Adventure is out there!

Ya know, I’m not normally one for exclamation marks, but I’m about to embark on three weekend adventures in a row.  Tomorrow after work, I’m heading on a flight to Las Vegas to hang out with one of my besties and see the Backstreet Boys — who, apparently, I see every ten years-ish. I saw them in 1997 and 2008 (yeah, I know a little more than 10 years. Whatever. Close enough). And now, I’m going to see them in 2017 in Las Vegas. I wonder where I’ll catch them in 2027…

Chrissy falling out of her camp chair at the Backstreet Boys concert

This is the only photographic evidence I have of me at a BSB concert. And it’s because I fell out of my chair and my girlfriends thought it was funny.

Of course, I’m not entirely sure that I’m going to make it out of Las Vegas alive. Just last weekend, one of my other besties sent me a text sharing a link to an article about Legionnaires disease in Vegas. My mom had suggested I stay at the Rio, but I’m thrilled she helped me find a sweet deal on a room at Bally’s instead. Either way, I’ve decided that I’m just not going to shower while I’m there. You know…Just in case.

And that’s only the beginning of all the ways I could die in Las Vegas.

After a few cocktails, I have a tendency to wander off. On my own. And in a city like Vegas, I’m likely to get eaten by wolves. Or something. Maybe I’ll walk the plank on that pirate ship in Treasure Island…or get too excited near the Bellagio and fall in. The possibilities are endless. And terrifying. At my bachelorette party, I started talking to strangers with the promises of free shots. I’m not entirely sure that won’t happen in Vegas. Except, I won’t have a brood of lady friends protecting my ass. It’s me and my girlfriend against the world. And this is how we roll:

triple fisting cocktails

Why yes, we are both triple fisting the cocktails in 2006. And it’s entirely possible we’re at a strip club. Also, I really miss that strapless shirt.

The only other time was in Sin City was approximately a million and a half years ago when I was 17 with a bad haircut and couldn’t do anything fun. I was with my best friend and we wandered the hotels, shopped, and gossiped about life. But as an adult? I don’t know if my brain was designed for Vegas. There are so many bright and shiny things and lights and sparkles and OMG you guys I’m going to get so distracted, I’ll probably miss my flight home.

Chrissy at 17 with a vegas gondolier

At least I knew this gondolier was attractive when I was 17…

And I can’t miss my flight.

Because I’m coming home for approximately 46 hours to smooch my husband, throw dirty clothes down the laundry chute, and refill my suitcase for Orlando.

From there, I’m going to gently dabble in a little solo Disney adventure. I say gently because this shameless hussy sharing a room with me promised to meet me for an after-5 dinner date inside the Magic Kingdom.  The next day may include a little waterparking before heading into BlogHer17, my fourth BlogHer conference. Much hugging will ensue, and at that point, there will be plenty of friends with me to make sure I don’t get lost in the House of Mouse.

Chrissy and Mary Poppins Disney World

I’ll return for about 5 days, this time, with one final adventure on the horizon for Fourth of July weekend. 5 days in the cheese motherland of Wisconsin with the one I left behind two weekends in a row. But honestly, guys, don’t feel bad for Brian, abandoned though he might be. He eats this shit up. You mean days upon days in a row in which he doesn’t have to do ANYTHING but go to work? No peopling? No socializing? No incessant babbling? No Disney music? The man is going to be in heaven.

Me too, Brian. Me too.

What adventures are you heading for this summer? Anything sweet on the horizon? 

Want to follow my adventures? Make sure you’re following me on all the social media nonsense. 

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It’s UnAmerican…to go to Wisconsin and Leave Without Cheese AKA Gratuitous Cheese Photos

Last week, Brian and I trekked up to Wisconsin for a funeral. It was there that we celebrated the life of his aunt, and I met the rest of the fam.

