Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Good Bye and Good Night

And on the third day, he went back home… That’s right everyone. Sadly enough, today was my last day in Chicago. But as I am sure you all could assume since you know me so well, I was not about to go out without a bang.

I finally caught up on some sleep this morning as I woke up at about 10:00am.  Being a teenager, I still groveled and unhappily stumbled my way to the shower, but I did feel very well rested later in the day. My family and I checked out of our hotel at about 11:00am and we were ready to start our day.

The first item on our agenda was lunch, and as promised, we went somewhere a little swankier than Chili’s. We took the train out to Chicago’s famous Loop and then walked to the always fancy, Tavern at the Park. It may not sound that high-end, but we had escargot as an appetizer, so that has to count for something (Don’t worry ILC, it wasn’t too expensive). 

I had some chicken and mac & cheese, which I am actually still snacking on as I write this blog, but we all got full fairly quickly so it was time to move on and act like the tourists that we were.

Our next stop was Chicago’s Millennium Park: Home of The Bean and many other interesting works of art. Millennium was literally across the street from Tavern at the Park, so that made transportation pretty simple. We found the bean fairly quickly and marveled at the sheer size of the shining object.

We couldn’t even fit the whole thing in our picture

Seeing it was great, but the best part was walking under it. Since you can see your reflection so clearly, you can kind of follow yourself in the bean if you look up as you walk… It may not sound that cool, but I thought it was awesome.

Anyways, after the bean we stopped at the Millennium Fountain for a minute as we recuperated from all of the walking that we had been doing. We figured it could double as a time for a quick photo-op.

Once we were done joking about how it looked like our heads were spewing water, we moved on to Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower). They have a feature of the building called the “Sky Deck” where you take an elevator to the 103rd floor to peak around Chicago and see if you can see another state.

Chicago and Me

Yes, the view from the windows was great, but it could not compare to the experience of the Ledge. The Ledge is a glass box that sticks out 4.3 feet from the tower, so when you walk into it you feel like you’re walking on air 1,352 feet up.

After that rush of adrenaline however, it became time to start heading back to the airport. We walked a few blocks to the train station and rode that all the way in to O'Hare where I am now writing this blog.

As I get ready to board this plane I can’t help but think of all of the great experiences that I have had on this trip. I have had some amazing food, met some amazing people, and seen some amazing sights. Northwestern’s Wildcat Day turned out to be extremely helpful for me and I am so exceedingly glad that I got to come out and take a second look at this phenomenal university. I learned things about the school and the programs that I am interested in that I was completely unaware of before and I would never have learned any of it had I not been able to make it out to Wildcat Day. I explored Evanston and found that the people and the scenery were both to my liking and I simply found that Northwestern as a whole was a great place to be.

The only problem that I still have with the school are the blistering cold winters. I spoke to a few students about how they deal with it and some of the best responses I heard were, “Well, you just try to avoid going outside”, “It’s not too bad. I just wear like a t-shirt, a sweater, a northface, and then a down jacket with long-john’s, jeans, wool socks, and boots that go up to my knees”, “You get used to it”, and of course “It sucks, but it sucks for everybody.” The student who told me that last one also said that his friend from Alaska still complains about the cold, so really it just means that we’re all in this together. If Alaskans are cold, Californians might be a little chilly. And I can’t stress enough how much I dislike being chilly. And to be chilly for about half of the year does not sound so appealing.

Once again though, Northwestern is an amazing school. I love absolutely everything about it, besides the weather, and I could honestly see myself as a student there in the fall. I still have a few days to make my decision, but this trip definitely pushed NU that much higher on my radar. Thank you again to all of the people who made my trip possible and thank you to the people who took time out to meet with me and tell me more about my potential school. Thank you to all of you who have been reading my blogs, and I hope that you have enjoyed following me on my journey through Chicago. As I said at the end of my last blog at Cornell, I am sure you all will be hearing from me when I am rich and famous so don’t be worried that this is the last blog. You will all be reading about me again soon. Thank you so much to everyone who was involved with this, and with that I would like to say good bye and good night to you all....and here are some more fun pictures of the trip.

The backpacks and Pop

Our beautiful family photo at the Sky Deck... in front of a green-screen.

And I think this one speaks for itself