27 Hours in Chicago (my Video Shoot with Premier Protein!)

January 6th, 2015 | Posted by Erica House in Life

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.
2015-01-03 13.26.23I 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.)
2015-01-03 14.03.02After 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. 2015-01-03 14.30.46I’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. 2015-01-03 15.00.18I 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. 2015-01-03 17.24.17Sunday 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. 2015-01-04 08.25.46

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.
2015-01-04 11.52.02

But it is beautiful. And magical. 2015-01-04 11.52.08My 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.

2015-01-04 12.27.25

2015-01-04 12.29.49The 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. 
2015-01-03 13.33.48While 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? 

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16 Responses

  • Diane Oui In France says:

    Sounds like an awesome trip and so glad you got to see some snow. I’d like to see some around here. And I’m drooling at the hotel room. SOOO nice, and def bigger than my studio back in NYC which was 360 sq ft!

  • SuzLyfe says:

    Um so while I’m happy and all that you got this FREAKING AMAZING OPPORTUNITY. You do realize that the Hyatt is 1 block from my apartment. NOT OK. Regardless, what a cool, cool thing to be a part of. And glad that you got your Chicago snow!

    • Erica House says:

      BOOOOOOOOOO!! I knew I was going to be super tight on time this trip so I didn’t make plans to see anyone, but knowing I was THAT CLOSE to you does make me want to kick myself!

  • Sounds like a great trip and a great opportunity to be in the shoot! Congrats.

  • Danielle says:

    That sounds like a great trip, but I can totally relate with getting homesick more now. I’ve been traveling a lot lately and it’s starting to wear me down.

    • Erica House says:

      Where have you been traveling to? I hate that I have such a desire to travel, but I’m also such a homebody!

    • Danielle says:

      Yes, I feel exactly the same! Since October I’ve been to Montgomery (AL) a few times (major client there, used to live there, etc), Los Angeles, and now I’m in PA for nearly a month. For me, that’s a lot haha. I love to experience new places, but I’m easily exhausted. Plus, I’ve found since I work from home and am with my fiance 24/7, it’s even harder to be away! That’s probably sad, but whatever haha.

  • Well, you would have been right by where I live, except that I am in VA this week. I missed the first snow there in Chicago, but apparently it has followed me here and it has been snowing all morning. Boo.

    Sounds like an awesome opportunity and maybe next time you are in Chicago we can meet up!

    • Erica House says:

      Was this weekend really the first snow for Chicago?! I can’t believe that! I’m so happy I had such good timing.

      I LOVE Chicago and always want to go back. We should definitely meet up when it happens again!

  • What a cool trip! I was only in Chicago once and my daughter was only 3 months old and I was way distracted. My husband lived there for a while and loves the city, hope I can visit again.

    • Erica House says:

      Definitely a city to go back and explore when you have a chance. I’m sure that would be almost impossible for a while with 3 young kids!

  • CARLA says:

    I LOVED how you described the man/boxerdude :-) driving your car.

  • In 2014 I traveled to San Francisco TWICE! and then I took some road trips in the fall to Cape Cod and Cape May. I live in NYC. The left coast trips were definitely my favorite especially because they involved running. (SF Half Marathon and Ragnar Napa) but the two local trips were with my boyfriend and our first trips so memorable for sure. We’re going to a wedding in Jamaica in August of this year but other than that I haven’t made any other travel plans. We actually did talk about a trip to CHI-town though =) Just discovered your blog, BTW. Enjoying…

    • Erica House says:

      I’m glad you stumbled onto my blog! Runcations are definitely my favorite type of travel. I would LOVE to end up in San Francisco someday, and a trip to Jamaica sounds so exotic!