In 2009 three of my friends and I decided to make a weekend trip to Chicago, namely to see the Red Sox play the White Sox. Tania and I had been to Chicago once before to visit a college friend’s sister who went to school in the area, but we really liked the city and were excited to go back for a second visit – and in the warmer months this time (we previously went in the month of March).
(September 5 2009) Day 1. Flying out from Boston, Landing in Chicago.
We landed in Chicago around 2:30 p.m. We checked into our hotel in the financial district and then made a caffeine stop at a nearby Starbucks. We had limited time in the city (only two days), so we needed energy to get us through all of the exploring ahead of us. We spent the afternoon walking around the city, taking in the sights: all of the statues, the theater district, the architecture, and the Chicago River.
We eventually met up with one of my friends from High School, Jen, who had lived in Chicago for about a year. She gave us a little tour of the city, and then we went out to dinner. We ate true Chicago-style deep dish pizza, which was delicious.
Afterwards, we parted ways with Jen (who had prior plans) and spent the night at Navy Pier. We enjoyed a few drinks and enjoyed each other’s silly company. We then walked back to our hotel, taking the scenic route along the river, enjoying the nighttime version of the skyline. We were thinking of partaking in the nightlife with Jen but were feeling too tired after a long day of travel and walking, so we headed to bed instead.
(September 6 2009) Day 2. Chicago.
The next day was the big game: Boston Red Sox versus Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. The four of us woke up and dressed in our finest Red Sox apparel. Once we were sure to be noticed by everyone as tourists and supporters of the visiting team, we got on the train and headed to the game.
We had bought tickets online months before, but Danielle was able to score some upgraded tickets through her father (who apparently has connections). We gladly took the free tickets with better seats, but we didn’t want our other tickets to go to waste. So Tania ended up (um, illegally) selling our old tickets outside the stadium. Even better! Now we had some extra money for snacks! The best part? We totally won 6-1.
After the game we basked in our winning glory and did some more wandering around the city. And no, we did not change out of our Red Sox clothing. Still dressed in our bright reds and whites, we visited Millennium Park and its Cloud Gate (better known as the shiny bean sculpture). We also went to the Sears/Willis Tower, but unfortunately the line was too long for us to agree to wait to see the famous top-level view (one of the downfalls of having such little time to spend in the city). We also saw the building where the Chicago Symphony Orchestra plays. Again, we didn’t get to see a show, but I definitely want to next time. I’m a horn player, and the CSO is known for having the best (and loudest) brass section in the country.
After a mediocre dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, we spent the night at Blue Chicago nightclub for music and drinks. It was a great, laid-back way to end the trip. Plus, Melissa and I are huge music and blues fans, so this was a great show. We also were able to meet Jen and some of Melissa’s other friends at the club, so it was nice to see everyone in one place.
(September 7 2009) Day 3. Flying out from Chicago, Heading Home.
Our flight home didn’t depart until 4 p.m., so we took a walk to Water Tower place for lunch and some last minute shopping before heading to the airport. Our trip was short, but definitely sweet.