I had looked at so many options of things to do or places to go during my vacation this summer. The train to Chicago seemed like the best option. So I am going to Chicago in July!
Got train tickets. Leaving July 2 (arriving in Chicago the following morning). Will be there for a few days (staying with a local Boston friend as he so happens to have planned a trip to Chicago the same dates as me and got a lovely hotel room right near everything I want to visit!) over the 4th of July, then back to Boston July 5/6.
I've been on the train twice here in the States. Once to Portland ME, and once to NYC. Both were great adventures. I remember looking out the windows as we went through Maine, thinking to myself "Wow, I feel like I just got dropped into a Steven King novel!" I wonder what thoughts will cross my mind while on board the Lake Shore Limited (though both trips have overnight segments, so I won't have my nose glued to the window the WHOLE time). I've heard it's a beautiful trip. I can't wait. I also can't wait to add a third blue line to the giant map I have on the wall at home of all the places I've been to in the US (red are flights, black are roads, and blue are trains).
In general, I'm not planning a whole lot for while I'm there. I've got most of all day Thursday, all day Friday, and most of all day Saturday in the city. Definitely plan on going on an architecture boat tour, of course. Fireworks over Lake Michigan on the 4th itself. Going to the Navy Pier to ride the Ferris wheel. Bringing my camera and my sketchbook and journal. I sincerely dislike museums, so not interested in museuming (really, I went to Paris and did not go to a single museum, and had the time of my life there). I don't want to trek out to the boonies. Trying to keep to a minimum things that cost a lot of money (due to item in next paragraph). I may look into seeing the White Sox play on Saturday (the Cubs will be out of town) but it would depend on if I'd be able to haul my backpack into the stadium with me (just a normal backpack). But I'm mostly going to just explore. Hang out. Have some fun.
Anyway... one other thing I *do* want to do is go out for one AWESOME meal while I'm there. Four different people recommended I go to a Rick Bayless restaurant. Topolobampo looks amazing, but I looked at reservations and it appears both it and his other restaurant are both already solidly booked for the days I will be in Chicago. So... other thoughts?
Anyway. I'm excited. New city to explore. I love it.
(And hey - I just found out via Facebook that some other local Boston friends may also be in Chicago those dates! But they're not 100% sure yet. That'd be hilarious and awesome.)