I know it’s been embarrassingly long since I’ve made a proper update, but first things first:
Why don’t they sell stirrup pants anymore? Skinny jeans are still big, leggings are huge, and both of these are a pain to tuck into boots — unless you have stirrups. I was a big fan of stirrup pants growing up and stumbled upon a pair of stirrup leggings by accident at the Gap Clearance Center a couple years ago (have I written about that place before? It really deserves its own entry). I bought them for some ridiculously low price like $2, fixed the small hole in them, and they’ve been my go-to boots pants ever since. I wanted to get another pair, but can’t seem to find stirrup pants anywhere, except on ebay, where they come from China. As much as I love China and all things that come from there, if the tights and leggings I buy in the US are often too short on me, I doubt I’ll have any luck with one-size-fits-all stirrup pants from China. So the search continues, albeit not too seriously, because as my lack of updates shows, I’ve been busy.
So I went to Chicago. And Milwaukee. I have this habit of downplaying things (My standard response to “How’s London?” is either “rainy” or “expensive”), but it was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. Truly. The kind that makes you immediately calculate when it can happen again (as you’re riding the Amtrak still a little buzzed from the night before), even though you know it will never happen again — not like that, at least. Everything went swimmingly, from meeting up with old friends and coworkers in Chicago, to celebrating my friend’s birthday Milwaukee-style (yes, a mechanical bull was involved. No, I did not ride it). Perhaps most importantly, I managed to reach that golden amount of alcohol where everything is hilarious, but you’re not sick. That is definitely something that I’ll likely not achieve again. Perhaps the only snafu of the trip was when the Chinese consulate told me I’m supposed to go to DC to get a Chinese visa because they have “jurisdiction” over people from Kentucky, despite Chicago being closer and easier for me to travel to. They still issued me a visa, but it’s only good for six months and two entries, unlike the usual multiple entries good for a year. It’s funny, last year when I went to Chicago my main reason was to get the Chinese visa. But this trip felt more about visiting friends and spending time in my former home, the visa was just a nice bonus. Even if I can no longer include the Chinese consulate in my yearly Chicago agenda, I think I’ll still be making yearly Chicago and Milwaukee visits. Megabus makes it hard not to.
And now some photos that likely won’t mean anything to anyone unless you’re familiar with the evolution of Chicago’s State Street: