Monday, April 30, 2012

Travel: Chicago

This weekend I went on an actual adventure. You know, the kind that takes place outside of my apartment. My best friend and I went on a last-hoorah of sorts before graduation and spent a night in Chicago. We had tickets to a Fountains of Wayne concert at a small venue and booked a hotel downtown alongside our plans to make some new friends at the bars after the show.

She and I have both done a decent amount of traveling in our lives previously, but neither of us qualify as a travel diva. You know, the kind with fancy luggage and unreasonably high expectations of accommodations. We're just regular people... people with thoughts such as these:
1. It's hard not to be personally offended when an elderly couple relocates their seats on the train from next to you to 6 aisles away.
2. It is impossible to have a 100% positive experience at a hotel.
3. The American Girl store/dolls/brand is the devil. (a rather city-specific travel observation, I suppose)
4. My mother was right all along: I attract weird people.
5. If you're only going to have one pair of (ill-fitting) jeans, make sure you bring a belt just in case. I had the pleasure of experiencing my very first case of thigh chafing. I'm sure the general saggy-ness was less than attractive, too.
6. Why do people visit different cities and yet refuse to step outside of their comfort zones?... Two obviously-tourist-ish looking young ladies outside Union Station asked us where the closest Chipotle was. Wow... adventurous, guys.
7. The train could have a separate car for families with children, maybe. Just saying.
8. It's fun to tag on to a stranger's bachelor party... especially when you meet the group of dudes eating pizza off of a dumpster in a dark alley.
9. Don't make eye contact with anyone on the subway... Unless you're glaring at that girl who sits her purse in the seat next to her so she doesn't have to share.
10. Bored at the train station? Seat yourself next to the inside of an emergency exit and point and laugh as people try to enter from the outside. Reading is hard.
11. God forbid you should ever have to go pee while walking around downtown Chicago. Apparently big city citizens never have to pee, ever, because it is impossible to find a restroom to use.

In addition to overall travel thoughts, there are a few things that need to be said about attending musical performances. As someone who, from a very young age, has understood the proper etiquette of fancy classical music performances, it still surprises me to see some of the expectations concert attendees have at less formal performances. It's a rock show, not a church service.

Buying general admission concert tickets should mean also signing away your right to be offended by the following:
1. Beer spilled on you.
2. Someone screaming in your ear.
3. Someone stepping on your feet, rubbing up against you, etc.
4. People weaseling their way in front of you. (insert repetitive recording of "I was here! I was standing here!" of the woman whose feet I was stepping on)
5. People who sing all of the words.
6. People who are generally having more fun than you are because you're caught up in standing there with your arms crossed and a scowl on your face with your equally miserable-looking spouse. Sorry your date/life sucks.
7. Strangers who want to be friendly in line for the bathroom, in the bathroom, at the bar, etc.
8. Dirty bathrooms.
9. Empty drink containers around your feet.
10. The volume of the performance. Bring earplugs if you care about your health and well being.

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