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July 30, 2006

Open Scrapbook

Wow! What a great time the wedding was! (Sorry about the 1000° weather.) There's so much to say and share... and we're going to be gone for a week honey-mooning, so it's unlikely we're going get any photos or anything up here until we get back. But please use the comments of this post to share wedding memories, well-wishes, etc.

(Thanks to Lawrence for yet another good idea.)

Brunch Backup Plan in Effect

It's started raining, so we'll just be doing the post-wedding brunch at our house. Come on by! We've got plenty of food and we'd love a chance to chat, now that the craziness of the wedding is over.

July 29, 2006

Wedding Overview

I'm going to stick this up here at the top for your one-stop wedding info service. Regular updates will continue below.

Our wedding is Saturday, July 29, 2006 at 2:00 pm in the afternoon at 3036 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago.

You might need directions to the wedding. There's no travel to the reception because it's in the same space, immediately following the ceremony. Drinks and light snacks will be served.

You might want to know what the weather is going to be like.

For a variety of reasons, parking and travel will be impacted in that neighborhood that day. Please allow extra travel time and consider taking public transportation.

After the reception, there's an official reception after-party next door at the Lennox Lounge from 5:00 - 8:30 pm.

On Sunday, July 30 we'll be having a noonish brunch on Foster Beach.

If you're coming in from out of town:

Please let us know your itinerary. We've got some suggestions of things to eat and shows to see while you're in Chicago.

Rehearsal Dinner

The Winners

This is what catering your own rehearsal dinner, reception, and post-wedding brunch looks like. (Beer, wine, and soft drinks are not included in these carts.) Thanks, Costco.

While my poor sweet fiancee (it's my last day to use that word) tries to sleep away the cold I gave her, I'm such a geek and control freak that I'm still up, just 14 hours before my wedding, well, a) updating this, b) assembling all the stuff from this house that still needs to get to the loft tomorrow and c) labeling half of it, because I'm not going to be there for the tear-down and, frankly, that's bugging me a bit. This is, I realize, an issue.

Anyway, we did all the last big errands today, like the big grocery trip, and then came home and got ready (with a ton of help from Christopher and Katie) for the rehearsal dinner, which we were having at our place as a backyard barbecue. (Oh, and special thanks, too, to Erik letting me make him grill master.) We actually rehearsed, and then ate. And talked. And drank. And ate. And talked. Photos of same added to Flickr set.

And tomorrow we're getting married!

July 28, 2006

Gerdeses Galore

Reids and Gerdeses

Discovered an ant attack, picked up my brother from the airport, visited Threadless, my parents got here, ate at Paradise, picked up a portable air conditioner (it looks like it's gonna be hottttt), made a Flickr set, went to bed.

July 27, 2006

Another Reid

Christopher arrives Busy day, full of soda-buying and last-minute-car-renting and finally picking up Christopher after his plane was delayed for 8 hours. !!! My folks have made it to Downers Grove, which means that they're poised on the brink of Chicago, ready to attack tomorrow. Awesome -- let the hordes of Gerdeses descend!

July 26, 2006

Public Transportation to the Wedding

Oops -- I realized I had put this in the paper invitations, but not here on the site. To get to the wedding via public transportation, take the Red or Brown Line El to the Belmont Stop. Take the 77 Bus West to Southport and walk South to Wellington, turn right, and walk Northwest on Lincoln to 3036.

For CTA maps, check the CTA website.

For more detailed directions from your point of origin, check the RTA Trip Planner.



Erica's parents and grandmothers (she'd say "memaws") are the first out-of-towners to arrive for the wedding. "We're in the mood for Italian" is great to hear when Francesca's is a block away from where they're staying.


At Hot Doug's

We've decided that our wedding week is the one time in our lives when we really feel OK just pampering ourselves as much as possible. So when we needed some lunch while we were out running errands today, we didn't just stop for any old fast food. We went to Hot Doug's -- the finest in encased meats. And Doug really is the nicest guy possible.

