Chicago (senior trip)

Its a tradition after a high school graduation to go on a “senior trip”. This trip is different from any others because the traveler has an entirely different perspective on their life. They have the privilege to see what there future could be like. They see the world through the eyes of a new hungry adult who has any dream at their finger tips.

My grandma (Tutu : Hawaiian for grandma) generously took me to Chicago, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I have never spent so much time in a city and and it was incredibly exciting to experience the inner workings of cities.  At the end of this experience I realized that the windy city would be an incredible place to live. Who knows maybe a future job will call me there.

Our trip started a few days after my graduation festivities had subsided.

waiting in the airport

we arrived in Chicago around 1:30 or so and took a cab to our hotel and checked in a got acquainted before our dinner out.  We stayed at the Embassy Suites Lakefront and this hotel had the most misleading name. It was not actually lake front real estate because Chicago’s lake front has been left for parks which is actually a very interesting aspect to the city. The parks all around the city make it feel open and far less intimidating.  They add a much needed contrast to the harsh lines of the skyscrapers. So props to you Chicago.  From our hotel we had a pretty niffty view at a rooftop garden. These are common all around Chicago and I am sure in other cities as well. I thought the tennis courts were also pretty interesting. I can’t help but wonder how many cars or people have been hit by tennis balls from there.

roof top garden

 

I explored around our block for a little bit to get a taste of the city before dinner. I thought this mural was really interesting.

mural

That night we ate dinner at an incredible French restaurant, Henri. It was a really different experience. I had steak tartar, bacon wrapped rabbit and a bananas foster souffle.  The steak tartar was not quite what I expected. I knew it was raw but I thought it would be cured or something so it was an interesting culinary adventure. The rabbit was delicious and I must say it does taste like chicken. Nothing could have beat the souffle though. It was creamy fluffy and amazing all around.

The next day we got up early and took a mini bus tour around the city.  I highly recommend this because you really get a chance to see most of the city and get some bearings for the remainder of the trip. Here are some sights we saw.

Clock tower trump tower Wrigley field

 

Afterwards we ate at Pizzeria Due for the most incredible deep dish pizza I have ever had. No one does it like the Chicagoans. The crust was buttery and flaky and insides were even better. My grandma and I each got individuals which explains the small size.

Pizzeria Due

We then spent the remainder of the afternoon at the science and industry museum. This may be the best museum I have ever been to. The exhibits were all incredible and I only got to see a small portion of the whole thing. I may be somewhat of a museum nut but I embrace it. I have worked in a local children’s museum for almost two years so this trip was almost a research endeavor as well.  I’ll be sharing the exhibits with my coworkers to inspire future exhibits here at home.

They had the entire city scape of Chicago to scale

mini chicago

 

Afterwards I was treated to a surprise evening out to the whites sox game in a box.

white sox game white sox game

I had no idea that any of that night was going to happen and I had such a blast.

The next day we went on the Chicago Architectural Society’s river boat tour. This is another can’t miss thing to do. The tour went through centuries of history about each building and it was really interesting to learn about everything. We also got a great view of the p of the trump tower being assembled and other interesting feats of engineering.

trump tower

Sears (Willis Tower) partial skyline

We then went to more museums including the Natural History Museum where we met Sue. The most complete T-rex skeleton ever found.

Sue the T-rex

 

That night we went to the Blue Man group and I don’t have any pictures from there because no photography was allowed. It was such an amazing performance. They were hilarious and I would highly recommend going to a performance if you have the chance.

Friday was our last day in the city so we went to the Sky Deck on the Willis (Sears) tower. The view was amazing and going out on the decks was a lot less scary than I imagined it would be.

The Skydeck The Sky Deck The Sky Deck

Afterwards we cruised up the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue to hit all the shops.  We speed shopped for sure but it was fun to go into the Burberry store and others and look around.

Our last moments in the city were at dinner with some family who live in a suburb of Chicago. We went out to fondue and just had a wonderful time. Afterwards we traveled back to their house were we spent a few days. One day we went into Wisconsin to go to an outlet mall where I scored some amazing deals. The crown jewel of the day was a north face coat originally 300 which I got for 120. I was pretty darn tickled. We also (with the help of my Aunt) picked out good Wisconsin cheese to bring home to my parents.

This trip was so amazing and I have a whole new perspective on what living in a city is like. Sure I was in a hotel and living the tourist life but I could really imagine myself living in Chicago in the future. The city wasn’t suffocating and I would still have the comfort of family near by.

Chicago is a place completely worth seeing.

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