Last weekend was absolutely fantastic! I am so excited for summer and all the fun plans that come with it. On Friday, I met up with Mina and Amy for some dinner + a movie. We met up at The Outback for some delish dinner. I really love that place, but sometimes it doesn’t agree with me. I think as I grow older, my “lactose intolerance” has jumped to even higher levels. On Timmy’s recommendation, I’ve tried Lactaid, but it hasn’t been working how I hoped. After dinner, we headed over to the AMC to watch Bridesmaids. Since Mina is the only bridesmaid I still talk to, I thought it was a fitting send-off before she goes back to China for a month. That movie was absolutely hilarious. My face and side were hurting since I was laughing so hard. I’d see it again, it was that good! I thought it was about 15 minutes too long, but otherwise, love love love! (Except the last scene with the sandwich. As Mina said, “It’s like The Human Centipede but with a sandwich.” Haha… actually… no, not at all Mina. Oh sweet innocent Mina.) In the middle of the movie, the character of Helen is saying something in Thai, and of course I looked at Mina and asked what it meant. She just nudged me, “Umm I’m from Taiwan.” Oops. Mina’s chinese is really improving though. She has taught me a few words.
On Saturday, Matt and I had a very busy day. He is the president of PMN up at the Marion plant, which means he is a party planner, meeting chairperson, and event coordinator all in one. He has talked about it for weeks about this game at Victory Field to watch the Indianapolis Indians. Of course, it was going to rain, so he was in a pretty sour mood most of the afternoon. I did a lot of gardening in the morning. I’m not the greenest thumb, but I’ve actually been growing things this year and not killing them. As you can see in the picture, I’ve got flowers, tomatoes, basil, morning glories, and lavender. Whiskey sometimes goes in the garden to make me angry.
So eventually we went downtown for the game. We went to one of my favorite places in Indianapolis, The Rathskellar. There’s nothing like a huge banquet hall with exotic European beer! I found a new favorite beer, which is called Piraat Ale. It is not for everyone since it tastes a lot like honey. (In good news, they serve this at The Ale Emporium, which makes me very happy!) The Rathskellar is also known for its spicy mustard, and eaters better beware! (Matt didn’t listen to me or the waitress and dipped his pretzel in there only to be crying in a few moments.) I should really start calling The Rathskellar “Jen’s Lucky Place” since good things always happen there. Last time I was there, I had just met Steven Page.
When we got to the game, it had unfortunately started to drizzle. I bought a new hoodie since I was freezing while Matt just wanted a poncho. He looked pretty ridiculous. We had really great seats in lucky section 105. So as the game began, a staffer from the Indians came over to check with Matt to see if everything went smoothly. He then said, “Make sure you don’t leave at the top of the next inning” and winked. I thought that the mascot, Rowdie, would be coming over for a picture or something. Of course, one of Matt’s co-workers called right at the bottom of the inning saying they had arrived at the gates. They had forgotten picking up their tickets on Friday. Matt was about to go find the guy, when I said, “No, the staffer told you to stay here. I’ll do it.” So off I went on an adventure to find someone I had never met. Luckily, it didn’t take long for me to find the guy.
I went to go grab a quick beer since I was getting rained on, and I needed a refill. Sure enough as I am buying two beers from a Rachel Maddow clone, the announcer starts saying that “The Free Dinner For Two Winner Is… Section 105… Row J…. Seat 10!” Of course that is where I was sitting, and I start going bananas! “That’s ME! Look, I have the TICKET!” And I start jumping up and down looking for a camera crew that was most likely following me and recording my outburst. Then I realized, duh, they are filming MATT AT MY SEAT… and I AM NOT ON THE JUMBO TRON! The lady points at the Jumbo Tron and says, “Is that your fella in the poncho?” and of course as I look… I MISS it. Boo! So I quickly scamper back to my seats to see all the GM people happy and clapping and throwing high-5′s. Yup, Matt and I got a Free Dinner for Two at Fogo de Chao. I love winning things! It makes me very, very happy! The rest of the game was awesome. There was only one major sketchy part, and that was the half-time relief. There were all of these inflatable characters that were doing bizarre skits. They had crazy named like “Roger Clammons” (a man with a clam head) and my favorite, “Rammy Johnson” (yes, I laughed and laughed and laughed). During the Roger Clammons skit, the clam head ate the bat boy… and then spit him out. However, the bat boy was only wearing boxer shorts. It was very strange. I missed the skit where one of the characters got cut in half and a spine and guts were thrown on the ground.
