Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lilith Fair

I know that Lilith Fair seems "so 10 years ago," but when I heard about the line up of women who would be performing at the Chicago show, I knew I had to be there.

Mackensey, Jackie (friend, not mother-in-law) and I headed out to Tinley Park one very hot Saturday to enjoy.

When we arrived, there were several different bands playing on smaller side stages, warming up the crowd for the eventual mainstage festivities. Two of the "side groups" I most enjoyed were Katie Todd and Vedera.

Of course, the mainstage is what it's all about. After a not-so-impressive performance by Kate Nash (I'm not a fan of the lyrics "suck it more"), we were treated to the Courtyard Hounds (also known as the remnant of the Dixie Chicks), Heart (a classic!!), Mary J. Blige and, of course, Sarah McLachlan. The final three performances alone were worth the price of admission. It was just amazing to see all these phenomenal women in action. It was a fantastic evening.

[mary j. - best energy of the night]

[sarah - absolutely stunning]

Some clips [apologies in advance for the sound quality]

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Orleans

When I found out I needed to head to New Orleans for a work function, I thought it would be fun to invite Celeste and Jess to come out and join me, since many of my evenings would be open. They very generously agreed to make their way out to the Big Easy and we did, indeed, have a blast.

The first night, we went to Arnaud's on Bourbon St. and were treated to a wonderful jazz trio and stellar service. The whole night was just so relaxing and beautiful.

The next day, we did a walking tour of the Garden District, at which point C&J busted out their cameras to take pictures of some of the beautifully designed homes. It was like something out of an Anne Rice novel and then, of course, we walked by Anne Rice's house. Perfect! We even had the opportunity to walk through Lafayette Cemetery and see the mausoleums erected by storied New Orleans families.

[the lovely photographers responsible for most of the pictures you're about to see...]

We took the long way home, stopping at various must-see spots, including a short driving tour of the Lower 9th Ward, Cafe Du Monde for beignets, and Jackson Square. We split some po-boy sliders at Stella's and then headed back to the hotel.

That night, we had our "fancy" dinner at Meson 923, a "hot spot" selected for us by our wonderful concierge (she was "on" all weekend). After a great meal, we went home to change and then walked over to Pat O'Briens for a nightcap, conversation and a little dancing.

Unfortunately, C had to head out the next day, but J and I had a wonderful dinner at this hip little Japanese spot with killer sushi and sake.

The next day, we explored Magazine St. and had lunch at Cafe Rani. Very fun. We grabbed gelato, I picked up a souvenir for Heath and then we primped for dinner at Clancy's. After a delicious dinner we threw on our jeans and went back to Bourbon St. for some live jazz. It made for a perfect last night, since we got to be right up close to the quartet.

We finished things up with brunch at a local spot called Eat and then were off to the airport. So glad to tie in a girls weekend to an otherwise typical business trip.

4th of July

This year, we had a BBQ extravaganza over July 4th weekend. On Saturday, Kaitlyn and the Carters came over for burgers (of the black bean variety for those of us on WW) and bags (also known as cornhole).
[a couple photos courtesy of Mackensey]

The next day, we went over to a BBQ at our neighbor's house. This was HUGE, as it was the first invite from someone in the neighborhood. Monica and Carlos were hosting a Mexican feast and between Heath flexing his Spanish skills and the kids loving on Miss V., it was a total blast.

After that, we headed over to Jackie and Joel's for a rooftop view of the city's fireworks. It was really beautiful. Every year I think I won't be super impressed by the fireworks, but then I find myself just as tickled as when I was a kid. On top of that, the conversation was top-notch.

Back to Blogging: Anniversary!

I know it's been awhile since we've blogged. At first, it seems like there just wasn't much going on. Then—all of a sudden—there was almost too much going on, or at least to much to keep up with our digital scrapbook.

The first post back is to show some of the pics from our anniversary weekend. We haven't done anything "formal" to celebrate because we've both been busy, but I definitely see a bed and breakfast in our future.

On July 2, we had a fantastic Indian dinner at Ur Swati on Devon with Jacque, Clyde, Mackensey and friend-of-the-fam, Kaitlyn. Very tasty. From there, we went over to the waterfront cafe for coffee, desserts hand-picked by Jacque from the Bleeding Heart Bakery, and some live jazz. It was a lovely way to spend the evening.

As I said on Facebook, I feel blessed to be married to my best friend for the past 5 years.