(Oh yeah -- BLT with avocado mayo, kalamata olive/chicken with feta, and a brat.)



On Monday night, our last night alone before our families began to arrive in town, Erica and I had a pre-wedding date. Erica gave me a nifty new digital camera, and I gave her some bling.

July 23, 2006

Hard Work

We are barreling towards this wedding. All day we just kept stopping and looking at each and exclaiming, "we're getting married!"

We've both taken the week off from work to do wedding stuff and today was the first day we both had off. Kristen has graciously arranged for her cleaning lady to come clean our place on Monday, so we spent the day organizing the place so that she could find surfaces to clean. Rebecca came over and helped out for several hours, which was greatly appreciated. We only just knocked off for the day, but it was definitely worth it. For example, boxes of office supplies that have been living in the kitchen since we moved in in November are finally on shelves in the office.

We did a take a break for dinner and watched the My Fair Brady Wedding Special*. Maybe some of us cried during their wedding. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Oh, and I might be getting a cold. Well, I'm definitely getting a cold, but I'm hoping that if I refuse to acknowledge it, it might just go away. That usually works, right?

* If you're not up to speed, The Brady Bunch's Christopher Knight and America's Next Top Model winner Adrianne Curry met filming the reality TV show The Surreal Life and fell in looove. And lived out that looove on another reality TV show. Ain't looove grand?

July 21, 2006

Final Countdown

Erica's co-worker Sara reminded me of an appropriate music video...

July 20, 2006

The Weather

Since we're so close to the wedding now, we've entered the range where we can start obsessively checking the 10-day forecast to see what the weather is going to be like on our wedding day. Will it be very hot? Will it rain? Maybe and maybe.

If you're coming in from out of town, you might want to pack an umbrella. And definitely dress cool (I mean, cool, but also not-too-warm).

July 19, 2006


Ok, so the wedding is in a week and a half! Holy Crap! Everything is so awesome and stressful and exciting and emotional right now that it is almost too much to handle! And Fuzzy and I are both just so exhausted that we fall asleep whenever we sit still for more than 5 minutes.

But I cannot wait. I can't wait to see all of our family and friends. I can't wait to marry the man that I love and that makes me so happy. And I can't wait to take that fat-ass vacation...

July 17, 2006

More Bachelorette Shenanigans!

Originally uploaded by DarkQueenDana.
Last Saturday, Rebecca, Brandi, Dana, and Erin took me to the Indiana Splash Down Dunes Waterpark for round 2 of the bachelorette party. Holy Fun! I haven't laughed that hard in ages! It was an action packed day of water slides, tube rides, wave pools, wedgies, shirtless scary men, yummy food, and hysterical laughter. We topped it all off with a trip to the Ponderosa.

If you look closely, this photo has all 5 of us in it. To the Skyway!!

July 14, 2006

Your Itinerary

If you're getting in town early or leaving late or what have you, well of course we'd love to see you (if we can). And who knows, maybe some of our mutual friends would like to see you, too. Leave your itinerary in the comments so everyone can see everyone. Make-a sense?

(Thanks, Lawrence, for the suggestion.)

July 12, 2006

Chicago comedy recommendations

I've also had the request for some suggestions of Chicago comedy shows to see while people are in town.

It's hard to go wrong with Second City (1616 N Wells) -- we haven't seen either of the shows running there right now, but I've heard they're good. And the Mainstage show features Molly Erdman, who is the new woman in the Sonic commercials, which seems to excite a lot of people.

Mainstage Revue: "War! Now In Its 4th Smash Year!"
Friday & Saturday 8 & 11 pm, Sunday 7 pm
Tickets $24 ($18 on Sunday)

e.tc.: "Immaculate Deception"
Friday & Saturday 8 & 11 pm, Sunday 7 pm
Tickets $24 ($18 on Sunday)

We do a lot of our shows at The Playground (3209 N Halsted) and they have shows of assorted-improv-groups-perform on Friday and Saturday at 8 pm. On Saturday night at 10:30 pm there's Don't Spit the Water, a super-fun, crazy live gameshow. Erica's one of the original performers (though she, of course, won't be doing the show that night). Tickets are $12 and we highly recommend the show.

