I decided to fly into Europe by way of Berlin so that I could visit one of my Bluephie’s babies, Esa, that’s doin’ big things and living in Germany postgrad. Berlin was really the only city in my itinerary that I didn’t research or plan for. Esa had been living in Berlin for a few months by the time I got there, so I figured I would be in good hands and just let her basically take me wherever she wanted to or thought would be the most fun. She picked me up at the airport with beers for the trip home, like any true friend would, so basically I loved Germany from the second I landed. It was so much fun to get to spend time with her and all her new friends, I didn’t realize how much I missed her until we were reunited.


A large part of my time in Berlin consisted of drinking cheap German beer and staring into Esa’s beautiful face. The beer Esa is drinking in this picture was probably the most expensive beer we bought the whole time, and it definitely cost less that six US dollars. Don’t worry, we supplemented our one bourgeoisie beer with plenty of big beers from Späti’s that cost approximately .70 Euros. Which we mostly drank in the streets. Because you can do that in Berlin and that alone is worth cost of the plane ticket, trust me on this one. IMG_1349

Germany knows how to do brunch. Any place that will serve me a giant tray of meat and cheese for breakfast is okay in my book. Esa and I were brunch monsters when we lived in Madison together, so we continued the tradition as much as possible in Berlin, even though she had to do all my ordering for me this time. IMG_1374

We took full advantage of the “Photoautomats” around the city. Basically they’re these dingy, outdoor photobooths that are all over the area we went out in. Don’t ask me to name the neighborhood, like I said, I basically just followed Esa around for two weeks. These were taken before and after our trip to Monster Ronsons, a karaoke bar where all the emcee’s are drag queens. If you’re wondering whether Esa and I rapped a Kanye West song to a room full of cross dressing Germans, the answer is obviously.

Esa’s roommate used to be a city tour guide, so we made her take us on an all inclusive tour of Berlin’s famous sites. Brandenburger Tor is obviously beautiful, but it’s important to note that we also saw the hotel where Michael Jackson held his baby out of the window. Only the most relevant and historical stops on this trip, guys.

The Berlin Wall was pretty much the only thing I knew that I had to see while I was in Berlin. Esa is really smart and worldly, so she was able to tell me a bunch of cool stuff about the history of the wall and facts about the different paintings on it, none of which I can remember. It made for a great Insta opportunity (basically the motivation behind my whole trip, tbh.)
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All in all, I spent just under two weeks in Berlin, the first week I arrived in Europe and the last before I flew back home. Esa was literally the perfect host and we had so much fun drinking copious amounts of champagne, pretending to be Lizzie McGuire, and harassing local boys on Tinder. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider trying to find an au pair job in Berlin and staying there forever but unfortunately my high maintenance lifestyle and all German family’s unwillingness to pay over 300 Euros a month didn’t exactly match up. Until next time, Germany.



Weekend Recap

For some reason, this felt like my official first weekend in Chicago, even though I’ve technically been moved in for two weeks now (and have gone out downtown a million times before I officially moved here). Maybe because I didn’t have to work all weekend, so I could really do the damn thing and go out Friday and Saturday night.

My brother ended up being able to come into the city to check out my new (awesome, adorable, perfect) apartment which was super exciting because he was the first of my family to come over! So I gave him the grand tour and then we got down to business aka drinking and playing music videos on our new Apple TV– I’m obsessed. Felt like I was at a Juvenile concert, so basically like I was in heaven. We stayed around the Lincoln Park area and had lots of fun and shots before heading back and having a slumber party. Actually, everyone passed out as soon as we got back and left me to play by myself, so not an ideal slumber party as it turns out. But it was still great to catch up with my brother and show off our fancy new place.  The only pictures I have from this night involve my brother and my cousin passed out on different couches, so I think I’ll just have to leave that to your imagination.

Saturday I unfortunately woke up at 7:30 when my brother was leaving my place, so I self medicated with Orange is the New Black. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m not as into this season as I was with the last two. It seems a little overdramatic and I feel like some of the story lines are a little played out. Don’t get me wrong, I still watched for a solid three-plus hours, I just wasn’t on the edge of my seat like I was expecting to be. I spent the rest of the day meeting with the landlord and running a few last minute errands before getting ready to watch the Hawks game.

I met up with some friends at HVAC in Wrigleyville for the game, but I was pretty underwhelmed.(Also, side story: My uber driver kept asking me if I smoked pot and told me that he would bring some over to my house and we could smoke together and then he fist bumped me and dropped me off a block from my destination.) It was PACKED (they were running a $30, all you can drink special between 6-9) and we had a really bad view of the TV so I honestly didn’t even watch the game and instead focused on my drinking. We ended up leaving the bar early and heading to my roommate’s friends house to actually watch the end of the game and keep taking shots.

Our night eventually ended at Hang Up’s (like any great night should) and involved me wearing a rubber chicken mask and taking whiskey shots with middle aged men. I wish I could say this was out of the ordinary, but it actually was a fairly typical Saturday for me.

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Sunday I was up bright and early to head back to Rockford for my friend Nicole’s bridal shower. I hadn’t seen Nicole since probably high school, so I was super excited to be reunited and have a free boozy brunch. The shower was so much fun and they even had a red velvet Blackhawk’s cake so I was pretty much in heaven. (My roommates sent me a picture of them doing yoga in our basement just as I was having my second piece of cake and my fifth cocktail.)

Nicole’s best friend Liz couldn’t be there because she is in the Marines and is currently stationed in Japan, so Nicole’s mom made a fake Liz for us to play with. She bought a blow up doll and camo clothes (including high heels) on Amazon and taped a picture of Liz’s face to the doll. Almost the same as the real thing, but way less drunk than the real Liz would have been.


After the shower I ran a few errands and hung out with my mom and my kitty, and then my sister and I met some friends for dinner at Rockford Brewing Company. They have a really great beer selection, some killer buffalo chicken dip, and a cute dock on the river, so it was a fun way to enjoy the one nice day we had last week. I ended up getting back to Chicago around 12:30 and immediately passed the fuck out. I am turning into such a grandma these days, I can’t party like I’m 19 anymore and it makes me sad.


Hope everyone is having a good start to their week!