Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I'm back from the Windy City.

I'm still in that "mourning" period. You know, the kind where you get back from vacation and realize your life at home sucks. Or maybe that's just me...hmmm...

I normally don't make a big deal out of Chicago because my family goes there every summer. My parents are from there, actually. But this trip we actually chose to be tourists, so it wasn't entirely boring.

Because I'm awesome and I know all you stalkers are desperate to know every detail of my life, I've posted a day-by-day description of my trip.



I suffered agonizing allergies the entire nine hour drive to Chicago. It was like being in hell. When we finally got to Chicago it took my dad an extra hour to circle around the city searching for our hotel. There was a lot screaming involved.


My parents and I attended my aunt's 60th birthday pool party. She lives in an adorable little suburban neighborhood. Most of my cousins were there. I chose not to swim because I did not want to scare my cousins' young children with my 500 pound lard ass stuffed into a swimsuit like a sausage. I'm always looking out for the children's welfare, you see.

I was being so responsible that I only had one jello shot and half a beer that day. It was so sweltering hot that I mostly drank melted ice.

Everything was going swimmingly (har har) until the DJ (yes, there was a DJ) insisted that we all participate in an awkward communal dance. Everyone in the family had to get in a circle and do the "Chicken Dance" and "Hokey Pokey" and "Electric Slide."

I'm not fucking kidding.

As a normal person, I was hesitant to join in the festivities (I wasn't drunk enough, let's be real), but my dad was having none of it.

"Jennifer, you are going to do the Chicken Dance and you are going to do it RIGHT NOW," he growled at me, while flapping his arms and bobbing his head.

I was surprised that my 67-year-old Indian father even knew the Chicken Dance. He then told me that he had learned the Chicken Dance at a coworker's wedding in 1978.

"The dance of the chicken is something you never forget," he said solemnly.


Oh, and here are some photos I took:

(Me and my awesome cousin Kari)

(Kari and her crazy husband)

(Their adorable daughter...who is part of a triplet set.)

(More of my cousins' children)

(Cutie patootie)

I was so busy catching up with relatives that I didn't notice how many jello shots (two), beer (three), and wine (two) my mother had been consuming.

Before I knew it, she was giddily drunk, running around and laughing. She eventually passed out in the back seat of our car before we even left the driveway.


My parents and I went downtown for shopping and lunch. We spent one hour searching for this stupid hot dog stand where my dad had the best Chicago dog of his life 35 years ago. It was nowhere to be found and my dad was shocked and confused.

I was initially depressed that we would be shopping at all my favorite stores downtown because I seriously had no money. Not even a dollar. But upon my heavy insistence (i.e. pleading and sobbing, toddler style) my dad finally relented and bought me a pair of gym shorts and a leopard print blouse at H&M.

We topped it all off with a boat tour of the lake.

Later that evening, my mom and I found ourselves in a really bad part of town waiting for a bus (long story) and we witnessed a near-murder. A man was chasing another man in circles with a baseball bat and ended up just bashing in his entire car, literally within three feet of us. Scary shit.


We went to the museum of natural science and history.

Then we stopped at the giant ass chocolate store.

For dinner we went to a hamburger joint, Billy Goat Tavern, that my former journalism professor used to eat lunch at every week when he was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. The restaurant is famous for being the inspiration for the old Saturday Night Live sketch ("Cheezborger! Cheezborger!"). My professor used run into Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray, and John Belushi at this hamburger place before they were famous.


The ride home was pretty unremarkable. I had no allergies, so I have no complaints.

And that was my Chicago trip in a nut shell.

If you read that entire post, you are the instant winner of my GIVEAWAY.

And what is the prize for this giveaway? It's my love.

I love you.

Awwww. I'm so sweet it kills me.


Sarah said...

It looks like you had a great time!

David L Macaulay said...

awesome Jenny - I've always wanted to go there. I'll be in the same period of sackcloth and ashes when I return from Britain.

sabrina oliveratta said...

great pot Jenny! It seems you have som much fun there!

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... said...

Ha! ha! ha! I finished the entire post and laughed along the way. Thank you for the love! ;-) I remember having a fabulous time in Chicago in the summer many years ago. I was touring the country with a group of French ESL teachers. It was so hot in the windy city, but I loved every minute of it. Exciting place. Hope you enjoy the new clothes that you "barely" had to beg for! Veronique aka French Girl in Seattle

Courtney Erin said...

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Chicago - I was there a few years ago for a conference and just fell in love.

xoxo ~ Courtney

Meri said...

Well it sounds like Friday basically sucked, but then the chocolate store or billy goat place possibly made up for it? I want to visit that tavern! Welcome back!

Alicia said...

I didn't have many rules at my wedding, but songs that come along with choreographed dances were on the "if you play this you will not be paid" list. I would have to agree with your dad that the dance of the chicken stays with you.

Sara said...

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Sorry... :/

Link for my blog:

Mouthwash said...

YAY!!!! I've never won anything before!! woohooo (runs in circles).

OMG your mom sounds like a riot. I love it. And, how crazy is the car smashing story?? I probably would have taken photos. 'Cause, I'm kinda shitty like that.


Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Sorry to hear about the allergies but am glad you had a fabulous time with the family. Such happy images and you desribed your days so well.Car smashing and all. Sounds eventful;-)

Mimi said...

oh my gosh, i hate the "day after coming home from vacation" feeling! :/

<3, Mimi

-E- said...

excellent. i'll write in my jennifer journal. also the wiener's circle is still around.

Selma *Crazy Little World Of Mine* said...

Yay I won, too. ;) Chicago is still on my list...and I can clearly imagine your father doing the chicken dance. A dance I just can't stand at all. And I had to do it a few years back at a wedding and I asked myself "why on earth are people doing this to themselves?! Chickens will laugh at us big time!".

Have a good day girl

NiNJADALiA. said...

Ah it looks and sounds like you had a really good time in Chicago! i've never been there or anywhere else in the states, i wanna visit it sometime! :)

xo Dalia

Sherin said...

Sounds like a great holiday! I just came home from a trip and am in that 'mourning period' as well.
The pool party sounds hilarious! Haha at the dancing! That would not have been a pretty sight in my family.
And the huge chocolate store sound amazing!!

Couture Carrie said...

Looks and sounds like an amazing trip.
Yay for the electric slide!


Josie said...

I LOVE Chicago! It sounds like you had a blast and your family is gorgeous!
xo Josie

Shannon said...

Sounds like a pretty cool trip. I LOL'd at the thought of your mom doing jello shots. Haahahahaha!

Vivek Nanda said...

Chicago is wonderful..I'm sure you had great time..

Cafe Fashionista said...

Ah...welcome back, Jenny Benny! I'm so glad that you had a fabulous time in the Windy City - your family is gorg!!! :)

Tanvi said...

Than you for the GREAT LAUGH! I really needed it ... looks like you really have an interesting family and sure was fun!!! I love Chicago in summers. Such a wonderful city!!

♡ from ©

Miksu said...

Someday I'm gonna visit every single state of America! Chicago, Alaska, New York, California... I wanna see them all :D

anhesty said...

awwww ive never been to chicago. glad you had a great time with family. and yes im always glad to be back home but then sad that i am. lol

anhesty said...

awwww ive never been to chicago. glad you had a great time with family. and yes im always glad to be back home but then sad that i am. lol

The Gates' said...

Sounds like your trip was great! :) and you did a lot of fun things, including the Chicken gotta love family parties!! :)

Sunny & Star said...

I love all of the pics. I think the boat ride of the lake would have been the most fun for me. This post was hilarious though, I love how you describe things. One thing I want to point out though is you are beautiful and if you had wanted to go swimming you should have been in a swimsuit and in that pool!

Oh to Be a Muse said...

first, you are not a lard ass! second, i love that older people love the chicken dance, or the dance of the chicken, lol.

your cousins are adorable and i want to go on a boat ride the next time i'm in chicago--haven't been there since high school.

love that huge marilyn monroe too!

Missy said...

oh I love this! Fab pics x

Blending Style, Beauty and Fashion

Tights Lover said...

I love Chicago. It's definitely one of my favorite cities that I've been too.

I'm sorry you were forced into the communal dance...I would've been pretty devastated if that happened to me. But it sounds like a pretty good trip nonetheless.

Glad to have you back!

Venus In Virgo said...

Wow! Sounds like quite an adventure and your photos are beautiful! Glad you are back. If your interested use code my special code VENUS on Lulu' website for 15% off. XOXO

Bonnie said...

Your trip there sounds like what would be my trip there -- if I was to ever go there. It's ridiculous that I have not been there considering that it is four hours from my house. My life is a joke.
Annnnyways, I love that you gave us a day-by-day analysis of your trip. It was almost like I was there with you -- speaking of which, you always could have swung by and picked me up. #justsaying
(Especially since the same shit would have happened to me.)
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Rachel {Da Paura ♥} said...

Awww yay, I love Chicago Jennifer! I didn't know you frequent the city... my recent trip there was my first time. It looks like you had fun being a tourist and hanging out a bit! Your witty descriptions of your adventures were so fun to read, and you really made me want to go back to Chicago really soon!


Kavery said...

Oh no I thought the chicken dance was a well kept secret of all Indians. And I was sure we'd left it back in India. The best thing about it? Makes everyone look funny.

L.Voss said...

thanks to you father I will always refer to this as the dance of the chicken.

Chicago is on my list of places to go. I cant wait i know it sounds silly since hello same country but it seems so foriegn from tejas

Style, She Wrote said...

I have yet to visit the Windy City but it looks like a wonderful place! Glad to hear you had a nice time. xo style, she wrote

Indie.Tea said...

The chicken dance..hehe.
I've never been to Chicago. You make it sound like a fun city :)

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

I accept your prize of love and agree - family visits when one is doing fun stuff in the city are a lot more fun!


Chic 'n Cheap Living

Leia said...

I read this post from beginning to end - how could I not?! - and I firmly believe that a video camera should follow you around at ALL times. You would make instant success as the next big reality TV star. I am NOT kidding! I would tune in every week!

Evil Nelly said...

nice post :) i am visiting Chicago next month and am so excited.. family birthdays can be a pain sometimes.. my dad knows the chicken dance too..but his favorite is the EGYPTIAN dance ;)
am so thrilled about winning the giveaway ;)

Ocean Dreams said...

Seriously - the Chicken Dance? I haven't danced that well, in forever, ha ha!

Sorry about the allergies and I won the giveaway, hooray!

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