One of the best parts of moving is the benefit of being a tourist every day. I try not to go to the same restaurants, bars, parks, etc. in an effort to learn this city. After the Fours, I had a fair amount of time before I had to travel for work again. I did take two trips for fun on my time between events, one to come back to Minnesota and one for the Kenny Chesney and Eric Church concert at Miller Park in Milwaukee.
I agree with Jon Bon Jovi – who says you can’t go home? I hopped in my Sebring, with one of my good friends, and set the GPS for Minneapolis! Windows down, sun shining, music blasting… until we hit the snowstorm in Wisconsin. A snowstorm. On May 1st. It was 85 degrees and sunny in Chicago. SERIOUSLY?
Spending time with friends and family was MUCH needed. I was pretty exhausted after the few months I’d had and needed a few days to just be around those I care about most. After my trip home, I had about three weeks before I traveled (for work) again. I learned all about what spring actually is (it doesn’t involve snow… there’s sunshine and flowers and warm weather with cool breezes!!!!) and began exploring Chicago.
Some friends from Minnesota came to visit and experience the first taste of the Chicago blues scene. Buddy Guy’s bar in the South Loop was a music lover’s dream. Aside from the outstanding live music, memorabilia covers the walls and the food took me right back to NOLA.
The following weekend, I hopped on an Amtrak train for Milwaukee to meet up with girlfriends. Tailgating at Miller Park for the Kenny Chesney and Eric Church forced us to get a little creative, as none of us live in or around the Milwaukee area. A cooler was fashioned from a grocery store basket, bags and ice from the hotel. Chairs were traded in for blankets on the asphalt. Sure, it was a little white trash, but hey – we fit right in!
The great part about taking the train (aside from no lines at security, the leg room, the comfortable seats) is that it doesn’t take up your whole day to travel. I spent my day of recovery (also known as Sunday) at Montrose Harbor on Lake Michigan, about 1.5 miles from my apartment. It was a perfect way to end my weekend.
I’m looking forward to spending a lot of weekends at this park and beach over the next few months. It amazes me how quickly a few weeks can fly by, but I enjoyed my vacations and staycations during the few weeks I had between events. It was the calm before the storm…