August 16, 2016

Chicago Snapshots

The last three summers, I have spent extra time trying to be creative with my time in the USA. If I'm going to fly halfway around the world once a year, may as well edge in some bonus adventures, right? The other plus is that these extended layovers really help me with my jet lag because my time zone has to adjust to wherever I happen to be.

2014: Philadelphia Layover
2015: East Coast to Wisconsin to Idaho to California
2016: Chicago Snapshots (with inspiration from my French friend's trip!)

[For all of the random things we end up doing in the USA, you can check out our #SwagVilUSA hashtag.]

My main ticket was a round trip from Munich to Chicago. I used frequent flyer miles to get my tickets in and out of California. This meant I had total freedom as to when I could land in Chicago before my red-eye flight back to Europe.

When I have freedom, I usually choose to make the most of it. I found a flight that red-eyed out of San Francisco into Austin for a next-day arrival into Chicago at 9:00AM. My Aunt Denise amazingly agreed to drive from where she lives in Wisconsin for three hours into the city to hang out with me, and we were off!

I had three goals for the day: the Bean, Lake Michigan, and deep dish pizza. Not lofty, by any means, but enough for a solid first impression and no possibility of getting overwhelmed!

Chicago was exceptionally beautiful, especially with the super blue sky, lake breeze, and perfect temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I hope I get to return to Chicago someday and really dig deeper into the city and the pizza.

Have you been to Chicago? What should I make sure to do next time? Have you tried scheduling crazy long layovers for fun?