20 Hours in Chicago
Micah was only home for one full day after being gone for over a week, so when he asked if I wanted to travel back to Chicago (his base) yesterday, my response was something like, "YES!". I knew it would only be about a 20-hour trip, but a day in Chicago is always a day well spent.
We went to Bluegrass Airport, where we waited on pins and needles to see if we would even get on the flight--a last minute cancellation to Charlotte booked our noon flight up. Luckily, one person did not show up, so I happily claimed their seat and Micah took the jumpseat with the other pilots in the cockpit.
Snowy Lexington was looking mighty pretty from bird's-eye view.
During the flight I did a little bit of lesson planning and shamelessly took a lot of pictures.
Why are these cookies so good?
Flying in, Chicago looked pretty incredible. Lake Michigan's vast waters is turning to ice, and it is just magical.
Once we landed, we stored our luggage at the airport and hopped on the Blue Line. This ride takes about 45 minutes to get to downtown, but I enjoy riding along, observing people as they board and exit.
We then took the Red Line and headed straight to the Adler Planetarium. By the time we got there, it was 2:00, so we had a couple of hours to explore and see a show.
The attendant who sold us our tickets was so kind. He gave me free admission because I am a teacher (if you are a teacher and plan to visit the planetarium, make sure you take your ID with you!), and gave Micah a 50% discount for being a pilot. So what would have cost us $50 ended up costing $12. Most museums in Chicago offer discounted rates for many different organizations, so be sure to ask what is available.
As we were leaving the planetarium, we witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets over Lake Michigan. The blend of lavender clouds with the turquoise water, connected with the iconic Chicago skyline, absolutely took my breath away. I turned to walk backwards for a while because I couldn't peel my eyes from those colors.
We made our way to Giordano's for dinner, our favorite deep dish pizza. I know that Anthony Bourdain would be severely disappointed in our touristy choice, but we just can't help it--it's so good! We eat here every time we come (sometimes more than once), and we always order the pepperoni deep dish and a house side salad to split. The salad is one of my favorites, mixed with greens, fennel, and a lemon vinaigrette dressing. I wish I had a picture of it, but we ate it too fast. The pizza kind of speaks for itself: pure cheesy goodness.
After dinner, it was starting to get late, so we got back on the subway and headed toward the hotel. We stayed at a Radisson near the airport, and it was a nice place with a complimentary breakfast buffet. Actually, if you want to save some money on accommodation, I would suggest staying in a hotel that offers a shuttle to O'Hare. When you want to go into Chicago, you can just take the shuttle to the airport and then take the subway to downtown from there.
Our trip was quick, but it was so fun. I feel immensely lucky to have the opportunity to travel to these places with Micah. It feels like having a magic carpet that I can jump on and be transported to a completely new place for a little while.