Shopping and more food pictures!

I woke up this morning and did Pilates for the first time in month!  In two days we will have been here for our first full month.  And I think Ferguson has finally settled in.

Bear at rest.

Puppy sleeping.

 

 

 

 

 

Last Sunday we went to the dog beach.  Ferguson got to travel around in a pack, and make friends, and was much complimented by people!

Ferguson traveling in a pack

The natural dog way

Sand in the nose

My boys hanging out on the shore!

This is a quiet, foggy morning on one of our daily walks.  This is not stolen from the movie “Big” this is really what my neighborhood looks like!

Andersonville, quiet foggy morning.

Another morning walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sidney’s job is going really well!  He’s pretty much done with training, and is already starting to create a training program for the company since they don’t have one in place!  I switched my job over from a legal filing system to a letter-sized filing system this week!  It’s been quite the project, but I think it looks better and is a much better use of cabinet space.

Yesterday we went to Lakeview on a shopping extravaganza.  Lakeview is a lovely neighborhood, but a little commercial to live in, but a great place to spend a day or evening.

Lakeview - bustling part of town

Lovely flower shop in Lakeview

We went to World Market, Trader Joe’s, Target, and Aldi’s!  We were like pack mules by the time we got back to the Garden!!  That is never going to happen again.  My shoulders have never been so sore!!

 

 

We went to a new restaurant, Lady Gregory’s on Friday.  We had the crab cakes, which were very crabby and served with a lovely citrus sauce.  I had the ultimate Grilled cheese with Roasted Tomato Soup (which was the best I ever had!).  Sidney had the Fish and Chips.

Mucho crab!!

Fish and Chips

Amazing tomato soup with an acidic, citrus aftertaste!

Cheesiest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The natives of this temperate region tell me the trees shouldn’t be flowering and budding, and that we shouldn’t see the lovely daisies and daffodils until May, I assure them that this perfectly normal for March.

Sunny morning at the Berwyn train platform

Chorus of Chicago

Tires in the puddles
Car breaks and bus hydraulics
Soft rumbles nearby

St Patty’s Day In the Best City

Imagine a world where there’s no phone service, no TV, and no internet, and no it’s not it Amish country.  This used to be me reality, but not anymore.  We are now living in the digital age, thanks to Sidney and stunning array of blinking equipment.

Blinky, blinky

We waited for AT&T’s Uverse for 16 days, then they told us that they would have to send a technician out at cost to us.  The same day I called Comcast and had internet hooked up within the day!

Now finally for St. Patty’s Day excitement!  We started the day with brunch with Libby and Brandon, and I baked Libby a cake.

We had green eggs and bacon, English muffins, and of course, cake!  Then we headed downtown to see the green river.  It was beautiful!

It doesn't get more festive than this!

We caught the Redline to get downtown and it was the second busiest I’ve seen it.  (The only busier time was heading to Addison for the Cubbie’s game on our honeymoon from downtown.)

We got slightly separated from Sidney on the train, but I could still catch a glimpse of him through the masses.

Sidney Frank-o!

At every stop the    screams and shouts could be heard coming from the city.  It was madness.

After seeing the river,

Green on green on green

we were going to try to make the parade but gave  up our efforts and headed toward to the Navy Pier.  We refused to wait an hour for any food, so I waited in line for fifteen minutes to get a Cheezborger at the famous Billy Goat.

Sidney eating his Cheezborger

After that we trolled around the pier enjoying the unprecedented great weather!  We made it to the end of the pier and enjoyed the cool breeze coming off the lake. It felt amazing!

Sidney, me, Libby, and Brandon loving the weather!!

Libby, amazingly enough, had never been on a boat tour.  Which I can’t say enough, is one of my absolute favorite things to do in the city!  We opted for the Lake Skyline tour, and had an amazing time despite the miscommunication about there being an on-board bar.

Lovely day!!

    

I still haven’t ridden that Ferris wheel! Maybe next weekend!
Skyline tour!

It was a great day downtown, then we headed to Ravenswood to go to an obviously busy, crowded, and hot Irish pub,O’shaughnessy’s.  But it was fun and I really felt like I was embracing the festivities of the holiday!

