If you know me personally, you know the last few months have been pretty difficult. Without getting into too many details, my husband was laid off totally unexpectedly and we didn’t really know what the future held for us. I was physically and mentally exhausted – I couldn’t sleep and I spent most of the waking hours in physical pain because of the stress. A week or two in, I got an Instagram notification – a friend tagged me in a photo (that no longer exists for some reason) announcing that Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Mitch Pileggi and William B Davis would all be in Chicago for Wizard World Comic Con. I had to be there.
It was the worst possible time for me to be planning a trip, but thankfully I had quite a bit of extra money coming in that month and my amazing husband said to go for it. I booked a flight to Chicago and bought my Wizard World ticket. Fast forward a few weeks later and at 4:45AM on Thursday, I was leaving for the airport. Yes, I took a 7AM flight….it was the cheapest option!
Full disclosure: I HATE flying. I didn’t travel much until the last 5 or 6 years, so flying just is not a fun experience for me. It’s just not natural to fly through the air if you’re not a bird, okay?! That being said, I love traveling, so I force myself to just suck it up. This week I’m taking my second solo flight ever and I’m a bit anxious about it, so I’m making sure I’m super prepared. Here’s my list of 10 must have items for travel – especially if you’re flying alone!
It’s Monday, so that means it’s time for Monday Hangover with Sevi of Ware is the Vodka! I’m not going to bother recapping Friday and Saturday, because it was really just working and prepping for my trip.
I DID record a new YouTube video. Much to my dismay, the whole entire thing is out of focus, which is SO annoying. My plan was to put the dang thing up anyway but the internet at the place we are staying is pretty bad and after letting it upload ALL night it still said it had 6000 minutes left. So that’s going to have to wait!
Sunday I got up at 7AM and headed to the airport. Despite nasty, rainy weather in Dallas we made it to Chicago all in one piece. Everything went according to plan EXCEPT we were counting on takingUber or Lyft from the airport but I guess they’re actually not allowed to pick up from the airport. Sounds like a conspiracy to me. After a quick Google, we did something (somewhat) sketchy and took a free shuttle to a nearby hotel and then had Lyft pick us up from there. Speaking of which, I had never used Lyft before but we had a really good experience! If you sign up and use the code VALERY520655 we both get $20 towards a ride!
Instead of staying in a hotel, we opted to use Airbnb and chose an adorable apartment in Humboldt Park. I was feeling a little apprehensive because the person who lives here is also here (we’re staying in a guest room) but he is SUPER nice, so I think it’s going to be a great experience! Plus you really can’t beat $67 a night for a VERY clean, neat, trendy place within walking distance to tons of shops and delicious restaurants. Also, he has the cutest cat ever, Winnie. She’s the best.
After a much needed nap during a Chicago rainstorm, Jeff and I ventured out to see what kind of shenanigans we could get ourselves into. We discovered there was a Lou Malnati’s about a mile away and our dinner plans were made! After about a 20 minute walk in the rain, we arrived…only to open the door and see no tables. It’s carry out only. So we would have to wait thirty minutes and then eat our pizza…on the curb? No thanks.
We walked around a bit and stumbled into Sultan’s Market. YOU GUYS. Mediterranean food heaven. So reasonably priced and absolutely delicious. Mediterranean food has quickly become my favorite kind of food and Sultan’s Market did not disappoint. Plus, you really can’t beat $16 for dinner for two, including drinks.
Since it was Sunday evening, most of the local shops were closed but we did go into a few places. Our next stop was the arcade themed bar, Emporium. Jeff and I spent a few bucks and got some tokens, each grabbed a drink and chose our favorite games. I am pretty terrible at most arcade games (I’m looking at you, Frogger) but I DID last longer in The Simpson’s game, so I’m going to call that a win.
All in all, a pretty successful first day in Chicago. The rest of the week should be filled with deep dish pizza, tourist hot spots, Italian beef sandwiches and whatever else the Windy City has to offer.