The Guest House


Last summer I’d successfully moved from Chicago to Portland, but my dishes were in the next state up. My cousin Paul had them, and had since May. The china belonged to his parents, a gift from their wedding thirty years earlier. A place setting for 12, it consisted of dinner and salad plates, bowls, tea cups, and saucers, all decorated in a delicate blue and yellow flowered pattern. Too formal for regular use, they went mostly unused for three decades. But two years ago, when my Chicago boyfriend and I broke up and he moved out, he took his dishes with him. My aunt gave me hers, and they were precious to me in my time of sudden need.

A year and a half later I drove them from Chicago back to her house in Columbus a few weeks before I moved to Portland, thinking she would want them back. She was surprised to see them, but I told her I was too nervous to move them in an Amtrak shipping load with the rest of my things. She offered to send them with her sons on their upcoming road trip and suggested I go get them from my oldest cousin’s house at some point once I was settled in Portland. Olympia was only a two-hour drive, after all.

My three cousins left Columbus, Ohio the weekend after the youngest’s high school graduation and the brothers headed toward Washington. Paul had lived in Olympia since he was 18, having attended Evergreen for school. That was six years ago, and he showed no signs of leaving the Pacific Northwest. I remember feeling surprised that he had chosen to go to college so far away, but it was clear the move had suited him. He moved into a group house full of other college kids after his first year there, and the housemates would often host house shows for local bands and ones traveling through on their way to Seattle or Portland. The Guest House, they called it. It was a little green ranch-style house, which I’d only seen in pictures.

I had never expected to end up in the Pacific Northwest myself but nevertheless, I moved to Portland in July, into a tiny but comfortable studio apartment in the northwest quadrant of the city. In August, I decided to go see Paul in Olympia and retrieve the dishes. I texted him to ask if he was around the weekend of the 21, and he called me in response, taking me by surprise. My dad is the only person I still speak with on the phone — everything with everyone else is communicated via text. We made plans for that weekend, when I would drive up to Olympia after work on a Friday.

“Leave as early as you can,” he advised. “Traffic is so bad.”

He wasn’t kidding. A million other cars competed with mine for space on I-5 toward Seattle. Eventually I made it the 100 miles north to Olympia and parked outside the little green house. He gave me a hug and we walked over to a bar nearby for dinner. We smoked his Marlboros as we waited for our burgers out on the patio in the August sun.

Paul is tall, with curly brown hair and an extremely rueful smile. He has always seemed to me like the type who could start a cult and probably get away with it for a while. His brain likes math and art equally, a combination I’ve never been able to relate to, but one that is common in our family. He is a musician, an artist, and braver than me. In high school he would sneak out of the house and attend literary parties with people much older than he was, and would have probably done so for longer had he not been spotted by friends of his parents.

He loves to play devil’s advocate. I remember him once getting into a debate with one of my girlfriends from college about the ethics of hunting. I can’t remember who was on which side of the argument, but I do remember my friend’s frustration at being so challenged by a 14-year-old.

Since my own mom’s passing, his has become a mother to me, the woman I go to with questions about ovarian cysts or new guys in my life. His father has given me career advice and served as a sounding board for my complaints about bad edits and bad editors.

Now Paul works on websites during the day, from home, and on his art in his spare time. Over dinner, he surprised me and told me he was leaving Olympia. He’d found a large one-bedroom in a town called Hoquiam, more than an hour away, on the coast. He talked about how few people lived there, and that seemed to appeal to him. I wondered what had changed his mind: A house always full of people, or the state of the house itself?

His lease in Hoquiam was for six months, and he was leaving Monday. He said wanted to be alone. He wanted to get a cat and have his own space and make his own messes and clean them up himself. He wanted room to draw, and the time and solitude to create. I understood these feelings and thought about how freeing it had been to live by myself for the first time, in my small Portland studio.

I nodded sympathetically. It felt nice catching up over a beer, both of us finally grown ups, and glad to see each other in a new place.

After we ate, we walked to a corner store for more cigarettes so I wouldn’t be bumming off of him all weekend. Then he took me to Cafe Vita, a coffee shop in Olympia. The walls of the coffee shop were devoted to Paul’s drawings for the entire month of August, and they were for sale. I looked at them for a long time as he sat and read at one of the tables. I picked out a drawing I liked and told him I wanted to buy it. He told me it was funny I’d picked the one I did, because it was one out of only two or three that had been drawn in Portland. While many of his drawings were in black and white, the one I’d picked had a splash of yellow. I liked it.

