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Hey Loves! I’m Caitlyn the girl behind ChemGradBoom. A blog about taking life with a little salt, a slice of lime and shot of tequila or life of a graduate student, whichever version you prefer!

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Chicago in 25 hours!

Another short trip to this amazing city, but it was totally worth it. I finally made it there after my mishap with transportation, read all about it Getting to Chicago. Taxi Fails and Missing Buses.

Once I finally got there I decided to walk to the hotel I was staying at, The Inn of Chicago to be exact. According to my phone gps it was supposed to be 30ish minutes. Well that was wrong...

Yep, 50 minutes away and lucky me I was right by the water. I said screw it though I wanted to see the city and experience it all. I slightly regret that now, but it was amazing none the less. I finally made it and just in time because I was losing feeling in my legs. That wind chill was no joke and I was there on a warm day. It was in double digits and there was no snow storm in the forecast. 

On to the fun stuff, what I actually did besides freezing----

1. Head to a mall, I went the the Water Tower Place. It was 7 stories and I could not turn up an opportunity like that. All I bought was postcards to mail home, but still if I wasn't broke I would have left with a lot more! 

2. Eat at The Purple Pig. Being a party of one got me right in at the bar. I able to watch all the dishes get made and also watch the two drunk girls next to me flirt with the bartender (who had a ring on!). He played along though and I in return had free entertainment. After the perky two-some left I then had some amazing conversations with two other travelers. One with an British accent who lived in Manhattan, but was previously in California. And the other an older man, who came to The Purple Pig everytime he was in town, you know a place is good with that! 
At The Purple Pig I had a few to many Crown and Cranberry, they didn't have the green stuff to make the oh so amazing Washington Apples. But the drinks were strong which is just what I wanted.
Then there was the food. It all looked so good, the cheese plates, bone marrow, EVERYTHING!! I had the Eggplant Balls and Meatball Slider. Two small dishes that helped with my liquid diet. 
 Eggplant Balls//Kitchen View and ofcourse drinks! // Meatball slider to die for

3. After leaving The Purple Pig, I knew I had a few to many. It was a quick vaca, its allowed. So I decided to take a taxi to Eataly, a block away from my hotel. I have a love for the Food Channel, cooking shows, anything with food in general. So stopping at this place was a must. 
Hello the place is run by these people! A few should look familiar for all you foodies out there like: Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batali... After walking around this place I wish I had room to eat. This place is like a grocery store with places to drink wine, eat dessert and sample the cuisine. AMAZING.

4. Head to the Art Institute of Chicago. My final destination for this trip and the place where the conference was. Not only is the museum amazing, it is also right by the BEAN! I was walking to the museum trying to find the correct entrance to go to and walked right by the bean. No one was there, it was 8am and it was slightly cold, but it was magical. My first time seeing it and I was pretty ecstatic to say I had finally seen it!
The bean// Front of the Art Institute// Another amazing piece of art

Well there it is what I did in 25 hours in Chicago. I know it wasn't alot but I'll be back to see more of Chi-town, so no worries with that! 

Have you ever been to Chicago? If so what is on your must do list?

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Getting to Chicago: Taxi Fails & Missing Buses

I have been to Chicago before for a matter of about 24 hours. It was a trip to see my little brother finish the Navy Basic Training which was exhausting but worth it. I even got to meet some of the BFs high school friends that currently live there.

Chicago was the first place that made me fall in love with the idea of living in a big city. We walked to dinner, then a few blocks later we headed to a pretty awesome bar. All of this was within walking distance from the BFs friends apartment.

I was amazed. And I knew that I wanted to come back to Chicago! Lucky me I am now a 3 hour bus ride from the city and got to head up there last week for a 1 Day conference.

To start off this post have even of you ever taken a MegaBus ride? I suggest it if you ever don't feel like driving to a large city that has public transit that you can use. Also they say there is WiFi but on my 3 hour trip there was none, so keep that in mind. 

 But on to the real story, lets start from the beginning ....

I had a megabus ticket for Tuesday at 10:45am. Meaning I needed to get downtown by 10:30am for the bus. Luck would have it this trip is the first time for quite a few things.

9:30am called to arrange a pickup and thought all was set up. Taxi should be here within 35-40 minutes is what I was told.
10- I went to sit in front of the museum to wait.
10:10- No Taxi still, I called and asked where it was , it should be on its way I was told. 
10:20-Called again, still was told it was on its way.
10:30-Called and was told 'No taxi is on its way'. Excuse me & WTF were two thoughts running through my mind. So I asked to speak to a manager, she was extremely nice, but still nothing came out of the talk, except that  I should have informed them I needed to go to the bus station then they would have rushed. Didn't know that taxis had priorities on their list for pickups. 

At this point I was upset that this trip was off to a horrible start. And I was out another $18 for a bus trip to Chicago.

I was determined to make it to the next bus. It left at 2:15pm and I made sure that I would be there. 

I decided to take the bus, even though Indy has one of the worst public transit systems. After figuring out that a bus would run right by the museum at 12:14pm and would take me 3 blocks from where I needed to be I headed over to the bus stop. Unfortunately there was a 3 foot pile of snow blocking the bus stop and I was out there early to make sure I didn't miss it. 

In the end I made it downtown with enough time to head to Starbucks and find the pickup spot for the Megabus.

I made it to Chicago even after missing my first bus, a horrible taxi experience and my first public transit experience in Indy. So overall it worked out.... 

Come back to hear about my 25 hour trip in Chicago including to much to drink, getting lost and finding the Bean and a 6 story mall... That will all be tomorrow!

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