One of the things I would consider a perk at any job is the ability to travel. Every year NAILS Magazine goes to Chicago to attend America's Beauty Show. I never had the urge to go until a couple of months ago when something nagged at me to volunteer. I had this sudden curiosity to see Chicago, a city I had long heard of, and now was desperate to see.
I've always been a fan of exploring new places and Chicago is a city that's fun to get lost in. I stayed at the W, saw the Bean, had cocktails and tacos at Mercadito, stopped in for a Midnight Kiss at Elephant & Castle (I was attracted to this pub because it shares the name of a tube station in London), had breakfast at the new Seven Lions, and a pretty great business dinner at the Gilt Bar.
Food and drinks in Chicago are pretty fabulous, but the Chicago Art Institute is the place I would really like to revisit. I had the opportunity to attend the Beauty Changes Lives gala honoring Leo Passage my second night in the city. Only one wing was open for partygoers to peruse, and luckily for me it was the Modern wing, my favorite period in art and literature. Picasso paintings danced along the walls and sculptures took center stage. Downstairs, a live fashion show took place with models wearing works of up and coming designers along with avant garde hair and nails. I posted some of my favorite pictures here.
While most guests chose black to wear to the event, I opted for white. I had packed black, but at the last moment I craved the clean crisp lines of a white linen and feather blazer from Elizabeth and James and a BCBG pleated white dress with simple black pumps. It was cold outside, but to stand out in the crowd was completely worth the risk.
Our last day in Chicago a mini miracle happened. The snow fell in droves and blanketed the streets, caking my hair and gloves. Even though it had been 90 degrees in Orange County, the extreme difference in weather made me inexplicably happy. It was like being inside a snow globe, newly shaken. Living somewhere that is beautiful but un-seasonal can make you crave days like this, where the bite of the cold doesn't even seem to phase you. I stood outside in my bare legs and un-waterproofed boots to allow the snow to fall on my shoulders. My flight home was delayed over three hours, but looking back, I think it was all worth it. I may forget the outfits and hairstyles the models showed off; the taste of a meal may fade; I can sleep off the best glass of French wine; but watching the snow fall stirred something in me that I never knew was missing. Until next time, Chicago.