I told him I had cash, but he told me I would have to wait until the show was over to claim it.

“Oh,” I said, feeling stupid. It hadn’t occurred to me that buying a piece of art on display wasn’t like picking up something you needed on the way home from Target.

We headed back to the Guest House, and the inside of it was a lot like I’d pictured it. A small crowd of early 20-somethings were gathered in the kitchen, the air thick with the smoke from a pan of slightly burnt fried eggs in oil. A girl there was baking a pie and offered me a slice.

One of their friends had been visiting all week from the Midwest but was leaving that night. Paul offered to drive her to the airport and I went with them, sitting alone in the backseat of his 1982 Mercedes Benz. With her leaving and him moving, I realized I’d stumbled upon a week of goodbyes among friends. He and I talked the whole drive back, about books and music.

I slept in Paul’s room and he took the couch in the common area. I woke up the next morning when I felt a slight thump on the bed. I rolled over to face the window and saw that a small cat had leapt deftly from the window sill onto the bed where I slept. She walked up to me gingerly, sniffed my chin, and hopped down toward the partially open door. She slipped out, and I wondered blearily if I was actually awake.

I crept outside the door a few minutes after the cat, but the house was quiet. I saw Paul curled up on the couch under a blanket, and saw his phone on the coffee table next to him. I texted him to let him know I was leaving to get coffee in case he woke up, and I went back on my own this time to Cafe Vita. A Chicago man I liked sent me a picture of his coffee mug without comment, and I texted him back a photo of my Cafe Vita cup to go.

As an afterthought, I took a picture of the Portland drawing and left.

I brought back coffee for Paul and one of his housemates, and we stepped outside to drink it and smoke. The backyard of the Guest House was populated by found objects and assorted chairs. We sat for a moment, and then Paul asked me if I was dating anyone. I surprised myself by being honest with him instead of shrugging off the question. I told him about the Chicago man and mentioned hopefully that he was planning a visit to come see me in Portland. If Paul thought this was ill-advised or an unlikely event, he didn’t say so, and nodded without judgement.

“If you’re moving an hour away, I’m guessing you’re not seeing anyone,” I ventured, hoping he wouldn’t be annoyed with me for prying. He wasn’t.

“No,” he admitted.

Paul went back inside and started messing with the record player in the living room. He put on the White Album and played “Blackbird,” which made me laugh. He always remembered that song as played by our dads’ friend, Buzz. I don’t remember Buzz playing that one on regular rotation the way Paul did, but whenever I hear it, I end up thinking of Paul thinking of Buzz.

The house was slowly waking up, so I took him to breakfast at a restaurant where one of his housemates was working. I dropped him back off at the Guest House before going to meet a couple of friends of mine downtown. 

When I walked back into Paul’s room a couple hours later, I saw it was half in boxes. He’d been packing while I was out, and working quickly. I tried to help, but felt unsure of what went where. Instead, he let me help him unstick some of his photos from his walls. There were dozens of them. He explained that a wall full of them had been from his most recent birthday in March, a party at which he’d given everyone a disposable camera and asked his guests to fill them up that night. He developed them later and hung them up with tape. I watched him pull them down one by one and gather them in a box. I wondered if he was sad to leave or excited for change.

Not asking which, I quietly left the rest of the pack of cigarettes I’d bought on his desk chair.

A while later, we walked out to the porch with my things and he gave me a hug.

“I’m glad we’re family,” he said.

I blinked back sudden tears, moved. I said the same to him, and walked back toward my car.

I opened the driver’s side door and suddenly realized I was about to drive away without even asking about the dishes for which I’d ostensibly drove there. I laughed at myself and walked back. I sheepishly re-entered the house, and Paul looked surprised.

“The dishes,” I said simply, feeling ridiculous.

“Oh!” he said with a laugh. He led me to his car, parked near mine, and we transferred them from his trunk to mine. I drove off with a little wave.

I left feeling glad that he was there, or at least that he would be nearby in Hoquiam. We talked about going camping in the Cascades before it got too cold but we never did. I could wait until spring to visit, I suppose, but I like the idea of a rainy winter drive to a town of almost no one but my cousin, to an apartment by the ocean.

On Writing More, Blogging Less


Thanks to Owen for making my sweet new banner art!

