A Long-Awaited Reunion of Besties

January 6, 2014 § 1 Comment

Chen, Xixi, Yawen, Lucy (I was behind the camera)

Chen, Xixi, Yawen, Lucy (I was behind the camera)

This winter break was a special one because I got to be in the same place as my four best friends for the first time in exactly four years. Since New Years 2009, our lives have mostly gone separate ways: I went to Hong Kong twice and eventually moved to New York; Chen went to China for three years then moved to Seattle; and Yawen completed her first two years of med school in the Caribbean. Lucy and Xixi, our loyal Illinois residents, stayed near home, with the former getting a big girl job and moving to the city and the latter passing her first round of boards and starting med school rotations.

We’ve all changed quite a bit since the last time we met up, and it’s such a blessing to be able to come home and get back together like we were never apart. Just look at how much we’ve matured physically!

In '09, four of us couldn't even drink legally! We toasted with sparkling juice (I swear)

In ’09, four of us couldn’t even drink legally! We toasted with sparkling juice (I swear)

Since Chen and I were back in Naperville for the exact same dates, the five of us made the most of our time together. I’m normally not so insistent/obsessive about taking photos (especially ones of myself), but I figured that we’re only young and cute and together for so long, so I’d better document everything in order to have something tangible to look back on! (Other than the potbelly I’ve gained from eating so much.)

The fun started with a trip to Chicago for an indulgent sleepover at Lucy’s apartment. And that meant one thing in particular (for me at least): deep dish pizza. I had to have it. New York pizza is good but just doesn’t taste like home!

From Toni's Pizza and Organic Pasta. Good but doesn't beat Gino's East or Giordano's.

From Toni’s Pizza and Organic Pasta. Tasty but doesn’t beat Gino’s East or Giordano’s.

We also baked cookies and a Funfetti cake (our tradition since middle school!), which included an impromptu trip to the grocery store because Lucy ran out of eggs. A pit stop at Xixi’s apartment resulted in bored/crazed car selfies as Chen, Lucy and I waited in the car.

In the elevator. Xixi's so cool

In the elevator. Xixi’s so cool

3-car

Yes, I am wearing purple lipstick

Yes, I am wearing purple lipstick

Can you tell that hand is not Lucy's?

Can you tell that hand is not Lucy’s?

6-car

Upon returning, we popped a bottle of Champagne, played some games, opened our secret Santa gifts and painted our nails while also obsessing over Lucy’s roommate’s adorable dogs. I would not let go of the Pomeranian — they’re my favorite! SOOOO CUUUTE but I think I might be slightly allergic as my throat got itchy after a while. Why must I be cursed to be allergic to my favorite animals??

8-bailey

Blurry pic but so fluffyyyyy

MINE MINE MINE

MINE MINE MINE

Makin' dat cake

Makin’ dat cake

12-Me-Yawen 11-Xixi-Me

Cheers!

Cheers!

The next morning, we went out for brunch at Carriage House because Xixi requested fried chicken. Yawen and I creeped on a guy we thought was cute (I thought he resembled Kit Harington/Jon Snow).

Xixi's face turned out blurry hehe

Xixi’s face turned out blurry hehe

The ever-popular chicken and biscuit

The ever-popular chicken and biscuit

Mushroom grits come in a small serving but were very rich

Mushroom grits come in a small serving but were very rich

Johnnycake, basically a big pancake-shaped cornbread

Johnnycake, basically a big pancake-shaped cornbread

16-Yawen-Lucy 18-Xixi 17-Chen-Me-Yawen

The chicken and biscuit dish is indeed worth the hype. Flavorful, tender dark meat between two layers of biscuit with a hearty scoop of gravy on top and roasted potatoes on the side — are you drooling yet? I don’t like fried chicken so I ordered the johnnycake (I am obsessed with cornbread), which was good but could’ve done with a bit less salt. Carriage House’s service was impeccable, and the ambience is totally charming. A place like this would be no doubt packed for brunch in NYC, but perhaps the custom hasn’t quite caught on (yet?) in Chicago.

Afterward, we walked around the Wicker Park area because it was such a beautiful day. Spacious city sidewalks call for a Sex-and-the-City-style photo op! I don’t know what’s going on with Xixi’s face in the first set though; she looks like she’s doing a military march:

Stay fabulous, my friends

Stay fabulous, my friends

Chen and I appear to be blinking in each of these -___-: 23-SATC

Xixi and Yawen had a brief engagement photo session. Clearly I should start my own business — such talent!

24-Engagement

It looks like the hand in the back is caressing Xixi's face

It looks like the hand in the back is caressing Xixi’s face

And we found a little lost mitten :(

26-Lost-Mitten

Then four of us went to Chinatown and had some sponge cake and boba tea. It was a good afternoon.

Nomming cake while waiting for Chen and Yawen at BBQ King

Nomming cake while waiting for Chen and Yawen at BBQ King

Relaxing at Saint's Alp

Relaxing at Saint’s Alp

Taro so purple!

Taro so purple!

29-Lucy

Quintessential cafe pic

I prefer drinking boba with a straw

I prefer drinking boba with a straw

My parents had a dinner party at our house that Sunday, and though none of my friends were formally invited, they managed to crash the shindig (anybody from Scullen remember when they forced the word on us?) one by one and helped us eat the enormous amount of food.

You're welcome here anytime.

You’re welcome here anytime, ladies.

This post is already too long…I’ll save the rest for another post!

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