So after nine straight days at work, my vacation with Honey Bunny finally arrived. I had gotten home around midnight without a single thing in my suitcase, so after a long night of packing and getting my shit together, I ended up sleeping for only an hour and a half before we had to leave for the airport. #chefproblems
We flew out to Chicago for our five year dating anniversary. We chose this destination because he had let me pick where we have our anniversary dinner. Since The French Laundry had wait listed us but I was able to score reservations at Alinea, we planned our whole trip around this dinner. Usually we skip the touristy sightseeing type places, but in the search for non-eating activities to fill our time, I wanted to go to the Sky Deck on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). So off we went.
On the 103rd floor, one of the main attractions is The Ledge, a glass wall and floor deck that juts out over the city, letting you stand over 1,000 feet above the ground in a trippy gravity-defying box. I usually skip the areas manned by photo booth companies as their images are always a huge ripoff. Plus, Honey Bunny had just bought us a GoPro with a “selfie stick” attachment. Why not just DIY a cool picture, I asked. But Honey Bunny was adamant and it wasn’t until we were standing out on that ledge that I learned why.
We took a standard smiling photo when he turned to me and told me how much he loves me. That I make him a better man and he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. I was just feeling anxious about this impromptu speech when there’s a long line of guests awaiting their turn for a photo opp. But then he reached into his pocket and got down on one knee, and suddenly everything clicked. I was stunned, shocked, and overwhelmed with joy.
Of course I said yes. And purchased every overpriced photo that damn booth took. And more souvenirs than I would normally pick up at any one destination. That gift shop made a killing off of our euphoria.
Later that night, we were able to gain access to one of the most exclusive bars in the city – The Office, a private speakeasy component of the already-exclusive Aviary, part of the Grant Achatz empire. Down a hidden staircase and behind a nondescript locked door was a beautiful 1920s Prohibition style lounge. We were just excited for the opportunity to even be there, but they were equally excited to share in our good news and treated us to a champagne toast! After almost accidentally dying by drinking a complimentary apertif that used an obscure walnut-infused liquor (just kidding, my allergy is not quite that severe but it was still a bit scary), I was treated to my first taste of chartreuse by the bartender to chase it down. Chartreuse is a liquor distilled by monks originally as an herbal cure-all. It immediately took away all of the tingling sensations and left the most amazing tarragon and anise aftertaste. It’s officially my new favorite thing and since we were celebrating such a wonderful occasion, I splurged on a $58 one-ounce pour of a chartreuse that had bottle-aged for 45 years (it’s from 1970). Amazing stuff. Honey Bunny enjoyed it as well and already decided that we should track down a bottle for the wedding.
The wedding. Engaged. It all feels so surreal. Today was one of the best days of my life. So readers, this is my official update that my boyfriend Honey Bunny is now my fiance Honey Bunny.
And the response on social media from our friends has been overwhelmingly joyous snd supportive and it gives me warm fuzzies. Love you all!