Forget long road trips stuck in the car with squabbling siblings (although we had some of that, too): My 10-day trip to Italy completely redefined “family vacation.” We spent a chunk of the trip holed up in a Tuscan villa, but we were officially there for my uncle’s wedding, which took place in Rome at the magnificent Borghese Castle (the Borghese clan was kind enough to rent out a wing of their pad for the occasion). As far as weddings go, this one was hard to top—and a nice end to my international wedding tour. Who knows? The next wedding I attend could be my own; ten days traveling around Italy (Rome, Tuscany, Florence, Pisa, Siena, Prada, and Gucci) with ten people was enough to make me miss The Boyfriend. And, yes, enough to elevate TGIS (The Guy I’m Seeing) to official Boyfriend status. Needless to say, I’ve cured myself—or he’s cured me—of my commitment phobia. Not only did he offer to pick me up from the airport upon my arrival Saturday afternoon, he brought me Superdawg. If that’s not love, I’m not sure what is.
Being out of the country on the cusp of my favorite holiday also meant forgoing cruise-director responsibilities this Halloween. That’s another thing The Boyfriend handled while I was ogling the Valentino exhibition and snapping photos of the Tuscan countryside. “Are your friends always this difficult?” he asked when he picked me up on Saturday. “You have no idea,” I replied. Getting ten to 20 people to agree on the same party is no simple task. To his credit, he did a bang-up job of organizing; he even picked up my costume at the dry cleaners while I was away. That’s right: I said love.
Since Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, we chose to do our primary partying on Saturday, jetlag be damned. I met up with the gang at my friend Jen’s house for cocktails, then headed to Wrigleyville for a Chicago Sport and Social Club-sponsored party at John Barleycorn. We figured if the party stunk, there would be plenty of other spots nearby to escape to. And since I’d just gotten off a ten-and-a-half-hour flight, I assumed I’d be turning in relatively early. (“Like that’s ever going to happen,” my mom chortled when I told her my plan as we circled above O’Hare. What can I say? She knows her daughter well.)
The party was slammed with total strangers—or maybe we just didn’t recognize anyone in costume, other than the 10 or so folks in our group. From Barleycorn, we headed to The Underground. I haven’t been hanging out there much lately—yes, being in a relationship means I pull fewer 4 a.m. nights—and being back reminded me of a scene from Knocked Up, which I watched with my mom on the plane. You probably remember the scene: Katherine Heigl’s character goes to a club with her older sister to celebrate a promotion. “Are we too old to be here?” the sister asks, eyeing all the drunk 20-somethings. My mom blurted out a laugh during that scene—like she was trying to tell me something.
Hey, late-night clubs may be for kids, but I’ll take any excuse to dress up.
Wonder powers activate: Shevil Knievel (that’s me) and the Riddler (The Boyfriend).
Chicago Sport and Social Club’s Jason Erkes, a la Seth from Superbad, and B96’s Eddie Volkman as an ATM (his wife was dressed up as money).
Cleopatra meets her suitor.
Candy ‘Corn: The view at Barleycorn last Saturday.
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A few spots to get your own trick-or-treat on:
• Debonair Social Club celebrates its one-year anniversary on Halloween night. Lupe Fiasco and Kill Hannah perform during an early reception (9 p.m. to midnight), followed by guest DJs Mark Gertz, Trancid, Greg Corner, Jordan Z, Heather Doble, Andrew Vonn, and Ryan Paradise.
• Lumen kicks off a four-day Halloween celebration Wednesday; the bash also marks the début of a new drink, Lucid Absinthe Supérieure (a legal version of the infamous hallucinogen with a mild dose of wormwood; $10). A montage of scenes from Moulin Rouge, Eyes Wide Shut, and Dracula will be projected onto the lounge’s walls, and masks will be handed out to party guests.
• Expect a see-and-be-seen crowd at Victor Hotel for nightlife promoter Tony Macey’s 11th annual Halloween party. There will be passed apps from 9 to 10:30 p.m., music by DJ KJ and Miro on drums, and an afterparty at RiNo. For table reservations, call 312-640-1978.