Gorgeous Fall Halloween Weekend to you!
It’s my last day in Chicago with my dear friend Robert!!
We wake up and chat over coffee while the dogs beg us for massages. Robert and Bill want to take me to a very popular breakfast spot called Juicy-O. It sounds like a chain to me and I get nervous. I like unique greasy spoons. But they tell me it is the best breakfast ever. I LOVE breakfast – eggs, bacon, pancakes – the whole thing. We dress quickly and go. There is a line but it is not too bad – about 15 minute wait. The place is packed which is always a good sign that it’s got good food. The décor is cute, very simple with funny sayings on the wall, which keeps you entertained while waiting.
We get a table and I can hear my stomach growling for a major breakfast feast. As the name implies, they have fresh squeezed juice so I order grapefruit. I LOVE grapefruit juice but only fresh squeezed. You would be surprised how many fancy, upscale restaurants don’t have fresh squeezed juice. It is a crime!
The BEST part of this place is that the first thing you get when you sit down are FRESH homemade, just out of the oven DOUGHNUTS! Little morsels of happiness. I would come here just for that. And did I mention they are complimentary?? The waitress is a bit slow and Robert gets annoyed but I can see the place is packed so I don’t mind.
‘The menu is HUGE and daunting. Every single thing looks good, from the eggs benedict to the Nutella French Toast (oh my!) to the Scramblers etc. I seriously get anxiety over what to order. I decide on the special omelette of the day – sundried tomatoes and Gruyere and scallions. Our food comes and the omelette is DIVINE. I am not often blown away by an omelette but this was really delicious.
The restaurant has 3 locations. If you are ever in Chicago, it is SO worth the visit!
Now that our bellies are full, Robert takes me to the VERY, VERY, super secret thrift store that he goes to for finds. I have been hearing about his designer purchases for months now and I have been drooling over it, just waiting to have my own chance at finding some buried treasure of my own. We drive to the Salvation Army thrift store, which looks like any typical thrift store. I am skeptical even though Robert has shown me the Joseph Aboud and Ralph Lauren stuff he has found. The BIG thing about this place is not just that you can find designer stuff. It’s the LOW prices that are crazy. Most clothing is priced at anywhere from $2-10 dollars. That’s just insane. You would never find these prices in NY or LA.
We go in and the digging begins. This is not a browsing, easy shopping excursion. This is a roll-up-your-sleeves, get in there and work event. I practically run to the women’s section and start looking. I crack up as I see some great 70s fashions and some sweaters that are so worn and holey, nobody would want them. They even have USED PANTYHOSE! That’s right – USED PANTYHOSE! Pretty damn disgusting. But this does not deter me. I used to go thrift shopping with my mother all the time and we would find amazing stuff amongst crap. I’m hoping for the same luck.
After about an hour, I have found two cashmere sweaters, three other nice sweaters, two jackets including this fab military jacket, a turtleneck, a sweater and Joseph Aboud jacket for my husband and even a suitcase! My grand total? $57. Yup. Now that’s what I call a bargain! Everything is in great condition and will be thoroughly washed when I get home.
Thrift stores can be great places to find bargains but remember that it takes a lot of work and you have to be willing to dig. AND make sure you thoroughly check the item for rips, stains, missing buttons, etc!
Exhausted and elated, we head back home. Robert shows me some old photos and shows off the doggies’ new houndstooth jackets, which of course Robert made. Is there anything he can’t make??
I pack up my stuff and we head to the airport. I already miss Robert and wish we had more time. The worst part of any trip is having to say goodbye to those you love! But Robert gave me some of his delicious stuffed cabbage to take home so at least the memories will live on back in CA.
Ladies – remember to cherish your friends and find a way to spend time with them.