Welcome to week two of the Rookie Road Trip! Last Friday we drove to Chicago and went straight to Saki, the record and zine store, for an afternoon of zine-making and music by Tiny Fireflies, a rad duo I just asked Hazel to describe. She said, “Shoegazey? Dreampop? Twee?” SO, there ya go.

Tiny Fireflies!


Meeting readers at Saki was a delight, and because I am from Chicago and we realized we all lived within miles of each other, it was especially REAL. Also, all of the zines were so cute and decorated with Loteria cards and glitter glue, and it was just good times and good vibes. Fat thank-yous to Erin at Saki for providing so many great zine-making supplies and for having purple hair and for letting us take over the store for an afternoon.

Obligatory group shot.

That night I hosted the road trippers at my house (minus Anaheed, because she’s not allowed) (JK she stayed with her sister) (lame), and we ate with my friends and then watched Superbad at my friend Amelia’s house. This is worth mentioning to you because it humanizes this project of ours that otherwise looks very professional and fancy:

As evidenced by our many selfies.

Petra is prone to things that suck, which means that over the course of the last week she has: dislocated her knee, developed a sinus infection, and caught pink eye. SO CUTE! Hope she channels all this inspiration into a beautiful Rookie crown covered in snot and kneecaps! So she stayed at my house with her Canadian slaves (boyfriend and sister) on Chicago Day Two, while Anaheed, Hazel, and I went to Girls Rock! Chicago’s end-of-session-one performance. It is basically a dream of mine to watch a bunch of girls in elementary and middle school make music and scream lyrics like “gender roles are sappy!” on stage in front of a ton of people, so this event was AWESOME. The band names were the best because they were so effortless in the way adult musicians often aspire to be. My favorite was Sharx. Sharx!

SO MANY ROCK STARS! Anaheed took some awesome photos of girls performing and put them up on our Tumblr. Here I am with one of Sharx’s guitarists and Willa, a camp counselor.

We left the next morning for Iowa City. Driving in, we estimated that approximately three people would come to our event. When we got there, the town was desolate but still delightful. In the end, a lot of people showed up, but only because they were all part of a dance program and had seen a poster for it and figured it would give them something to do. It was still really nice to meet them though! We went to White Rabbit first to stock up on some nice vintage things, then to the Record Collector to stock up on some nice music things. By the time we took our group picture at the end of the afternoon, it had kind of filtered out to the actual Rookie readers, one of whom had to assure her mom that we were not a cult:

This girl named Susie designed that fabric and dress herself!

Back at the hotel, I made all my crap look cute for no reason:

Then we road trippers headed off to a lake with a box of pizza and adventurous spirits! The next morning, we left for Omaha, Nebraska, and settled in at the beautiful apartment of our pals Joey (of Claire’s Diary) and Mark. They had a shrine on practically every shelf, and totally appreciated our diet of candy and other junk, making us feel right at home. We met Rookie readers at Film Streams to see Moonrise Kingdom, which ended with Anaheed and me hugging and all of us teary-eyed. Then the whole group headed to Blue Line Coffee for edible things.

Hazel and I realized that she had dressed like Suzy (vintage collared dress, blue eyeshadow) and I had dressed like Sam (uniform shorts, my glasses). Anna, on the far right, clearly ruined everything.

Jessica H. got this photo exactly right: "This looks like a still from a medication commercial. 'Ask yr doctor if Lunestra is right for you'-style."

The next day, we went to New Life Thrift, where I bought an old American Flag (AMURRIKAHHHHH) and old records with pretty covers and stuff for our upcoming installation at Space 15 Twenty. Then we went to Urban Outfitters for an afternoon of banner-making. It was set up like a little slumber party, with delicious snacks everywhere!

I made one that said POO and one that said POOP, because I am mature.

Alice had the best banner, and the best smile.

July 4th followed, and Hazel, Anna, and I celebrated by starting the day with a Netflix streaming of Beauty & the Briefcase. HAVE YOU WATCHED THIS MOVIE? PLEASE DO SO ASAP. WITH SUBTITLES, AS A MORE EXPLICIT WAY OF SHOWING HOW RIDICULOUS AND AMAZING IT IS.

It was a long day of driving to make it to Boulder, Colorado, for a meet-up at Gateway Park. We raced go-karts, played arcade games (I used all my tickets to get 25 temporary tattoos and a beautiful ring), had some REAL TALK over soft pretzels, and go-karted again in the dark of night.

Dillon had such good arcade luck and personal style.

Hazel and I getting serious. Anna would later run someone OFF THE TRACK with her road rage.


Today was just a long driving day with no meet-up, but the scenery really started to get beautiful. I guess when we were preparing for this trip, I was expecting the route to be full of mountains and weird diners the whole way through, like as soon as I left my house. But it hadn’t been like that. Now that we’re further west, though, it’s getting sort of exciting. After eating we listened to Nancy Sinatra while taking photos at Penny’s Diner

…then blasted Fleetwood Mac as we drove through the desert…

…and Cat Stevens while we passed through mountains in Utah.

So far, America is really living up to the daydreams that filled my brain during this school year.

Update on our losing it: Petra and Anna FREAKED OUT in the car when we listened to the Hamster Song and to the Party Rock Anthem. I mean, like, speaking in tongues and doing freaky spazzy possessed dances. Just imagine Regan from The Exorcist doing her thing to LMFAO. Please send help.

Avery has earned himself the nickname THE PUNISHER, because he is super quiet but when he does say something, it is usually a pun, and it is usually brilliant.

I mostly work on Yearbook stuff while listening to Taylor Swift. Listening to her makes me cry, so now you know that TEARS went into that thing you’re spending money on. That is, if you plan on buying a copy come September, which you should! Because all the cool kids are doing it, and peer pressure is great!

Anaheed and Hazel are the most sane of all of us. Congrats, I guess.

We still have some of the West and the West Coast left, so go check our itinerary to see if you can make it to any of our events next week! ♦