would have never gotten through a block before I had to be back for dinner by 6:00 pm.

I mean seriously look at the colors!then look at this alley way, seriously it was eye candy every way I looked.
I went into this store Francesca's. It was fabulous. Something to look at in every direction.I got Annie Kate this corduroy lunch box. We had been waiting to buy one till we found the right one, this one was worth the wait.
I also got these $12.00 sunglasses because I forgot to bring one of my 5 pairs sitting at home.
look another cool detail for my Take Out Photo challenge.This photo was outside of All She Wrote and I dedicate this photo to the Good Mail Queen.
That store was so much fun to walk around in and just go googled eyed over paper, invites and monograms.This is the front window of a store called Colorlab Custom Cosmetics. The store concept seems overwhelming to me to have to design my own color of makeup, but these little lip conditioners were fabulous. One was Obama Balm and the other McCain Conditioner. I bought one, but won't say which one.
As I was finally almost to my destination of the Paper Source I saw these orange balloons down a street and it caught my eye. Yea for the orange balloons. It was one of my favorite stops of the day.
It has a plethora of vintage Halloween decor reproductions and these stinkin cute guys. I got three new ones to add to my collection of one witch that my mom had bought me. These are not the ones I bought but had taken a photo of them outside the window.

The Paper Source store is wonderful this time of year. And this location just like the others stores I have been to is wonderful. Could you imagine living above the Paper Source?It has wonderful Halloween goodies all over the store.
I bought the little bags to make the witches with the girls and they had a workshop going on the show different paper tricks as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself switching from the top to bottom floor.
As I was roaming I asked one of the managers if she knew if there was fabric store or knitting store near by. I don't knit but love going into knitting stores hoping the skill will rub off on me. I also had high hopes of finding some great fabric store in the area.
A woman at the counter overhead me ask and said she was a quilter and gave me some fabric store advice.
After that my phone rang (my phone rings to the theme song of the Office thanks to my brother Adam) and it was Pam. She did live just two blocks from where I was and offered to have me stop by. I was kind of excited and didn't feel like such a dork for calling.
I spent a little more time in The Paper Source and found my quilting friend on the top level. She was mighty friendly and talked me into buying a kit to make a handmade book. ( I for some reason don't think I can do it, but she was quite persuasive)
She made me laugh and was just as friendly as the cab driver told me people in town would be. I kept thinking of Michelle's visit in San Francisco this spring where she made a friend on the street and then asked her to take a photo with her. I was a little nervous to ask her.
Then we were standing by the ribbon in the store and she was telling me about how to make this book with ribbon and make use of each inch because it was so expensive. She had no idea she was talking to someone that has hundreds of yards of ribbon in her basement that I bought for $1.00 a roll. So I got the guts up and said, let me send you a box of ribbon.
She agreed and her and I left the store together and ended up walking a few blocks together. She made me laugh and agreed to take a photo with me in front of the store.
Thanks Michelle I would never have done this if you had not written about your great day in San Francisco.
I was already a few minutes late from when I told Pam I would stop by and was now fighting the clock with only a little over an hour before I had to meet Jeff. This did not stop me from running into this great consignment shop. The sign said, "If you can't afford to buy nice clothes than buy someone elses" something like that. I made a rush sweep in and out the store because I just love to look around.

On my way to Pam's I kept thinking of how lucky all the people are who live here. I took a photo of the For Rent sign in case the Military will transfer us to Chicago

$1375 for this seems like a killer steal

I then had just a block left and video taped me walking down the street. I had a arm full of shopping bags (too many shopping bags - yikes) the weather was beautiful, I was all alone, I went running, had a great lunch, was on a Halloween decorating high and was off to meet a new friend. Or should I say soul mate.
This will be the highlight of the trip. I got to sit in Pam's great apartment, go on the top of her roof, see her neighbor and his stuffed animals, get some great advice about serving in the church, encourage her to write a book, agree Jill is wonderful, meet her sweet dog (he passed away the next day) be reminded of the good things about blogging, save myself hours of therapy (this girl is amazing) wish I had bought a gift on the way to her house (I should have brought pink cards from the Paper Source silly me) take a SPT out front and she even drove me back to my hotel and gave me a little tour on the way back.
Jeff had called me while I was sitting in her home and said, "Where are you?"
It was fun to say "at a girls apartment that I just met" My poor husband what must he think of me.
Jeff and I then had two dinners to go to. Both complimentary by different equipment reps. The first was Harry Carry's. A steak house. The Cubs game had just finished and it was crawling with baseball fans. You can definatley feel the baseball influence in Chicago and makes me wish again that I had a team to root for.
My steak was $48.00! I am not a big steak fan but had to try one per the reps advice. It was really good.
We skipped out on dessert to try to make dessert at the next dinner. It was funny because we grabbed a cab out front and gave the driver the next address and he giggled, drove us a block and then asked for his $4.50. That stinker.
It was just a great day. Will go down as one of my best days ever for sure. Jeff and I walked back up Michigan Avenue to the hotel. It was a beautiful night. I had no idea how much I would love Chicago and my new friends.


