City Hopping

So I’ve been slacking on my Personal Improvement Project (writing for at least 30 minutes every other day and posting on this blog once per week). In my defense, however, I had a city hoppin’ spring break this past week. Although I would have loved to go somewhere warm for a traditional spring vacation, my break kept me on my toes. No time for laying in the sun! Care for a long-winded recap? 🙂

Friday – Monday: NYC

For the first few days of break I was in Manhattan with my parents. I’d never been to New York before and decided to venture there with my parents as a graduation present. To this authentic Minnesota girl, NYC is absolutely insane. People and lights everywhere.

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Times Square was the most bewildering. We were there at 10:30 at night, yet all the lights and screens made it feel like it was daytime! Saturday we spent the day walking through all of Central Park (which I didn’t know is actually just a huge rectangle in the middle of Manhattan? Central Park, go figures).

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Saturday night my mom and I saw Cinderella on Broadway. If anyone really knows me, you know that I’ve been consumed by Cinderella since I was a baby. And not just the Disney version. Rogers & Hammerstien’s, yo. Or the Brandy/Whitney Houston version. OMG. Seeing it on Broadway (with Fran Drescher as the step-mother!) was an actual dream come true. I cried. Twice.

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On Sunday we went to the 9/11 Memorial and saw the new World Trade Center building. It was very eye-opening and somber to realize just how many people were affected by the events of that day. I’m really glad for the experience. Later we explored Chinatown and Little Italy. Chinatown was… anarchy. Little Italy had cute restaurants and bakeries; it really did remind me of being in Rome or Florence. Later that day I had the privilege of meeting up with my 5th grade locker buddy who is currently living/finishing up her last semester of college in Brooklyn. It was unexpected but so fun to catch up with her for the first time in years (am I really that old?).

Monday morning we ventured to the Museum of Natural History. They had dinos, butterflies, a planetarium, 3D movies and such. Apparently it is good luck if a butterfly lands on you. The museum was quite impressive (and huge), but I think I reached the max amount of time I can spend staring at dead (stuffed) animals. We flew back to Minneapolis Monday night.

Tuesday – Friday: Chicago

After being home for a total of 14 hours, I boarded the MegaBus for Chicago. Everyone always seems to be amazed that I’ve taken the “Mega” (as I call it) by myself so many times to Chicago, but I actually really enjoy it. I’m accustomed to really long drives and love to simply listen to music, stare out the window, and contemplate life. I ran into some bad Mega luck this trip though. On the way there, the driver openly admitted, “This is not my normal route. Please be patient because I WILL get lost.” She then proceeded to ask for directions to every stop. Thankfully she was a fast driver, and we were only about 40 minutes late getting into the city.

It’s sometimes strange to remember that I went to school in Chicago. It was only 4 months, but I consider it a significant part of my life. It was an opportunity for me to grow and figure out what I wanted in a college experience. I also made some pretty stellar friends. A wise person once told me, “never burn any bridges.” I try to live my life that way. It was really cool to bring a friend from home (Maya) with me to Loyola.

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ANYWAY. Tuesday was spent mostly traveling and catching up with friends Molly and Nicole. Wednesday morning I met Maya at Loyola and we decided to shop on Michigan Avenue and go see the Bean. I could spend days just walking around and looking at stuff/people watching.

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Thursday we braved the rainy weather and took the train/walked to the Shedd Aquarium. We waited in line for about 40 minutes and were getting impatient (I’m known for being terrible at waiting in lines). We would probably have had to stand there for another 40 minutes, but thankfully one of the workers brought a group of us to another entrance. I don’t know if I would have survived otherwise. It was worth it, though. We spent 5 hours seeing some pretty cool animals. Maya found a new love for sea otters. (That third picture is a wolf fish, omg). For dinner Thursday night we went to a place that was featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives –called Big & Littles. I had 2 delicious mini tacos, 1 tilapia & 1 shrimp.

My city-hopping adventure came to an end the next day when I boarded the Mega back to Minneapolis. It was good to be home and chill for a few days. I completed my first successful outdoor runs of the spring season. My running shoes are all wet and muddy now, but it was worth it. AAAND now it’s snowing again today. Happy April, I suppose.




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