I love Indians games. I always get drunk for cheap and see strange things. In other news, one of my high school friends, Courtney, was at the game too. She saw Matt on the jumbo tron and recognized him from my Facebook pictures. Ironically, I had just finished her baby blanket and mailed it earlier in the day. That’s right, Baby Blanket Patrol – 2 blankets given, 1 finished and waiting for the baby shower, 1 in process, and 2 more to go before the fall! Chris sent me a picture of baby B in the cocoon and hat I made him. This kid is so adorable!
On Sunday, it was raining pretty hard, so my scheduled pictures were cancelled. Hopefully next Sunday will have sunny weather. I can’t wait to get professional pictures taken of the house and Whiskey! Yes, I have become that woman who gets action shots of her dog running in the background. People put their babies and dress them up as flowers and fruits, so whatever!! I had forgotten that I taped “The Planet of The Apes,” so I watched it a few times. Yes, I love Marvel movies and Star Wars, but Planet of the Apes was probably my first obsession. Ironically, Jefferson Middle School in Ft. Wayne that is mentioned in the movie is where Matt went to school. Who doesn’t believe in fate? Of course I would marry a guy that was taught at The Planet of the Apes school. Life makes sense again!
As I said before, I can’t wait for the summer. Mina will only be in China for a month this round and will be back in late June. My cousin is getting married at the end of the month. July will be hectic with me going to Chicago, then Gino & Jen’s Christmas in July party, followed by NSM and the wedding of all weddings. At least Tim is giving me a chance to buy pierogies at his wedding. I’ve tried to help them out as much as I can. It’s going to be a hectic week for me since I’ll be in Florida and then zooming off to Chicago again!
Oh summer, I love you. Hurry up and get hot again!
This weekend was very spirited if I say so myself. The Royal Wedding was Friday morning, and I watched it in its entirety that evening while sipping champagne. On Saturday I went to Dana’s Bridal Shower/Bachelorette Party which I’ll get to later in this post. On Sunday, I did a lot of cleaning in preparation for Nikki’s sleepover. My laundry is a monster, and I am trying to kill the beast. Only a few more loads to go! Matt and I finally got around to watching Game of Thrones, which I am not impressed with. Personally, I find Medieval/Camelot style stories boring. Maybe I dislike since it seemed like a stupid comic book plot. Look, incest! Let’s add a dwarf who happens to be royal! Now let’s get some baby wolves which you know are going to die! The entire thing is so predictable to me. Matt is frustrated with me since I called out all major plot points in each episode. It’s all a formula. Booorrrriiinnng. I do like the little girl/badass. The Dave Navarro looking guy has the best job on the show. He has to work out, have sex with a fairy looking bride (which I predict to become a warrior queen) and brood. Blah.
I was happy to be interrupted on Sunday night with the news of Usama bin Laden’s demise. Nothing like solidifying 2012 Obama. Nicely done if I say so myself. I haven’t been paying much attention to how he was killed or what they did to his body. Personally, I find it a bit gruesome how some people are so balls out on Facebook/blogs/etc about it. I was also very surprised to see the crazy college crowds at the White House after the news broke. I thought it would be a candle-light vigil mourning the loss of the U.S. dead over the years — but no, there were college kids chanting and doing cheerleader pyramids and such. On Monday, I was reading all the humorous posts on the social networking sites, and even though I didn’t take part, I did just shake my head a few times. There were the obvious MLK quotes about not wishing death for anyone good or bad, to the “I hope they wrapped his body in bacon fat when they threw him over the boat!” C’mon people, his body was put to rest respectfully even if others don’t agree. Do you know how much flack America would get if we just threw his body off an air craft carrier? Sigh. I just wish I could wear shoes at airports now. That is my one wish from the end on the War on Terror. Shoes.
