28 June 2009

Weekend recap: Taste of Chicago, sunburn and bloggers

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Chicago, Food, Friends
Hello hello and happy Sunday! Actually, today is more of my Saturday because I’m off tomorrow, but still, I can’t believe it’s the end of June! Seriously.
And I am totally 100 percent exhausted. It’s been one of those great weekends when you’re totally busy and don’t mind because you’re with great company but then BOOM it hits you all at once and you have no energy to physically do one more thing.
But before I give in to that exhaustion, let’s take a quick trip around my weekend.

Okay first, there was the 20sb meet up and it was a lot of fun. We had a great mixer Friday at Rebel Bar in Wrigleyville and it was really nice to see some of my favorite bloggers again (along with awesome Chicago ones) in person. Then Saturday was the wine tasting with Farmstead Wines, which supports small farmers worldwide and uses a natural approach to wine making. All the wines we sampled were delicious, especially this puppy:
Oh it was good. Clean, crisp and refreshing. That would definitely get me in trouble because it’s perfect for any meal, including breakfast.
But, actually, before the awesome bloggy goodness, I sacrificed my body to the ultimate in Chicago summer festivals: The Taste of Chicago.
Yes, the Taste of Chicago is an annual 10-day festival of mostly deep-fried food from various Chicago restaurants, many of which are served on a stick, on the bone or in a small paper bowl with a crappy plastic fork. And everything can be served on a stick, from popcorn to cheesecake to fruit. And why not, it keeps your hands from getting ridiculously dirty and allows you to still hold a beer.
Whenever you go to the Taste, you can count on one of these things happening:
  • It will be ridiculously hot/humid outside. On cue, every year, the temp rises to 90 and sometimes adds humidity as another kick in the nuts
  • You eat only hot food in the hot sun on the hot pavement
  • You sweat through your clothes (sexy, I know)
  • Sunburn will appear on one or several parts of your body
  • Your personal self-esteem will be boosted
  • You find out how little clothing people can wear with or without crossing the decency line
And for me this year, all these goals were achieved, exhibited in part by my new sunburned sleeve, check this b*tch out:
Yes, I should have known better, no I didn’t wear SPF and yes, it’s sore but it looks a lot better in this picture than it did Friday.
I sacrificed my arm for my rib sandwich, rainbow ice cream and perogi. That’s how much I love you Chicago, you dirty wh*re. You better put out next time.
Oh and just as I was about to leave, some guy got BBQ sauce all over the crotch/leg of my shorts. And then laughed at me. Yes, I wanted to cut him and no, I didn’t laugh back.
At the 20sb mixer, my new sunburn was a good topic of conversation because people kept touching my arm and said, “holy cow it’s hot.” Yes, sunburn is hot. And yes, it did hurt that night. Le sigh.
But even though I complain about the Taste and the heat and the sunburn, it’s a Chicago tradition, much like Summerfest was for me growing up. It’s the great summer festivals that make me love this city and get my hands dirty.
How was everyone else’s weekend? Do you have any local festivals, similar to the Taste that you really enjoy going to every year?
Oh and yes I went on two dates this weekend. More to come on that.


  1. Katie cat says:

    You described the Taste of Chicago perfectly – it was so hot (on that day only it seemed), and we all got sunburnt like crazy!!!

    If I get the chance to go again, I'll be much more prepared. This year, I had no clue what to expect being an out-of-Towner!

  2. Okay, 1. I'm totally jealous I couldn't come to the meet up and 2. I'm now totally STARVING after reading this post.

  3. I've had to lose out on my favourtie festival this year, 'de Parade' in Rotterdam which in an outdoor theater festival. They have different tents where theatre companies perform short plays, and it's often interactive with the public as well. And they serve pretty good food there too… oh well, I'll have to go to de Parade in Utrecht now.


  5. Blaez says:

    we have a week long fair called the peach festival. carnival rides and games! the greatest thing about it for me growing up: the carnival w/ rides itself was literally right next to my house and the other part of the fest was 2 blocks away… couldn't have lived in a more perfect spot :)

  6. Katelin says:

    oh man what a busy weekend, sounds great though. minus the sun burn and all. i promise if you're burned at blogher i won't touch it, haha.

  7. rachel says:

    best 20 hours of my life. i am SO HAPPY i got to see your beautiful face. :)

  8. nory says:

    The sunburn comment (it's hot) reminds me of when I cut my hair and then two days later at work when I'm without 10 inches of my hair my least favorite question ever: "did you cut your hair?" No, I didn't. Just a wig and I took the time to tuck all my hair under it.

    Anyway, I digress… sounds like a great weekend. Taste of Chicago and I would have gotten along splendidly. Can I have some of that rainbow ice cream?

