OD'ing On Love

After a weekend of totally OD'ing on my friends and family, let me start out by saying that I'd totally forgotten about how much mosquitoes like me. I mean, given that I haven't been out to this part of the world during the heat and humidity of July in like four years, it's a shock to suddenly have these swollen, itchy bug bites all over my body. It looks like Mount Vesuvius is on my ankle.

Why didn't I spray myself with bug spay? Because we don't have mosquitoes like that in LA and I forget about their existence. They really went to town on me in Grant Park yesterday.

I'm also going to have to buy myself an umbrella. Summertime does not equal "umbrella" in Los Angeles. But in the Midwest, those big fluffy clouds turn into rain in a heartbeat and before you know it, the sky is black, gloomy and heaving out buckets of wetness onto my head. When it's not raining, it's... steaming! So, my hair is standing vertically a good six or seven inches off my head. It's not the 80's but darn it, big hair is back in style!

Saturday I went to Navy Pier with my dear friends Kemba and Dena... and my husband's brother. I'm glad the kids got to hang out with him because he's a nice guy, but it's like being around all of my husband's extreme CP Time tendencies, magnified by 1000. If you tell him, "Let's meet at 12:30 on the platform at the Dempster Street El," that means he's gonna show up at 1:00, or maybe 1:30. And for this recovering Type A personality who worked 101 hours this time last year, I wanted to swallow arsenic and throw myself in front of the El.

But it was all good because when we finally got down to Navy Pier, we had a ball. We headed over to the Taste of Chicago to see Stevie Wonder and eat some food but the crowds were insane. It was wall to wall people, a total bust. After standing for 30 minutes in a line for food tickets, we were just done! I could not believe it when we found ourselves collapsed in a Cosi across from Grant Park, but it was just too much.

It was a good lesson in remembering that it's not so much what you're doing as it is who (or is it whom??) you're doing it with. It's the people that matter, not the events or the places. You could put me in the Artic Circle with Dena and Kemba and I'd still have fun.

The fun continued yesterday when I found myself going to brunch at a fabulous place in the South Loop called Yolk. First of all, when the heck did restaurants start opening in the South Loop? South Loop = run down homes and crack heads in my book. But not anymore. Times are changing and I can order an egg white omelet in the South Loop.

Second of all, I went to lunch with about 75% of my closest friends in Chicago. With all our kids there were 18 of us. I kept getting all teary-eyed because it was so nice to have so many people I really love all in one place. It was fabulous.

I think I OD'd on love.


1969 said…
Nothing like friends and family. Awww.....great post.
Anonymous said…
Mosquitoes love me too! You know you can take antihistamines if you get bumps where the bites are, right?

I am so glad you are enjoying your time back home and that your family and friends are getting to know the boys better.
Anonymous said…
Oh no, mosquitoes! Sometimes they ignore me, sometimes they feast on me. I remember being bitten to blazes once in Florence and arriving in Rome looking like some sort of plague victim, my face covered in huge red lumps.
SarahA said…
I live in the South Loop and I really like it. If there was a better and closer grocery store I would stay there forever. Also, they need to stop building condo buildings.
Haute in LA said…
This all sounds so magnificent! Not only b/c you're reconnecting with your Midwest people but it's also nostalgic for me - I haven't been to Chicago in YEARS!!! And as a native Detroiter I know ALL ABOUT those mosquitoes and rain.

Enjoy your time there...
Anonymous said…
Hurray for lovin' time! I'm delighted you are having a good time. Those mosquitoes love me too - and I hate bug spray. I have a bandanna that is bug spray embedded - have you seen that material? It's awesome!
Jen said…
Sounds absolutely wonderful! (Minus the mosquito bites and the crowds at Taste).
Miriam said…
Liz...this hurts! lol

"But in the Midwest, those big fluffy clouds turn into rain in a heartbeat"

"Navy Pier"

Oh how I miss Chicago......
Anonymous said…
Hey Liz... glad you're enjoying your trip home! There's no better feeling than being somewhere that brings back good memories (forget about the bad...). I'll be in Chicago in September for an education conference so you'll have to tell me the who? what? where? about eating.

Also, heading back to NYC in Sept to see "For Colored Girls..." and "In the Heights". Can't wait!!!
Liz Dwyer said…
Yes, nothing like it! I think my kids are having so much fun they're going to have a hard time coming back down to earth in LA!

