Every month, the Chicago-area lolita host a casual meetup known as a “Crafternoon.” Although the original focus was on crafting (hence the name), now the Crafternoons can be anything that involves a) little to no cost and b) no strict dress code. It’s basically an excuse for everyone to get together and socialize. Usually there is some kind of craft involved, both to keep everyone entertained and because it’s fun! The Crafternoon is usually the first Sunday of the month (unless there’s a conflict of some kind) from approximately noon to 4pm.
This month, the Crafternoon fell the day before Labor Day, so a community member suggested a barbeque at her house. I was particularly thrilled with this suggestion because most of the lolita that live in the city, including myself, live in apartments that prohibit the use of grills. (I also love potluck meetups, because it means no-one needs to worry about splitting a restaurant tab or how much money they can spare to eat out.) Also, having a meal arranged for the meetup means that we can spend as much time chatting as we want to–and we like each other’s company a lot!
The hostess’s apartment complex had a lovely little fenced-in yard with a grill, and she brought out tables and chairs for everyone. There was a ridiculous amount of food–almost everyone brought something, and the hostess was extremely prepared! I enjoyed myself a lot because I got to take over the grill! I smelled decidedly charcoal-ish after standing around and flipping burgers, but it kept me nice and toasty in the slightly-chill weather. There was an amazing variety of things to grill–several different kinds of veggie burgers, veggie sausages, hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken! I even grilled a few pieces of tofu, which tasted delicious despite sticking to the grill like crazy.
After a little while a walk along the beach was suggested, as the lake was literally at the end of the street. It started out harmless enough, with intrepid lolita braving the sand in their fancy shoes and socks. Then someone took off their shoes and wandered in the waves, and it all went downstream from there. Pretty soon several girls were in the waves, fully-clothed, and getting deeper and deeper while the rest of us watched them from the shore. I took a lot of pictures! (They’re all on my Flickr~)
Working all week left me too tired to stay much later, but I had a really great time while I was there! I met several new lolita and was able to spend time with those I already knew. Everything was laid-back and a lot of fun. As much as I enjoy fancy tea parties, sometimes the less formal occasions feel so much more intimate. It’s easier to get to know people like that. I can’t wait for next month’s Crafternoon~ ♥