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Entries in Travel (2)


Moving: Phase 1 Complete

It’s been a busy month for me.  Moving from Chicago to the suburbs of Philadelphia was a big move that had been a long time coming.  Thankfully, all the logistics worked out as smoothly as possible.  I rolled out of Chicago the same way I rolled in, nearly six years ago. 

Somehow all this and more fit into my Elantra.Special shout-outs to Nick for his help unloading furniture and Amanda and Scott for opening their home.  And of course to Dave, the best roommate ever, for helping with the Tetris-like packing of the car, not to mention the four great years of cohabitation.

There were so many people who made my last few months (and years) in Chicago special, and I know I spent that time exactly as I wanted to, the best way possible.  I drank in deep the liquor of Chicago summer, and created special memories to the very last minute.

It was appropriate that the Phillies were in town during my last weekend in Chicago, and Wrigley Field became a natural canvas for my transition.  One night I went to a game with Chicago friends, and then the next day met up with friends visiting from Philly.  I was in both worlds for those few days, and that made things a bit easier, but still bittersweet.   

I’m looking forward to my life in Philly, and there’s plenty to do as I try to find work and an apartment, but I definitely felt sad as I wrapped up this chapter in Chicago.  As I’ve been reflecting on that time, I thought I’d share an incomplete list of some of my favorite memories and things that I’ll miss from life in the Windy City. 

  • Cruising down Lake Shore Drive
  • Day-drinking in Wrigleyville, game or no game
  • Nights downtown for birthdays or visitors
  • Watching Gators games with the Florida crew
  • Playing sports in the park
  • The New York Deli across the street from my apartment
  • Walking underneath the Bean
  • Trips to the suburbs
  • Movies at River East
  • Rooftop beer gardens
  • The Signature Lounge at the Hancock Center
  • Lollapalooza in Grant Park
  • St. Rita football on Friday nights
  • Sean’s Rhino Bar at 103rd and Western
  • Second-City Comedy
  • The back room at aliveOne
  • Team GOON
  • Concerts at Metro and the Vic Theatre
  • NFL Football at Trinity
  • Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup
  • The El and the Loop
  • Air & Water Show
  • St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawls

I could go on, as I’m sure many people could.  Feel free to add in the comments!


Adventure on the Mississippi

If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you know that I took a spontaneous trip to St. Louis, Missouri this past weekend.  I wanted to visit and reconnect with my friend Sean while I was still in the Midwest.  It was a great decision, as my high school buddy and I had an amazing weekend, filled with good food and better beer. 

I love visiting new cities, and although I had been in St. Louis for a few hours last summer during my road trip, I was only able to knock out The Arch and eat some fried chicken.  This time around, Sean and I made ample use of his GPS and Yelp app to find plenty of cool locales at which to wet our whistle. 

Another neat aspect of our STL adventure was that Sean is relatively new to the city, having moved there for work in January, and because he travels a lot, he was exploring and learning the city with new eyes as well.  I think we both feel a lot more knowledgeable about St. Louis after this weekend. 

It was a lot of fun to catch up with an old friend, of course, swapping stories of our time in jazz band together, but we also met up with some of his friends in the area, and got plenty of tips on which neighborhoods to hit up. 

There were lots of highlights, including McGuirk's in Soulard, The Dubliner on Wash. Ave., Modesto Tapas in The Hill, and Mandarin Lounge in Central West End.  The main touristy thing we did was take the tour at the Anheuser-Busch factory, which was interesting and well-organized.  Plus, free beer! 

Instead of naming every place we visited, I went ahead and put together my first custom Google map.  Click on the screenshot to see the public map and follow my weekend step-by-step. 

Drink St. Louis - Custom Google Map by ARMYou can see the rest of my pictures from the weekend over in my photo gallery or with captions on Picasa.  On my way home on Monday, I decided to stop in Springfield, IL to see the state capital.  I had never been, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  It was a nice little downtown area with lots of interesting Lincoln monuments. 

So, my trip to St. Louis was an all-around success, and I'm so glad I was able to make it there before I head back to the East Coast.  Thanks for the hospitality, Sean!  I know I'll be back again.