I didn't know that about the antihistamines. Mosquitoes just devour me though. No one else even got bitten, but I'm a hot mess! I'm glad folks are getting to know my boys better too. I think my youngest is scaring everyone with his running around naked antics though!

I wish I couldn't relate to the plague victim look, but I can. :( My arms and my back are just decimated. :(

It's very cute down there but there definitely needs to be ixnay on the condo buildings. I saw a lot of places that look like they're going up though.

I'm doing my best to enjoy it! And I haven't been to Detroit in ages. I wish I could go for that techno/house festival that happens every year.

I had not heard about this! I'm going to ask my sister if she knows where I can get one because seriously, my arms are a wreck!

The crowds at the Taste were worth experiencing only so that I don't ever again make any delusional attempts to go there with kids. The mosquitoes are never worth experiencing though! :)

Yes, Chicago is sooo wonderful in the summer. But the winters are just not worth it. I miss the summer and fall, but if I never experience a Chicago winter again I'll be just fine!
There is nothing wrong with od'ing on love. The world would be a better place if more people did. :)
Dena said…
i can't tell you how much fun i had with you, kemba, charlie and the kids! my heart completely overflowed with love and joy.
i'm so glad you got to see everyone on sunday :) that must have been a riot!

sidenote: i'm going to cleveland this weekend and will be driving back on tuesday. i'll be passing through south bend. if you're around, i would love to grab some coffee/tea with you :) shoot me an email!
Jameil said…
i need me some love od. i'm gonna start with the food! YOLK IS KILLIN ME!! I NEED IT LIKE NOW! I only read the first 1/2 of the menu and almost died! excited about cosi, too! wow!!!!! "swallow arsenic and throw myself in front of the El???" hilarious! SO glad you're having a good time in the chi! yay!!
Love is the best and only drug to OD on. So glad you're having a wonderful time reconnecting with all your distant loved ones.

I have never understood the point of mosquitoes. When I am in their magnetic zone, everyone else is safe for miles around.
Alicia said…
Hi! Just happened along your blog and thought I'd let you know that I really like your writing style. I'll be stopping in daily, if you don't mind.

I live in the same town I grew up in, so I'm constantly OD'ing on love. I can't get away from it!

Oh, and I live in West Nile Virus central. Mosquitoes are evil here. Evil little bloodsuckers. The bug repellent doesn't even seem to bother them here. They must be mutants or something.
Liz Dwyer said…
Oops, I didn't even see your comment last night! There are so many new and good restaurants popping up that I feel like I'm going to come home to LA a good 20 pounds heavier than I am now. September is going to be a great month for you. Fabulous that you're going to two such amazing places!

It would be a better place... plus, OD'ing then makes some of the stressful things now more bearable.

I think initially the manager at the restaurant wanted to kill us when we told him nine, then fifteen then eighteen people, but then by the time we left, he was giving all the kids candies! I wish you'd been there too. And yes, Tuesday will be great. I'll email you.

The menu was amazing and I could pretty much clean out the kitchen at Cosi. I was pretty frustrated with bro-in-law on Friday night because I'd waited for him for 2 1/2 hours and then waiting again on Saturday... but it was all good. Yay, indeed!

I'm having a great time seeing folks, but I need to sleep more. And I got two more bites this morning even though I was wearing bug spray! AAGH!
Liz Dwyer said…
Welcome! Glad you'll be coming by to visit! You made me laugh with your description of West Nile Virus central. That's exactly how I feel. Goodness, maybe they are mutants!
Ian Lidster said…
And that your friends love you comes as no surprise to me.
Unknown said…
Next stop to the health food store get tea tree oil for your ouchies and neem for the bugs...works like a charm!!

GLAD you are kickin it SO hard here girlie, HAVE FUN!!!!
Liz Dwyer said…
Sometimes I forget. I don't know why I forget, but I do.

Tea tree oil is acquired, and not a moment too soon!

My hard-partying ways are catching up to me though. I was up till 3:30 last night and I am exhausted today!
Mamita Umita said…
YOU CAN NEVER OD ON LOVE!!! We love having you here, and our plot is to not have you return to LA, muwahhhahahaha!!!

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