Now onto the fun part of my weekend! It was Dana’s big party weekend, and I was pretty excited. I usually don’t go to bridal showers or bachelorette parties since I hate them, but I wanted to see everybody. Dana’s twin, Kara, was down from Chicago to throw the shower. I’ve known them since middle school, and I’ve become better friends with Dana since we got our house and started throwing parties. Her fiancée, Phil, is a lucky guy. He is so funny. They are going to be so happy, I know it! (Pictured from left: Amanda, Jen GN, Dana- the Bride, and Emily)
After the bridal shower, I went home to relax a bit. Well, I accidentally fell asleep while laying out. (It is not pleasant to wake up with a dog sitting on your head meanwhile). Emily had called me to make sure I went to the bachelorette party and didn’t puss out, which I am good at doing. After a lot of phone calls to miscellaneous girls, I finally got a ride. My neighbor and friend, Katie, offered to be the DD, and we picked up Amanda before going downtown. Katie had to work at 7 AM on Sunday and Amanda would be teaching Bible Study, so I was glad to have a good endgame time to keep me from getting into trouble!
I’ll say this, Dana has a lot of awesome friends. They are all just as crazy and cool as her. We were all dolled up and ready for some action! Matt was working on Saturday, so I promised him that I wouldn’t be out all night and get crazy. I decided to be a bit ambitious with my outfit. Granted, I have been working out a lot and not losing much weight. I feel a lot better however. I decided to wear clothes that were a size too small. And gigantic Fraggle earrings. And sequins on a skirt and a disco bra. Yeah, I was being ambitious alright. (Here is a fun group shot taken on Amie’s small camera. You can see my sparkle. Yeah!) We headed out to Nicky Blaine’s martini bar, which would be my one and only stop unfortunately. I had never been to Nicky Blaine’s but had heard a lot of good things about it. I love a great martini, so yes, I was excited. Unfortunately, I ordered two sub-par and nasty martinis. For your information, watermelon vodka does not mesh well with pineapple and blue Curacao. At around 11:30, the trio of early birds left the party. As much as I bitch about bridal showers and things of that nature, I actually had a good time. It is a bit weird when you are married and most of the girls are single. I just don’t look at dudes that way anymore. Is that sad? Probably. I dress up for myself obviously. Screw boys. Dana and Phil will be getting married at the end of the month in Portland, Oregon at a vineyard. They are going to have so much fun with a destination wedding. They won’t have their reception right away, in fact, they are waiting until Labor Day weekend. I like it- get married Memorial Day and celebrate the last weekend of summer. Ha!
In other amazing “Dana” news, our friends, Chris and Dana had their baby boy yesterday! Baby Brayden arrived after a long day of labor. I can’t wait to see more pictures of him. He is definitely a cutie! It looks like we’ll have to go down to Oklahoma again to meet the little guy. I love this picture since he is waving “hello” to the world. I’m not sure if he looks more like Dana or Chris yet. I wonder if the hat that I made will fit him? He’ll probably grow out of it in a week. So yup, Baby#1 is out, and I think about 3 more babies to go this year!
In other news, I did two unnatural things today. #1. I finally listened to that Ke$ha song that everybody seems to like. I refuse to listen to her, but my Pandora station had other ideas. #2. I voted for a Republican. So today is election day, and I always vote if I am available. Sure enough, I went in to my polling place and was dismayed when I saw there were no Democrats in my precinct. So, I went in and voted for a Republican mayor and some other miscellaneous Republicans for the Council Board. I did vote for the one candidate who broke his teeth in his youth since he was driving a car while getting a blowjob and smashed into a tree.
This is why I love living in a small town.
And I absolutely love this picture. Emo + Me. True love, haha!
The day finally arrived! No, I did not wake up at 4 am to watch the festivities, but I had my DVR ready for when I got up! (Unfortunately, a woodpecker woke me up as it was drilling into our roof… stupid bird!) It felt a bit like Christmas morning since I kept waking up at 4am, 5am, and so on, but I was just too lazy to get out of bed. I did talk to my mom a bit this morning as she was driving to St. Louis. Apparently, my dad had woken her up so he could watch it! My dad is a goofball. Also, it looks like he has shown parts of the Charles & Diana wedding in his class. I bet he is the only teacher left in the high school that has a working VCR.
