Well, it’s really 280 miles to my friend’s apartment in Chicago, but there is a rest stop on the Indiana turnpike that is just about 106 miles away.
I will be heading there tomorrow morning for my Labor Day weekend. I haven’t been a tourist in Chicago since early high school, though I have been back to the area a couple of times in more recent years for curling events. But I have not been downtown.
I know things will be different, but I have only vague memories of my time there anyway.
Through all my travels with my boyfriend, Jon, I have learned what it is like to travel with someone else and how many fewer sights I see as opposed to when I am alone.
I do not yet know how much time I will spend exploring Chicago alone or with Linsey — it will all be determined by her amount of homework. So I selected a much smaller list of sights to see that I am quite excited about.
When I arrive Saturday afternoon, I hope to check out the Uncle Fun and Paper Boy shops, both of which are “gag-gift” stores. We will likely have pizza at Lou Malnati’s and then see Big James, a trombonist, perform at Kingston Mines, a legendary blues club.
On Sunday, I want to take an ArchiCenter tour to learn about the rise of the skyscraper. I also want to see “the bean” in Millennium Park and check out Navy Pier. I’ve picked out the Billy Goat Tavern on Michigan Avenue for dinner, with its famous “cheezeborgers,” and it is also a classic newspaperman haunt. That evening I want to stop by Green Mill, a lounge that is the home of poetry slam.
From there, I will head home and Linsey will be off to class. On my way out of town there are a couple of ice cream establishments I am considering stopping at and I have another must — the Robie House on the University of Chicago campus.
I saw the Frank Lloyd Wright house, along with his house and many others in Oak Park, on my original visit. I want to return to the Robie House because the restoration of the house is now complete (it was turned into a dormitory!) and there should be a fantastic gift shop. I wanted to be an architect because of Frank Lloyd Wright, so stopping to see the house is a must.
Is this list of activities manageable? I sure hope so!