Lately work has me on the move, constantly in and out of airports. The travel doesn’t bug me much (largely thanks to Global Entry and TSA PreCheck), but it can get tiring. Hands down, the best and most energizing part of all this travel is getting to meet up with friends I don’t often get to see. In the last two weeks, I’ve gotten to see friends in Chicago, New York, Saint Louis, and Chicago again!
Last week I landed in Chicago from Charlotte, attempted a quick trip down Michigan Avenue in 0 degree weather, and met up with Angela and Priya for dinner in a cozy booth at Markethouse. A good long catch up over wine and risotto made venturing out in the cold 100% worth it.
I also had time to check out Jules and Rob’s newly renovated home and do a little work in her office with her adorable puppy Milo at my feet before flying back to Toronto for the weekend. Working in friends’ homes has become a theme lately.
The next week I was off again to New York and got to catch up with Hillary and Stephanie over beers and big steamy bowls of ramen at Ippudo. Yum! I stayed at Stephanie and Aman’s in New York and had a later flight the next day, so I turned her dining room into my office for the morning. A quick run out for lunch (Whole Foods salad bar I miss you!), I stumbled into the Union Square Christmas Market and got to pick up a few last minute gifts before flying out to Saint Louis.
I have a lot of love for Saint Louis after living there through college and briefly moving back last year, so it was great to bring a colleague to an old favorite. Barcelona didn’t live up to my college memories sadly, but still a nice visit. Once I’d returned from my meetings on Thursday, I headed to Nellie and Michael’s to turn yet another friend’s home into my office for the day, and made their dog Seamus my assistant. He was not very helpful, but made an excellent foot warmer.
Friday finally arrived, and the four of us drove up to Chicago to celebrate Nellie’s birthday and meet up with the rest of our college roommates for our annual Secret Santa gift exchange. We’ve kept up the tradition since we moved in together junior year, although now it happens more via Google Hangouts than in person. A little Christmas miracle in the form of rescheduled travel made an in-person get together possible this year!
Angela and Colin hosted this year’s festivities. Santas were revealed, gifts exchanged, and we stuffed ourselves on quiche, bacon, and mimosas before settling in for naps.
After dinner it was off to Innjoy my new favorite bar in the universe. It’s just divey enough, they blast 80s and 90s music, and dancing is strongly encouraged. Old ladies that we are we crashed before 2, feeling proud of ourselves for making it out that late.
I ended the weekend with brunch at Meli with Angel, PK, and Jules. We were all really into their newly pared down menu – it’s no longer a novel, but there are still plenty of great options. Well fortified with coffee and eggs to brave the holiday travel crowds at Midway, I hopped on the train for the airport, and mostly zoned out for the ride until I watched a man board the train at one stop, pee on a seat in the corner, and then exit at the next stop. I’m never sitting down on public transit again.
And with that, I’m finally off the road for two whole weeks, and snuggled up on the couch at Mom and Dad’s with a big mug of cocoa. Lots of fun holiday plans ahead, but first I’ve got a tree to decorate!