It’s crazy to me that I’ve lived in Portland for more than a month now. A lot has happened, and while the first couple weeks were a little slow, I’ve got a ton of stuff coming my way soon. Roller derby tryouts for the Rose City Wreckers are September 5, and I joined a writers group. I’ve made a handful of awesome lady friends who have been so great to include me in what they’re up to on weekends. I’ve traveled and seen so much of Washington and a little bit of Oregon — more to come, for sure.

However, regular readers may have noticed I haven’t been posting much on this site. I have good news and bad news on that front — the good news is, I am working on a book, getting more paid writing work, and curating a growing newsletter! The bad news is, that’s where I’ve been focusing my time and energy.

First, that damn book: I haven’t been writing about roller derby here because that’s what my book is about. (Let me know if you’re interested in being a test audience!) Second, those essays: It’s basically been my dream to get paid to write about myself because I am a narcissist, and now that dream is a (small) reality. Third, my newsletter: If you like what I post on this blog, you should by all means sign up for The Sleeper Hit TinyLetter. It’s where a lot of my thoughts and observations are going these days.

I’ll still be posting here — just less so. For example, I am working on a post about going to visit my cousin Paul, and I’m excited to share it here just like I normally would. It’s just that the articles I am getting paid to write had to take priority, and if I’m lucky, they’ll continue to in the future. I won’t go so far as to say blogging is dead, as others have been crying for a while, but I do feel my posts are going to become less frequent.

I started this blog almost eight years ago, and I’m not ready to stop writing for it. I’m so glad so many of you found me and my writing and kept with me through break ups and moves, break ups and moves. Thank you for reading and supporting me, always!

A New Space

As of this week, I finally feel pretty settled in the new apartment. A woman from Task Rabbit came by Monday to put together my IKEA bed frame for me, and it was worth every penny to not have to tackle it over the course of six hours. It took her four, and she knew what she was doing.

Some people have asked, and so here’s some photos of my new Portland apartment — a place where it’s just me and lots of lovely blue things.

Pretty blue door, leading into hallway, passing bathroom and large mirrored closet. Kitchen entrance at right.

Pretty blue door, leading into hallway, passing bathroom and large mirrored closet. Kitchen entrance at right.

Kitchen counters, storage.

Kitchen counters, storage.

Kitchen art, plus fridge and stove.

Kitchen art, plus fridge and stove.

Kitchen table/additional counter space, which can also serve as a breakfast nook...

Kitchen table/additional counter space, which can also serve as a breakfast nook…

...or a writing station. Ottomans are stored below the table (and also contain guest bedding).

…or a writing station. Ottomans are stored below the table (and also contain guest bedding).

Small couch sits up against the other side of the kitchen table.

Small couch sits up against the other side of the kitchen table.

Bed is full size, as a queen was questionable for the space.

Bed is full size, as a queen was questionable for the space.

The bed is separated from my home office by a curtain that matches the one covering the window.

The bed is separated from my home office by a curtain that matches the one covering the window.

Bed and office, in split view.

Bed and office, in split view.

Home office, view one...

Home office, view one…

...and view two.

…and view two.

Cube shelves are next to the office. Maybe a TV will go there, maybe not.

Cube shelves are next to the office. Maybe a TV will go there, maybe not.

My bathroom pretty much looks the same as the one I had in Albany Park, my brother pointed out.

My bathroom pretty much looks the same as the one I had in Albany Park, my brother pointed out.

The fan in the bathroom loudly runs whenever the light is on. It drives me crazy, so I bought this clip lamp, which most of the time instead of the overhead light.

The fan in the bathroom loudly runs whenever the light is on. It drives me crazy, so I bought this clip lamp, which I use most of the time instead of the overhead light.




To Add To A Pool


Maria's in Bridgeport

Maria’s in Bridgeport

I threw myself five going away parties in two weeks, and I highly recommend it. I created a single Facebook event for all five, and invited basically everyone I know. At the start of each one I showed up by myself, unsure who, if anyone, would come meet me, and every time, people did. I never knew who would turn up so it was basically a series of delights, all lined up one after another. All in all, I saw around 40 people, including a surprise out-of-town guest, and ate a lot of good bar food. Thanks to everyone who came to see me off.

I was telling someone at my final party at Maria’s in Bridgeport that I don’t feel the anxiety I felt when I left Columbus, over long-distance friendships. When I moved to Chicago, I felt like I was starting over from scratch. Now it feels more like, instead, I’m about to add to an already bad ass pool of friends. I’ve always been pretty good at keeping in touch, but it’s easier now than it’s ever been.

