This post is a part of a series detailing my trip to Chicago (from Sunday to Thursday). To see the post for Sunday, click here.
To see the post for Monday, click here.
To see the post for Tuesday, click here.
Compared to previous days, Wednesday was surely one of the most exciting. It began with a trip to a local cafe called Dollop Cafe, which felt and looked like a place that would be in San Francisco for its hipster vibe, suggested by the many strange types of coffee makers, the horn-rimmed glasses worn by everyone and the bathroom sign saying “whichever.” I got a slice of delicious apple rhubarb pie along with a cappuccino.
For the next couple of hours, we walked around the city some more until most of my group had to go to their events. I went with an acquaintance of mine to Navy Pier after failing to find anything else to do with other friends at the hotel. As we walked, I took hundreds of pictures, taking in the beautiful view of Lake Michigan. It was interesting since we walked up one side of the pier that was completely empty of shops or people and only held a single road running up to parking lots. We reached the end of the pier to find the tourists that we expected. We walked back on the other side and found a super touristy area that was more expected. The contrast between the two sides was quite ridiculous considering how packed one side was and how much more breathable the other side was.
I’m not sure why, but I don’t think we ate lunch that day. When we got back to the hotel, we met up with a friend who finished his event and strode towards the Chicago pizza place Lou Malnati’s and had just arrived when we found out that we were leaving to Dave & Buster’s (a FBLA tradition) in less than 30 minutes. We half-walked, half-ran back to catch the bus heading out. Unfortunately, the state chapter had booked the Dave & Buster’s over an hour away rather than the one less than 6 blocks away, leading to an interesting bus ride. I sat next to a few people from a West Georgia school who talked a lot about their classmates who had children.
At D&B, we spent a few hours eating mediocre Mexican food and playing basketball among other games before a few of us decided to start using our game cards to get as many tickets as possible to get our adviser some fun gifts. Last year, we got him a Crockpot and an enormous pink gorilla that we named Jeremiah. With the combined efforts of the 61 members from our school, we managed to amass over 60,000 tickets which was enough to buy a Wine Cooler, several huge stuffed animals and a guitar. Triumphant, we returned to the city.
Our adventures were not over though, as we decided to walk around close to the Chicago River and enjoy the amazing peaceful views that it had to offer. I managed to practice my night photography and try to do some light trail photos. The night was beautiful and one of the most peaceful and perfect views I had ever seen.
It was with this view that one of my friends began to have an existential crisis, thinking about how this event was the end of our high school experience with a sense of finality that graduation hadn’t given him. FBLA had defined all of our high school lives and it was strange for it to come to an end. This was especially true for him, the former Georgia FBLA State Parliamentarian, who had dedicated countless hours to the organization.
The night didn’t end around 12 like all of the others. At around 12:30, our room was filled with 9 or 10 people from various schools just chilling and talking, trying to enjoy our final night in Chicago. We made a lot of effort to keep us from getting too loud and getting the cops called on us like what had happened to a fellow member of our high school. We succeeded at that effort, cramped together in that small room, and at having a good time.