Back! (In Inaction? I hope?!)
Mis novias hermosas! It's the second of July, and I've just returned home from 5 weeks of almost unadulterated adventure (my one week back in Chicago was, in fact, adulterated by food poisoning.). In late May, I traveled to Spain with my family -- Barcelona, Granada, and Madrid. I saw everything I'd hoped to see and more: flamenco, Gaudi's Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, the Alhambra Palace, works by Picasso and Miro and Dali (I was genuinely moved to tears at the Reina Sofia Museum looking at all of Picasso's works leading up to the Guernica). I ate a surprising amount of squid and bread. I half-reluctantly let myself be led around Barcelona's roundabouts by my Spain-savvy little sister. I cried for lots of reasons not motivated by art (general sensitivity exacerbated by jet lag, fried food, and missing my man, mostly) because, apparently, I'm a deeply emotional person, I'm attached to my routine, and as you all know, I am not low maintenance. I'm thankful to them for loving me with such ferocity even while rolling their eyes. A family trip abroad with these broads was something powerfully special for me, and now that I'm home, my gratitude is still washing over me in waves. Gracias y te adoro, mi familia.
As noted: food poisoning. That's all that I'll say about that, apart from the truth that no matter how badly you want to be productive, and how many zillions of work/freelance/life projects you need to wrap up before your next trip, sometimes you have to lie in bed for a week and subsist on brown rice (and chia seeds! An unexpectedly witchy western doctor recommended I drink chia water to help with digestive distress -- highly effective.). I recovered, though, with just enough time to bunny ear some loose ends and hop a plane to Berlin.
And hop we did. My dude and I have a new spirit city. Berlin is a lot like Chicago, in a melting pot/everybody seems to know and accept and support each other kind of way, but it's not like Chicago in that I didn't fear death while riding a bicycle, I could buy a queenly dinner for five euros, and there are clubs where you can dance and do club kid things for three days straight. We strolled through public parks and promenades amply garnished with graffiti, biked the Templehoff, hung with some Chicagoans, drank Radlers on the street... on our last night, we went to the club for days-long parties. We watched hundreds of humans get shooed away (and heard heartbreaking lines like, "But we came all the way from Italy!" :( ), but this guy, the guy, ushered us right in and I've pretty much never felt cooler. Then I essentially fell asleep on Dylan while standing -- not a new move for me -- and felt momentarily less cool, but all in all, we came out on top.
Then... Iceland. Our Icelandic journey was full of elfen mischief/ crazy mistakes. We locked my luggage in our Berlin AirBnb before heading to the airport. We made a pitstop at the Blue Lagoon before heading to Reykjavic, where all the pink dye came out of my hair and said hair became an unbrushable salted algae clump (It remains this way still today. I hacked several inches off myself yesterday in a fit of fury. Ill-advised but sort of therapeutic.) We drank champagne, adorned face masks, and stewed in that hot spring/our love for about five hours, and in our dehydrated, blissed out zombie state, we managed to leave our most important belongings behind -- glasses and contacts, for example. Disgruntled and fearing blindness, we came to all sorts of realizations: our AirBnb was located miles away from any action except for a stray black cat that literally emerged from a bush and rubbed up against Dylan's leg (I'm not superstitious, but come on), we needed to rent a car (I'm so thankful Dylan was up for it), I neglected to book us a room one night. But... we figured it all out! We were continually impressed by each other's resourcefulness and unwavering kindness, and we came to love the alien terrain that is Iceland. We saw sheep and craters and waterfalls and cairns and sheep and Icelandic ponies and tenacious purple flowers and sheep. Having only packed crop tops and rompers for Berlin escapades, I purchased three sweaters (okay, four, but one was for my mom). We joined 70 other guests for a stunning summer solstice wedding -- there was no nightfall the whole time we were in Iceland. So for Kelsey and Zack, we had 24 hours of daylight and about 19 hours of Icelandic exploits: 7:00am breakfast, a stunning ceremony, a day of sightseeing in the wind and rain, a costume change/reception, and a 1:00am hot spring (felt like 3pm bc daylight, but also we were drunk and tired, so?).
All of it was WILD. Wild. Then we headed back, I was immediately in my dear friends' Sloane and Steve's wedding. I was a sleep-deprived zombie on the beach at Mamby on the Beach. I had five weeks' worth of work to catch up on, but also chose this week of all weeks to delve into a bunch of personal stuff and now I feel manic/overwhelmed hahahahahahahahaha :/ :/ :/ but also loved and like a lot of really great stuff is happening and still about to happen.
P.S. I have sweet events coming up:
Big Table Dinner at Washington Park on behalf of Green City Market and Chicago Park District (The first of five Big Table Dinners I'm running this summer with my fab co-chair and GCM team. We gather up about 120 urban ag people to enjoy a FREE farm to table dinner - generously prepared by Chicago chefs and made from local market ingredients. It's the best.)
Pantry to Plate Panel + Party! (I'm moderating a panel of lady wellness entrepreneurs to promote my bud/boss Heather Crosby's new book Pantry to Plate. She'll be signing copies, we'll enjoy a delicious cocktail collab by local Chicago women, we'll do a guided meditation... I'm SO excited for this one. Please come, please come!)
Ok! That's most of it! There are more self-reflective, self-care-y posts on the horizon, but for now, I needed to empty my brain and that, my friend, is the best kind of self- care around.