This past week I had to go to Chicago for an in-person appointment to apply for my Norwegian visa. John came with me so we could make a small trip out of it. When I scheduled my appointment, the man said to plan for “several hours”. We took that as anywhere from an hour to 3 hours so John was going to just do some site-seeing while I was in my appointment. When it came time for my appointment, the whole thing took a whooping 1 minute. The man looked through my papers and we were set to go. We were shocked and happy and little confused. But we decided to just go with and went out to explore until we had to be at the airport to head back to Minneapolis at 6pm.
Although we didn’t get the whole Chicago experience we were able to see most of the city and do quite a bit. I wanted to just make a list of things we learned from our 11 hours in the 3rd largest city in the U.S. (we didn’t realize how huge Chicago was until we got there).
- Plan a few hours for the Willis (Sears) Tower. It’s a process of line after line of waiting until you finally take the 60 sec elevator to the top. The whole thing took us about 2 1/2 hours, granted it was a Friday.
- The view from the top is breathtaking. We could have spent hours just staring out the windows.
- Everywhere you go, theres a line to wait in. A long line. Probably has something to do with the 2 million people living in the city. 😉
- “The bean” is a big attraction. John calls it the “big mirror”. That area is full of tourist taking selfies in the “mirror”.
- Millennium park is beautiful and has a great view of the city and all the skyscrapers.
- Have a plan for what you are going to do when you get there so you’re not wondering around getting lost like we did. Even though that was half the fun!
- Expect to have some interesting conversations with some of local homeless people.
- If you’re from ND, plan loads of time for traveling to and from the airport. We left an hour and a half before we wanted to be at the airport and it took us that whole time to get there… 😦
- Chicago drivers are crazy!! Especially the taxi drivers!
- Wear good walking shoes.
- The airport is a zoo and very crammed together.
- We didn’t get to try Chicago style pizza but we heard its great so try it and let me know how it is!
- The street entertainment is so cool. It reminded somewhat of the New Orleans street performers.
- I would suggest going there during the week so it’s not quite as busy.
- Make sure you either have a good map of the city or your phone’s map app is working correctly.
- Flying out of Minneapolis to Chicago is very cheap!
We took uber to and from the airport (highly recommend doing this) and John, the friendly guy he is, quickly made friends with one of them. I think John knew almost this guys whole life story before we got to the airport.
John and I traveled for a total of 24 hours that day so we were very exhausted but it was a fun first plane trip for us. It was a great adventure and a learning experience so thanks for coming with, John. I can’t wait for more trips to come with you!
Now were just one step closer to Norway after the quick trip to Chicago. One month from today it will be my first full day in Bergen. Man has the time gone by so fast! I am so excited but there is still so much to do. Get ready for the loads of posts about my European adventures! 🙂
“For he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones”- Proverbs 2:8