Then last night we met up with Sidney’s cousin to go to our usual haunt, Hamburger Mary’s.  I had the crab cake slider as usual, and Sidney had his usual The Black and Bleu Burger.  It was great catching up with Nehemiah, and we’ll look forward to seeing more of him soon!

It was a long, wonderful day!  And I made everyone thank us for bringing the warm, amazing spring up with us from Oklahoma!!

Sidney starts his new job tomorrow morning at 4:30AM!  Training is a crazy schedule, but it will be much more normal after the two-week training period!

No internet still. . .but having a great time!

My name is Liz, and I speak for me, Chicago has been treating me splendidly!

I had a wonderful day off yesterday, and as you can tell from my mad rhyming skills, Sidney and I went to see The Lorax last night. It was wonderful. I thought it might be boring or corny, but it definitely wasn’t boring. It was very funny and corny only in the best of ways! Before that we went to Evanston, because I just couldn’t stay away, and I wanted to introduce Sidney around the office. We also stopped by to see The Truffle Pig (Caitlin), and she took a break from her studiousness to show us some very nice nudes she’s been working on lately.
It was an amazing Chicago day, I think we brought the Spring with us from Oklahoma. It reached 67, and was sunny almost all day. Before we headed downtown to see the movie, I took Ferguson for his first (of many, I’m sure) trip to the lakeshore! He and I both loved it. He got sand in his nose and was extremely afraid, yet at the same time interested, in the waves! He got to chase some gulls and sniff some dog butts. So overall, a great time was had!

You can't tell, but he's smiling

On Friday, we went to a lovely restaurant with Libby and her boyfriend, Brandon, called Calo. I sampled the cheese ravioli, which is pretty standard for me. The sauce was tasty, and I loved the pasta itself. Sidney and Libby both got the Alfredo, and it was very creamy, but separated upon re-heating! Brandon got the gnocchi, which I think I will get next time. I tried a bite and it was creamy, but not too heavy and came with a variety of seafood. (Sorry no pictures!)
Work has been busy. I’ve been working with me new friend, Michele, on getting the place organized and in general cleaned-up. And we made some serious progress on Saturday, there were at least seven dumpster runs, which is always a good thing when cleaning!
I only have one apartment picture for this post. It’s of the nickle light fixture we bought for the kitchen. Big shout-out to Manny, maintenance expert, for helping us install it.

Lovely, modern kitchen fixture

I also have a picture of my view from the Howard train terminal where I switch from the Red line to the Purple line every morning. Please note the store “National Bag and Wig.” And the ubiquitous cop car. When Sidney and I came up on my day off, yesterday, we saw a real live hand-to-hand go down right there! Now that’s big city living.

Most interesting train wait, ever! Don't get off the platform!

The grocery stores here have such a sad, depressing selection of produce, so I was extremely pleased to find this awesome local market, Edgewater Produce.  It’s the new go-to place for vegetable shopping.

Gorgeous eggplant in March

THE place to go for veggies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

After The Lorax last night, we stopped at Trader Joe’s, and bought the ingredients to a lovely Italian dinner, and of course a baguette. (I took this picture for my French buddies, Elaina, Sammi, and Claire!)

Here's looking at vous!

More apartment pictures coming soon!

Getting Settled In and Getting a Job

We made it!  Sorry for the as yet sporadic entries.  As soon as we get the Internet hooked up at home, I will make them much more frequent!

The new digs

We were pleasantly surprised with the design and layout of the new apartment.  The kitchen does fit all of my kitchen accessories, including some extras I picked up while we were in Godfrey.

Pretty cute bathroom, that's a Van Gogh in the little frame

The shelves in the bathroom fit everything that used to fit in our linen closet and then some.  Since it’s the only room that I consider complete, it’s the only interior picture for now.

