Weekend Happenings: there’s a carrot in my taco

Happy Memorial Day, folks! I hope you’re starting your day with some exercise, followed by a big ol’ cookout and time spent with friends and family.

I’m grateful to live in a country where people have fought for my freedom. I was just watching Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” and on this particular episode they went to Myanmar. It’s unbelievable the restrictions and censorship that still exist well into the 21st century. I definitely take liberty for granted sometimes, so it’s good to stop, pause, and remember those who cared so much about defending freedom that they died.

The weekend started early with our Girls On The Run Community Impact Project. The girls decided to raise money for PAWS by hosting a bake sale during their lunch periods. I went to the school early Friday morning to drop off cookies and help set up

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Impressively enough, the girls raised $430! I’m thinking there were some overly-generous parents, otherwise there may be some new cases of diabetes at that school. However it happened, it was exciting to see how into it the girls got. We’re hoping to go to PAWS this week to drop off the check and really show the girls how to impact their community from start to finish.

Friday night was low-key because I had to be up early Saturday morning and lead run club for the store. My alarm went off at 6am Saturday morning and I immediately started thinking of all the excuses I could come up with to skip the run. Alas, I was feeling to mature and responsible so I was out the door in ten minutes and on the path.

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Even though it was early in the day, it was hot as hades. Within the first mile I was sweating like a chicken on a rotisserie. My running partner had some sage advice for me that I’ll definitely remember next time: “If you’re not cold when you leave the house for an morning run, you’re going to be too hot.” Preach, Tommy, preach. I felt like an Amish woman covered from head to toe, and was not pleased.

The only solution was to 90s-it-up and tie my jacket around my waist. High-fashion rolling, that’s for sure.

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I’m so happy that I womaned up and completed the run. The best part about running groups is they keep you going, that’s for sure. I know I would have walked a portion of the 7 miles due to the heat but, being the competitive spirit I am, I didn’t want to in front of the other runners. Success.

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The views always keep me going too. Chicago comes alive in the summer.

I took the whole weekend off of work and made the most of it. After some stretching and icing, I made breakfast and then Megan and I sat outside on our porch in the sunshine.

unnamed (5)Scrambled eggs, strawberries, and a Kodiak cake.

Later we walked to the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival to enjoy that classic festival vibe: free music, expensive beer, cheap clothes and jewelry, and fried food.

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We enjoyed some cinnamon-sugar mini donuts, 312s, and live music. Even though it was a No Doubt cover band (I do NOT like Gwen Stefani) it felt like the official start of summer. And that felt great.

Dinner was out in the Wicker Park neighborhood where I met up with some of my coworkers. Big Star is known for its margaritas and summer patio scene, so when you venture out there, you can expect at least a two hour wait.

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We waited about an hour and a half for our table and then immediately ordered a pitcher of margaritas and some snacks.
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The guacamole and margaritas are my favorite things at Big Star, but since it was a long day and I was hungry, I tried a few of their tacos. I’d had the fish and pork shoulder taco before, but this time I tried some newbies:

  • Taco de panza: crispy, braised pork belly, tomato guajillo sauce, queso fresco, onion, cilantro
  • Taco de pollo pibil: chicken thighs steamed in banana leaves, achiote and citrus marinade, pickled red onion, cilantro
  • Taco de zanahorias: mole spiced carrots, chipotle date yogurt, pumpkin and sesame seeds, almond, cilantro

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I loved the chicken and pork, but the carrot one (on the far right) as extremely underwhelming. The waitress said it was her favorite…further proving that I will I never be a vegetarian. Nothing can compete with meat.

After a busy weekend, I made a last-minute decision to go home and spend some time with my family. I tried to stay away for awhile but I just like those people way too much. So I had a lazy Sunday, capped off with a movie I’ve been wanting to see.

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I feel like everyone can relate to this movie somehow. It definitely struck a chord in my heart.

Questions:

  • What’s the longest you’ll wait for a table at a restaurant?
  • How are you celebrating Memorial Day weekend?
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45 comments

  1. I’ve been guilty of the dreaded waist jacket tie… at least it adds some extra resistance and thus a harder workout… right? right?

    The longest I’ll wait for a table is… the walk from the host/hostess stand to the table. I’m not about that life. Kudos to your dedication!

  2. I don’t like to wait, and I”m the Suz–everyone should have a table waiting for me, thank you.
    Also, I’m boss at getting tables at the bar.
    I’m sad that I missed all the great stuff this weekend, but then again, I was at the beach, and it was gorgeous … lol

  3. “Sweating like a chicken on a rotisserie” hahaha! And I agree about needing to be cold at the start of my run. Unfortunately, when it’s 80+ degrees outside it’s not really possible to be cold before I start, but that’s definitely ideal for me 🙂

  4. I am right there with ya when it comes to getting into the competitive spirit! Running with others always turns out to be awesome!
    I started the movie Wild, but didn’t get to finish it, but from what I saw I loved it! You can definitely relate!

