Chicago // Day 1 & 2

Right after finishing my last final on Thursday afternoon, I was up at 3:30 am on Friday getting ready to leave for SeaTac Airport and catch my flight to Chicago for the weekend!

It was early and I have this thing where it is really hard for me to fall asleep on planes. Let’s just go with the idea that it was a LONG day of travel. But I’m not complaining, traveling is awesome. The views from the plane were unparalleled.

One of the few perks about a crack of dawn flight is watching the sunrise from the plane…. Mt. Rainier also happened to make an appearance.

There was everything from smoky mountains (so sad!) to green plains (I’m looking at you Iowa).

Then there was the city in the distance. I met up with my cousin and relaxed for the evening.

The first full day was an eventful one!


Saturday started off in Lincoln Park. In the park is North Pond, which is a little sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle. You’re still reminded of the city, which can be seen in the distance.

There was some more wandering around Lincoln Park and eventually to the Conservatory. The conservatory is FREE! I love that! Walking in, it instantly reminded me of Kew Gardens in London from my study abroad trip last year. There were all sorts of rooms including a Palm House and Orchid Room.

Absolutely GORGEOUS. The workers who maintain the plants and foliage even hid dinosaurs throughout the displays.


Next up was Lincoln Park Zoo which is also free! It’s a fun place to walk around and probably one of the nicest zoos I’ve been to.

Since it was a Saturday, the Green City Market was out in full force with local produce from the area. Peaches and blueberries were definitely in season and looked amazing!

When I was looking up non-touristy things to do, Armitage Avenue kept coming up. It’s really just a street with cute local stores and boutiques and great architecture.


A few of my favorite stores were Lori’s Designer Shoes (very, very dangerous, I wanted to buy everything), McShane’s Exchange (for designer clothes at thrifty prices) and the Art Effect (knick knacks and quirky books). I almost bought this book because it was so fun!

In the area was Floriole Café & Bakery, which started out at Green City Market and eventually made the move to a permanent location. I ordered the pecan sticky bun. It didn’t stay on the plate for long.


Making my way back to my cousin’s apartment, I stumbled upon the Chicago History Museum. A lot of the museums here offer a student discount which I took advantage of.


And I made the decision to take a trip back through Chicago history.


There was everything from Chicago fire dioramas to exhibits about President Lincoln!


Also on the way back was the International Museum of Surgical Science. WHAT. A. FIND. There was the history of surgery itself across many different cultures, medical art depicting practice, and ancient & modern devices.


In one of the rooms were fifteen statues of individuals that had contributed to the medical sciences, including one of my idols, Marie Curie.


She was a chemist and physicist who studied radioactivity with her husband. More impressive is that she was the first female to win a Nobel Prize and the first individual to win two Nobel Prizes.


THIS PLACE WAS AWESOME. It combined science and art flawlessly.


There was still some time left in the afternoon so I ventured downtown to the John Hancock Tower to check out 360 Chicago.


At the top, we were treated to sweeping views of the city and Lake Michigan. AMAZING.

Overall an excellent first day in the city!