The best trip I took was also an impulse, which for a schedule-oriented me, was very out of character. I had procrastinated (oops!) quite a bit, and tickets back home soon became far more expensive than I was willing to pay. But sitting in my apartment at school was not how I imagined spending my spring break, so I spent a couple hours scouring Expedia, trying to find cheap tickets to somewhere new. By a stroke of luck, I managed to find a round-trip flight to Chicago, only about $100 more than going home!
I jumped at the opportunity to explore a new city. Hitting up a few friends who go to school there, searching up City Pass and admission prices, and clicking refresh on Weather Channel's webpage every few hours, I managed to plan an impulse solo trip to Chicago a little over a week before the actual flight.
I'm incredibly thankful that I made that decision. Chicago was a beautiful city, with so many things do to, so many sights to see. I was fortunate to find a friend who attends SAIC, and was able to have a place to stay downtown, proximal to everything. Chicago's public transportation system, particularly the buses, were easy to navigate, affordable, and timely. The buses took me everywhere I needed to go, starting with Lincoln Park and Navy Pier. The next few days were centered in Museum Campus, which conveniently holds most of Chicago's large museums all within walking distance. The campus poked out into the water, with a walkway along the edge yielding an amazing view of the city's skyline.
The Chicago skyline is by far the most incredible feature of the city. I first noticed it at the north end of the city, looking south from Lincoln Park. Standing at the top of John Hancock Observatory, and watching the sun set over the buildings, I completely fell in love. Each trip to Museum Campus only reinforced my obsession with the skyline, characteristic and memorable, standing out from Lake Michigan.
I had a wonderful trip, and I didn't the memories and photos to go away, tucked in a folder on my shelf. I've recently been scrapbooking my summers home, so I figured this trip would be a great mini-project. I didn't have a lot of material on hand, and I knew that even though I took hundreds of photos, the trip wouldn't serve as an entire project on it's own. I compromised with a small 4"x6" sketch book that I had laying around, and decided to scrapbook my entire spring semester, including some earlier trips I made in the year.
My Chicago scrapbook started with a map of the city, and I brought along a small bag of stickers and pens to take notes along the way. I collected tickets and postcards to tuck into the book, and made sketches throughout the days as I found sights I loved. At the end of each night, I consolidated all of my photos, posting some online, and making notes for their placement in my book. Coming home, I printed all the pictures at home, since the sizes of each photo allowed the use of a personal printer instead of professional photo printing. I cut holes in the sides of the ticket stubs and postcards to match the sketch book's binding, and inserted them alongside all the photos and notes from the trip.
The project was definitely time consuming, but I'm glad I took the time and effort to do it. With well over 20 pages of photos, thoughts, sketches, and memories, the scrapbook is now something I can flip through, show friends, and look back on frequently. I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and thought I'd share it here, in the next few posts.