My three days in Chicago last week were spent quietly, contentedly, calmly. While I’d hopped on the plane from New York with grand plans for The Doing of Significantly Blog-Worthy Things, upon arriving in Chicago I found that I was quite exhausted.
It seemed that the combination of a) a sitting-down-all-the-time office job for eighteen months prior to leaving, b) switching to the opposite hemisphere, season, and AM/PM setting, c) leaping straight into walking around in the heat for up to eight hours a day with only brief food and shopping breaks, and d) wobbly jetlagged sleep at night, finally caught up with me in Chicago.
I still had a lovely time in the Windy City, mind you. Just a slightly slower-paced lovely time, relatively speaking. Here’s Part One of my 2012 Chicago moments.
During my first afternoon in Chicago, I came upon the realization that the way to achieve a rapid-fire energy burst would be to eat a snack comprised of twenty-three syllables. Enter this Single-Serving Ben and Jerry’s Banana Greek Frozen Yoghurt with Peanut Buttery Swirls, which can now go down in history as the only store-bought banana-flavoured treat that hasn’t made me want to detach my tastebuds from my soul. (The peanut butter element definitely helped in that regard.)
(Does anyone remember the yellow styrofoam-esque banana lollies that milk bars used to sell? Those were made of horror.)
Did you know that there’s a secret sect in Chicago of people who put ketchup on their hot dogs, in contravention of the above presiding hot dog-eating norms? My AirBnB hosts told me about it; the members of the sect wear tiny red identifying pins and have regular monthly meetings where they can do their thing in private.
Oh, and yeah, that whole paragraph was a complete lie.
Back when I was a kid, a family friend used to send me American Girl books, which I loved. However, when I went to the Chicago American Girl store, I couldn’t find any of my favourite characters in doll form.
So I asked one of the assistants where the Felicity and Kirsten dolls were, and she told me that those characters have been “archived”. ARCHIVED.
ARCHIVED WHAT THE MONKEY WHEN DID I GET SO OLD I ASK YOU NO REALLY.
As a slight saving grace for my dignity, the characters of Addy and Molly, whom I also owned the books for, still exist. I was (of course) drawn to the Addy display involving dessert, but after a moment this display gave me the heebie-jeebies.
Look, if you will, at the comparative ratio/scale of Addy’s hand to her fork. In real life, that fork would be bigger than a human hand.
You could kill someone with a fork like that.
After listening to the wise advice of Debi, I darted to Red Mango, a self-serve frozen yoghurt joint conveniently located a few levels up from the American Girl store as well as a Victoria’s Secret in Water Tower Place.
(While we’re on the subject, Victoria’s Secret is something that makes me glad I’ve grown up past American Girl age. The sparkles! The sparkles!)
Here you see pomegranate frozen yoghurt, tart original frozen yoghurt, and proof of my lacklustre swirling abilities.
When in Chicago, it is a legal requirement to take photos of yourself reflected in Cloud Gate (first photo in post), and then spend fifteen minutes afterwards trying to find yourself in the reflection (above photo).
It turns out that Chicagoans also like being spat on by art, but don’t worry. It’s not a legal requirement for tourists to take part in that crazy behaviour.
I’m going to go get more iced coffee from my friend in the Renaissance concession stand here in Cedar City now.