travel time: chicago

Recently, I took a long weekend to do something that I made a resolution to do during this new year: travel! I wanted to spend more money on experiences (instead of tangible things) this year, so I took a leap of faith and landed in Chicago, IL!

A few good friends of mine live there and one even offered up a place to crash for my stay, so luckily I was able to save quite a bit of money and still spend time with pals I wouldn't regularly see.

The view from my friend Kristi's apartment was awesome! So many boat tours were waved to.

First thing on our agenda (and the deciding factor for my visit taking place when it did) was seeing the musical group Fall Out Boy in their hometown! They're a favorite of mine, and what better place to see them during their reunion tour than where they started?

After that night, I attended Columbia College Chicago's Manifest, an urban arts festival taking place among the streets of downtown where the college is located. There were tons of awesome artists, movements and fun things to do and eat... but I was concerned with getting my first real slice of Chicago deep dish pizza.

We ended up at Giordano's, which is a staple according to my friends. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting. It was well worth the mile or so walk from the Columbia festivities.

It was different from the New York pizza I was so used to, but insanely delicious. The crust was so flaky and flavorful I can almost taste it now as I write this -- 6 months later! (I know, I'm really late on posting this. Sorry!)

The next day, Kristi and I walked to Target, which was an experience in itself. I had never gone "grocery" shopping in a large city like Chicago.


I have a thing for flowers, and Chicago has beautiful ones. I don't know what the ones on the left are, but the perfect dandelion I picked up had plenty of siblings rooted next to it. I promptly blew this one's stems away with the wind (and probably wished for more time in Chicago. Man, am I getting nostalgic writing this...)

The Crown Fountain was breathtaking in person, but since it was wet and windy, we stayed away. For mid May it was pretty chilly in Chicago!

We came across some more beautiful flowers wandering through Millenium park. Rows and rows of tulips (I'm pretty sure? Correct me if I'm wrong)

DA BEAAAAAN! You can hardly tell from our happy faces that we walked 7 miles around the city that day. It was definitely an experience to remember. I'd recommend it, but not in worn out flats. Get some comfy shoes.

I tried to make the most of the photogenic spots with my phone, since Delta has strict carry-on policies and my camera was just too much luggage. I think my Nexus 4 did a pretty good job with the panoramics, aside from exposure compensation on the sunny spots!


The Buckingham fountain was beautiful at night. This was the one time where I really found myself wishing I had my camera with me. Shaky low-lit pictures don't do it justice. It's something you really need to see in person to fully appreciate.

If you're in Chicago, get Harold's Chicken. Hands down one of the best popcorn chicken plates I've ever had. Spicy, but fantastic.

The last day I ended up doing some solo exploring, and found myself at the Willis Tower. 103 stories up in the air? Challenge accepted.

The trip up to the top was incredibly fast (almost scary to think how fast we made it up there, actually...) and the views from the top were amazing. I went on a day where it was kind of foggy, so you couldn't see very far out, but I've heard on clear days you can see for miles and miles.

The glass box you can go out on is mind blowing. It's hard to tell from the picture but it's pretty much just built out from the side of the building, and looking down is a straight shot to the pavement beneath you.


The last day Kristi brought me back a cherry limeade, which I begrudgingly savored while pouting in my Fall Out Boy shirt. As much as I didn't want this trip to end, I knew I'd be back again soon.

See ya next time, Chicago!

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