Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chicago at Last

In comparison to the last two days, today was quite a calm adventure.  I, again, decided to sleep in for an extra hour but promptly got out of bed to pack up the rest of my things for check-out which was at 12:00 PM.  I was a bit sad to say goodbye to St. Louis, I will definitely miss the lush environment and great people, but I was excited to fly off to the Windy City this afternoon.  

I think that staying at the Knight Center was an excellent choice.  Since we stayed on campus, we had direct access to a number of campus resources and we were very close to a variety of key St. Louis sites, such as the Zoo, Forest Park, and the Loop.  Although we did not have the chance to visit all of these places, with an extra day we easily could have, and that is the biggest advantage, I would say, to staying at this campus hotel.  

Once we had gotten all of our heavy luggage out of the hotel and into our handy 12-seater van, we headed over to Subway for a quick lunch before departing for the St. Louis airport.  With stomachs full from our yummy sandwiches and wraps, we all piled back into the van and dropped it off at the lot.  A shuttle picked us up from there and carried us to the front of our terminal doors. I really enjoy how easy the transportation has been too, we have not had any problems get to and from our destinations which has greatly benefited our trip so far.

The plane ride from St. Louis to Chicago was the speediest flight I have ever been on!  In a short 45 or so minutes, we were already landing!  Super quick and cool flight, although the plane was much smaller than the others we had been on.  Understandably of course.  I sat next to Cameron for the third plane ride in a row, which was fun because we got to talk about our Social Justice course and read more of the short books for our pre-class assignment.  

Chicago Airport Artwork
The experience getting off the plane was different because instead of walking off the plane and into an airport hallway, we stepped out onto a small set of stairs outside and walked into the airport.  The Chicago airport was filled with great art which I greatly admired and appreciated.  From there we took a shuttle to the fabulous Drake Hotel, during which time we got stuck in traffic.  Turns out it wasn't that bad because I had a chance to check out the surrounding buildings and take some pictures of the skyline.

When we stepped out of the shuttle and walked toward the hotel doors, I noticed how warm it still was at 8:00 PM.  This is my favorite weather, when there is still warm air in during the night.  Tomorrow however, the temperature is suppose to be 105 degrees with a heat index of 115 degrees!  That will definitely be a new experience for all of us.  Inside the hotel and the restaurant, The Grill, where we went for dinner, the air was cool and refreshing.  As for the restaurant atmosphere, it was a bit more casual, which was also really nice.  The food was excellent, but I was so full by the end of the meal that I took some leftovers back to my hotel room.  

Traffic and Chicago Skyline
Tomorrow, I plan on getting some exercise in, having a great lunch with University of Chicago students, learning more about the university, and taking awesome pictures with everyone in my great cohort.  

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