I’m no wedding dress expert, but I am an aficionado of celebrity wedding dresses. My personal favorite wedding dress on a celebrity was Gwen Stefani in her lovely Dior by John Galliano pink and white silk dress. Yes, I had always loved the music of No Doubt with her as the funky front woman. (Still one of the best concerts of my life- twice!) When you think of Gwen Stefani, you think of a fun fashionista, and she certainly delivered. I love how whimsical this dress is. Also, I appreciate that she wore this to a traditional Catholic mass. I can just imagine the look on the Priest’s face as he saw this vision of pink clutching a bible. You know you’re awesome when you can do that! This is one reason Gwen Stefani is and will always be amazing. Just seeing this dress makes me smile. She looks gorgeous, her groom is clearly in love, and it is heartwarming knowing that they are still married with children. I hope they make it forever. All because of the dress, people!
My next favorite wedding dress belongs to a pseudo-celebrity, and that is Ivanka Trump. (Granted, I have always and will always hate her father, but his daughter has great style.) She modeled her dress after the classic gown of the wedding between Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco. Her version was made by the wedding dress goddess, Vera Wang. I remember this dress because Ivanka got married the weekend before I did in Fall 2009. The picture is great and shows the seasonal colors of the Fall season (even though her husband is wearing a geeky bow tie, but I digress). I love the lace, and I can’t imagine wearing those lace sleeves. (If you have never worn lace as an overlay, it is light as a feather, but you can really sweat in it!) Sure, it is a bit of a poof-ball dress, but you can’t deny the elegance and sophistication. Lace will always be the sexiest when on a wedding dress if you ask me. Elegance always wins!
Personally, I have always loved Princess Grace’s wedding dress. I have read two of her biographies, so I just love her all around. If I would have gotten married in a church, I would have probably worn a dress that was Princess Grace-esque minus the train. It is a timeless look, and not only was Grace Kelly a Princess but also a movie star! That dress has star quality! Her veil and little hat (?) are also lovely. Could someone wear this exact dress in this day and age? Absolutely! The high waist, the long train, the lace sleeves- oh yes! I hope this wedding trend continues because I am sick and tired of seeing every bride wear a strapless gown. Do you know how many weddings I have been to where the bride is wearing strapless? Sure, they are beautiful, but do ALL DRESSES HAVE TO BE THE SAME? Do something demure! Wear lace sleeves with a crazy Chapel train! Do something different for crying out loud! I can’t wait for Mina to get married since I am going to make her wear this kind of dress. Hee hee.
And then we get to the royal couple. Kate Middleton is not a rock star like Gwen Stefani nor a pseudo-celebrity like Ivanka Trump. In fact, she is a lovely English girl who snared the World’s Most eligible Bachelor while getting her college degree. Everyone has speculated on her wedding dress for months. I was hoping she would go all out crazy and do a Victorian-era wedding dress to bring back the high collar style. You know those royals have to keep everything covered, so how can you make a tiny girl look ravishing? Well, her dress is a bit in-between of both Grace Kelly and Ivanka Trump. The big difference Kate had over the others? She was the only one wearing a tiara. Yeah, I think a tiara trumps everything! She did look so demure and stunning. Prince William is a lucky fella.
On another note, I think the star of the show had to be the Maid-of-Honor, Miss Pippa Middleton. What a beautiful gown and bangin’ body! GORGEOUS!
I guess I’ll be in a wedding mood all weekend. I’m going to my friend Dana’s bridal/bachelorette party bash tomorrow. I’m pretty excited for tomorrow night. I may bring out some GaGa and a wig for good measure. The weather is finally back to SPRING!
I just had the most amazing weekend EVER DOCUMENTED!! Last week was pretty bananas to say the least. Matt was working 2nd and half of third shift, so he was getting home around 3 AM. We were going to Chicago on Friday, but all of a sudden his day off was cancelled. I was able to find a replacement for him, but Matt got lucky and he was able to only work 2nd shift on Friday (instead of getting off at 2AM). So instead of driving together, Matt drove up to Chicago on his own while I took the MegaBus. I have never taken it before, but I was pretty thrilled that it wouldn’t require driving and only cost $29. I sat next to a nice older lady who didn’t speak English. She had a notebook with new words in it, and she was practicing. I chuckled a bit when I realized she was learning words on bird-calling and casinos.
I got to Chicago at 2pm and the sunny and warm weather in Indianapolis was replaced by bitter cold rain and crazy wind. I got off the bus, grabbed my bag, and started running down the block looking for a cab. I noticed a young Middle Eastern boy following me, which kind of weirded me out until I realized I had about 20 lbs on him. At the corner he was panting and all confused. I had my hand in my pocket, pretending I had a knife in there if he wanted to jump me. He then said how he didn’t know how to get a cab or get to where he was going. Since I am nice, I hailed him a taxi right there and helped him on his way. As he got in the cab, he looked at me with relief and said, “You American girls, nice girls… so nice!” Haha, well, I hope so!
