To say I was excited for this trip would the understatement of the century.
I could barely sleep, barely eat, went over my packing list feverishly more times than I’d care to admit, and was practically bursting at the seams with hope I had not felt in months. Thankfully I had the foresight the finish packing everything the night before, so I was off like a shot to the airport.
Since I had one of the earliest flights departing from Atlanta airport, the lines were fairly short. Although I have a hearty disdain for the Atlanta TSA after they manhandled my camera bag and proceeded to both X-ray my Instax film after I followed procedure to put it in a separate bin to be checked by hand AND open the back of my fully-loaded Instax camera. Between the two, they single-handedly ruined $100 worth of film. NOT a good way to start my trip.
Rather than succumbing to the panic attack pulling at the corners of my mind, I instead focused on my objective to navigate the long maze that is Hartsfield Jackson Airport. I arrived at the gate and positioned myself right at the window to look at the planes. Hands down, my favourite way to travel quickly is by plane. (Trivia: I was actually training to be a pilot back in the day. Almost had my pilot’s license before my driver’s license.) I love the building excitement as the engines roar to life and the plane taxis into position to take off, the adrenaline rush upon takeoff, and the views out the window…Oh, there’s nothing like it.
My destination was Chicago, as I was going to meet up with these family friends there to begin our cross country trek together. (They were coming from farther North) Since they were not set to arrive til the afternoon, I met up with an old Chicago-based friend, Toby of Sith Camaro Props and Costumes. After harried dash out of O’Hare Airport into the ridiculousness of Chicago traffic, Toby drove me over to the west loop of Restaurant Row and straight to the heart attack-inducing-but-oh-so-delicious, Do-Rite Donuts (of which I had to partake of a candied maple bacon donut because is a wonderful, I mean, bad influence).
After I had sufficiently given myself a sugar rush, we departed to do some exploring. We did some sightseeing nearby as that area was great for walking (walking off the sugar, I told myself. Right? Right.). Along the way, we stopped at a cafe called Sawada Coffee to catch our breath and partake of some rather tasty matcha lattes.
After exiting Restaurant Row (I’m kicking myself for not actually trying deep dish pizza IN Chicago…Next time), Toby gave me a sightseeing tour of downtown Chicago. It was not at all what I expected! Movies and TV shows tend to depict modern Chicago as a dark urban area (to be fair, I have since been told the ‘bad parts of town are really bad’. So still a note to be careful when visiting), so I was not prepared for this beautiful, bright, city full of classy storefronts, gleaming marble museums, and pristine walkways. The lakes took my breath away! I wish I could’ve gotten more pictures, but alas, one can only do so much from fast moving passenger seat.
Next up, all aboard the train to Seattle!