    Now, tell us about those dates =)

  9. Tellie says:

    I went to Chicago too, but wasn't smart enough to figure out I was going the same day as the 20SB meet up. It was still fun, and I loved the city! Especially the food at the taste!

  10. Angela says:

    Oh no!!! I hate sunburns. It's so annoying.

  11. there's a Taste of Charlotte here that lasts for 3 days too many.

    Maybe it had something to do with the economy this year, but the vendors were top-notch SUCKY. It was my first time going so I don't have anything to do compare it to.

    I didn't even sample any food because I was too disappointed.

  12. Moonjava says:

    Sounds like you had fun! And OUCH, that looks painful!

  13. Jenn says:

    ohhh the taste. i haven't gone in a few years because i just can't bring myself to do it. it is a great place to people watch, though! :)

  14. Lauren says:

    Every year I go to the Taste at least once and always in the morning as soon as it opens (11am). It's too crowded and hot later in the day for me. (I get really heat sick). I haven't gone yet this year. Looks like you had fun :) Sorry to see your sunburn though. That's no fun.

  15. ChicagoSane says:

    I avoid the taste like the plague. I MUCH prefer food cooked a little slower, served a little friendlier, and with many more napkins at the ready.

    But I'm glad you had fun. And I would ALWAYS trade a sunburn for ribs. ALWAYS.

    Now get to the 2 dates you had.

  16. SoMi's Nilsa says:

    Mother hen here. How in the world did you go to Taste of Chicago thinking you wouldn't get sunburned? I mean, seriously, with the heat and humidity and sun bouncing off the water there – oh my. Be nice to your skin, dear. Your 60-year old self with thank you. =) Glad to hear the 20sb meet-up was fun. Though, I was hoping to hear of more debauchery! ha.

  17. Lily says:

    What a GREAT weekend! I ended up a little sunburned myself, but had a great time. It was SO GREAT to see you, and can't wait to again sooner than later :)

  18. i could take a picture just like that of my arm right now. will we ever learn??

    my back is crispy now too. ugh.

    but glad you had a fun weekend!

  19. Ugh…I have a love hate relationship with the Taste. I have lived in the burbs of the Chi my whole life and haven't been to the Taste in almost ten years. I can't stand the bazillion people that come out. There's just too darn many. You go with friends and inevitably get separated. I laugh at the commercials on the radio that say it's a free event. Free my patooty! You don't have to pay to get in, but you pay an arm and a leg for the food tickets. But when you get past all the people and the price, it's an awesome time. And the weather this weekend was just gorgeous.

  20. Kyla Roma says:

    Beautiful burn there lady, and I love you talking tough to Chicago! lol

    Glad you had fun at the 20SB meet up, and I hope the dates were fun, can't wait to hear!

  21. A Super Girl says:

    Detroit has several festivals throughout the summer and even in the dead of January because we're insane like that. I love our Tastefest over 4th of July, but haven't been in a couple years.

    Also, please hurry up and post about your online dating exploits. I'm waiting with baited breath!!!

  22. Mandy says:

    I so want to come to Taste of Chicago one year. Your weeekend sounds like a lot of fun! The festivals that I look forward to the most here, don't happen until fall.

  23. Lil' Woman says:

    Mmm pierogies! :) I heart them!

  24. Stevie says:

    Your Taste lasts for 10 days?! Jealous. The Bite of Seattle only lasts 3 days. We could learn a thing or two from you! My favorite summertime Seattle festivities include the Folklife Festival, The Bite of Seattle, and Seafair! Nothing like thousands of sexy sailors wandering aimlessly through the streets of Seattle looking for some fun ;-)

  25. kate says:

    It's sad when I've lived in Chicago all my life and STILL have not attended the Taste. The closest I've been was today, when we drove past at 9am to go to the Pride parade with my buddies.

    But Pride was definitely fun, though not quite as filling as the Taste!

  26. Iva says:

    ohhh I can't wait to hear about your two dates! :) yay!

  27. Maki says:

    Woo Hoo!! Look at you, babe!! I am loving your new sun tanned arm! :) NICE!

    Taste Chicago sounds fun!!! I would love to come and visit next year – I have to plan that.

    And ahem… I can't wait to hear about the two dates you went on…. Share share!

  28. lollygagger says:

    My weekend was fantastic, naturally, since it was filled with fun bloggers :)

  29. bianca says:

    I miss the Taste of Chicago so much! It's one of my favorite Chicago events. I haven't been in Chicago during the taste in 6 years (crazy!) but I think I'll try to next summer. Glad you had a great weekend!

  30. Andhari says:

    Omg 10days food festival sounds great, here it's usually on a weekend. Just two days the max, boo right? How's 20sb meet up? That sounds super amazing, I hate living so far away.