Hello and I am back from Chicago! This trip was amazing for several reasons: I flew solo for the first time ever, had an amazing time, and fell in love with a great American city. I had the best time there and it’s a little bittersweet that I’m back already, but Virginia is my home where my family is. So, onto the trip!
Most people who know me well know that I have a pretty big fear of flying. I have flown most of my life and yes, at 22 it’s still scary. Maybe if I bothered to understand the physics of flying, I’d be comforted but even as a scientist, I don’t think I’ll find much comfort in that. Also, this was my first time flying alone and that intesified the anxiety and terror like no other. But I did it like a big girl, got nasty airplane ear, and didn’t suffer the horrible terror that is vertigo (that happened two years ago). So feeling like a big girl, I hopped off the plane and navigated the Blue line of the L Rail and made it to my friend’s apartment. She lives close enough to downtown and you can see the skyline from the train stop. I set my things at her place and I was off to try real deep dish pizza at Lou Malnatti’s in West Loop. We made it just in time for the lunch special to get your own personal pizza, a salad, and a soda for about $8. Not bad at all. I really enjoyed my personal pizza not only since it was tradition, but it was really delicious. That night we went downtown for exploring and I saw Cloud Gate and Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile, and got drinks at the Signature Lounge which had the most fantastic view of the city from 96 floors up.
On Friday, it was sort of a rainy day so we aimed for things we could do indoors so we headed to the Art Institute. Although kind of pricey to get in, there’s so much art to see and the place is huge! I was a little exhausted from a jam packed day after traveling from the day before so I couldn’t fully be immersed in the art, but I still really enjoyed it. My favorites were seeing Magritte pieces in person! From there we walked to Buckingham Fountain where we got trapped in the rain but it was worth it to see this beautiful fountain from the 20s. We eventually made it to Portillo’s for a Chicago style hot dog and then to a bar. I was exhausted after that but was glad I was able to see and do a lot that day.
On Saturday, my friend and I got some great Mexican food at Chilango’s and then rested before the Beyoncé concert (which was amazing!!!). Although our seats were pretty high up, we had a clear view of the stage and the screens and it was well worth the $60. She put on a great show and you can tell she is one of the hardest working women out there. If I could see it again, I totally would.
Sunday was another rest day, I went out for sushi, saw my friend’s school and then since it was such a beautiful day out, did the Riverwalk and visited the Navy Pier. There was a brand new ferris wheel to celebrate 100 years of the Navy Pier and it was worth the wait for some amazing views. After a struggle to load money onto our CTA cards, we finally made it back home and I spent all of Monday travelling or at the airport.
Being back is nice, I definitely missed Daniel and my parents. I’m ready to get started on my research this summer and hopefully make some money tutoring. It’s already Thursday and I’m ready for a weekend with Daniel!