Actually I can: Chicago
My last post was a highlight of my obsession with food and wonderful restaurants paired with going on friend dates, and more importantly a girls trip.
Our trip to Chicago was much needed. Really, you have no idea.
Not only to get away, but to hang out as friends. Alex Anna basically planned my wedding, and she deserved a honey moon as much as Jake and I did. Sadly, hers was eight months late (insert cheesy comment about how I have the best husband who understands how important friends are to me, and how bad of wanderlust I constantly have).
Alex Anna loved us well during wedding chaos (so did so many awesome people, like our entire wedding party and Sam as my counselor, and Adair as our live in friend). But, this trip allowed us to let our hair down and explore. And just hang with no stinky boys (when you live with one, they actually sometimes do begin to stink).
While shopping on our last day, we stumbled into a sweet shop in Lincoln Park, Art Effect. And I found a long necklace that at the bottom read, "ACTUALLY I CAN." And I had to buy it. I bought it, because actually, I can. This phrase took on a bigger meaning to me. It meant more than being sassy and using it to my advantage to do whatever it is I please.
The phrase exhibits freedom. Actually, I can. Say it to yourself, it's empowering. If you REALLY think about something, something you maybe should or want to do, sometimes all you need is some will power and some believing in yourself, and the answer becomes, Actually, I can. And as I think back on our trip, we had PLENTY of these moments.
1. The metro broke down and we decided, actually we could just walk. Then we quickly realized we were gaining blisters and fast! So we said, actually let's ride these Divvy bikes into the city. Or, I said let's ride these Divvy bikes into the city, and Alex Anna looked at me with skeptical eyes and then we got on the bikes.
2. Then we realized we didn't eat breakfast, then Alex Anna realized she could no longer go on. This is when Actually I can really applied. I had to go on. Alex Anna collapsed on a random staircase on the street just outside downtown, and I took off biking on the hunt for some kind of breakfast protein. When I left her, I should have turned left, but instead I went right and made a giant circle around several blocks and found a Starbucks just two blocks away from the distressed Alex Anna on the side of the road. Protein pack ingested, we headed to lunch.
4. Alex Anna toured her future school, while I took three unsuspecting friends to a restaurant called Fat Rice, that we thought was sushi, but was actually some kind of asian meets Portuguese cuisine. The menu was overwhelming and the idea that we had no idea what would soon arrive at our table was somewhat thrilling. The food hit the table and we said, actually, we can eat this. And we did. And we loved it.
Had I turned on my foodie side, I would have documented what we ate and written an entire blog post about it, but I got to see an old friend from college, Alex and his girlfriend and it was just great to sit, eat and enjoy the experience (the drinks were also unique and fabulous). If you want a unique Chicago experience, eat here!
5. The last day we became less of tourists and foodies and ventured to find a place for Alex Anna to live. We dreamed and discussed ideas and big thoughts for moving to the Windy City, Then as we ended the day, we thought, Actually I can do this, Actually Alex Anna can move to Chicago.
We also wore better shoes, which made the whole day better. Check out my stylish new sandals from H&M, an Actually I can purchase from our ventures down Michigan Ave.
Actually I can means having freedom in something bigger than us that desires adventure, authenticity and knowing Him. It doesn't mean be rebellious and reflect an attitude of "I do what I want when I want." It means loving people well, encouraging them always, and making them and you believe, Actually I can. And then doing it, whatever it may be.
Love well, laugh often, and dance,
P.S. Want to read more about our trip, check out Alex Anna's post!