Speaking of which, if you're already in town on Thursday, July 27, Don't Spit the Water is having a fundraiser for their trip to the New York International Fringe Festival at the Town Hall Pub (3340 N Halsted).

If you're in the mood for a really obscene show with lots of Chicago comedy in-jokes, you'll want to check out "45 Minutes Locked in a Room with Don Hall and Joe Janes" Friday night @ 10:30 pm (Tix $10) at Donny's Skybox (1608 N Wells). I enjoyed this show a great deal.

July 10, 2006

Debauchery - check

Erica's bachelorette party


On Thursday and Friday, respectively, our friends took us out for our bachelorette and bachelor parties. Erica's friends took her to La Creperie for delicious crepes and many silly gifts. My friends too me to Fogo de Chao for too much meat and then the Sovereign for cigars (thanks, Don!) and beers.

And check out our matching hats, courtesy of Kristen.

Thanks, friends.

July 6, 2006

Chicago Food Suggestions

I've had some requests from some out-of-town guests for recommendations of where to get Chicago foods -- deep dish pizza and so on -- and I'd thought I'd put it up here where a) people who haven't asked, but might also be interested, can also see it and b) let our Chicago friends chime in with their own recommendations.

For each food stuff, I'll try to recommend something in the neighborhood of the wedding, but I may also recommend places a little farther afield for the adventurous.


There are subtle differences between Deep Dish and Stuffed, but in either case we're talking about a big hunk of cheese and dough. Bring your Lactaid if you're at all lactose intolerant. And get Sausage or Spinach to be all Chicago-y.

There's a Giordano's at 1040 W Belmont Ave. A good solid choice.

The original Pizzeria Uno and Due are downtown (29 E Ohio and 619 N Wabash) and definitely have their fans.

Lately, we've been big fans of the not-at-all Chicago-y pizza at Piece (I get the cheese-less! Gasp!), 1927 W North Ave. Try the Beer-mosa!

Hot Dogs

I'm a big fan of the Chicago-style hot dog. It's hard to go wrong with the dozens of places in Chicago that serve them and I'm a fan of Cubby Dog (3550 N Clark) BUT there are Cubs home games Thursday through Sunday, so Wrigleyville will be something of a mess.

It's a trek over to Hot Doug's (3324 N California) AND they're only open Monday-Saturday, 10 am - 4 pm. AND there's usually a 30-45 minute wait. But it's the best hot dogs and sausages I've ever had.


If you want to do a fancy brunch, both Orange (3231 N Clark) and Toast (746 W Webster) are great. Expect a wait.

If you want a good, but non-fancy, breakfast, we're regulars at The Little Corner Restaurant (5939 N Broadway).


Metropolis (1039 W Granville) and Intelligentsia (3123 N Broadway) both have great, non-major chain, coffee. Metropolis also has an awesome homemade chai.

Everything else

Chicago has the foods of all nations. There's great sushi, Thai, Mexican, Ethiopian, etc. food available all over. You tell me and I'll add it to the list.

July 5, 2006

An absurd wedding


From a 1948 issue of Big Shot, a rather odd comic by Boody Rogers about two hats with legs getting married.

(via Boing Boing)

Marriage License

Erica with marriage license

On a Saturday morning, downtown Chicago is very quiet and still, but there's a small buzz of activity around the Randolph Street entrance of the Cook County Building. From 9 am until noon the Vital Records Division is open for marriage license applicants only, and Marriage Court is also open for people who are actually getting married.

To get married in Illinois, you have to get a marriage license ahead of time (a minimum of a day in advance, a maximum of 60 days). You both have to show up with ID and it's $30 cash.

Just inside the door, there were 3 different photographers offering their services to newlyweds with digital cameras and portable photo printers. One of them even had a backdrop set up. Downstairs in the Vital Records office, everything was cheerful and efficient. I think this was the best time I've ever had in a government office.