*That was sung Oprah-esque. Because, really, who doesn’t want to channel their inner Oprah?

I visited Oprah’s kingdom this weekend. Unfortunately, I did not see Oprah. Had we met, I’m sure she would have given me my own show on her new network.

John and I traveled eastward for the Chicago Green Festival. (Yes, we drove to a green festival — it was too far to bike. We did travel in a Prius.)

On the way to Chi-CAAAA-goooo, we took a little pit stop in LeClaire, Iowa to see Antique Archeology. I guess it’s featured on American Pickers on The History Channel. It was fun, but mildly underwhelming.

We did see a mannequin displaying a little too much rear. I have no idea why. Perhaps the previous mannequin was a little larger.

There was also a giant Philip Morris statue with a waving hand. I totally would have taken him home, but there was the whole “traveling in a Prius” issue. Philip just wouldn’t fit in the trunk. I’m sure my neighbors are disappointed. Phil would have looked great in my front yard.

At some random point in the road in Illinois, John noticed a large, jagged curve in the normally straight white line on the right side of the road. I did not see this — I was far too busy honing my disc jockey skillz. So, we turned around in an attempt to see the infamous jagged white line. Turns out, there weren’t that many exits on this particular stretch of road. Many miles later, we turned around and headed back toward the funky line. I took this picture:

 I completely missed the photo opportunity. I had many miles to prepare for the photo, but I choked under pressure. All I have is this picture of the car interior and a little patch of road by the jagged white line. Actually, I was trying so hard to photograph the jagged white line that I didn’t even see the jagged-ness. It was a fun, albeit unsuccessful, car adventure.

The Chicago Green Festival was super fun. It was a little like the Iowa State Fair…if you replace all the livestock with vegetarian/vegan booths and replace all the fried food with random organic foods. So, it was practically identical to the state fair. Almost.

Here are some highlights:

1. In an effort to find a wheatgrass shot, we stumbled upon my good friend — Kombucha tea! It was fabulous! (Downside:  we were unable to locate a wheatgrass shot. I was bummed. It seemed like the thing to do at a green festival.) My second Kombucha tasting kind of inspired me to research how to make my own Kombucha. “Kombucha Maker” would look oh-so-interesting on a business card.

2. Really good chocolate samples. The green festival was all about the good stuff. No Hershey’s here. We sampled everything and found a fabulous white chocolate strawberry bar made by Divine Chocolate. The name is accurate. In the event of a fire and/or natural disaster, I would probably rescue the bar I purchased before fleeing my house.

3.  A presentation on “plant candy” (aka compost). I’m super intrigued by the idea of indoor composting with red wiggler worms. I shared this latest dream with Meredith when I got home — she was less than enthused. We’ll see if the dream become a reality. The little “worm condos” shown in the demonstration were a little pricey. I’m morally opposed to spending more on a worm condo than I spend on my own mortgage.

4. A rather humorous presentation on urban beekeeping. It wasn’t supposed to be humorous. However, there was a little chubby man in the audience who really wanted to comment on nearly every topic addressed by the presenters. His comments included the following phrases that were repeated several times during the short presentation:

“I’m no expert, but I took a class in beekeeping.”


“I went to Sweden in 2002.” (still not sure how that related to beekeeping — perhaps Swedish bees are superior to other bees)

5. “Helper” Monkey Pie!

Chocolate…bananas…whipped cream. All beautiful things.

The restaurant called it monkey pie. We added “helper” to the name. Helper monkeys are totally going to make a comeback. Just wait.

The most unexpectedly exciting portion of the weekend was SEEING CHICAGO (the band) IN CHICAGO…for free!

How did we manage this? Well, we heard music as we were leaving the festival. We followed the music and found ourselves in the nosebleed section of a Chicago concert! (The Kombucha also attended the concert — not only does it have cultures, it is cultured.)

The band referenced the AAO a few times, and there were AAO signs around the conference center. We eventually figured out the concert was for AAO members. And, after the concert, we discovered that AAO is the American Association of Orthodontists.

Moral of the story:  we crashed a free concert for orthodontists. How many people can say that?

Yet another item crossed off my bucket list.

For the rest of the evening, we tried to look as orthodontist-y as possible so no one would guess we weren’t dues-paying AAO members.

(Note:  we didn’t attend the private reception — just the concert.)

 I’m sure Oprah would have approved.

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One Response to Chi-CAAAAAA-goooooo!*

  1. Meredith says:

    Trying to think of someone who looks less like an orthodontist than John and failing. But hey, maybe he’s breaking stereotypes

    Worms are creepy. If you cut off a part of them they supposedly regenerate. Also, did you not have boys in your second grade class who would pick up ones off the playground when it rained and chase you with them? Not an experience I care to relive. Ew.

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