Of course, just because it was a somber trip, did not mean that we wouldn’t be stopping before crossing the border for delicious, creamy, stinky, tasty Wisconsin-made cheese. Twice. If you know anything about me, you should know my love of cheese has even been a semi-paid gig

Love Cheese

Bobby Nelson’s Cheese Shop

If you aren’t a Midwesterner, I’m sorry. You just don’t get it. Wisconsin, as a state, may not be my favorite. They may not treat their teachers with all due respect. They may have the most hated football team in the Chicagoland area. They may have some really really mean police officers…who hate people from Illinois…and give out very expensive speeding tickets… But they’ve got one hell of a stock of cheese. And for that I thank the big man upstairs. Every. Single. Day…that and the fact that I live within driving distance of the world’s greatest (or at least biggest) cheese supply.

Wisconsin Cheese Shops!

Oh yeah!

Now don’t get me wrong. I love imported cheese. I don’t discriminate. Ever. Except for Chimay. Because that cheese was not delicious at all. I love cheese from all over the country, and all over the world. Asking me to pick a favorite would be like asking a mom to pick her favorite child. It’s just wrong. (Don’t worry Trader Joe’s Chocolate Cheddar, you know Mommy loves you.)

Cheese as a gift

My roommate left this in the fridge for me as a belated birthday gift. FOR THE WIN!

But when I go to Wisconsin, I buy a TON of Wisconsin cheese. This was one of my biggest gripes with The Mars Cheese Castle (of its-own-highway-sign-fame). Lots of cheese that I can get at my local grocery store in Chicago. I don’t want to see brand names from around the world. I want to see Wisconsin-made cheese. I want to see an entire wall dedicated to Carr Valley. *drool* Additionally, when you hear of a cheese castle with a restaurant inside, you’re thinking to yourself, Oh God, Mecca. But really, it’s just a deli. A deli!

Cheese Castle

They DO have a hearty selection of cheese… I have to give them mad props for that… But they relabel a lot…so I don’t know where the delicious cheese comes from…which is bad for my Google Doc.

A few months ago, I wrote a less than stellar review of the castle, and the manager/bartender/son of the owner sent me a really nasty not-so-private-message about it. I thought about being a bitch and correcting his grammar, but instead decided to respond as politely (and privately) as I could. He offered to make my next visit spectacular. It was okay. I’ve been back a few times. They do have a decent (OK massive) selection of cheese, so I boosted my review after going in there with zero expectations of grandeur. (But *secretly* I’m still not a huge fan. The sample bins are always visible, but always empty! Don’t tease me with cheese samples! And though he finally thanked me for the review update, I’m still grudgin’ on the meanie message.)

Bobby Nelson's Cheese Shop

A cute little shop of joy-Bobby Nelson’s

Cheese Behind the Counter

Bobby Nelson’s Magic Cheese Display

I also checked out Bobby Nelson’s on this trip, considering they’re right next to each other. They had DELICIOUS MEAT. Like serious meat candy. They had a nice selection of cheeses, but the layout was not my fave. It was a tiny shop and everything was behind the counter…and again–limited on the sampling.


Those heavenly circles of meat candy=Bobby Nelson’s. The meat in the middle= Trader Joe’s. Check out all the pretty cheese! From noon-6, Menage, Capriko, Red Dragon, & Mobay

Just over the border, I still prefer Tim & Tom’s for all of my cheese needs. Brian wouldn’t allow 3 cheese stops in one trip (and by that I mean, Brian was exhausted and wearing a suit and didn’t have the foresight to bring sweat pants to change into like I did…), so we high-tailed it back to Illinois without stopping at my official favorite Southeast Wisconsin cheese mecca.

Yes, Please

Don’t mind if I do!

Tim & Tom's Cheese Shop

Awwww yeah!

Cheese is good

Now that’s a cheese shop! (And our friends’ son’s stuffed lamb, which we kidnapped. And took to Wisconsin).

And so, friends. I leave you with this: IF you are ever in Wisconsin, and don’t bring me back cheese get cheese, you will not live happily ever after you’re crazy.

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Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!