Now that I'm back in class and the shuddersome week of finals is approaching, I wish that I could go back one week and enjoy my gratifying break one more time. My Thanksgiving break was nearly perfect until I remembered that I had responsibilities in my life on Sunday morning and pulled out my study materials. Wah. I may not be able to go back to last week literally, but I can at least recapture the memories.
On Friday, I drove to the city with Libby (so that I could begrudgingly drop her off off at my brother's apartment) and Jessica
. From my brother's apartment, we went on to our mini Harand Camp gathering at our friend Kate's place.
I went to overnight camp for six years, and five of those summers were at the same place: Harand Camp of the Theatre Arts
(ohhhh how I miss it!). Most people who live for up to six weeks with the same people year after year become very close friends, and I was no exception to that rule. My group of friends and I used to meet up several times per year, but that doesn't happen as much now that we're scattered all over the place. Since there were so many of us in town at once last week, we coordinated this gathering.
We were always convinced that our friend Kate was an adult trapped in a teenager's body when we were at camp, so it was no surprise to me that Kate is naturally an amazing host. For one thing, she concocted deliciously creative drinks that consisted of champagne, anise liqueur, mint, lemon, and other tasty ingredients. We pretty much finished the bowl.
She also put together three cheese plates:
Cheese plate one
Cheese plate two
Cheese plate three
I brought my mom's drool-worthy pumpkin cake and gluten free peanut butter cookies from Thanksgiving. I brought them in a disposable pan, and Kate arranged them on a plate to make them look pretty. I believe she should could do this professionally.
We almost cleared the plates by the time our last friend got there. Everything was so, so good. She also let us sample three different kinds of beer from Half Acre Beer Company
, which is a Chicago-based brewery. As I said, Kate is the Hostess with the Mostess.
In addition to inhaling all of her food, we had a great time taking in the views of her apartment and browsing her decorations. She uses vintage suitcases as a coffee table. How creative is that?!?
We had an incredible time together. It was like we had never left each other. We've been all over the place since starting college, but we're still the same people. It's so much fun to reminisce about camp memories and people from the past. It will never get old for us.
Me, Mimi (lives in D.C.), Laura, Jess (lives in LA), Stacey (lives in NYC), Kate
After appetizers and nonstop chatty-time, we walked from Kate's apartment to Vapiano
in Lincoln Park. It's new in Chicago, but there are locations all over the world.
If you've ever been to Foodlife
on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, then you will understand the concept of this restaurant. Every person gets a card when they sit down at their table. From there, you can roam around the restaurant (which resembles an upscale cafeteria) and pick what kind of food you want. The restaurant is Italian-themed, so you get your typical choices of pizza, pasta, paninis and sandwiches. You can either pick something from the menu, or you can customize it.
You walk up to the appropriate station, order you food, and then give the cook your card. For instance, I walked up to the pasta station and ordered whole wheat spaghetti with pesto sauce and broccoli (a customized order). I handed the pasta cook my card, he swiped it, made my pasta while I waited, and then gave me my food to carry back to my table.
There is also a full-serviced bar there. Drinks also go on the card. When you're ready to leave, you give the hosts your card. You total is tallied on there, and you pay and tip right there. Easy as pie.
Kate and Mimi had to leave after dinner, but the rest of us hung out at the bar. Nicole, who was also a Harander for two years, also met us.
Laura, Stacey, Jess, Nicole, me
Jess and Nicole and I later painted the town red. Okay, that's not completely true, but we were out pretty late dancing our bums off.
I slept at Jon's apartment, which was walking-distance from my next gathering the following morning. I met a bunch of my college friends at EATT
in River North for a Saturday brunch.
I am a big lover of skillets. I got a veggie skillet with two eggs (sunny side up) and swiss cheese. It was GOOD. It wasn't as satisfying as the cheese plates from the night before, but it was close!
My college friends also make me so happy ( Irene is also a high school friend).
Irene and Jenny
The majority of us were out (painting the town red) very late the night before, so that makes it even more special that we all got out of bed to get together. It reminds me of college!
From back left: Jenny, Alyson, me, Kate, Irene From front left: Molly, Danya, Rachel
I hope everybody else (in America) had a wonderful break!