I landed at Midway Airport on Thursday afternoon and was immediately greeted by my friend Austin. We hopped on the orange line to go to the loop, then transferred to the train that goes to Austin's neighborhood. Back at his apartment, we met up with Julie and Colin who had pancakes waiting for us. Yum!
We hung out for a while and I got settled in. Julie and Colin both flew in on Wednesday night, so they had already been there a while. Austin's friend from school, Devin, met us at the apartment before we all headed out to go downtown.
We went to the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College. It's free and we were able to wander around and look at some really cool photographs. The most interesting on featured photographs of scenes of the 78 homicides that took place in Chicago between October 28, 2010 and January 15, 2011. The photos were arranged in chronological order to reflect the Chicago skyline. It was interesting, but it was also very depressing.
After that, we headed over to Starbucks and met up with one of Julie's friends from high school that actually studies photography at Columbia College. Small world! Starbucks was having a buy one, get one deal between 2:00 and 5:00 everyday for their three holiday drinks. (Bummer for me because I don't drink coffee.)
We hung out there for quite a while, just chatting. Devin had to go meet some people across town and then Spencer (Julie's friend) left to do school work. The four of us took the train to a famous restaurant in Chicago, but stopped at a seven-floor Sports Authority so Julie and Colin could look at jackets and gloves.
Portillo's was just down the street from Sports Authority, so it was perfect. They have great hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta, and salads. Plus they have the world famous cake shake. It's literally a vanilla milkshake with a piece of chocolate cake shoved into it. Heaven! The food was so good too. Julie got this dish that was like Noodle's pesto cavatappi on steroids. Delicious!
We were all basically in a food coma after that. A cake shake will do that to someone, even if you split it with someone. So we stopped at Walgreen's to pick up Phase 10 and then went back to Austin's apartment. Tensions rose during our friendly card game, and eventually Devin showed up with a new game, Perpetual Commotion. That was a crazy good time!
And it took us all the way to 2:00 in the morning. After that, we just hung out and got ready for bed. It was definitely a long day for me, about 21 hours long! But it was so much fun. I was so glad to be hanging out with friends in Chicago, one of my favorite cities!