“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver
Lots to look forward to this week as I head to my college reunion at Northwestern University. I don’t typically go in for reunions and that sort of thing, but I couldn’t pass up the excuse to spend a long weekend in Chicago and meet up with a few of my oldest friends.
I used to say it seems like such a long time ago that I completed my economics degree and entered the world of big business as a fresh-faced fool, trying to make myself useful. But now it actually has been a long time ago, and my reunion is a reminder of that fact (as is my less “fresh” face!).
So what’s on the docket for the weekend? For starters, we’re doing it right and staying at the posh Waldorf-Astoria off Michigan Avenue. Formerly the Elysian hotel, it was recently ranked the #1 Large City Hotel in the Continental U.S. in the Travel + Leisure 2012 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey. I’m a lucky girl, because I don’t typically indulge in such swank accommodations, but my friend who has become quite the jet setter has Hilton points to spare and was generous enough to book it for us! I’ll be sure to report back and post a few pics.
Then, of course, there is food… always the food. Fortunately my friends share in my love of eating! The reunion class party is Saturday night at Carnivale restaurant, and we’re exploring options for dinner both pre-party and for Friday night. Possible contenders: Longman & Eagle (but they don’t take reservations), Tavernita, Purple Pig (have been, and loved every bite!), Xoco, and Table 52. I am trying to get to at least one new place, since there are so many great restaurants in that city.
Hopefully we can make it to the old campus to see what’s changed, because though I have visited Chicago almost every year since I moved away I rarely make it back to the Evanston campus and if the weather is nice, it’s a beautiful place to walk around.
I don’t anticipate much shopping this trip, mainly because I’m letting the trip itself and my time catching up with old friends be my treat — part of my new perspective. My two-month challenge is over, but I’ve decided to carry forward the positive behaviors I started there as it really did have an impact on me. And yes, I do realize all of this can hardly be said with a straight face in the same post as my Waldorf pic, free stay or not.
So looking forward to the memories, the laughs, and the late night talks, it will almost be like college — except without cramming for exams, takeout pizza, nasty dorm rooms, and cheap beer. Maybe being an oldster isn’t so bad after all.
For your viewing enjoyment: a hit song from the year I graduated… and some years later, we’re not the only ones who reuniting!