Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chicago and Hilary

August 2, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,
In the Hyde family, when someone slips up with the words they use or says something ridiculously clumsy, we call it a “Maloha” (Ask Michelle Hyde for more details). One day, before my mission, I was sniffing peanut butter and then I said, “Why does peanut butter smell like peanuts?” I obviously knew that peanut butter would smell like peanuts, but I wondered why it doesn't smell like something more desirable, like cotton candy. McKenzie said something yesterday that reminded me of this "Maloha." "You know what would be good in Applesauce? Apples!" She obviously knows that applesauce has apples, but the crunch of a slice of apple would be a good addition to the sauce.
Because McKenzie and I were apart for a good amount of time, you will get two perspectives of the last half of the week so she can describe her adventures she had with Hilary.
My Perspective
Our week went by very quickly. In my mind, it was the quickest week of the summer. I had a lot of work to do on Monday and Tuesday and McKenzie was busy getting ahead with school so that she could have a good time while Hilary was here. Wednesday morning, we woke up early to a buzz at our door. Hilary had arrived and was ready to party. I got ready, finished packing, and headed for the airport on my way to Chicago for the end of summer intern wrap-up. As I made my way out the front door of our building, I noticed a large crowd gathered around a group of police officers and an ambulance behind our building. Our building doesn’t have anything to stop people from getting on the roof or from falling off; my initial though was that someone had fallen off our building. After asking someone watching, I found out that it was a filming of Law & Order. I didn’t have time to stop and watch, so I called McKenzie and recommend she head up to the roof for a better view (However, I was nervous that she and Hilary, as they were in their pajamas and hadn’t even put contacts in, might stumble off the roof…I was nervous the whole subway ride to the airport). She got some great pictures of our favorite actors from the best Law & Order, Special Victim’s Unit (SVU).
When I landed in Chicago, I took the train straight to the office. This summer I devoted a few hours every week to projects that I had to complete for my internship. These projects ranged from interviewing professionals at Huron to preparing a case study and presentation with a few other interns. When I got into the office, the other interns were waiting for me and I ended up in the office until 9 CST working with my group. When I finally reached the Hard Rock Hotel, I practiced my presentation several times until I felt comfortable enough to give my part in front of anyone. It felt very good to be so prepared the night before our presentation as most of the interns hadn’t even put together their PowerPoint slides. We were definitely in a great position to win the intern case competition. (A side note, even though it was great to be doing so well at work and enjoying the travel, I really missed McKenzie. That was the longest time I had been away from her since last Christmas.)
I was very nervous for our group’s presentation, but our preparation paid off. Even though there were a lot of big-guns that asked us very hard questions after our presentation and put us on the spot, our team did great. We each won a gift certificate to Cheesecake Factory.
Huron treats their interns well. They took us out to some great restaurants and the highlight of my trip was a bus tour around Chicago during a perfect day. The weather was amazing; low 70s with a great breeze. We didn’t just tour downtown; we went outside the city and did what they used to call the “ethnic tour,” now called the west side tour for obvious reasons. After all was said and done, I had a fun few days in Chicago and I am a little more confident that I will get an offer when they call me on August 23rd and tell me their decision.
Coming back to New York was good. I am glad Hilary and McKenzie had some sister time but I missed McKenzie a lot and was excited to be with Hilary. Friday evening they had a H&H bagel sandwich prepared when I got home and they were both ready to watch a Rocky movie. Hilary got us to watch three Rocky movies and Ratatouille over the weekend, and I loved every minute of it. I think we all needed a relaxing weekend after an adventurous and stressful week. Saturday morning we saw inception, maybe one of my top five favorite movies. It is amazing how influential a good movie can be on our thinking. I was glad to have to bright women with me to help explain what was going on.
After the movie, we took Hilary to the falafel restaurant that she recommended to us earlier this summer. We all enjoyed it and grabbed a strawberry, raspberry, and Thai basil smoothie to go with it. Interesting combination I know, but it was surprisingly refreshing.
Later that night we met up with some one of her friends from Notre Dame for a Shack Shake dinner. Shack Shake burgers are good, the fries are okay, and the shakes are pretty good. Overall, it was really fun having Hilary with us in New York.
Well I can’t believe we only have 9 days left in NY. We are glad we had a great summer, but we are excited to get home and spend some time with all of you. Love you all so much,

