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Columns

Before The Diploma: A day in Chicago

For the Fourth of July, my boyfriend drove from Missouri to spend a few days in the grand town of Batavia. We did typical couple stuff together, such as going out for burritos for dinner, seeing a movie, and grabbing ice cream afterward. To top it off, we also went to Chicago. It was a trip that the two of us had been planning for about half a year. With long distance, it’s been hard to find a day to go to Chicago. Alas, during the long Fourth of July weekend, we found the perfect day to be tourists.

The day started out perfectly with us missing the morning train we planned on taking, and it wasn’t my fault. The two of us decided to catch a train to Chicago at 10:40 in the morning. We both thought it was a decent time since it was not too early, and it still left us with at least half the day to explore the streets of Chicago. We would arrive in Chicago around lunchtime, grab some food and then explore the rest of the day.

But as mentioned, we missed our train. My boyfriend slept in and caused us to miss the train even if we attempted to try to catch it. Turns out staying up until 2 in the morning and then trying to get up early the next day isn’t exactly the most logical plan. I was quite aggravated that we missed that train, to say the least. Mainly because I had gotten up two hours earlier than he did to get ready for a train we wouldn’t even take. I’m a person who likes to plan things out, so when we missed our train time, I panicked. I thought the day was ruined, and it would just be another failed attempt of trying to spend a day in Chicago.

Fast-forward to 2 in the afternoon, and we made it to the city and were ready to march around sweating to death. Our day was full of laughs and smiles, and a whole lot of being extremely thirsty and in desperate need of a big fan right in front of our faces to cool us down. We visited The Bean (which wasn’t all that exciting after the first three minutes), went on a water taxi and shopped in Water Tower Place. Along the way we stuffed our faces with some delicious popcorn and pretzel hot dogs. I even bought a bottle of lotion and a mini hand sanitizer – all while paying 7 cents for a bag to put the items in! Thanks, Chicago, for making me spend money on a bag.

All in all, the day was a success when I believed it would be the opposite after missing our first train time. Turns out that while planning is always a good thing to do, I’m still learning that there’s no reason to worry if plans get shaken up a bit. We made it to Chicago, had fun and got back home safely, and that’s all we wanted. I really wanted to visit the Shedd Aquarium, so I think it’s time to “plan” our next trip.

Denise Cartina is a graduating student from Waubonsee Community College and graduate of Batavia High School. In addition to writing, she enjoys watching sappy romantic comedies, eating peanut butter and keeping elegance alive. Her column runs every other Thursday. Contact her at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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