Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Solo in Chicago

It has been far too long since I have been somewhere that is full of brand new sights and sounds and experiences. Paul and I are planning a big trip together but that won't be happening until February and I have been having a major traveling urge. February is getting closer but it still feels so far away that I had to do something little before then. So, in order to tide me over, a few weeks ago I decided to plan a solo trip to Chicago. Chicago isn't brand new to me since I have visited there a few times in the past when friends Mark and Jerri and Beth lived there and hosted us. I have been meaning to go back since we moved back to Minneapolis.

Even though the city isn't brand new to me, this would be the first time I would go to this specific part of Chicago and the first time I would be in charge of finding my way around. Chicago is a big enough city, that I could easily take multiple trips there without stepping in the same place twice.

There was a particular reason I felt compelled to go to Chicago on this specific weekend. More about that later.

Another appealing aspect of a trip to Chicago was the ease and affordability of it. I was able to get a wicked cheap Megabus ticket and a room at the hostel. The bus ticket meant I could sit back and relax in transit. The hostel reservation meant I would stay right in the thick of downtown in a place with a kitchen and companionship if I wanted it.

My first day was mostly spent in transit, but I did venture out in the evening. I found an amazingly quiet moment to check out the Sears Tower observation area. Well, truthfully it is now called the Willis Tower, but I haven't accepted that yet. I didn't realize how lucky I was to walk in and up through all of the waiting areas without having to wait in any lines. When I walked past the entrance on my way out of town, there was a huge line that snaked out of the building and around the corner! Lucky timing!

The tower now boasts a "ledge" which is a box that juts out and is completely transparent. It freaked the heck out of me as I am not fond of heights. This little girl was just sitting there calm as can be. Meanwhile, I couldn't make myself step out there. Not even with one foot. I leaned over to take this photo of the floor:

110 floors straight down. A box with big screw-looking things hold it up. No thank you!

Supposedly Giordano's has the best stuffed/Chicago style pizza in town. I was actually craving Neopolitan style pizza, but I figured when in Chicago, eat Chicago style pizza. I should have gone for the Neopolitan. That would have been a better modification of the when in Rome saying.

I got the mega-vegetable pizza and it still left my tummy feeling like it had a brick made of bread and cheese in it. Hopefully someone at the hostel enjoyed my leftovers.

The next day, something special happened. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. Meet me at the Bean!


  1. Oh, you do like to keep your readers hanging! Looking forward to reading more tomorrow! :)

  2. Really enjoyed this. I have been to Chicago and loved it. The lake is amazing and the bean so cool. That whole area is wonderful. Very excited to read about what comes next.


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