On Getting It, And Ending Up At The Motel Bar.

Yesterday was a great day.

We conducted our second and final formal rehearsal for the Chicago LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER show. I can’t express to you how happy it made me to run the show from start to finish. Tracey brought the actual podium we’ll be using at the actual show (in thirteen days!), and in a quiet conference room at Calumet Photo (thanks for providing such a great space, Calumet Photo! Woot!)–a huge change in environment from the restaurant where we had our first read-through because it was so much quieter and we could really focus–we laughed and cried, as the unit to which we had all contributed a part.

Tracey said it best. After the last reader went, Tracey pulled me aside and said, “I just got it. I finally get what Ann (Imig, LTYM Founder and National Director) has been saying about how lucky we are to get to present these stories to our community. I GET IT.”

I got it at the same moment. Sitting there in our chairs, watching our incredible cast–each and every one of them sounding FANTASTIC–read their written words, straight from the heart, Tracey and I just got it. This thing is way bigger than we imagined. It’s bigger than all of us involved, actually. I can’t speak for them but I’m pretty sure that the cast got it too, probably at the moment that most of us were wiping away tears after a particularly beautiful and intense reading by cast member Katy. Someone said, “WE NEED AN INTERMISSION HERE, TO COLLECT OURSELVES.” We all got it.

It’s kind of like when your kids are little and people with older teens–people just like me–tell you that time flies and to enjoy every minute of it. As you sit there with your adorable little toddler and you still haven’t gotten one good nights’ sleep, you nod and say, “Uh-huh…” or “Yeah, right…” The thing is, you WILL realize it but nobody can MAKE you realize it. It just happens. You just get it when you get it.

Get it?

We wanted to go out and chat over food and drinks after rehearsal, so most of us (a couple had family obligations and had to leave) went to the Motel Bar, which isn’t too far from Calumet Photo, and spitting distance from the John Hancock building.

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When somebody suggested it as a place to go for dinner last week, I looked at the website and was all for it. I fell in love with the decor immediately, and it’s so clever!

Motel Bar sign

Motel Bar Outside

We arrived there shortly after 4:30 on a quiet Sunday afternoon, and as our group got seated, I was taking pictures. I ended up meeting Matt, who is the General Manager/Partner. I said to him, “This place is great. I feel so comfortable here. I spent a lot of time in hotels when I was growing up.” (Yes, I did say that. Yikes.)


I laughed. “I mean, I GREW UP LIVING IN AND SPENDING LOTS OF TIME IN HOTELS. My dad is a hotel manager!” (If you did not know this about me or need a refresher, check out my Hotel Diaries.)

Matt was super nice and we chatted for a few minutes. I told him about the show and he told me a little bit more about the Motel Bar.

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Motel Bar1

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Motel Bar3

We had such a good time hanging out there, even those of us who sat on the round chairs that, if you sat in without warning, made you feel like you would fall straight through them to the ground.

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Motel Bar8

When I looked at the drink menu, I got really excited. The first drink on the list? A grasshopper. My parents used to serve grasshoppers when they entertained people at our house in the 70’s, and I remember how they tasted. (I’m assuming they gave me the non-alcoholic version, of course! I was still in single digits!) I decided I had to have one.

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The food was fantastic. (and lest you think this is a sponsored post, it is NOT. We all paid for our own food and I just love sharing things that I love with my readers.) A few of the ladies got flatbreads, which were huge and looked delicious. I, on the other hand, had to have a cheeseburger and fries, and you’ll know why if you read my hotel diaries. It tasted just as good as those thousands of cheeseburgers I consumed in the eighties at Dad’s hotels.

Motel Bar4

Sitting there, talking and laughing with (most of) our cast in a comfortable, fun environment…well, it just doesn’t get much better than that. I reminded everyone that two weeks from that moment, we would be getting ready to go on stage. Unbelievable. It’s been a wild ride so far, and I wouldn’t want to go through it with anyone else. I echo Tracey in her oddly similar post today (we are SO on the same wavelength!) in thanking Brandie, Lou, Stacey, Katy, Jen, Judy, Nancy, Megan, Melissa, Hyacynth, Audrey, Karen, Vanessa, Alisha, and Stephanie for being a part of this experience with us. You are all amazing, each and every one of you. I hope you get that.

(By the way, don’t forget to enter the two giveaways we have going on, for LTYM Chicago tickets! Mine is here, and Tracey’s is here!)