Tuesday, August 20, 2013

a quarter of a century

This past Saturday I turned 25. A quarter of a century. It's special and important and significant to me, even if 25 is just a number. To me it means I have experience under my belt. That I have a new year and a fresh start. That I'm starting to reach the best of times.

This whole past extended weekend was a celebration. Of summer, of life, of sunshine, of city, of happiness, of me.

Thursday night we trekked to Wrightwood Park with friends for a movie in the park -- The Amazing Spiderman in fact. City-dwellers flocked to the park before dusk, setting up blankets and spreads of snacks and wine. All of us seeking a little retreat and a little peace. It was the perfect bit of comfort. Especially with a little bit of popcorn.

Friday I took off of work, which I rarely do. I have quite a bit of PTO saved up and I keep holding onto it just in case. I ran, grabbed groceries, and took a long walk through the park to Lincoln Park Zoo. It was the perfect day -- sunny, warm, and a slight breeze. The flowers were bursting with color and bloom and the bees were zooming

The zoo was filled with families and kids, probably trying to enjoy their last few weeks off of school. I watched as a girl blew kisses to a bird who probably wasn't going to blow kisses back. I heard children exclaim in excitement when the baby monkey would make an appearance.

It was like magic really. Getting away without having to get away. Sometimes it is the simplest of things that fulfill our hearts so. Including sitting on the ground to get this photo underneath this gorgeous dome-shaped structure.

Friday night was filled with dinner, drinks of the patio (a summertime must), and a little lot of spoiling. Little champagne bottles, an H & M giftcard, Lush products, a 2 page birthday letter...could a girl ask for anything more?

I couldn't sleep. Excitement or birthday nerves, I'm not sure. But I had the whole day to enjoy. Up and early we headed to the Air and Water Show on North Avenue Beach. I love arriving at least an hour early. That guarantees a good spot close to the water. The sun was miraculous and warm and the sand between the toes didn't hurt either.

A little birthday love.

After enough sun and planes, the rest of the day called for adventuring. Goose Island, Sprinkles for a birthday treat, the Signature Lounge in the John Hancock building for a drink but mostly the view (especially from the ladies bathroom), and dinner at Girl and the Goat. I couldn't have asked for a better birthday or a better birthday celebrating partner.

Chocolate marshmallow and s'mores. I went for the s'mores. It was the right and decadent choice.

View from the ladies bathroom in the Signature Lounge. Shockingly better than the rest.

Girl & the Goat. This deserves praise and words all on its own. I made the reservation two months prior because that's how badly I wanted to go. It was better than I imagined. The inside was beautiful and hip with an open kitchen Jacob couldn't take his eyes away from.  

With rosé and wine in hand on top of rustic, thick wooden tables, we knew the evening was starting off right.

Adventurous foods are a part of our foodie lifestyle. I adore things that are different, unique, and inventive. G&theG did not disappoint. We ordered duck tongues, sauteed green beans in a fish sauce vinaigrette, goat empanadas, and roasted pig face. All were divine, and four dishes were plenty between the two of us. I have an entire list of things I want to try off the menu next time we get to waltz into G&theG. 

So what does this next year hold? At least 25 things. Let's get started. 

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