A week and a half ago Shannon and I made the annual pilgrimage to Chicago for the quite fantastic Renegade Craft Fair.

I’d spent a ton of time getting ready, particularly focusing on new screen-printed earrings.

Earrings in the works for Renegade

We made many stops along the way and really took our time. It is nice to take the opportunity to take things a little slower on (rare) occasion. Yah, that’s right we took the time to drink hot chocolate and eat grilled cheese at a Denny’s in Effingham, IL. Our waitress was awesome and actually brought us refills. A refill on hot chocolate with extra whipped cream? Who ever heard of such a thing?!

Denny's in Effingham, IL

By now I know you’ve heard that Renegade was rainy.

Renegade Chicago 2008

As a result of Hurricane Ike, Chicago got the most rain it’s ever had in recorded history that weekend. I didn’t realize that at the time. I also didn’t realize that other parts of the city were suffering from flash floods. There were moments when we felt miserable being out in the rain, but we certainly could have had it much worse. The Chicago Tribune has a gallery of photos that readers sent in here of flooding in the Chicago area, Sept. 13-16. Pretty crazy stuff!

Renegade Chicago 2008Renegade Chicago 2008Renegade Chicago 2008

It was actually really amazing how many people came out despite the rain. Chi-towners don’t fret, they just throw on their galoshes and continue with their day. Shannon took a lot of great photos of rain boots here.

Saturday was rainy the whole entire day and Sunday started out the same, but by late afternoon it actually stopped raining.

Renegade Chicago 2008Renegade Chicago 2008

No matter what, Renegade is always fun and is a great opportunity for showing off my latest creations.

Renegade Chicago 2008Renegade Chicago 2008

And I love having an excuse to visit Chicago.

Wicker Park

The morning after Renegade, we went to Milk & Honey Cafe on Division Street.

Milk & Honey in Wicker Park, Chicago

The cafe has really great food, including the best pickles ever! Both years that the craft fair has been on Division Street, we’ve made Milk & Honey our home base, getting coffee there each morning and sandwiches for lunch on the days we didn’t pack lunches. For the day after a rainy craft market, a triumphant breakfast was in order!

Milk & Honey Cafe

Milk & Honey is located next to Renegade Handmade on Division Street so, of course, we did a little shopping there after breakfast as well as across the street at the adorable Penelope’s.

Wicker Park

The rest of the trip involved a little more shopping on Milwaukee Ave, visiting some friends in Andersonville (another adorable neighborhood), shopping at Four-sided and eating Indian for dinner in West Rogers Park.

We hit the road the next morning and drove back to Atlanta as fast as is possible. 13 hours. Such a long drive, but always worth it!

ps- We had excellent apartment-mates for the weekend – Wolfie & the Sneak, Jessica Gonacha and Swear Jar Design. They all made me laugh a lot, which was really nice considering the rain! The ladies wrote an excellent report for Indie Fixx here!