I hailed my cab at made it to the Westin River North on Dearborn. I was exhausted and took a wee little cat nap. I got up at 5 pm and waited for my friend, Colleen, to come get me. So yes, the purpose of this trip was to go to Jess and Jeremiah’s wedding, but I got lucky with Matt being unable to come on Friday. I have a lot of friends who live in Chicago, and the great thing is that most of them know each other.
I have known Colleen since I was 17. We played softball together during the fall of ’99. She ended up living in the same dorm as me my freshman year at Purdue, so we will be life-long friends. We walked down the block and ate at a place called the Rosebud Trattoria. The wine was great, but the food did the mambo jambo in my stomach. I am a bit sad that Colleen is leaving Chicago in a month since she just got her PH.D and is moving to Washington D.C. with her husband. (I guess I’ll have to visit her there).
We took the L to Diversey Street to hit up Amanda’s birthday bowling party! I met Amanda via Colleen in college, but all I remember is that we were at Where Else? during Breakfast Club. We have become closer friends after graduating which is awesome. So we go to the Seven Ten Bowling Lounge where I manage to get sick. Funny enough, one of my friends from high school, Sarah, shows up. I swear, I am the center of the universe. I know everybody of importance, haha. After bowling (and amazing birthday cupcakes!) we headed to an Irish bar. I didn’t drink anything there since my stomach was still settling. After about 30 minutes of talking, Colleen convinced me to go to the gay bar down the block from her apartment.
Ironically, I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO A GAY BAR. Yes, this is SHOCKING since I love all things gay. In a funny twist, the first time I TRIED to go to a gay bar was during Jess’ first bachelorette party for her first wedding in 2004. I thought it was perfect timing. We headed to Boystown and passed Wrigley Field to go to the Kit Kat Lounge. Right away, I knew I was at home. The place looked awesome with pretty chandeliers, and they were playing Some Like It Hot on the walls. I love a good martini, and the menu was STACKED! I ordered the Kit Kat, which had melon delish inside.
Now the Kit Kat is known for its nightly Diva performers. I had no idea what to expect. Colleen told me that a Drag Queen would come out a few times and perform for the crowd. All of a sudden the lights dimmed and the disco ball went bananas. On the loud-speaker, Jennifer Hudson’s new song came on. Everyone started cheering when the Drag Queen came out! Oh God, I loved loved loved it! I was thrilled Colleen took me there. I jumped up and started feeding the Diva of the night, Traci Ross, some well-earned $1 dollar bills. After a few songs, she disappeared. She came back out two more times. The second time she was dressed as Nicki Minaj. She performed “Roman’s Revenge,” and “Moment 4 Life.” I was sitting next to another Drag Queen (or post-op, not sure) and had fun talking to her. I’ll say this, Drag Queens have the best accessories! The third vignette was a Diana Ross look. Now this outfit was clutch. It was a sparkly boob shirt with boyshorts under a mini. When I went to give her cash, I didn’t know where to go since the shirt had no tight straps. Yup, she opened up her underwear. I couldn’t see what was hiding in there… ha! She sang “Whip My Hair,” which was amazing even though it was incredibly inappropriate. I wonder if Jada and Will Smith are thinking their 10-year-old daughter’s song is being performed at Gay Bars everywhere. Too funny. See the Video Here.
Around midnight, Matt called me since he was pulling into Chicago. I said my goodbye to Colleen and quickly went back to the hotel. I was in euphoria when I got back to the hotel. Matt couldn’t believe I went to the gay bar. Ha!
On Saturday morning, I was excited to go to a fun breakfast. I love a place called Orange, but when I went to look up the address, GoogleMap said that some locations were closed. Apparently AT&T is not good in Chicago so I couldn’t even get to the website. Instead of heading there, we walked to Portillo’s which is also amazing. The Green Gidget took me there a long time ago, and I fell in love. Their hot dogs are the best in the world. After lunch, we headed to our favorite Chicago stop, The Art Institute. I love the Impressionist wing, so we spent a lot of time in there. I love the Renoir collection the most. We actually bought a lot of prints for decorations for the house.