I have friends I only ever interact with via text, or email, or gchat, or Facebook, or Instagram, and that’s fine. As long as your platform isn’t the actual phone, I can keep track of you — and I’ll even make special phone exceptions for some. No one is ever far away as long as there’s Skype for coffee break catching up, or Snapchat for inside jokes. Now I can even keep tabs with Fitbit — this past weekend I did a step challenge with Stef and Jaimi and we messaged each other within the app the whole time. It was nice. This weekend I’ll be doing one with my best friend from my Ohio hometown, since there’s no reason we can’t do these from different cities.

I didn’t really make many July plans, and got my going-away tour wrapped up before then. I’m just not really sure what my state of mind will be in those last 12 days. I’m doing everything I can to be as prepared as humanly possibly for my move, and the last big hurdle will be this Sunday. The Beans are helping me drive my 10 moving boxes down to Union Station that afternoon, where I will wave goodbye to half my clothes and all my kitchenwares and hope they’re reunited with me in Portland two weeks later. This is the time where I need to remind myself that stuff is just stuff, and the things with real sentimental value will be with me and Dad in the car. Plus, the Amtrak shipping experiences I’ve read about have been positive, so here goes.

One thing I did plan for July is Mamby on the Beach, a two-day EDM concert happening July 11 and 12. Despite the fact that I leave Chicago very, very early the morning of the 13th, I sprung for a weekend pass with Liz so I can finally see Passion Pit (among others). Beyond that, it’s going to be a really busy week and a half in my office as I prepare to leave and wrap up a bunch of projects. This Friday, Stef and I just blocked out the entire day to hang out together and do whatever we want. I can’t think of a better way to kick off a long weekend.

I can’t wait to be in Portland, and I am excited to get settled in. I hope some folks will come visit, and it would be nice to have at least one planned visit to look forward to. But at least I’ve got two Ohio trips, and at least one Chicago/work one, happening in this latter half of 2015.

A Portland To-Do List

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 5.57.01 PM

I have spent the last year and a half waiting on a lot of things. I waited to see if I would get a new job and be able to afford my old apartment without my ex-boyfriend. I waited to see if I was going to be able to keep the cat I had been fostering for several months. I waited to see if I would seriously connect with another person so I could stop asking myself if that would ever happen to me again. The answers came as, yes to the job! No to the apartment, no to the cat. No to connection (for now).

I think, when I get to Portland, I’m going to live by myself, after all — It’s what I was eventually going to work toward anyway, so now I’ve just decided to skip a step. I thought about living in a group house in Portland; it would be cheaper, and I’d meet people. I’d do if for a few months and then move to a place by myself, or to a place with ONE roommate instead of three or four. But as much as I liked this plan, part of it made me still feel like I would be waiting. I don’t want to wait to see if I find a cool roommate or a cheap one bedroom, and move to Portland knowing I’ll move again in a few months.

Keeping my work life separate from my home life will be a challenge, because the two will share a space approximately 230 square feet in size. But ever since Stefanie sent me a link to a converted hotel apartment building, I’ve been picturing myself living in it. I don’t own stuff anymore; this small space won’t look as empty as the giant one-bedroom apartment Kevin and I spent time and money filling up. All this place will need is a bed, a desk, and a chair — life over here, work over there. I think I can separate the two spaces with some creative feng shui (and some of these IKEA shelves). My friend Becca is great at stuff like that and had some great suggestions.

I want to rely on myself for a change, and sign a lease on my own for the first time in my life. I’ve never walked into a housing situation alone — I’ve just ended up that way a couple of times. I like living by myself. I just didn’t like living in a too-big, empty, ex-boyfriend-haunted apartment. No one would.

I’ve been scared for a while because I have dated a few dudes in the last 18 months, but they haven’t felt the same to me. I worried for a long time that it was because I had lost the ability to feel anything for anyone; those guys were great, yet I remained unmoved. But now I think it just means I’ve gotten better at knowing when something isn’t right. So for now, I am borrowing hope from the future. There’s a dude out there, and  — let’s be real — probably a few of them. I’m going to meet him/them eventually, and it’s going to be pretty awesome.

So here’s a list of things to do after I hit town, in order of priority:

  • Sign lease for quirky, converted hotel studio apartment
  • Adopt elderly Portland cat
  • Transfer to Portland roller derby outfit
  • Find buddies to hang with
  • Meet cute, bearded Portland dudes who are into cats/ladies who like cats

The more clearly I picture myself there, the more impatient I feel for it to be my reality. That is, when I am not thinking about how I need to cram as much hang-out time as I can with every single Chicago person I know and love. It’s a big ol’ bucket of conflicting emotions these days, but I am so, so happy.