On Tuesday I had three interviews scheduled.  My first interview was with John and Tom at an apartment finding service.  After the interview was almost over, which was really an explanation of the job duties, they asked how my job search was proceeding.  I told them that this was in fact my first interview.  They looked at each other and said, “First and last!”  Then they wanted me to interview with corporate that afternoon.  I told them what times worked with the rest of my interviews, and told them I hoped to hear from them soon.  I did within an hour!  At that point I was on my way to a golf club in the suburbs.  Riding there, (thanks for all the amazing help, Mom!) I knew it wouldn’t be the job for me.  Then Butch, the interviewer, told me that the Metra (crappy suburb train) stop was two miles from the club.  I like to walk, but 4 miles a day regardless of the weather seems a bit extreme.  Plus I don’t think I want a job where I have to call rich people by their family names.  That really isn’t me.  The third interview of the day was scheduled for 3:30, I cancelled it because I decided no matter how much they paid me, I knew I wouldn’t be happy sorting mail and filing.  The corporate interview for apartment service, was bizarre, and I was a worried mess when I left.

The internet and phone service is spotty, at best, in our apartment.  Like I said above we have our internet and wireless modem on order, and in addition to that we ordered a booster called an AirRave from Sprint that should boost our signal at home.  In the meantime access is limited.

Ferguson and Sidney's Limited Access

Can you see Sidney peeking through the window?

(As seen in the picture we haven’t found a way to provide Ferguson with window access. . .yet.  It might involve a ramp, but it will definitely involve some ingenuity.)

Tuesday night we finally got to meet the see-ster’s BF, Ross.  We really wanted to razz Ross; Sidney even planned to call him Russ repeatedly, but he was so nice and personable it would have been really difficult.  If he was nervous to meet our “intimidating” family, I didn’t notice at all.  We went (for the second night in a row) to Hamburger Mary’s.  (Look out Brownie’s, I think Sidney has found a new favorite restaurant!)

Mom, Sidney, Me, Russ (Ross), and Caitlin (Hamburger Mary in the back)

Meanwhile, as soon as I let me self stop obsessing about the apartment-service-interview-gone-wrong, I got a call on Wednesday afternoon offering me the position.  After a very brief discussion on compensation and benefits, I accepted.  They want to pay for me to go to school to get my Leasing License, in order to better serve the customers.  For example, when potential tenants call and ask about cabinets, without my license I could tell them the cabinets are “maple-colored”; with my license I could tell them the cabinets are “maple.”  (Weird licensing rules.)  I start training with the weekend staff on Saturday and Sunday, and train with corporate on Monday!

We went to dinner at a Mediterranean place on Clark, called Andie’s, to celebrate.  They had crab cakes on the menu, so you know I ordered those!  They had an Orzo-like pasta incorporated in the mix and were servced with polenta: Dee-lish.  For entrees, Sidney had the Salmon and Shrimp with garlic Mash, extremely tasty with a fresh oregano after-taste, and I had the Goat Cheese and Spinach ravioli with a dill cream sauce, and I added a skewer of shrimp.  It was creamy and amazing, the goat cheese melted in my mouth!  For dessert, Sidney accommodated my choco-craving and we had a chocolate peanut butter brownie.  On our way out a manager introduced himself and welcomed us to the neighborhood by giving us a free Baklava to go!  What a welcome!!

App- Crab Cakes

Salmon and Shrimp, with Garlic Mash

Goat Cheese and Spinach Ravioli with Shrimp Skewer

Peanut Butter Brownie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sidney had an interview yesterday for a management position.  They liked him so much they want to see him again on Monday.  Everyone keep your fingers crossed that this will be a good fit for him!

Happy 173rd birthday Chicago!   Snow expected today, could be up to 4 inches!

Packing and Driving

We packed and packed and packed on Friday.  I didn’t think I would make it through the day, but as you can tell. . .I did!  At first it was just Sidney, Moose, and me, carrying what seemed like millions of boxes.  But just when I thought we weren’t going to finish Lisa and Matt helped for the win!!  They gave us that last jolt of energy to get it done.  When the truck was about 75% full, I was positive everything wasn’t going to fit and my stomach started to churn.  But we managed to get everything stuffed (literally) inside!  And now a word for this post’s sponsor: Space Bags.  They are trully amazing, not only are we using them for the move, but we’ll only be working with ONE CLOSET once we get to Chicago, so they will be invaluable there!

6×2 bedroom closet

Space bag "pre-saving"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Space saved!

 
 As you can see from our advertising pictures the bag does what
it is supposed to.
 
