Things I’ve learned…

OR ‘My trip to Chicago…’

I feel like a “things I’ve learned” post is inevitable, as is a “favorite things” post. As I’m sitting on the Tarmac in Chicago, hoping I can still catch my connecting flight, I figured I’d enlighten you with some of my learned knowledge. Ok, so maybe just some of the things I’ve learned on this Chicago trip. Or an indirect recap of my trip.

1. Yes, I know it’s cliche, but I realized this summer that you do only live once. And while being practical and realistic is generally the smart thing, sometimes you just have to live a little and spend money that should probably have been spent elsewhere (for example, on a flight to Chicago, instead of that “highly recommended” professional conference you were supposed to present at but didn’t really want to go to. Not like I would know what that’s like or anything…).

2. Continuing on. Sometimes you just need to book a ticket and fly halfway across the country to meet a friend and be their guest at wedding. Trust me, you will probably have more fun than you think. And it’s completely ok if you have ZERO idea who the bride and groom are. It makes it more fun that way.

3. And while you’re at that wedding with said friend (of the opposite sex), you are bound to be asked the ‘are you together’ question – whatever form that may take. It’s fine saying “no, just friends” but it’s kind of fun to lie, especially if you may never see some of those people again. It’s also helpful if there is an open bar. It’s kind of fun having a ‘fake boyfriend’ for the night and making up tales of how the long-distance relationship is working out.

4. You don’t always need a plan. I may have decided to stay in Chicago an extra day or two with no set plans. I knew people in the city and said “hey, if it works out lets get together.” Figuring it would work out, I saw nothing wrong with heading into the city early. Nothing worked out until that night and I did spend the day roaming around with my suitcase. While it wasn’t ideal, and you may get odd looks, it’s definitely doable. It might not hurt to know where or with who you can stay with that night though.

However, if four-square is being played in the middle of the road, you should play.

5. Sandals make airport security easy easier. However, sandals are not practical when you’re running between terminals to catch your flight because you HAD to go out of your way and get the sandwich from the highly recommended restaurant. Who would do such a thing?

6. Do NOT get married during football season. I had a great time but it killed me not being able to watch the game.

7. Have fun. Being flexible and able to ‘go with the flow’ are pretty much necessary for that.

Yes, I had a fantastic and not really all that well planned trip to Chicago. I may also have come home with some kitchen towels in my bag. I couldn’t resist!

Next stop: I’m thinking Michigan. I’m in severe need of a Michigan football game fix and a greasy cider mill donut fix.