Windy said...

Chicago is one of my favorite cities to visit!

Jill said...

All of these photos are glorious! I love the video of you walking, and am impressed you could to do that without tripping.

I'm so glad you hooked up with Pam! You two met back in 1995 at Randy's big surprise birthday party in our apartment in Provo, do you remember that?

Wow, a $48 steak that sounds so good.

sweetfunkyvintage said...

Hi Kristi! It was nice talking to you yesterday. Your Chicago day looks suspiciously similar to one that Missy and I had back in March. I think ours involved more shopping bags (is that a Stinky Pants bag I see????). We LOVED that neighborhood that Paper Source was in! We found a cute little diner called minnies that served tiny sandwhiches and the BEST fries! Glad you had fun!

Kim Sue said...

what a wonderful way to spend "your" day!

JENNIFRO said...

Honestly...I CANNOT believe how cool that city is, I literally had no idea! Sure makes me want to visit. Great post--what an awesome day.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Kristi, Lewis and Clark could have used you. I love your exploring spirit...and your cell phone ring. Ande set mine to the same tune.

I'm going to remember your trip for the Paper Source, they're always in a good location. said...

I'm glad you had a great time in my favorite city. I'm heading that way Monday and I can't wait!!

Liz said...

I think Chicago is such a great place. Ben grew up there, and does not ever want to live there again...but that is because the winters are absolutely brutal! So glad you had a fun time! So funny about the giggling cab driver!

Natasha said...

Wow, what an adventure! I have never been to Chicago (but definitely want to now!) so it was fun to experience the city through your eyes.

tootie said...

It sounds like such a fun, perfect day!

Your blog is always inspiring me to do things - now I want to make a new friend in a city like you did. :)

sweetfunkyvintage said...

Liz told me to come read this post because I wouldn't believe how much fun you had - or maybe I would - because Liz and I spent a fabulous day shopping in the same area - soooo fun, such great stores!

Erin said...

Love it so much!!! Now you have to post Pam's link so we can check her out and tell her we are sorry about her dog.

Maybe we should have a blog gathering in Chicago next year...why not? It would be fun to fly somewhere crazy for a few days and play with the girls!!!

We could all run a race and shop!

Rebecca said...

I love how reading your blog makes me feel like I did all those fun things with you!

patsy said...

wow I love how you document trips- It's truly a talent.

I've never been to Chicago- I really really want to go there now!
You should get a royalty from the great publicity...$$

Lauralee said...

you are so brave. seriously. that is quite an adventure.. and you look so cute!

Sharon C. said...

Love Chicago and glad you had such a fun trip. I like to see the cities through your photos.

Laura said...

I loved this post. I loved your adventurous spirit. You make it look easy to make friends with strangers.

marc said...

I loved seeing that the architectural challenge inspired you. There's no reason you can't link your work to the challenge even after the month's over.

Marla said...

I love Chicago. My sister is there...and so many friends from college...I am glad to had a great time...and that your new "you" had such a carefree day!

wende said...

your photos are always fantastic. i love reading every detail of your trips because you're so adventurous and fun. good for you having a day all to yourself, i'm a little green with envy, but only for a minute! i love that you're sending that cute lady ribbon by the way! how cute are YOU?!

Marie said...

That yummy paper store would have done me in!

Last night I went with Barb and our mother to the RS Broadcast. They had a supper before and we sat at a table and met some new people and Barb and I looked at each other and said, "Does she look like Kristi to you?" So apparently, your long lost sister lives in my mother's ward. It was funny.

pam said...

I was so happy that you made the effort to call. You made my day.

pam said...

I was so happy that you made the effort to call. You made my day. I then got to meet your sweet husband. You two compliment each other so beautifully. Come again soon!

Jenny Dahl said...

Matt just spent some time there for the ENT conference. I turned down the chance to accompany him because I thought I would be bored while he was in conferences all day. I should have tagged along with you! Next time I won't be so quick to stay home a watch the kiddos!

Becky said...

Kristi--I loved reading both of your Chicago posts...your photos are awesome!

I especially loved that you met up with Pam--how fun is that?

Hey, I wanted you to know that I am having a simple giveaway on my blog--just leave a comment so you have a chance at the random drawing.

I love your blog, Kristi!

Heather said...

I always say that Chicago is my favorite city I've never been to...and now I REALLY think that. And I must start taking more pictures like yours! I did that in London, but somehow got out of the habit.

Love your glad I stumbled upon it!

Amie said...

Fabulous post. I always feel like I click on your posts on the perfect day to read... perhaps I should come everyday... you would think that would be a hint.

I love Pam... so nice that you got to meet her. She is one of those people you feel an instant click with.

michelle said...

What a wonderful day!! I loved all the photos and commentary. And I loved that you made a friend at Paper Source just like me! And that you got to meet Pam. She is great. I want to go to Chicago...