Mary Ellen and I were only staying in Chicago for two nights but we packed enough outfits to stay for an entire week. The logical part of us knew we would have to go back to Indiana on Sunday but the rest of us just wanted to stay longer with best friend sar. One of the most comical parts of the morning was watching Mary Ellen pull our all her clothes and tell us about all the different personalities she would be able to take on with her outfits.
We walked across the street to a little coffee shop for a caffeine fix. Because we're into multiple outfits today we started with camp frat young life attire. Ben stuck with his trusty button down and navy chinos all day.
Then we walked around the corner for breakfast. It was the best to have the sun shining on this beautiful Saturday knowing that there was potential for us to do so many different things but the only thing we had to do was to hang out with our best friends.
We got delicious, cheap breakfast sandwiches at Mrs. D's and sat outside watching people walk by.
After quick showers and a costume change we were in the car, windows down, singing TSwift's "We are never getting back together" on repeat as we ran a couple errands in town. Easily one of my favorite things.
Early afternoon we got on the train to head to downtown Chicago. We talked and played "Top 10 people you don't know that you'd invite to dinner" until we pulled into the city.
Our first stop was lunch at the Park Grill right beside the giant bean. We were starving. Lunch was delicious but they were lacking in the Diet Coke department so we had to make a pit stop at McDonald's before venturing further into the park.
We got our picture first with the bean in the background. We're ok with being touristy.
We took a real Polaroid picture, instagrammed a few, spotted a bride and groom, and watched a group of people making a dance video.
Then we had to take a jumping picture. Mary Ellen has a three attempt maximum. This was our best shot.
We got some reflection pictures. They're a little blurry and warped and it's just so funny that a hundred people are standing around getting pictures just like this.
I got to see Sam O and Carolyn Kata next because we realized we were both in the city. It's only been a week since I saw them last at camp but I missed this pair.
Whether she's yelling across Main Field or doing her signature move on the pool deck, chasing a Catawba girl or teaching CLD in the party room, running around in no pants with Brunner or jumping on Arielle this girl is one of the best. I wish I could see her more often.
We walked further into Millennium Park until we found the Buckingham Fountain. Pretty sweet.
We just loved having so many photo opportunities and thankfully Ben doesn't mind being the photographer.
We got cute ones of Sarah and Ben, posed like our High School girls, and kept changing spots for more pictures.
Eventually we ended up down by the lake and sat on the sea wall watching the boats in the harbor and just talking nothing in particular. I could sit and do nothing with these friends all day long and be perfectly content.
Sarah and Mary Ellen are two of the best examples I have of what it means to be a really great friend. They challenge me, they ask important questions, they show up, they pray for me regularly, they listen, they make me laugh, they get me and never try to change who I am and they remind me of the truths of who God made me to be. I want to be the type of friend they've been to me.
We walked back to the busy part of the city and stumbled upon this trio of drummers. Mary Ellen has a drum unit for her students and she video taped them she said, "How do they know what to do? They are all so together."
We spotted the crowd before we figured out what the next group of street performers was all about. The were a dance crew but we were most impressed with the way they set up their whole act with call and response between the eight guys. It's hard to explain why it was cool to have them all yelling together... but it was just really fun and entertaining. They danced for a total of maybe a minute, had a guy roller skate through the tunnel of men in the picture on the left, and had one man spin around two other guys in the picture on the right. We figured they each made twenty bucks in their thirty minute show. Not a bad deal at all.
Hungry once again, we waited for an hour outside of Giordano's. We were so excited to eat our Chicago style deep dish pizza once we got our table. While we ate we played the question game--someone asks a question and then everyone answers it. Pretty simple.
What job do you wish you could have?
If you had to stay on a desert island for a year without supplies but could bring one male and one female that you're not related to and aren't at the table who would they be?
What are three things that you just love more than anything?
We got really into the last question and couldn't stop after two rounds. I think we went around the table for an hour taking turns sharing all our favorite things. Mary Ellen and I had just been talking about the Happiness Project and the psychology of recalling happy things to improve your state of mind. We were all pretty happy by the time we left dinner.
It was late when we headed back to the train but the perfect adventure with friends.
I'm so thankful that Ben organized this birthday surprise and that Mary Ellen could be part of it. I know that I'll be friends with these people for life and hopefully the next reunion won't be far away.
We stayed up late again once we got home-- Sar made sure we stayed up, I made sure we ate ice-cream and Mary Ellen painted every one's nails. Priorities. Sunday morning we had to part our ways and Mary Ellen and I road tripped back to Indiana listening to more TSwift along the way. Hopefully we'll all be reunited again soon.