McKenzie’s Perspective
I am lucky that Austin did such a great job summing up last week. It makes my job pretty easy. I got some major giggles when he made me a sidenote in parenthesis from his awesome trip to Chicago!
My week with Hilary was great. After Hilary crashed for a few hours after an all-night trip to get out here, we hit the streets. We started off with Bravo Pizza and googled second-hand stores in the area. We spent the afternoon making our way from 38th st and 8th ave to 21st street and 2nd avenue. We saw a lot of fun stores. Our favorite was a thrift shop to benefit the New York City Opera. We spent an hour winding through the two floors of unique clothes and ended up buying the same dresses and hats as each other. We finished the night with Spicy Orange chicken at our favorite Chinese restaurant, a walk through Times Square, and then we just crashed.
At the start of our adventure I heard “McKenzie!” shouted from behind me. I turned and stared at a kid who I barely knew freshman year. It took me about 10 seconds to be able to form a reaction. I knew who he was and even his name, but it was so weird to see someone from two years ago that I knew better on facebook than in person. He is from Connecticut and was up with a friend for the day. He and all the other kids from my freshman year are just like time capsules, it will be fun to see them on campus in the fall. This whole summer I have been telling Austin how much I felt like I needed to randomly run into someone I know. What are the chances?!?
On Thursday we slept in, and tried White Castle as we headed out for the day. It was our first time for both of us. What is there to say about a bad, greasy mini cheeseburger in a small box? We spent the afternoon in SoHo, which I learned stands for “South of Houston” street. It is a fun cobble-stoned neighborhood with fun shops and art galleries. We had a goal to eat at Pauly Gee’s, a pizza place that Hilary and Taylor learned about from a blog and Hilary wanted to hit up. We got snacks and found a small water park with tables and benches in Lower East side. We sat and chatted and watched little neighborhood kids chase each other with squirt guns. It was fun to be in a completely non-tourist area in an older, off-the-beaten-path neighborhood and feel completely comfortable and enjoy being the only white people we could see! We walked across the Williamsburg Bridge, then another two miles after the bridge to get to the restaurant right when it opened. The restaurant was fun, the people really nice, the food was good, and it was so fun to just sit and relax and chat with Hilary. She visited with Pauly himself who prides himself in his Italian-made brick oven and making the pizzas himself. It was a long day with a ton of walking and I think wiped us both out for the rest of the weekend! On Friday, we headed up to up-town. We bought H&H bagels and ate them in central park while people watching, which never gets old. We went to the Met and walked through the European paintings gallery. I am impressed with how much stuff Hilary knows and remembers from classes she has taken. She gave me a lot better appreciation for what we were looking at. It was exciting for me when we got to the Italian paintings because there were a lot by artists that I studied in my Italian Renaissance art history class. I watched two teenagers looking miserable as they walked along with their Dad. I thought about how much I enjoyed the paintings because of what I remember from my class, and what Hilary was able to explain to me. It makes me wonder how much stuff I do not appreciate as I walk by, because I don’t know much about it.
We bought a dozen bagels on our way home. We think H&H bagels are the best bagels around. They are really chewy and dense and are amazing if you get them still warm. Austin didn’t like them. He thought they tasted like plastic. He grew up on Einstein bagels. I wondered how in the world he could think that, because OBVIOUSLY H&H are the best. But…if I grew up on House of Bagels, which are similar to H&H, and he knows Einstein, who is to say which are right if we are both just prone to like what we know? (I still stand with H&H).
It was awesome to have Hilary here. I am so glad she came to visit us. She is so fun and generous and I love being with her! We laughed and talked and ate McDonalds at 12:30 am in Times Square and watched Rocky movies and spooned in the same bed. It was so great to have her be with me, especially when Austin was gone.


  1. Sounds like a blast! New York sounds like an adventure at every turn. And I second the thoughts on Inception. I miss all three of you! Come visit me next, yeah?! Love you guys!

  2. What fun you two are having--live it up big time in the big city!! Hugs, M

  3. What falafel restaurant? Alisia took me to one that I loved, but can't remember the name. I think on the upper east side. Mmmm. They are so minty. Sounds like you guys are having an incredible adventure. Live it up! We can't wait to see you. The kids still say your names in their prayers every night. Love you both...