I can’t wait/I need more time.

Filling Big Shoes

MomMothers Day is tough every year — there’s just no way around it. I get a little pit in my stomach every spring when I see the ads starting, but I just know I need to take care of myself and do what feels best in order to deal. It gets easier every year. I used to feel a lot of resentment on Mothers Day, and feeling so negatively toward others just exacerbated the pain I was already feeling about not having a mom anymore. In more recent years, I’ve found it’s become a lot easier, and feels a lot better, to embrace the day — to celebrate, instead of mourn. Easier said than done, I know – I’m not telling anyone else how to feel or how to respond to their own feelings. No one can help what naturally comes up for them, emotionally. It does help, though, when others around me show that they remember that not everyone has a mom, or has a great relationship with theirs.

I am lucky to have known my mom for 21 years, and now that she’s gone, it’s not gone unnoticed by me that I’ve got a bunch of bad ass ladies in my life filling in for some of her job duties. I wrote an essay about it for HelloGiggles, and it ran the morning of Mothers Day.

Outside of those special women, I am a little weird about my friends’ moms, but at least I know it. Luckily they don’t mind sharing their moms with me, or at least their mom stories, so I can live vicariously through them. I love Stef telling me about her mom binge-watching Parenthood and Friday Night Lights; I visited Becca’s mom when I was vacationing in Utah, because I felt like I knew her even though we’d never met. I’ve loved my roommates’ moms when they’ve visited, and I am even Facebook friends with some of them. I have been looking for moms in my life since mine passed away, and the fact that she was one-of-a-kind probably means I’ll always be a little bit looking. Whoever I marry someday better have a pretty amazing mother, that’s for sure. A potentially stand-offish mother-in-law might just be a deal breaker for me.

I don’t begrudge my friends having the relationships they do with their moms. If anything, it would probably be harder for me to hear about if they didn’t. But then again, everyone’s family is different and you don’t know what a relationship is really like unless you’re one of the parties involved. I support my friends no matter their level of closeness with their moms.

That said, if your mom is around, I hope you do have a good bond with her. If not, I hope you’ve found other people in your life who can offer you the support you need. I am really glad for those ones I’ve found along the way.

10 Weeks

Monday, July 13.

That’s officially the day my dad and I will take off in a packed, blue Cavalier and head out on I-90 for a few days straight. We’ll take our time, stretching between four and five days on the road — a big change from the one other time I drove across the country with Liz and Eileen, from Columbus, Ohio to San Diego, in a mere two-and-a-half. I’m so glad Dad is willing to make this long trip with me, and I’m really looking forward to it.

This set date means I have 10 weeks left in Chicago: 70 days, and technically one-fifth of a year, but it’s also only 10 more Saturday nights, and nine more roller derby practices. I go back and forth between wanting to speed this time up and slow it down. This weekend has been a great one, and one in which I’ve felt both ways, back and forth. It was gorgeous all weekend, and I saw a ton of my friends. I was outside a lot, I got the season’s first real sunburn, and I saw a roller derby bout. I also looked at openings in Portland group houses on Craigslist.

Last weekend, I moved what few belongings I still own from the place Adele and I had in Albany Park to Christina and John’s house in Avondale. It took maybe two hours, and I “unpacked” in 30 minutes. Most of my stuff is still in taped-up boxes, awaiting their fate of either being shipped to Portland via Amtrack, or being mailed to me at a later date. Aside from clothes and a one-cup coffee maker, there’s not much out in the open in my room. Not owning things feels freeing. It will be a pain to replace stuff in Portland, but for now I feel very light.

This is everything I own.

This is everything I own.

It’s my old room, the one I lived in when I first moved to Chicago, before I started at Groupon, and before I knew hardly anyone. It feels familiar and comforting, albeit a little surreal. The bird and tree wall decals I put up back then are still there, right where I’d left them. I woke up my first morning there and had a strange feeling of someone who’d moved back in with their family after graduating from college. While I can’t help but think about who I was and what was important to me five years ago, this sensation has mostly passed.

Home, again.

Home, again.

