Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Windy City Smokeout

I was listening to the radio a few weeks back while driving around somewhere and heard an announcement that Pat Green (Texas country) would be coming to Chicago. Now, he's a lesser-known country star, but he does get played on the radio from time to time.

For us, however, his music is wrapped up in all kinds of amazing memories.

That's the thing about music. It really brings memories (the only things we really get to keep in life) to the surface and reminds us of how great we've had it. I can name quite a few bands that are wrapped up in the other half of my sadness (Dashboard Confessional and pretty much anything by The Band Perry), but music really does offer a great release of emotion and love. As an aside, I recently heard the 20-something (omg, that dates me BAD) library guy talking to other people about Jimmy Eat World. They had no idea who the band was, and I felt pretty proud and young in that moment. Though now that I type, I'm feeling pretty pathetically old.

While we were dating, my cute East Coast boyfriend introduced me to the music of Pat Green and we went to a few shows back in LA. Most notably, I remember seeing him at the House of Blues, Hollywood. It still gives me goosebumps thinking about dating the most wonderful man I can now call my husband of almost 5 years (Friday)!

Back to that car ride. I called Ray immediately and told him Pat Green was coming. Without hesitation, he said we were going and he'd be buying tickets. A couple weeks later and we found ourselves downtown at a BBQ and music fest with a few friends. It was a day of music, BBQ, and exploring downtown with our little boys. 

When we arrived, we headed to the fest and everyone but me (and B of course...who thinks food is for suckers) ate BBQ lunch. There were Chicago BBQ joints and some from other parts of the country, including Austin-- which I appreciated because they had the single item I could eat at the entire joint-- coleslaw. Benjamin and his friend both received their first ever hand stamps of a pig with a frying pan. Also, it's hard to see, but Benjamin and I are standing next to a WHOLE PIG in the picture below. They even tried to hand me a piece of pig from the belly after the photo was taken. And one questionably inebriated lady kept walking up to Benjamin with her little dog whom Benjamin was not too sure about. He loves animals, but she was making the dog dance and it was just plain weird. His face says it all.
The heat was close to unbearable, and after lunch we headed for a walk to Millennium Park. No swim gear, but it didn't seem to bother Benjamin who was owning the Crown Fountain. He was loving every minute of his freedom and befriended people of all ages, including three teenagers (bottom left).
We attempted to dry off a bit wearing Dad's polo (and looking overall adorable in it) by visiting the Cloud Gate, aka "bean". It was Benjamin's first trip to the bean and he seemed to enjoy it as well. He was running all over stalking other children and attempting to climb in their strollers. We passed by more art on the way back to the fest. But first, we stopped at the Protein Bar for an early dinner for the vegetarian of the group.
More BBQ was eaten and more music. Benjamin quite possibly loves my friend Liz over me, and if she is around, he is sitting with her instead. Group shot before heading back to the 'burbs after a fun night of food, exploration and fun! And, Benjamin (and his friend) can check their first concert off the list!


Anne said... [Reply to comment]

Benjamin is CRACKING me up in the fountain it! Also, love some Pat Green!!

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Benjamin is truly hilarious. I love all those fountain pictures. He makes friends easily. :)

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Miles and I went to a Pat Green concert when we were dating.

Your day sounded like a typical Texas evening. BBQ and country music. Hot damn.

Rebecca Patrick-Howard said... [Reply to comment]

I love me some Pat Green and Alt-Country. Throw in some BBQ and that's about a perfect day for me!

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Oh this makes me miss Chicago so much! I loved every min of this post. That is exactly how Matt and I love to spend summer weekends, attending festivals, bbq (sorry Brandy), friends and water fun!

Darcey said... [Reply to comment]

How fun!!! Love that he is a little people person already...such a cutie!!!

Layton is a daddy's boy...drives me crazy. If Daddy is around, mommy who??? Most under appreciated job in the world, but I wouldn't change it for a thing...thanks for sharing all your super cute photos!!!

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]

Jimmy Eat World - yes! These crazy kids and their rap music, they don't know good music anymore...yeah, I feel old too. ;)

Looks like y'all had a great time. B is funny making all if those friends at the fountain. Such a sweet little guy!