It's official. I'm never leaving this place. A weekend of solo adventuring around a new city offered a refreshing perspective and some time for me to really appreciate my new surroundings. After landing at the airport, Dorothy's mom, Jill, picked me up and brought me to my apartment. My roommate was at a barbecue but took some time to drop off the keys. We didn't have a chance to talk much, but that's okay because it gave me some time to do my own thing and get settled. I knew I didn't have much daylight left, so I dropped my bags and set out to explore the area. I was most curious about the lake, so I went to find the underpass which I had already scoped out on Google Maps. I'm living right next to Lakeshore Drive, one of the main highways in the area. It separates the city from Lake Michigan. Once I crossed under the underpass, I ended up on this incredible running/walking/biking trail that goes alongside the lake! I can't wait to go on a run there soon. Running doesn't seem so bad when you have ^ this view!
Sunday was my first full day of solo adventuring. When I woke up, I unpacked all of my things and then decided to do a test run of my work commute. The Sheridan Red Line station is the closest El stop to my place--about a ten minute walk. I was still (and still am) using my GPS to navigate everywhere, so I didn't time the trip on my first go around. After finding my building and eating lunch down by the river, I decided to head back to my place and time my commute. 37 minutes including walking and getting back up to my room--not terrible! While I was on the train back to my place, I noticed that there was a festival happening near the Belmont stop (two stops south of mine), so I decided that I was going to check it out after I finished my timed trial. Festival-ing by yourself is a completely different experience than festival-ing with friends. I did a lot of pacing from one end of the festival to the other--I mean I didn't want to just stand there awkwardly the whole time, and when I did stand around awkwardly, I tried to make it appear as though I was searching for my non-existent friends. But as the night continued on, I became more comfortable in my aloneness, and I enjoyed the music and company. Nonetheless, I had a great night out in the city enjoying the beautiful weather and vibrant scene.
Chicago, I love you (sorry, Athens). Here's to a summer of [solo] adventuring!