  5. Ugh Big Star. I say this because I’ve never actually eaten there – we’ve tried twice! But each time, we waited almost two hours for a table and gave up. Last time we just walked over to Penny’s Noodles across the street and were seated immediately. I’ve heard the way to do it is the takeout window, if you just want some grub and not the experience itself. But at least I know now not to get the carrot taco 😉

    1. Honestly….Big Star is overrated! The patio is beautiful, the drinks are great, and the guacamole is fabulous, but nothing about it is particularly mind-blowing…especially the fact that it’s a 2-hour wait! Craziness. I’ll have to try Penny’s! I like Piece just down the street too. So, so scrumptious.

  6. Oh no I could not wait that long. I would eat my arm off. How was the movie? I read the book and it was decent. Also yes I have learned that I need to be cold before I start running or I will be dying by the end.

  7. Oh, I find it SO hard to wake up that early on a weekday, never mind a morning on the weekend. I guess having to get up and lead a running group would keep me accountable. Way to rock out the 90’s with your jacket around your waist! The No Doubt cover band would have appreciated this nod to their decade, I’m sure.

  8. I have been wanting to see that movie for ages! I need to get on it!
    Wow that’s a really long wait for a table! I feel like the longest I’d wait is half an hour haha. #needitnow generation for sure 😉
    I totally work the wrapped around the waist sweater thing like every time I run!! I often start out too cold, then get too hot, but then if I run long enough I cool down again and need it! i have given up trying to look stylin while I run at this point, in my head I pretend I look good and not like a red sweaty beast and that works for me 😉

  9. Summer time is the BEST in Chicago! I was just telling my friends this morning that we need to go to Big Star! And I read teh book Wild. it was so good. I need to see the movie! Enjoy your week!!!

  10. I loved that book and the movie was great! Reese Witherspoon has some amazing tatas (if you know what I mean!) I actually don’t mind waiting for a table if I am with people I like and we’re talking. I don’t go out to eat often so when I do it’s a special occasion with cool people. I celebrated Memorial Day by working at my job. It was busy and anticlimactic, but I love my coworkers so I wannot complain 🙂

  11. I am drooling over those tacos! Shame about the carrot one, chipotle date yoghurt sounds amazing!
    I really want to see Wild – although I would be happy to read the book too, heard it is really good.

    We don’t have Memorial Day over here but it was a spring holiday so David had the day off work! We decided to go for a hike, it was beautiful and just what we needed to relax and get some country air!

  12. That’s awesome that your GOTR team raised so much money for PAWS! It depends how hungry I am for how long I’ll wait for a table. Normally no longer than an hour though!

  13. Oh girl, I’m totally with you on the 90s style jacket around the waist – I just happened to be making that same fashion statement on our Saturday run 🙂 So awesome that the GOTR raised that much money!

  14. Sounds like you had an amazing weekend!! I did not see Wild but I read the book and honestly, I had some mixed feelings on it. While I could relate to personal struggles, I often felt frustrated with the character as well as the writing style. After lots of conversations with lots of people, I think I’m in the minority about the book… I celebrated MDW in Nantucket with friends and family. It was so much fun!! And I will wait an hour if I am in love with the restaurant. Otherwise, 30-40 minutes MAX.

    1. Maybe see the movie and then you might like it more! I enjoyed it, and really related to the overall message. Nantucket sounds incredible! Never been — but it sounds like a dream whenever I do hear about it!

  15. I HATE waiting for a table. I will purposefully only go to place with reservations or go somewhere when it is not busy. At most I’d wait 15-20 minutes unless it was special circumstances.
    Those carrots in your taco look amazing 🙂

  16. Hot as hades and chicken as a rotisserie… loving the similes haha!
    I will almost never wait for a table. even if it is a place i’ve been waiting to go to for ages, i have NO patience. I will just go to the restaurant beside it and have zero regrets

    1. Sometimes “it was really hot out” just isn’t descriptive enough! haha. The “zero patience” thing seems to be a huge theme! I can’t say I blame you guys — very rarely will I wait, unless I’m prepared to wait (I had a snack before dinner because I knew it would be two hours at least until more food was in sight!)

  17. Looks like a fun weekend! Love how you talked about the real reason for Memorial Day – I actually did the same in my Friday post, because I feel like the meaning really gets lost a lot of the time. And I totally want to see that movie! Will have to nab it on Netflix.

  18. A pitcher of margaritas?! That sounds fantastic! And along with those tacos – mmm! Looks like you had a yummy-filled weekend! Hope it was worth the wait. I think the longest I’d wait is maybe 45-1 hr if it’s really what I was craving!
    And great job on those runs! For summer mornings, if it’s over 50 when I start, I’m in a tank because I know I’ll start to warm up almost immediately. Also I haven’t seen Wild yet, but I’m reading the book now! It’s great so far 🙂

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