Chicago

So I gave my mom the travel bug! I had been talking about going to Chicago with my friends so much, that my mom decided she wanted to go too. We went during the labour day weekend, and literally walked across the whole city. I also made sure to get every aerial view that I could.

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View from the plane.

We got in Thursday night, and just did some exploring around our hotel to get oriented.

Friday was our big walk.  We walked all the way across Millennium Park down to the Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium, and then visited Sue (the world’s largest T-Rex) at The Field Museum.

From here we walked far north.  While in New York I discovered DSW (a shoe store) and fell in love.  Now, when I looked it up in Chicago, I only found a location on the other side of the river. And so north we went.  And from there it was only a 20 minute walk to the Willis Tower, so that was our next stop.

The Willis Tower is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. It’s 1,353 feet in the air, which is really high (basically 103 floors high).  They also have these glasses boxes that extend 4.3 feet out from the skydeck, but I could not would not step on it. It was a bit of a foggy day, but the views were still great.

And from here we both needed a break. So we went shopping down the Michigan Mile.  It was the labour day weekend, so there were tons of sales and so we ended up doing a little shopping every day.

When we told people we were going to Chicago, everybody told us to do an architecture river cruise.  People told us it was good, but we were in semi-disbelief.  But it really was amazing.  We booked the first tour on Saturday morning, which they called the photography tour as they stay at each stop just a little longer, and it was the highlight of the trip.  Here’s a few of the buildings we saw.

From here we headed down to Navy Pier, and then headed in the ‘burbs to watch a play by the same theatre group I saw last time.  I like getting out of the city for a few hours, it’s a nice change the pace.

And that evening, after waiting in line for house (really), we got our deep dish pizza. Here’s my mom anxiously awaiting our pizza.

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Our last day (it was a very sad day), started at the John Hancock Observatory, for a final aerial view.  This observatory is 1,000 feet high, located on the 94th floor.  It was the best view we had all weekend.

And then we did a little more shopping.  Mom had to stop by the American Girl store to see what all the fuss was about (she’s a preschool teacher), and I wanted to hit up a few more sales before returning home.

It was really the perfect long weekend.  Chicago’s such a great city and I’d go back in a heartbeat.

Chicago

Anyone who knows me knows that I love theatre, especially musicals.  I’m also a huge Harry Potter fan. When my Ireland crew discovered this, they introduced me to something called A Harry Potter Musical by Team Starkid, which is a parody by an amateur theatre group, starring Darren Criss (now of Glee fame).

Watching this literally changed my life.  I met some of my best friends through a shared interest in this group, etc etc, and all this culminates to the fact that they were putting on a show in Chicago, and a bunch of us were going to drive down for the weekend in order to see it.

By the time we were ready to go, my mom and I had already planned to fly to Chicago the following month, so I wasn’t really concerned about seeing any of the sites.  I knew I’d see them when I went with my mom.  My main concern was our entertainment.

We went to a Second City improv show our first night there, and ran back to the hostel in the rain (I love running in the rain, when you’re with great friends and really don’t have a care in the world).

We saw the musical we came to Chicago for, Twisted, which is basically Wicked for Aladdin (it tells Jaffar’s story, and has a really great soundtrack if you’re into that kind of thing), and was also able to meet the cast. We also met some really great people in line.

Right behind us was Susan and her husband.  They were in the 50s, had each been married before, and spent our time in line telling us how integral Harry Potter was to their relationship.  On one of their first dates, the first HP movie was in theatres, so they went to see it.  They ended up loving it and decided to read all the books out loud to each other as they came out. It was so great to hear about this quiet man freaking out because he remembered about the sword of Gryffindor in the 7th book. They were so lovely, and throughly entertained us with stories as we waited in line.

Asides from our shows, we did have a little time to explore a little of downtown Chicago, and mainly focused on the Bean/Millenium Park. I lost all those pictures in a computer crash, but rest assured, it was great.

And of course there was the many hour drive there and back.  I’ve technically also been to Indiana, as there was a detour off the highway,through industrial Indiana where we all thought we were going to be murdered.  We thankfully lived to see another day, and just had an absolutely fantastic weekend in Chicago.

These photos won’t mean anything to most of you, but in an effort to not lost them should my computer crash again, here’s me with the majority of Team Starkid.