At this time last year, I registered for the 2019 Chicago Spring Half Marathon. I paid the entry fee and thought to myself that either I would fly home and run the half or lose 50 dollars. You see, I had yet to inform my husband, who really wanted to go on a transatlantic cruise, that I would rather fly to Chicago and run in a half marathon. While I was getting up the nerve to drop the bombshell, Route 66 came to my mind. Driving Route 66 had always been a dream of mine. Since it begins in Chicago, what better way was there to tell the hubby what I wanted to do! We dreamed and we planned for 6 months, and on May 15th our adventure began with a flight from Berlin Tegal Airport to Chicago via Amsterdam Schiphol. This post will be about our 5 days in Chicago. I can tell you right now that 5 days were not enough for me. I have to admit I have not seen that much of this great big world, but Chicago is and will always be my favorite city.
After a couple of hiccups, we finally were in our Airbnb at about 5pm. Wow, so glad I screwed up everything and we had to book a new place a day before we left. (That is a story for another post!) This place was amazing. We had lots of room and a side view of the Bean! I am turning 52 this year, and this was my first time seeing the Bean. Our first evening in Chicago was a quiet one, just a quick trip to Target for groceries.
Chicago Day 2: Hamilton Day! Yes I splurged and got us tickets for Hamilton. After an early morning run (thank you, jet lag), we spent the day doing a little sightseeing, of course the Bean was stop one. We spent the evening enjoying Hamilton. Wow is all I can say. It was amazing from start to finish. I think, no, I know, I need to see Hamilton again. We did some googling and found out that Hamilton will be coming to Germany next year. That should be interesting.
Chicago Day 3: My beloved Cubbies decided to go on the road while we were in Chicago, so we did the next best thing and took a tour of Wrigley Field. It was soooooooo cool. We had a two-hour tour and got to see the vistors locker room, the press box, and Cubbies dugout! OMG! Little me got to sit in the Cubs dugout. Now how cool is that? Our tour guide was amazing. He was loaded with information about Wrigley Field and the Cubs. Did you know that way-back-when they were called the Chicago Chickens? Taking a tour of Wrigley Field is a must when you visit Chicago, well unless you are a Cardinals Fan, then maybe not! LOL. Friday evening we had dinner with Melissa and Tim. Melissa and I went to college together and are Phi Mu sorority sisters. Melissa suggested we have dinner at Duck Duck Goat, located at 857 W Fulton Market. Very good choice, Melissa! We thoughly enjoyed ourselves and the great food. Getting to spend time reconnecting with one of my sorority sisters was priceless. We managed only one quick selfie in the car. I guess we were too busy having a great time to take pictures. Next time!
Chicago Day 4: “Have you tilted today?” If you can answer this question, then you know what we did this morning. Yes, the Hancock Building was on the agenda on Day 4. Totally worth it. What a view of the city from the 94th floor! The tilt was pretty cool although I wish we could have taken our own pictures. The pictures taken by the Hancock Staff were just a tad too pricey for me. Nonetheless, the Hancock Building is quite an experience.
The rest of the day was spent enjoying the beach and all the city has to offer. We turned in early on Saturday night as the big day was almost here. Just one more sleep before the Chicago Spring Half Marathon.
Chicago Day 5: #ChicagoSpringHalf. At 5 am, I got ready and walked over to Maggie Daley Park. Within minutes I was at the starting line (a perk of our airbnb). As I sit here and write, happy tears are rolling down my face. Through Facebook I reconnected with classmates from grade school and high school, and so it came that Bob Leenders, his wife Robin, and Laura Baumgardner joined me in running the 21.5 K! I was worried about running with Bob and his wife since they are both IronMan Finishers, but from the start we all decided this was a “reunion” run and so we just enjoyed ourselves. It is hard for me to find the words to express how happy I was that morning. One of the many highlights came at the finish line when I saw my husband, sister, brother-in-law, and niece standing on the sidelines cheering us on! That, I have to admit, was pretty darn special. The rest of Sunday was spent just being with family. We took a Chicago boat ride and had dinner at the Chicago Cut Steakhouse. All in all, it was a perfect day. The Chicago portion of our journey ended with taking pictures at the famous Chicago Route 66 Begins Here sign.