Chillin’ in the Windy City with Good Friends

April 11, 2008 at 9:38 pm | Posted in Chicken, Fun | 16 Comments

Last weekend I had one of the greatest weekends that I have ever had.  I have made all of these amazing friends on The Knot while we were planning our wedding and now we have all been married almost a year (whaaat?!) so we continue our relationship with one another on Facebook – we refer to each other as our JFacie or Jknottie friends (J = July).  I really can’t imagine my life without these girls in it now.  I never ever thought I would be the type of person to make “online” friends.  It’s completely wild, but now I have made some amazing friendships with girls from all over – MASSACHUSETTS (happy Nikki?), California, New York, MIchigan, Minnesota, West Virginia, Texas, and the list goes on. 

We discussed having a get together sometime about 8 months ago and lo’ and behold, the get together day finally arrived last weekend!!!  We all met in Chicago coming from all over the US – there were 15 of us I believe.  It truly was an amazing weekend!!  So much good shopping, good drinks, good jokes, good conversations, etc.  For all of my Chicago girls I give you a big whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? (You totally see my guido face right now right?).  HA!

Since this is a food blog, let’s talk a bit about our food experiences while in the windy city.  We wanted to go to non-chain random places as much as possible and I think we had some great experiences.  Our first night for dinner we went to a place called Viand which was right across from our hotel.  The food at Viand was really, REALLY good.  I had Amish chicken, oven roasted, preserved lemon, garlic, rosemary sauce, & baby red potatoes.   I think everyone enjoyed their food there except my poor friend Jamie.  Honestly though, she ordered something called “Angry Grilled Calamari”.  NEVER order anything with the word Angry in it!  They came out with no sauce so she asked for some sauce and they dumped it on the calamari and boy were they angry then!  Luckily she has such a great friend (ME!) who shared my dinner with her.  HA!

(I’m pretty sure Kat hates this picture…sorry Kat!)  Jamie, Kat, and Sarah at Viand.  Jamie doesn’t look angry yet…the calamari haven’t come out at this point. 

Of course while in Chicago, we had to get Chicago style pizza.  Those of us who had been to Chicago before suggested Gino’s.  I won’t lie – part of the thrill of going here is definitely being able to leave your mark and write all over the walls.  It’s fun right?  No matter how old you are!  We ordered so much pizza it was sick.  I personally love Chicago style pizza at Gino’s.  Some of the girls didn’t like it though – the topings  under the sauce freaked some people out and I think the crust is what threw a lot of people off.  My friend KT said it tasted like cornbread.  HA!  You can’t go wrong with pizza in my book.  Period.  Check it out though?  Looks good right?  And check out all of our Jknot nicknames written on the wall now – we are forever etched into Gino’s East.  It will never be the same. 

My friend Clara, the cupcake queen said she for sure wanted to go to Molly’s Cupcakes.  We had heard that they had a cupcake bar where you decorated your own cupcakes and something about swings in the restaurant???  We were so there.  So about 6 of us loaded up in cabs (one cab on the way there….comfy…) and went.  It was so worth it!!  Some of the bar stools are swings which is adorable.  The cupcakes tasted AMAZING and the cupcake bar was so cute – you could decorate with all sorts of sprinkles, jimmies (proud of me Nikki??), etc.  I got a mini cupcake because I was full from lunch but oh so good!!!  Check us out!

Molly’s cupcakes store front, Alanna and I on the swings at Molly’s (so cute!), the toppings bar, and our cupcakes!

Saturday night we had dinner reservations at Weber Grill.  We first stopped off at Pops for Champagne on the way to have a drink…or five or six in my case.  HA!  It was definitely a cool place for us to stop – we had a big table in the back (they must have heard about us before we got there..hmmm) and went through 3 or 4 bottles of champagne.  It was so good!!  Then we went to Weber Grill (across the street).  We felt a bit overdressed there but we had such a good time!!!  We weren’t all that hungry so some of us got actual food, some got appetizers.  I know that Kat, Jamie, Andrea and I went through 2 pitchers of awesome white sangria before our food even got there.  Oops.  We split some appetizers – fire roasted spinach and artichoke dip with grilled pita chips, and a Weber sampler which had rib fingers, beer can chicken tenders, steak skewers and bbq shrimp.  The best thing about this place in my opinion though were the pre-dinner rolls – they were pretzel rolls!  They were so amazing and I need to find a recipe for them – NOW!  I think another favorite was beer butt chicken – we were all goofy so anything with butt in the name was a must.  It was very good too! 

