shortysc22: (Heroes)
[personal profile] shortysc22
I have been incredibly busy these last few weeks, running around, having a social life, ridiculous work schedule, blah blah, yet I still managed to find time to hang out with Olivia and Sasha who are two of my best friends that I definitely don't spend enough time with. Olivia and I had talked about doing Philadelphia for the longest time and we could not have picked a more perfect date. Sasha lives in St. Louis so it's really hard for both of us to get together, but I suggested we go to Chicago and off we went for a weekend!



APRIL 20 - PHILADELPHIA

I hadn't been to Philly since I was a child so I had no idea what to expect. I just hate driving in cities completely and always find parking overpriced so I suggested we park in Jersey and just public transit it. We drove to Trenton and took the train in, which was fine by me. Trenton's train station is quite nice because Amtrak also runs through it. Olivia suggested we play this "scavenger hunt" app. It takes you around Old City Philly and you search for various things. It's super fun and easy and rather than just walking around, we at least had a purpose. When we came out of the train station we ended up walking right into Chinatown. I always like seeing the Chinatown gates in various cities because they're all so unique. Our next stop was Independance Hall.

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Then we wandered a bit more on our scavenger hunt, which led us to the first US Post Office, The Bourse Building which houses an art school, Elfredge Alley which is the cutest neighborhood, Betsy's Ross's house, and a statue of Ben Franklin made of keys.

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Next up we went to Love Park and also where they had all these game piece statues and of course the Love sign. After that we went to Reading Terminal Market and I had some absolutely delicious crepes. Why yes, I rather do enjoy crepes.

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It was a fun filled adventure, but it was only 4 hours of walking and Olivia had gotten tired. I somehow have a neverending supply of energy for walking (but just don't expect me to run) and can go pretty much all day. Next up, Chicago!!!

April 26-27 CHICAGO

Sasha and I were pretty much inseparable my freshmen and sophomore years of college. She's such an amazing person and of course super crazy busy so we don't get to see each other as often as we probably would like. The last time I saw her was in May 2010 when I flew out to visit her in St. Louis. I suggested we do Chicago since it's only a 5 hour drive from her and I would fly to her and do the drive with her and then fly out of Chicago. It worked out well in theory, but let's just say I had a ridiculous time trying to get to her because my original flight was canceled 6 hours before I was scheduled to take off. I basically had ot rush to get to the airport, almost miss my flight and then worry about the connection because my new flight had me going through Chicago and then to St. Louis. After all that, I was only 20 minutes later than my original flight and I still got to see Jonathan (Sasha's husband) who I always love getting to talk to!

There is absolutely nothing between St. Louis in Chicago until you're about 10 miles outside of Chicago. Lots of wind farms and it's super flat and NOTHING ELSE. My boss had suggested the Frank Lloyd Wright studio as something to do in Chicago and since it's in the suburbs it was the perfect stop on our way into the city. OMG the neighborhood is so picturesque! It's in Oak Park, IL and even the houses not designed by him are super pretty, in fact I think we like the others more than his. Here's a sample of Wright's houses.

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After we ate lunch at some random deli, we headed in to check into our hotel. We stayed in downtown Chicago and our hotel had free parking which was great because we just left the car there the entire weekend. We decided to go see the White Sox play because it was something pretty cheap and entertaining. After I had looked into it, I realized it was also fireworks night!! So the White Sox won and we got fireworks and I had a blast at the baseball game and can't wait for my next one in South Carolina. Takign public transit it Chicago was convenient to get to US Cellular Field. From the stadium, we had a great view of downtown Chicago.

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Then our next day was even more fun-filled and absolutely exhausting walking! Sasha asked if I minded walking and absolutely not! I have no problem, as long as I take a few breaks in between. We stopped for breakfast at some random cafe that let us both order off the kids menu so I had delicious chocolate chip waffles yum yum and perfect portion. Then I had booked a tour of the Pedway and omg our tour guide Margaret was so enthuiastic and she absolutely loved what she did. Plus we got to see some cool things, like the Picasso statue in Daley Plaza and all the Tiffany glass around, the creepiest voice ever in a train station, to the beautiful reception hall in the Chicago Cultural Center. Then we headed over to Millenium Park to see the Bean and the Buckingham Fountain.

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Next up was walking around to find some lunch and then walking to the Sears Tower (Willis Tower, whatever it will always be the Sears Tower) to do the Skydeck. We had already bought the tickets so we got to skip at least one of the lines. We ate lunch at this really nice little place called Hannah's Bretzels, but the food didn't quite agree with Sasha so I felt terrible for her. Luckily she was fine by the time we got to the top of the Tower. It was super awesome and I love buildings (obviously, it's what I do for a living) And we walked out 103 stories above the ground, pretty awesome, just take a deep breath and realize how big the safety factor is on this stuff. Then we went back to Daley Plaza so I could take pictures of the Picasso statue.

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Now dinner was quite an adventure that night. Sasha really wanted to try this Mexican place called Frontera. We get there at 6ish and it was a 2 hour wait!!! Sorry, no way for me! So then we decide maybe a martini bar or somewhere we can drink and be classy. We walked around Magnificent Mile (which is Michigan Ave) but still didn't see anything. We went into some random Mariott and asked for recommendations and they recommended Quartino, this Italian wine bar/restaurant. Well, they were booked until 10PM (it was about 6:30/7PM) but we could sit at the bar. AWESOME! The bartender was super nice and then they ended up with an extra sausage pizza so they gave it to us for free, and we tasted cheeses, drank some wine, had some appetizers and Sasha had risotto. We were a little tipsy and then decided to walk to Navy Pier. It was really neat and I had such a great time.

Sunday morning Sasha suggested this vegan place but it didn't open until 11 so we went to Yolk! and it was super packed again but we could sit at the counter, perfect for us! I had crepes suzette and Sasha had eggs and sausage and bacon and bananas foster crepes. It was a great place and I would definitely go again. I was so tired from all the walking we did (several miles for sure) and ready to just get home. Since O'Hare was way out of the way, she just dropped me off at the train and I took the train out, which was fine by me. I got the plane, no hassle this time and made it home.

It was a great weekend and I can't wait for my next adventure.
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July 2014

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