Tuesday, August 31, 2010

oh yes. extra tapioca pls!!!

we made it! it was a 12-hour drive from chicago, il to atlanta (or rather grayson), ga. thanks for all the support, encouragement and prayers that went into our adventure. and no worries, there is certainly a post to come with pics of our adventure. even got some stunning shots of the scenic route through tennesee. unbelievable and breathtaking.

but for now,
i needed a moment to reminisce chicago.

even though i've moved away from chicago, i doubt this will limit the chicago posts. i also have so many pics and fun adventures that i shared with friends and ryan to def. post here.

remember mine and ryan's recent adventure to chinatown? our double-date with candance and phil. we love these two dear friends of ours. what a better combo for our double-date - with two of our favorite people in one of our favorite hot spots of chicago!

duh. where else did we eat? joy yee's.
i can't think about it too long.
i'll get depressed that i can't just hop on the el anymore to get there.

of course, i got my fave taro bubble tea latte with extra tapioca.
'cause of the extra tapioca, it took ryan a litte longer to smile
(hehe, so many tapioca balls made it into his mouth, he couldn't swallow them),
so what else did i do? make silly faces.

i've always loved chinese lanterns.
they are so beautiful.

and phil treated us all to surprise 'christmas' gifts.
we all chose a wrapped gift from the store (anything could be inside of them!) and unwrapped them on the train ride back. we def. got some unexpected gifts - from key rings to disgusting bedtime slippers. guess who unwrapped the disgusting bedtime slippers?

and to dear phil, candance and chicago.
know that we miss each of you so much already,
but that we never meant to say 'goodbye' - just 'see you later'!

much love, illy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

final moments in chicago. part 1 1/2.

have you ever moved away from a place and you begin to think as each passing moment, passing day goes by you think, wow, this is the last time i'll get to eat this or go here or do that? this whirlwind of a weekend, amidst packing and moving and cleaning, ryan and i have made sure to enjoy and savor our time in the city.

and here are a few of those moments...

eating at one of our all-time favorite restaurants.
remember we ate with uncle phil here? and we even saw vince vaughn one summer.
forever in love with rosebud.

enjoying jamba juice with one of my best friends, ashley.

a final bike ride down lakeshore drive.

mmm, delish cake shakes from portillos with linds.
and of course, even on our last friend-date, we cont'd to meet and plot for sulu.
this is not the end of sulu. this is the beginning of an amazing adventure.

and of course, a final yolk-run with the big-boss, Joe-Go.
i will miss him so much. such a good boss and friend.
he was so good to put up with a crazy assistant like me.

meet-ups at washington park.
(better known by to our campus as make-out park. haha.)

then our long-awaited double-date with this amazing couple, phil and candance.
we love them and had such a blast at chinatown with them.
yup, we went to joy-yees.
and yes, ilene did get one last taro bubble tea latte.

(we had so much fun and took so many crazy pics
that i assure you a future blog post must be written up for it. so to be cont'd!)

it's even weird to write this post. part of me feels like we are really leaving - as the boxes pile up and the dust bunnies are cleaned up. as i find myself saying good-bye to one friend and then another. but then there is another part of me that knows this will not be the last time i'll be back to this incredible city. ryan said that we'll be back to visit. maybe even next summer. (um, maybe this fall before winter hits...hehe, jk. sort of.)

either way, it's nice to know that chicago will always be here. and it's just a matter of coming back and reliving those moments.

and the past week has really made me so thankful for this season. it's been a good one. i'm thankful for the dear friends i've made and the experiences i've lived. oh yeah you can count on me crying on tuesday morning as we drive out of the city, but like ryan said, aren't you glad that it's been a good season - that we are able to look back and smile at our time here? he's so right. i would trade it for the world.

[goodbye, chicago....for now.]

p.s. sorry i've been so MIA. i'm sure you can understand the chaos of moving. i also have had no internet. no fun. i'll also be better at blogging in the month of septemeber 'cause i'm actually going to be a full-time etsian and blogger and oh, yes a wedding-planner. so exciteed!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

so...why did i decide to leave again?

dear ilene...
so remind me one more time,
why did you decide to leave chicago?

you're leaving behind a crazy, cool boss, Joe-Go.
it's because of him you survived those insane moments of your job.
it's because of him you were able to carry the job that needed to be carried.
not just a supervisor, but also a friend.

those kinds of bosses are rare and few.

and how about those random, spontaneous parties from some of the coolest student leaders on our campus? talk about making a girl's day. having been over your head with work especially since you check out in oh, 72 something hours...so the last thing expected was 30+ bodies fitting in the itty bitty office, along with cupcakes, chocolate milk, cards and gifts. but they did it!

and how about those lunches, sephora runs, and berry chill dates with nora, one your besties you've known for 8+ years? the girl and you started out your lives in chicago the same year. you've shared countless tears and laughter with her. she will forever be one of those friends you won't forget.

and of course, chicago restaurants?!
there are five guy burger places popping up all over the US (even in SC) but not like this five guys, right on clark street where you had your first give guy burger. plus this five guys is next door to urban outfitters and akira. you can't go wrong with it, baby.

sigh. such is life. everything is going well, well on its high - then BAM - transition, change of pace, and a brand new life but like i told Joe today, i really have loved my time here. it's just time for a new season, time to move on. and i'm so glad to leave with a desire to stay 'cause then it means the experience was good. i am beyond thankful to God for the opportunities i've experienced and the people i've met. today was one of those days that he blasted it loud and clear. i felt his love and affirmation through people today. whether it was joe or the students i worked alongside with today, or even ryan helping me to continue to pack, i have been reminded that everything will be ok. so until the 31st rolls around..

it's about enjoying the rest of the ride while you are on it 'cause there isn't much of a ride left.
[happy wednesday, friend.]

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

farmer's market finds.

i love saturday morning at the farmer's market.
there is something about the atmosphere.
the people.
the flowers.
the food.

i love the farmer's market even more when i'm with some of my favorite people in the world.
during the brandenbergers' stay in the city, we made sure to make a stop to by
one of our fave Chicago saturday locations,
the division st. farmer's market.

am i the only one amused by the cute elderly man beside kristine?

[btw kristine is also a blogger, so be sure to check out her farmer's market pics once they are uploaded!]

all of us drooled over the grilled cheese. there is nothing like it. i only seem to find them at farmer's markets so be sure to look out for them if there is a farmer's market near you. they are absolutely mouth-watering.
we all tried lots of delish food.
kristine got her salsa,
ryan his black berries,
and my ryan and i...well, we enjoyed the samples.

i especially loved this trip to the farmer's market 'cause when kristine and i were roommates for a year, we made sure to visit the market every weekend to buy ingredients to a chunky salsa that we were addicted to making that particular summer. it was fun to relive those fun summer days, especially with our ryans with us.

[happy tuesday, friend.]