Monday 5 November 2007

Final Push in Chicago....P.S. Sleeping in an Airport is Not a Good Idea

Said goodbye to our sketchy hostel this morning and dropped our stuff off downtown at Mr. Gary Lee's apartment downtown. Headed down to Navy Pier (not quite as romantic as Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles) to catch a boat cruise. We actually missed the tour with a jazz brunch; however, we ended up catching a 45-minute boat cruise for only $15 (And that is why I tend not to plan things out!)

Chicago's famous Navy Pier

Boat cruise overlooking downtown...

After the Pier, we visited a true hidden gem: The Chicago Public Library! No, this is actually NOT where one rents books, but rather a cultural center for the arts. Inside the "People's Palace," the Chicago Cultural Center features over 1,000 programs and exhibitions each year. Best of all, it's all FREE!

The Chicago Public Library

Veronica and I found ourselves inside the beautiful arena walking from room to room. One exhibit consisted of the most remarkable yarn artwork; however, my ears perked up when I heard in the distance....JAZZ!

Oldies, but goodies, the band played a more classic-mixed-with-fiddle kind of jazz. The two of us got lost in the moment...

Afterwards, we grabbed our luggage and rushed to Andy's Jazz Club (yes, I love jazz, can't you tell?), the supposed "best jazz in Chi-town." We wanted to spend some time here before heading off to the airport to try to grab a standby flight instead of taking the 6AM the next morning.

Front row seats at Andy's Jazz Club!

Only $5 for students on that Sunday night, we really got a great taste of Chicago jazz. Although alike in some respects, all cities have their own style when it comes to jazz. LA is very instrumental, where you get lost in the fingering of each musician. Chicago? It's more soulful in the voice of the singer-you get lost in what they're saying and how they're saying it.

After only about half and hour, we had to go! Unfortunately, we got to Chicago O'Hare only 30 minutes before the last flight and they said we couldn't go on standby because standbye only works on same day flights. Damn.

Not wanting to pay for a hotel, Veronica and I toughed it out and decided to sleep at the airport! It was cold, employees actually moved the bench I was sleeping on, and it was ridiculously uncomfortable. When asked for blankets, we were told there were none. On a mission, I set out to find these non-existant blankets and voila! Behind an empty counter there were bunches. With my IPOD on, I salvaged whatever sleep I could get.

NOTE: I WILL NEVER SLEEP IN AN AIRPORT AGAIN. Even at my favorite one, all I wanted was to be home in my bed with my huge comforter!

Literally landed and had the shuttle drop me off at my car and straight to work! Oh, power traveling!

Chicago and all its beauty...

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