Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tourist in Chicago

This is the first in my "fast trip" series of posts. Chicago is such an interesting city to me. I guess in part because of the river that flows through the city. I know that there are other U.S. cities with rivers, but they aren't Chicago. Maybe I'm also intrigued with its attachment to Lake Michigan. Also it meets my requirements for a "fast trip."

On my last trip to Chicago I decided that I wanted to take a boat tour of the city. The most interesting to me at the time was the Architecture Cruise. I'm sure the Fireworks Tours & Sunset Cruises are exciting, but I hadn't planned to be in the city beyond 6:00 PM. I'm not sure how many different companies there are that offer cruises, and each company has many different theme cruises. In the various brochures there was everything from a Chicago in the Movies tour, to tours for beer lovers and evening Jazz tours. I think most have an Architectural Cruise of some sort. The walk up fare for the cruise that I took was $25 and it was a 75 minute tour. For those that plan ahead almost all of the companies have an online discounted fare.

I didn't realize how many buildings were built within the last few years. Many of the new buildings are residential, and very expensive places to live. The tour guide of course was funny and I think the jokes got cornier as we went along. The perspective from the boat of many of the buildings is different from just walking or driving through the city. Of course I couldn't help but envy the people that lived in the buildings that had parking below for their boats/yachts.

Getting to the dock for the tour was amazingly easy. From Midway airport I caught the Orange Line train to State/Lake station I already had a transit card from a previous trip, but round trip on the train is less than $5.00 to downtown & back. You can purchase a transit card, pick up a bus and rail map and get information all there at the airport Midway Orange Line station.

What I discovered waiting for the cruise to start is that the water taxis are an option for a quick ride on the river & much cheaper than the cruises. Of course it's without the commentary, but a week and a half later I don't remember many of the buildings mentioned in the tour. I might try the water taxi the next time I go and catch one to Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. There are soo many things to do in the city. A tourist really could spend a LOT of money. I might have to go back with a plan to highlight some of the free things to do there. Oh like maybe transportation & food for $20 or less in a day. That will take some planning. It can't be spur of the moment.

Hmm where will the next "fast trip" take me and what will I do? I hope you stop by to find out. Hopefully my son will bring back my camera & I can include some pictures as well.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Fast Trip Blog Post

I've been thinking about adding something more informational to my blog. My goal is to maybe twice a month highlight a "fast trip" in a city. It might be a tourist attraction, or the hunt for a food that the city is known for (usually something unhealthy).

My plan is to include cheap and easy in Atlanta and usually cities that have inexpensive, fast (train) public transportation directly from the airport.

Even a few years ago when I had to do my quarterly or 2x a year business trip, I sometimes had a few extra hours in a city. A business trip to NYC allowed me to squeeze in the Statue of Liberty and I think that was a summer trip, because I had my son with me. We didn't do a lot of traveling, but we did a few things on a tight budget and or worked into a business trip. (I saved on MY airfare.)

My tourist attraction visits will usually be on a weekday, so all of my "Fast Trip Visits" will be completed in 4 to 6 hours start to finish. Lodging or transportation to the city won't be included. It will be a work in progress and done on a whim. So hopefully it will be helpful, interesting, and if nothing else I'll have fun.

Coming soon...the tour I took in Chicago this week.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I need to get 2 keys made. I went out picked up a few needed things from the store, and was on the way home before I realized that I didn't get the keys made. Arrh! It was too hot to get out of the car again, must do it later.

Actually 1 of the keys is for my son's car. I told him multiple times before he went out of town to get an extra key made. He didn't, actually he locked the 1 key he did have IN the car. So of course now, I have to get the key made since I'm going to use his car when I put mine in the shop for maintenance. He's out of town for 2 weeks. Yay! for extra unnecessary errands.

My job is getting really unbearable. I've given my resume to a head hunter in another state. I have updated my resume, and now I need to get serious & start applying elsewhere. Economy wise, I know it's the worst time to be looking. I am struggling with having faith in anything right now.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Music Monday - Winner's Edition

It's game night and the board has 2 playing pieces the 1st one was missing 1 wedge, and the second piece needed 2 wedges. I land on what I need. My (now ex) husband breathes a sigh of relief when he sees the "Entertainment" question. There is no way she's getting this answer right he thinks. I don't remember what the question was but the answer was ...

Purple People Eater

I won that game of Trivial Pursuit. LOL! What he didn't know (and I had almost forgotten) was that my best friend in elementary school had that 45 and we used to play the song over & over. So not only was it one of my favorite songs in elementary school, but I knew the whole song by heart.

That was the closest he ever came to winning and to think I was saved by a "One-eyed, One horned flying purple people eater.