After I thought we were through with the packing, I came back outside and the truck was open again!!  Moose was staring into the truck, and Sidney was inside the truck looking for his wallet!  He had dropped it in the loading.  We played a quick game of Marco Polo, and with the help of the iPhone’s flashlight he was able to find the wallet.  And make it back out of the truck safely!
 
Then we tucked in for the night in what I can only describe now as a mistake.  I thought it would be like camping, but neither Ferguson, Sidney, or I were comfortable all night long!
 
We were going to sleep in, but, of course, Ferguson wasn’t hip to that plan.  Also I was anxious, and ready to get up from the hard floor!  Then we made the final preparations for departure (jamming everything else into the truck.)  Then we made our final good-byes.  First we stopped at Deborah’s (mother-in-law.)  Then we hit I-44, stopped in Catoosa to see Anaya, my step-daughter, and then stopped in Joplin to see Dad and Jane for some Scholotzsky’s, and a slight detour through the tornado damage.
Uncomfortable sleeping situation

I thought I drove the massive Penske deftly, though some described it as “crazy”.  Nothing was hit though the “don’t-feel-asleep” line was crossed more than a few times, but only because the truck is soooooo big!  Ferguson got to spend most of the rise on Sidney’s lap, but was eventually too antsy for him (Sidney) to take anymore, and he was relegated to using the floor.  For the rest of the trip he silently tried to sneak on my lap, and get pity pets by placing his adorable little, bearded chin on my thigh.

 
 
 
Now, we’re in Godfrey (STL burb) with Mom, David, and Aunt Abi. It’s hard to tell if Ferguson is excited to see his aunt, but I know he’s happy to be off the road! 

Mostly they ignore each other until Abi tries to herd him
 
 
  
Leaving for the city tomorrow morning!

Inaugural Post

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See you there in November, Obama!

At the advent of my adventure, I’ve decided to start a blog to record my move from my home red-state, where Personhood Bills pass with ease and increasing state income tax doesn’t seem like a a viable solution to budget shortfalls, but repealing it does, to the Great Windy City, the land of Rahm, “Chicago Style Politics”, not to mention pizza, and who could forget Blagojevich?  Also, I’m hoping we’ll get to see a certain someone at a celebration in Grant Park in November!

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Navy Pier in Winter

After dreaming of moving to Chicago, for more than four years, Sidney and I are following our dreams!  (I promise future blog posts will be much less corny, but I have to explain our optimism, hope, bravery, and, even, naiveté in making this huge move!)

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Jennifer and me at the top!

We rented our apartment sight unseen.  Seriously.  We saw some tiny thumbnails on Craig’s list, but the previous tenants’ crap was still there!  I just had a strong feeling this adorable Garden apartment was the place for us!

We chose the neighborhood as the most important factor.  We’re going to be living in Andersonville, which is an adorable Swedish neighborhood. We first became familiar with the new “hood” when visiting my brother in November of 2010, while I was in the city to climb the Willis Tower (formerly Sear’s Tower) with my climbing team, Vertical Adrenaline!

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Living with gas fireplace

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Amazing storage

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Bonus points for anyone that can successfully identify what is behind the sink. . .chalkboard, dark window, who knows?

I’m attaching pictures that my lovely, local friend was able to snap this week of the new digs!  I’m more than excited about the kitchen storage.  I think this is the first time in my life when I will actually have space to keep all of my kitchen tools and appliances!!

I can’t say enough good things about Craig’s List.  We’ve sold lots of stuff, including our car!!  (Wow, the feeling of being debt-free is amazing.)  We found our apartment, and I have three interviews lined up next week, all from Craig’s List postings!  Of course, there has been some attempted scamming, like needing $250 to list the car to “potential buyers,” or needing me to go to a third-party site to have a credit check performed to be considered for a position.  But that’s to be expected, there’s just as many, if not more, legit posters!

We’re leaving town Saturday, and are planning a leisurely trip, by stopping at Mom’s for Saturday and Sunday night, and then waking early Monday morning to complete the final leg of the journey!  I’ll blog from the road, so stay tuned.

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For the first time in his life, Ferguson will have a fenced in backyard!

For now please enjoy these musical stylings. . .this song happens to be my current ring tone!  Of course, I’ll change it when I get to Chicago, so I won’t be recognized as super-whack when my phone rings on the el!

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