I’ve spent the last several days staying with my mom in Wheaton, IL, and aside from the oppressive heat and the fact that she has beaten me at cribbage 17 times, it’s been a great visit.
Unphotographed events include seeing “Julie & Julia” (Meryl Streep is a national treasure, duh), dining at my beloved El Zarape, and going to church, where I get to practice explaining the trip in a succinct way to people who don’t quite get why you’d hop in a car and scoot across the country and back. I haven’t perfected that speech yet, but it definitely includes the phrase “…and I just realized, if I don’t do it now, when will I ever do it?” My mom says she tells people the trip is a “next-gen resume.” If I can read through the business-book lingo, I think that means she thinks — or wants people to think — that this wandering journey will fit into a Grand Life Scheme somehow, that it’s not totally self-indulgent. I hope she’s right! In the meantime, enjoy these photos of me, my friends, my family, and my town.
On Thursday night, I drove into the city to see my pal Annie. She just moved to Logan Square, and her neighborhood bar, Small Bar, is perfect perfect perfect. And so is Annie.
The next day I visited with my grandma, and we talked about her many travels. She recommended Escalante in Utah.
That night I had a drink in Glen Ellyn with Leigh, who I have been friends with since the first day of kindergarten at Wheaton Christian Grammar School. We met a recent Wheaton grad from Utah who recommended Escalante, too. He also made a game of guessing my age. (Note to young people: This is not a fun game.)
On Saturday morning I walked to the farmers' market with my mom. The little grocery store we shopped at while I was growing up has closed down. It made me a bit sad to see.
The old courthouse has been turned into condos. Should I move to Wheaton and become an antidevelopment activist? (Answer: no. These condos are beautiful!)
If the Popcorn Shop ever closes, however, I will seriously lose it. Don't test me, Wheaton. I WILL BURN THIS TOWN TO THE GROUND.
A girl needs her candy. I spent 63 cents.
On Saturday night, another very old friend got married. Congratulations, Ari and Ronnie!
With Ari and Andrea. My mom made Ari's dress; Ari made the food we ate; the wedding was in Ronnie's family's backyard, and his friends provided the live bluegrass music. A personal wedding is best if you have excellent taste and talented friends.
First dance of many.
And today I finally beat my mom in cribbage. Now I can leave in peace.
After one more night in my old twin bed on Willow Ave., I hit the road early tomorrow morning for Nashville.