Monday, January 28, 2008

Back in B'ham

Monday afternoon; trying to get back in the swing of things. T & I had an awesome trip to Chicago! We had so much fun and it was a wonderful "mother/daughter" weekend. Our flight out Saturday morning only had 20 or so passengers, we arrived a couple of minutes early and we were checked into our hotel room by 10 AM. We hit Michigan Avenue running. It snowed off and on all day which just added to the atmosphere. T really liked Chicago (this was her first visit).
Water Tower:
We had lunch at Gino's East. Our Deep Dish pizza was so filling, we couldn't even finish the 4 slice pie we ordered. I'm definitely a NY pizza kind of girl.
Crazy Chicago Deep Dish from Gino's East:

No trip to Chicago would be complete w/ out a visit to the American Girl store. It was kind of late in the afternoon when we walked down this side of Michigan Ave. I didn't even leave the first floor of American Girl. I bought KJ a t-shirt and I bought her doll(s) a matching mini t-shirt.
American Girl Store:
T & I stopped in at the Hershey store. We had just been to the one in Times Square after Christmas. This one was basically the same thing (just less crowded). These cupcakes looked delish (but I was good; I refrained).
Cupcakes at the Hershey Store:

Kisses from the Hershey Store (Japanese? Chinese?):
We then crossed over the River and on to Wacker Drive. We split a lemon bar and had some hot chocolate at a little bakery over looking the Trump building still under construction.
On the Michigan Ave Bridge Overlooking the Chicago River:
Saturday night we had dinner at a place called Redfish. It was a Cajun style place, a little honky-tonk w/ live music. We split a mac & cheese skillet dinner (it was sooooo had bacon, onions and green peppers in it. I know that sounds gross but it was super cheesy and warmed our bellies after being out in the cold all day). We also had shrimp stuff w/ crab meat, wrapped in bacon served in an asiago sauce. We were in our room by 9 PM and T was asleep by 9:15 PM. She yelled at me for watching TV too loud and then she wanted me to turn out the lights (I was reading) so she could go to bed. She was a little grumpy at this point.
While I was in the shower Sunday morning, T ran down to the Starbucks in our lobby and got 2 bagels, a hot chocolate, a latte and a bottle of water. She walked out w/ out paying. We took a cab to the studio and she was ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMille.
The afternoon at the studio was fun, interesting and a little nerve-wracking. T was a little nervous but ended up having the time of her life. The studio was in a dumpy, industrial part of town. There were props everywhere: a phone booth, a mini-van, etc. The stylists took T's suitcase, hung up all her clothes, steamed everything and got her dressed. She had 4 different "looks" and then she was off to hair & make-up. There were several other girls (some were older, a couple were T's age) and there were a couple of guys there as well (1 really good looking young guy -- maybe 20?? and there were also a couple of little boys -- 8 or 9??). While one girl was in hair, one girl was in make-up and two or three were dressed and waiting to get into the studio. They kind of rotated like this all afternoon. T's make-up looked incredible. Not very heavy and her skin looked awesome. For her first shot they did a long side braid and she wore jeans, black patent mary janes and a plaid jacket. The stylists also supplemented T's outfits w/ some of their things: a belt, black ballet flats in one of her looks, a bracelet. Her second look they parted her hair differently and flat-ironed it. She wore shorts, a striped tank and a white button up oxford over the tank. The third look was our favorite. They did her hair all crazy and she wore a dress, jacket and gray tights. None of the clothes were hers. The fourth outfit was her mini-skirt, black leggings, her patent leather heels, a cami and a green & white striped shirt. Her hair was very loose & natural for this look. She said this shot was hard because she was wearing heels and they had her jump in every frame. She jumped up & down and in some shots she was leaping. Mary Brown, director of new talent, had nothing but encouraging, very positive things to say to T and actually told her she did "spectacular." I know she's my kid and all that but Mary did not say that to any of the other girls. I overheard her telling 2 of the older girls (who had already tested once before) that they really needed to work on their poses and their facial expressions. Mary told T that she got the Gold Star for the day. The stylists and make-up artist kept teasing her and said she looked like a mini Uma Thurman (that's a new one; we've heard she looks like Cameron Diaz from a lot of people). Now we'll wait for her pics to come back and see what the agency says. We did talk a little bit about her being marketed internationally. I think at this point the only thing that would hurt T is our current location. We can't fly to Chicago everytime a client wants to see her.
One of T's "looks" Sunday afternoon:

Another of T's "looks" but her hair was done differently:
It ended up looking like this:
From the studio were hopped in a cab and went straight to the airport. Our flight didn't leave Midway until 8 PM but we were so exhausted and hungry we just wanted to relax for a while. We had late lunch/early dinner at Harry Caray's at the airport and just chilled for the next 4 hours.
Picture of the Sear's Tower from the cab window on our way to Midway Sunday Afternoon:
I let T sleep in a little this morning and I checked her in to school on my way to work. I have a ton of laundry to do (what else is new????). Chris did a couple of loads while I was gone and vacuumed the first floor for me. KJ woke me up this morning and wanted to know where her American Girl gift was. I think she's a little mad at me for going out of town w/ the big sis.


Heather said...

The whole trip sounds great! (And very close to what Al and I did. I think we might have eaten at the same bakery.) I really hope Alison reads your blog today and sees your Chicago pics. She made fun of me for taking a picture of the pizza slice at Gino's. Ha! I'm not the only member of the family to do that! :-) We couldn't eat all of our 4-slice pie either.

The pics of Taylor look fabulous!

Unknown said...

am loving the pictures of taylor, how fun! maybe the agency will send people here to see her, you never know. :) i have to say one of my favorite foods in the whole world is chicago style pizza. lou malnati's is my fav! love love love it and always eat way too much of it! i miss chicago. this fall i'm definitely taking kate back and we are shopping! keep us posted on all the pics, sounds great!

Alison said...

Oh man, Heather beat me to the comments, haha. I am however jealous that we missed the H&M on Michigan, they have such cute clothes and of course no mall around here has one. You and Heather are total picture people and I still think its crazy that both of you took a pic of the pizza! Sounds like you had a wonderful time and Taylor looked great :)

Oh and what would I have to talk about if I had a blog, I could fill you in on all the gross stuff I see at clinical...

Valerie said...

Alison, honestly, I HATE H&M. The one in NY by Grammie & Pop's old house is huge but it's a total mess. We were there at Christmas when we visited w/ my mother-in-law. The one in Chicago was much cleaner. I don't know, all the clothes just feel really cheap to me and we can never find anything.

Anonymous said...

Oh..that sounds like SO much fun! I love Chicago! Keg will be so jealous you went to Gino's! Chicago style pizza is his fav!!! Too much for me tho. I want to see the pics when they come in. She looks great & legs for days!!!

Alison said...

Well there were H&M's all over Sweden and we all really liked the stuff, maybe they were made differently there or something, I don't know I have never actually been to one in the States, thats what I got for living in the middle of nowhere, haha.

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