A view of the Chicago River with a boat in the middle.

Free Flowing Thoughts From My Time in Chicago

A phone call with my cousin in Chicago, followed by browsing flights to O’Hare quickly resulted in a long weekend getaway to visit a few of my favorite people. While I’m a researcher by nature and had asked around, here are a few of my initial thoughts exploring Chicago for the first time.

Not So Used to Nature
Forgive this desert native for being both startled and giddy by the fact that things are naturally green and that “wild animals” in the form of squirrels and geese stroll freely through the backyard. I was also warned not to bother them because they’re really just a furry/feathered mischievous gang members.

Not a Bag Lady
After taking a moment to understand that the woman was asking if I needed a “beg” for my purchase, I later learned it was the first time I’d ever been charged for utilizing a bag as I walked away with my little souvenir of Chicago. I love this concept but was totally caught off guard not being able to use the bag I keep in my car with my car being back in Nevada and all. Not to self to be better prepared on the fly.

Exploring The Bean
It’s like a giant dropped a single magic bean and the humans, burdened with shock, have gathered to see what has fallen from the sky. I was mesmerized by the fact that along our walk to visit Cloud Gate, I couldn’t see the top as the reflection replicated the blue skies above it. What a fun visit, I loved watching my nieces play with their reflections and was pleasantly surprised how friendly everyone was despite the crowds to catch a glimpse.

Crown Fountain in Millenium Park
I would imagine this is the urban equivalent of a beautifully constructed watering hole. Humidity on the rise and life is entirely too short seemed like the perfect combination to splash around with my favorite two-year-old. I was completely caught off guard by the faces on the pillars as water rushed off of them, creating a small oasis in the city from the summer heat.

Deep Dish, Best Served with Deep Thoughts
I have the unpopular stance of not being a fan of cheese. I’m an extra extra extra sauce girl through and through with a side of crust for days. That deep dish pizza speaks to me on some other level.  Deep dish and deep thoughts were my favorite thing on the menu this trip.

Quick Drive-By on the South Side
We shamelessly drove by the house from Shameless. Deemed it authentic in nature and decided to leave the car, so it was honestly more of a drive-by than an actual visit. Verdict? Totally worth it.  Shameless’ main focus, in its own little messed up way, is family and loved ones, which was the heart of my trip.

Family Defeats Destinations
While I love my city dearly, I’ve always said that I could live anywhere because it’s not the location I’m in, but the person I’m there with. While I loved exploring the city, the purpose of my visit was to spend some overdue time with a few of my favorite humans. Visiting new cities along the way is just a wonderful bonus.

Preflight Entertainment
While this doesn’t have anything to do with Chicago there is no denying that all walks of life visit Vegas, from business to pleasure with a few impromptu marriages sprinkled somewhere in between. This always guarantees the prime environment for people watching at the gate. Toss in a few flight delays and the sparks fly between anxious sports teams, over-served soon to wed and heavy-eyed travelers barking flight updates into their phones. Even hundreds of miles away, Vegas still proves itself as the entertainment capital.

What are some of your initial thoughts when visiting a new city for the first time?


Written by ashleighrenay

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