First time in Chicagoland

It’s summer break!

It is weirdly strange to not have reading or problem sets occupying every minute of free time. Earlier this week I lounged on the couch all evening with a book, and yesterday we had dinner with friends and I could order a drink because there was no work to do when we got home! Woohoo! It’s the little things in life.

As a part of cramming as much fun as I can into this 2.5-week break, I flew out to Chicago this past weekend to visit some college friends. After talking about going to visit for the past two years, I finally squeezed in a trip during their graduation season (and was able to catch Melissa’s grad!). They were the most gracious (and fun!) hostesses, and took me on a whirlwind tour of Chicago catered to my fondness for bread, cake, and donuts. 😀

chicago bean

Reunited at the Chicago bean! Along with showing me all the cool spots Melissa and Christa also supplemented hilarious commentary that I’m still not sure I trust.

A gorgeous shot of downtown Chicago from the Lincoln Park Zoo (which was free to walk through). Luckily it decided not to storm the weekend I visited, and we were able to take the L and walk around the city. Chicago in the summer reminds me a little of Seattle – everyone is outside on the patio or at a festival making the most of the sunshine. The weather, however, was not Seattle-like: 90 and humid. While it wasn’t as terrible as the humidity in Taiwan or Florida, it’s definitely sticky. My skin went berserk – I’m currently thankful for temperate Seattle weather and Aveeno’s ultra-moisturizer.

The view looking west from Millennium Park (where the bean is). I was surprised to find Chicago much more like New York City than LA or San Francisco. I’m not sure what I was expecting – maybe something more like LA? Chicago was most definitely a huge, bustling metropolitan hub. I felt like country mouse visiting the big city. Seattle is teeny-tiny in comparison.

Aaand of course a photo of these beautiful and intelligent gals – I’m so proud of them both! It’s crazy to think how far we’ve come from our undergrad days. In addition to noshing on pizza, drinking loads of ice tea to cool off, and running to Walgreens to get Melissa’s face blown up on posterboard, it was fascinating to hear about their MBA programs and their experience in the full-time program. Part of me yearns for the full-time B-school experience – there’s definitely something to be said about immersing yourself into that environment. But one more year to go – it’s going to be worth it!

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