Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chicago Tomfoolery...The Trilogy, Part 2

by: Justin T. Tison

Friday November 5 had Lindsey and I waking up with a clear cut plan of action. Eat breakfast, shop, see the sights, and get to South Bend, Indiana in time for Jordan and Patrick’s rehearsal dinner. Plans are good for Lindsey and I because without them we tend to meander and procrastinate through life. November 5, however, was not going to be one of those days. After the already photographed and exhibited breakfast for that day Lindsey and I took to the hip streets of Lakeview for some shopping. Lindsey was able to get to one of her favorite places, Anthropologie, which I learned several times this trip, is a shopper’s destination not afforded to the affluent citizens of Shreveport/Bossier.

After a complete dismantling of her checking account, aided by their extremely courteous and doting staff it was off to Wrigley Field for some guy stuff, i.e. taking cute and fun pictures outside of it because baseball season is over and we couldn’t get in there.
Once we saw Wrigley and the majority of the beautiful Lake View neighborhood on foot it was off to South Bend, Indiana for the wedding that was the main reason for our trip to Chicago.

It was during our trip to South Bend that Lindsey and I saw our first, and if seasonal weather patterns have anything to say about it, possibly only snow of the winter. It was already cold up there but then it starts snowing off of Lake Michigan and that stuff is for real. This snow was totally different than the snow we get down here. Up there it’s all huge snowflakes that mean it when they say they are going to stick to the ground and make travelling Southerners think twice about living around here. Down here we get snow that has already given up on life and is just wafting to the ground in hopes of finding a nice place to lie down and die. No sticking to the ground, no beautiful snow capped sunrises on our wedding day, nothing but gross wet slosh that we have to plod through till 9:30 am when our temperatures rebound into the eighties.

Thanks to Richard and Emily Raley and their gracious family we were able to procure free living arrangements for our time in South Bend. They have a nice condo right off of campus that has a stream or something behind it, which housed real life deer and geese. The place was free, it was warm and we both truly appreciated being able to stay there.

After getting into South Bend and getting ready we headed on over to the Basilica at Notre Dame to watch the rehearsal and so that we can follow the people we know to the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner was housed in an old mansion (Tippecanoe Place) that had been converted into a restaurant. The place was really nice with a definite old world feel, plus on cold winter mornings you can hear Old Lady Tippecanoe’s cries for solace over the din of harried South Bend breakfast lovers. It was a beautiful dinner in a charming, historical setting, you can’t ask for much more than that. Plus, afterwards we headed to the Madison Oyster House and Bar and really took in the local color. This place has huge draft beers (Fat Tire anyone?) for 3 bucks and the atmosphere of the place was very cool and laid back. It seemed to be a favorite haunt of our hosts because we went there both Friday and Saturday night and it was a definitely a good time. Plus we got were able to astound people with our ability to talk to absolute strangers with absolutely no compunction or alarm.

Saturday November 6 had Lindsey and me up and at ‘em as early as any day during the trip would, not including our travelling days. Due to the busy schedule of Notre Dame’s Basilica, Jordan and Patrick’s wedding was at nine in the morning. Now, in theory we were both taken aback by this time but in practice it is absolutely marvelous. By 10 am we were already on our way to the reception, which being from the Catholic variety had plenty of alcohol to get party going. The best part was that since the wedding was over in the morning there was none of that, “oh great, I have to go to a wedding later” feeling that can really bring you back down to Earth.
I feel that I would be amiss if I did not mention that the wedding was beautiful, the basilica was beautiful and the bride was beautiful. Plus, God had seen fit to kiss his creation with a light dusting of glittering snow that made the morning all the more magnificent. I was really happy to be there for all that plus for a chance to experience a 10:30 am – 3:00 am wedding reception featuring an open bar. I am not sure if I can go back to the old way of doing business after experiencing it that way.

After 4 hours of morning wedding reception tomfoolery it was off to find a place to watch the LSU game. Well, it just so happened that Lindsey and I had a condo that offered cable at no extra charge. But before we had come to that conclusion we had been discussing with fellow LSU fans about where to watch the game. The only option that seemed agreeable to everyone was a place called Between the Buns. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it there as everyone else seemed to teeter away from the idea once that became the only location to watch. Perhaps it was the less than appealing name or the idea that maybe we just didn’t know what we were going to get into in a place named as such.

So with our new friend, Dan, whom we had met at the reception and had decided to follow us wherever we were going afterwards, we went back to the condo to enjoy the Tigers football game.

A little over half-way through the game the three of us had to get back out there in time to meet a chartered bus to take us across the Michigan-Indiana border for a evening at the groom’s father’s bar. This quaint little watering hole was in Niles, Michigan. I cannot imagine a life cooler than owning a bar and only opening it for family events and St. Patrick’s day but that is, apparently, the Stein & Vine’s hours of operation. Packed with food, family and friends, it made for a great finish to a wonderful day in South Bend celebrating the nuptials of some good friends.
{Check back Monday for the third and final Chicago Tomfoolery:The Trilogy}


DJ said...

you are a good person for enduring a woman's love of Anthro.Your trip sounds like it was a blast! PS if you can endure 14+ hours in the car together (twice), that's a good sign.

Ryan said...

Oh Tison is such a great writer! I LOVED the part where he described the snow. I have never heard it explained so perfectly. And thanks for posting the pics!

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