After a nap, we headed to The Newberry Library, which houses many prized historical documents as well as a famous Abraham Lincoln oil painting. I wish we had gotten there sooner so we could look through the gift shop! Jess and I used to work together at Von’s Comics during college. We were the only two chicks in the comic section, and we became close. At the time, we were both planning weddings for relationships doomed to fail. Seriously, that kind of stuff bonds you for LIFE! I knew there would be awesome people from the Von’s era at the wedding, so I was pretty excited when I got the invite in the mail. I was thrilled to see Nick with his longtime girlfriend, Want. Nick has really done well for himself. He still lives in Chicago and has won an Emmy for television work. An Emmy! He used to work at PBS but is now working independently. He was telling me about a new show he was working on which involved popular biking spots around the country. He mentioned Bainbridge Island out in Seattle, so I knew one place he’ll go! I loved working with Nick, and I actually worked with him both at Von’s and at the Purdue Telefund the one summer I worked there. I was actually with him when Matt called me for the first time. I remember the day well, we jumped in my car and I drove down from Purdue to my favorite sushi joint in Indianapolis for the afternoon. He is such a funny guy. I’m so happy he is doing well. He still tells amazing stories. His laugh is infectious.
Next up was Dan The Man, who actually officiated the service. I worked with him at Purdue Telefund, and he is such a great guy. He is now living in Texas. His girlfriend was a peach! Jess + Jeremiah’s wedding gift were wrapped used books (awesome idea!) and Matt was trying to trade a book of Egyptian symbols for Dan’s copy of Ulysses. Needless to say, the Egyptian symbols went home with us. Haha. I also spent some time dancing with a girl named Beth, who I had met only once before. The music and food at the wedding were A+++ let me say. I have never had bacon wrapped dates, but man, I wish I would have them more! The couple chose lovely cupcakes for the guests, and I picked the best one called “The Drumstick.” It was a Drumstick ice cream cone manifested in a cupcake. Wow Wow Wow! I didn’t know it were possible to even do that!
So yes, the wedding was fantastic. Matt had a wonderful time, and believe me, that is half the battle when going to a wedding. It was nice since Matt actually knew the people there. I am so happy for Jess and Jeremiah. In other good news for the happy couple, they bought a house a few days after the wedding which is 10 minutes away from me! I am so thrilled! Jess + Jen back together! It will be like an old-time Von’s Reunion always!! I remember going to her apartment in college and she would cook fantastic meals for me. As mentioned before, this weekend was a great turning point. I had felt a little down since so many people have walked out of my life lately. I just had to realize there are many other people who I like more and who like me just being myself. Mina gets back from China next week; Jess is moving to Indy; and Amy and I joined a wine club so I’ll probably see her a lot more. Life is good. Hopefully I’ll be able to see Rowsey, Albin, and Mandi Jo a bit more too.
I can’t wait to go back to Chicago this summer with Albin. I’m definitely taking her to the Kit Kat Lounge. I was sad when I missed “It’s Britney Bitch Brunch” on Sunday. Hahaha!
Want to see more Drag Show higlights? Check out my Flickr feed here.
This series of books has been a guilty pleasure for me. I read the last two somewhat back to back during the summer of ’07. This book was highly entertaining if you needed a fluffy book. The character of Lizzie Nichols is somewhat relatable and even somewhat cute. This book follows Lizzie as she works at the Wedding Dress Refurbishing shop. Since the ending of the second book, she has ended up with her Prince Charming and is expecting to get married to him. Well, at the beginning of this book, she is making out with her boyfriend’s best friend, Chaz (who used to be dating her best friend, Shari) and then she gets proposed to by her boyfriend. Umm confusing? Yeah, the writer made Shari a lesbian so that Chaz could be available. Also, this series of books always need a famous celebrity, so the author made a caricature of Paris Hilton (even down to the Disney named dog) My favorite character throughout the series has always been her Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman loving Gran, who just happens to be a comedic foil and alcoholic. I will say the one draw back to this book is the CONSTANT “Does he love me? Should I be with him?” self-mutterings. If that would be removed, the book would have been 20 pages shorter. Overall, I enjoyed the ending very much, even though it was completely out of character for Lizzie to *gasp! elope!
Jen Rating: ***