So back in December over Christmas break, Devon and I decided that we would do something spontaneous and adventurous during the second semester. Of course you and your friends always talk about how you are going to go to all these cool places and meet all these new people but it’s usually always just talk and no action.
This was definitely not the case for us.
As soon as we got back to Fayetteville we began deciding which places would be a good contender based on price, convenience, etc. After my cousin, Kenza, told me how cheap you can get a Southwest Airlines ticket there was no turning back. We found a $59 plane ticket to Chicago, IL making the round trip to be about $130. Of course we were ecstatic about the price but the fact that we were going to be able to go somewhere as awesome as Chicago, a city with an endless amount of things to do, was absolutely incredible.
We left for KC on Wednesday afternoon and our flight to the Windy City left at a very convenient time of 5:20am. In reality it actually was very convenient because it literally gave us all of Thursday to explore the city.
Of course, after Uber Driver Joyce almost killed us on the way to the hotel (she got 3 stars); when we arrived our room was not ready and there was no way of knowing what time it would be available. yay.
Exhausted… yet so excited that we are finally here we decide to not let this bump in the road of our journey get in the way of us looking fabulous in Chi Town! We lug our packed suitcases to the Holiday Inn Express women’s restroom and continue to transform it into our own vanity/dressing room. After contemplating outfits, redoing makeup, and after an hour of hard work our looks are finally complete. Of course, as we were finishing up, the very rude lady from the front desk asks us to “give her bathroom back”… which we thought was bold of her to say considering she is the reason we are currently homeless…
By now, it’s 11:00am and we have been up and at it for 8 hours. In our first day we saw The Bean (typical), we ate lunch at the Field’s Museum but didn’t actually go in until Friday, and we went and had a deep dish Chicago style pizza that was to die for from Giordanos Pizzeria (not to be mistaken for Ghiradelli).
We finally get back to the Holiday Inn Express around 9:00pm and we are completely exhausted; first day was long but successful.
On Friday we woke up a little bit on the later side and we went to Field’s Museum, Observation Deck, and Shedd Aquarium, which by the way if you bring your student id you can get in for $5 instead of paying $40 for an adult ticket. We were blown away by the deal! The museums and aquarium were really cool but we were happy that we got discounts on both because we would have been a little bit disappointed if we had paid the full amount. The Observation Deck in the John Hancock Building was probably my favorite part of the day. We went up to the 94th floor around sunset and so the lighting was just beautiful reflecting off of all the buildings. We got a complete 360 degree view of the whole city and my pictures definitely don’t do the view justice…. For dinner that night we went to Eataly, a really cool place that was 2 stories. It kind of reminded me of a Central Market and a Whole Foods combined but then like 100x cooler because it had a Gelato bar and Nutella Bar for dessert but then on the second floor they had a restaurant with an open kitchen and fresh seafood displayed. Dev and I were able to sit at the bar so that we could see them cook the food which was pretty cool.
On Saturday we did a lot of shopping…4 hours actually. But we obviously had to start the day off with a nutritious breakfast so we went to a really cute brunch restaurant, and of course I can’t remember the name, but the food was so good and it was so close to our hotel we were able to walk. Of course we had to look cute and Devon insisted on wearing heels which was obviously a horrible idea…foolish girl. We definitely did not end up buying as much as we had anticipated…in fact, Devons dad shipped us 2 extra duffle bags for the additional stuff that we bought…talk about petty divas! After we went shopping we decided to head over to Wicker Park and have some delicious authentic tacos from Big Star Tacos. I really loved the Wicker Park area… it actually reminded me a lot of the midtown area in memphis except maybe Wicker Park was a little bit cleaner and had more to do. But it was definitely a hip little area with lots of diversity which is what I love. After that we had to squeeze in the Navy Pier and by this time the sun was starting to go down and the weather was turning very chilly, very fast so we did not stay very long… but it was still really cool to see. We noticed that there were a lot of boat tours which I’m sure would be really cool in the summer time so then you can see the whole city while out on Lake Michigan, which by the way looks like an ocean.
That night, our last night in Chi Town, we met up with 2 of Devons friends from high school who are living there now. Mitch, who is pursuing music and Max who is pursuing acting. Shout out to you both, it was so fun getting to meet new people in a new town which is ultimately what I love about traveling.
We had a great last night in the Windy City with friendly fun and we were definitely sad to leave. I am so incredibly thankful for a friend like Devon who shares the same kind of enthusiastic attitude about seeing the world. Sure, Chicago is still in the United States and it’s only our first trip…but you have to start somewhere. Chicago is a trip that I will never forget; it was a trip filled with endless laughter, adventure, a little bit of anxiety, and a little bit of stress; but most of all filled with excitement and appreciation for the things that are to come.
Now, here we are back in Fayetteville, AR …no longer living the lavish city lifestyle. Getting a little taste of what my life can consist of when I’m older, being able to travel so loosely, makes me a little bit more motivated in my time here in Fayetteville.
Back to being a couple of girls with champagne taste on a beer budget in North West Arkansas.