Last week I found out about a new Chicago music festival called Mamby On The Beach. My much-cooler friend Brittany posted about it on Facebook, and I messaged her about it. Headliners are Empire of the Sun and Passion Pit, and others include Phantogram, Cut/Copy, and Tanlines — among tons of others. My heart sank when I saw the dates of the festival: July 11 and 12, the two days before I move. Still, it seemed like a big way to go out, so I asked Liz if she wanted to go. She seemed like the best person to ask, since she likes those bands too, and is a person would be willing to pay to go to Lolla were it not such a shit show. She said yes immediately, because she is awesome and spontaneous. I thought about it later and realized it was kind of perfect that Liz is the person I’ll spend most of my last Chicago weekend with; When I moved to Chicago, she was living in Evanston and was, at the time, the only person I knew in the area. Halloween was five days after I moved here, and she took me out to a bar in Lincoln Park to make me feel welcome.

Speaking of bars — another friend (forgive me for not remembering who) was joking recently about how I should hold a farewell tour for myself instead of one big going away party. I know they were kidding, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do. If I have a handful of opportunities to see people, no one will feel insanely pressured to come to one big, final hurrah. And if I know there are still future chances to see people, it will never really feel like goodbye. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

These dates are tentative, but here’s what I’m shooting for. If you’re in Chicago, come on by:

If you can’t make it to these, I still have a Chicago bucket list of mostly (burger) restaurants, so let’s grab dinner.

How Twitter Bridges Gaps Between Cities

I’ve written before about how much I love Twitter as a freelance writer, but it’s also served me very well so far as someone moving from one city to another. After my initial Portland foray last fall, I began following lots of news outlets, writers, and local businesses out there. I keep most of them tucked away in a list simply called “Portland Folks” but I check in on it with enough regularity to feel pretty well versed on what’s happening there. I feel much more informed about Portland than I did about Chicago when I moved here in 2010.

It’s also helped me network from afar. Shortly after I started following Portland accounts, I also started seeking out roller derby ones. That’s when I realized there’s a handful of women who:

  • are freelance writers
  • play roller derby
  • live in Portland

I nearly fell over. What are the odds? One might worry that this means Portland metro area may be over-saturated with smart lady writers who love roller derby but I don’t think of it like that. I see it instead as further indication that someone like me will be very happy somewhere like there. I had been following a couple of these women for a while, and was interested in their books. Both about roller derby, but each is very different — and both are still different enough from the book I’ve been working on.

I bought Frisky Sour’s first, a how-to guide for those starting out in derby. Her book got me to reluctantly try washing my gear in the top rack of my dishwasher! (It really does work — you just have to make sure your velcro is all sealed up.) And while I was aware of it, I didn’t actually buy Roller Girl, the new graphic novel by Victoria Jamieson, until I heard my hero Stephen Thompson plug it on my favorite podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour. I recognized her name and the book title right away, and tweeted at her. She responded, at first, with:

But THEN, this made my day, when she replied to me separately:

I fully intend to transfer to their derby program the minute I move, and I can’t wait. I told her I’d even seen the Heartless Heathers play when I was in Portland last weekend!

Even before now, I’d “met” some Portland folks on Twitter and through Instagram. I even met met one guy, when Stacey and Shane and I went to the Portland Beer and Wine Fest. One of the organizers had messaged me on Twitter and told me to introduce myself at the event’s info booth, so I did. He’s a writer too, but also a radio host and active member of the Portland craft beer scene, so we had a lot to talk about.

It’s awesome that I’m slowly making connections in a new city I’m not actually living in yet, and it makes the whole thing feel a lot less daunting than it did five years ago when I moved to Chicago.

Chicago Bucket List 2015

I’ve got less than four months to do it, but I want to check off as many of these items as I can. Granted, most of them are food related (and, toward the end, burger-focused), but let me know if you want to come with me. I am worried my weekends will fill up fast, but I want to see as many people as I can before I leave.

  • Monday night music in Millennium Park at least once this summer
  • Zumba in the park!
  • Bike at least 200 miles of my total goal of 500 for 2015
  • Run at least one 5K downtown OR one by the lake/Montrose Harbor
  • Drink outside and on roof tops
  • Have a picnic by the beach
  • Dinner at Fish Bar
  • Burgers and chips at Kuma’s
  • Cheesesteaks at Monti’s
  • Brunch at Rockwell’s
  • Pastries and iced mochas at Beans & Bagels
  • Brunch AND dinner at Cafe Selmarie
  • Burgers and beer at The Grafton
  • Burgers at Au Cheval
  • Burgers at Butcher & The Burger
  • Sausage and cheese pizza at Pequod’s