Yummy champagne at Pops, KT and I at Pops before dinner at Weber.  White sangria…so good.  Too good actually.  Check out the butt on that chicken!!!

Things got a little crazy that night.  Some of my friends even took shots who don’t even normally drink!  I won’t mention names here…. (I’m sure she’ll make me delete this…look while you can!)

A few things – do not eat leftover Gino’s pizza after a night of non stop drinking.  It will not bode well for you.  I was miserable the next day.  Just let me blame it on the pizza instead of all of the alcohol I inhaled, mmmkay?  Also, do not eat chips and cheese dip at 4am – not a good idea.  It might end up on hotel sheets and you might feel like poo the next morning.  Panera has awesome breakfast sandwiches – who knew?!  Amazing after a night of drinking. 

Overall, an absolutely amazing trip.  I love all of my friends and the memories of that weekend (the ones we remember anyway…uh….) will last a lifetime.  : )  When is the next get together girls?! 

Reese’s cup anyone?  : )  (Is it ReeSUS or ReesEEEs?)



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  1. Fabu recap chica! I agree whole heartedly. I have made some amazing friendships via the internet. Dare I say they are some of my best friends… I miss all my chicago girls so much and hope there will be a “next time” soon. ps. damn you for that shot picture!! LMAO! Love it.

  2. pps. I say reesEEs but T says reesIS.

  3. I say ReesIS, too.

    PS I can’t believe that I missed such a fab trip. I’m thankful for the friends I found on the knot and continue to think of you all even though I can’t play online like I used to.

  4. Clara – LOL Yes, the shot picture is classic! I had to do it. And yes, I dare say, some of my best friends! 🙂 I say ReesEES!

    Rachey Poo – We missed you so much! You are definitely coming next time no matter what. 🙂

  5. I’m glad your MA friends were left out of places people are from, I mean there are TWO of us from MA. I guess it’s a good think KT doesn’t read blogs.

    The amish chicken was amazing

    Ginos pizza was best cold (I think BB and I are the only ones that enjoyed it after drinking) and really the only reason you felt like shiiit the next morning is because you drank that skank ass wine at excalibur

    My chicken’s butt is hawt

    It’s reeseeeeeeees

  6. omg ReesIS. and how do you not include your twin sister. mom and dad would NOT be happy with you!

  7. DAmn! Okay, so apparently I need to make some ammendments to my blog. If someone would ever post the picture of ALL of us then we would all be on here…

  8. First, it is definitely reesehs, rhymes with pieces. Second, I recall helping you all with those pitcher of sangria (yummy–I want a recipe for THAT!) I also think I liked the pizza better at the end of the night than I did during the day. But I didn’t eat a lot of it either. I wanna know where/when we’re going next!!

  9. TY for the update beech 😛

  10. Ditto what Zebe said… “Reeses Pieces.” NFT on that subject.

    Much love to my airport buddy. 🙂 I cannot wait for the next JKnottie GTG!!!!!!

  11. Dawn and Alanna – you are just wrong on the pronounciation. Sorry. LOL 😉

    Oh yes, Alanna, I was telling T again last night how patient you were with me at the airport. I told him he would have wanted to kill me. HA!

    Nikki – you are welcome. Whiner.

  12. Thanks for sharing your dinner by the way. And yes…I will NEVER EVER order anything angry again.

    Oh and what they said, REESES rhymes with PIECES. Unless you are like my friend from TX who actually says reeeecees peeeceees. She makes pieces rhyme w/ how you say reeses. Strange, I know.

  13. So let me start with- whaaaaaaat happened to my hair in that pict? Whateva!

    I had a fabulous time! I miss you all already!


    p.s. I say reesEEs Peecees also!

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