This past weekend in Chicago was a total blur. I landed at 1 p.m. Saturday and was home again 10 p.m. Sunday. I slept at my parents house Friday and Sunday night since it was closer to the airport so it is SO good to be home now!
I flew to Chicago to participate in the Premier Protein video shoot. They reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked if I’d like to come up to be a part of a promotional video they were putting together. Let’s see …. a brand I genuinely enjoy in a city I adore? DUH.
When I arrived at the airport I called a number given to me by the travel agent who arranged the trip. I was told a car would be waiting for me outside in a few minutes. Got to admit the thought of calling some random number, and then getting in the backseat of a car with a total stranger, sounded like it could be the start to a terrible/awesome story. It was awesome.
My driver pulled up in this ridiculously nice Cadillac. He was built like a boxer and had a thick Eastern European accent. He didn’t talk to me the entire time, had classical music playing, and a brace on his left wrist (obviously from his dealings with the Russian mob.) I legit felt like my life was about to turn into an action movie at any moment. It didn’t. I just had a pleasant ride to the hotel.
I stayed at the Hyatt on Magnificant Mile and had the King Suite. I checked and it was actually bigger than the studio apartment I lived in (550 sq ft versus 490.)
After I put my suitcase up I headed out to make the most of the time I had in Chicago. One of my favorite things to do while traveling is wander around. I’ll pick a general destination, like an art museum, that’s a few miles away from the hotel and just take my time getting there. I must have stopped into a dozen shops to and from the comic book store I headed to first. I’m on this huge nerd/Sailor Moon kick right now and found Graham Crackers Comics a mile away from the hotel. I ended up not buying anything but I was pretty tempted by the Buffy figurines (they didn’t look anything like the actual characters) and some old X-Files comics. I ended up walking/shopping for about three hours and the only thing I ended up buying was this bag of Popchips. I picked it up when I stopped by Whole Foods to eat dinner on my way back to the hotel. I thought leaving BBQ chip crumbs in the bed would help class up the place a bit. Sunday morning I had my alarm set for 5:15 with every intention to workout before I went to the video shoot. That didn’t happen. I hit snooze for about an hour. My body was just exhausted, and my legs have been killing me for a few days now.
I decided walking around the city would be exercise enough for me. I got dressed to hit up the breakfast buffet before meeting the car that was scheduled to be outside at 7:45 to take a group of us to the shoot.
I met two of the other girls who were going to be in the video while we were waiting on the car in the lobby. Paige (pictured being interviewed below) is a total sweetheart who has lost 150 POUNDS so far! She tracks her weight loss on her instagram so you should definitely follow her if you are looking for some motivation. She was so bubbly and fun!
The other girl, Noelle (I believe that was her name, it’s either that or Holley, all I remember is that it reminded me of Christmas!) does obstacle course races. She just finished doing three races in Hawaii! She’s also a state trooper which makes her 100% badass.
We wrapped up filming by 10 a.m. and I knew I wanted to head to the Art Institute of Chicago before I had to leave the city. I’ve been to some of the best museums in the US and this one is has such a special place in my heart (there was an amazing exhibit that made me cry last time.) The museum was a mile away from the hotel and the temperatures dropped Sunday so between that and the windy snow it was a long walk.
I was so happy to see snow though! One of the reasons I went to Chicago in December of 2013 was to see snow (I hadn’t in almost 10 years.) It only started snowing as I was leaving the city so this is the first time I’ve really been IN snow in a decade. Shit’s cold.
But it is beautiful. And magical. My favorite exhibit at the museum was the miniature exhibit! They had dozens of miniature replicas of living rooms from different countries and time periods. It was amazing. A few years ago I started building a dollhouse, and then trashed it when I wasn’t a single cat lady anymore, but now I think it’s time I start one again. That’s the reason why I love traveling and museums so much. They momentarily make me the person I want to be. Walking around town with curiosity and no expectations, absorbing art and culture and planning on to incorporate it into my life when I get home, and being grateful for whatever surprises the day brings. It’s always so invigorating.
The only thing I ended up bring home with me from Chicago was this magnet for Travis to add to his collection. He likes to collect magnets from all the places he’s visited, and I collect Christmas ornaments.
While I loved my time in Chicago I’ve noticed that I get much more homesick when I travel now. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older and more set in my ways/routine, or if it’s because I knew I had 1000 work things to do when I got home. Between the trip to Ohio for Christmas, and then bouncing around my parents house/Chicago, I’m really grateful to be home.
I did text Travis on my flight home that I want to start planning an epic adventure vacation with him. Life’s short.
Where was the last place you traveled?
Do you like traveling alone?
What is your dream vacation?