My Road Trip To Chicago “The Windy City”

In the fall of September, 2008, 8 others and myself rented a big econo line van that seats 14 and we traveled to the Windy City for an Armenian Youth Conference for a weekend. That trip always comes to my mind quite often and how much fun we had in Northbrook Illinois at this Seminary. Now as we were on the Highway 401 West going toward the Sarnia, Ontario USA Border, we stopped at the duty free shop. I decided to get some snacks and M & M’s. So at the checkout cashier counter, the lady asked for my licence plate number of the car I was traveling with, Now I asked her why do I have to give you my licence plate number when all I am buying is M & M’s and snacks for the road to Chicago? She said we have to ask on all products that are bought from the duty free. I said Oh Ok, so I bought them and everyone bought some things, so we went back on the road and waiting at the border, then we got through the customs and we were on our way to Chicago. It was incredible.

As we were driving through the states in Michigan, we decided to stop at Kalamazoo Michigan for a bite to eat at Steak N Shake. We had an incredible lunch there, and it was so delicious. Then there was hooters across the street and so the curiousity and sudden interest sparked us into going across the street to see what hooters was all about since I or some of us had never been there or seen it, and there was the girls with the manager training these new employees of hooters. So we just watched and spoke to the manager after. So we said on our way back from Chicago back to Canada, we will stop over. So now we got back on the road and it took about another 3 hours to get to Chicago.

Now, the most awesome and exciting moment happened when I finally saw the sears tower and driving toward the Skyline of Chicago. I have always had dreams about going to Chicago someday and seeing the Tribune sign, tip top allerton, those revolving doors that I saw in the theme of the Show Perfect Strangers, and I had seen homes like the show Family Matters and Married with Children. It was so cool and  I was jumping for joy of excitement being in a city where a lot of the shows I used to watch when I was a kid was all Chicago based. Now the Show Mike and Molly made me relive those memories of My Trip.

Now as we went to downtown Chicago on Michigan ave. The girls and I decided to go to Victoria’s Secret. I had never ever been in one until I was there. It was one of the coolest places and it was two floors. So I bought a few things and I saw Heidi Klum’s big poster and I felt like I was actually talking to her. It was awesome. Now we had got there just about an hour or 2 before closing, so here is the funny thing that happened. So as I had said I watched those Chicago based shows, so I decided to do something exciting and re-inact the theme beginning of Perfect Strangers, so I saw the revolving circular door to get out from the store and there was a security guard with the big BLACK WHITE Squared Hats and Police nearby and Now I was playing around with the circular door and laughing the same time and the security and the police knew exactly what I was doing, and they said “You are trying to the Perfect Strangers theme aren’t you?” I said yes BALKI lool. It was so funny. The security actually laughed and said we get that a lot from people who come to Chicago. I said I am from Canada and I loved those Chicago based shows. He said a lot of tourists do that.

Now we were walking in downtown Chicago after our Victoria’s Secret mission and I had hoped I would see the HARPO Studios or a Glimpse of MISS OPRAH herself, but wasn’t in luck. So after about 2-3 hours of being in downtown Chicago, we went back to our van to go to the Armenian Conference we came there for. The place was about half an hour north of Chicago and I just couldn’t stop staring at the skyline until we could no longer see it and the skyline is just beautiful with all the lights, and the subways going around which are so old but really define the place. So we had made new friends from the States at this Armenian Youth Conference and It was one of the most memorable weekends of my life. I had a blast!

Now as the weekend commenced and we were all set to go back to our cities and towns, and I had a super hard time leaving Chicago and I started to cry and as we were heading toward the skyline of Chicago again, I couldn’t stop snapping photos and taking pictures of every angle and every speck of it so that I can see it in the future. I still look at those pictures and just remember. I will never forget it. Now we were following our new friends we made back to the State of Michigan. We gassed up in Indiana. There was this scary old looking area we got gas in and we were rushing to get out of there. Now as we got into the state of Michigan we stopped at Hooters for a bite to eat as we said and the Manager remembered us and he said you kept your word. We said of course. We had a delicious meal and we spent a good hour to two hours there. After we continued our journey home to Ontario, but we stopped in Ontario, and made a detour. We decided to go to BUFFALO for the day before heading back to Toronto. We had arrived to Buffalo at 5am in the Morning and so the Customs guy asked us, why were going to Buffalo, we said oh to sight see, enjoy, and the Customs guy said SIGHT SEEING IN BUFFALO? He said its the most boring place ever, what the heck is there to do sight seeing? LOL so then he let us go. So we stood in Buffalo all day and then we came back right into Canada and came home. We all had a blast. I still talk about it to this day with my family and friends.

43 thoughts on “My Road Trip To Chicago “The Windy City”

  1. tonielizabethstyles says:

    Nice post, I love to travel and this really makes me want to visit Chicago. Glad you enjoyed your time and really took it all in 🙂

  2. mottyg says:

    I really enjoyed your ‘Windy City’ experience. I live 2 1/2 hours south of Chicago in central Illinois and always get excited when I go to Chicago, still. I hope you make it back again someday.


  3. sirrahh says:

    Chicago is an amazing place. I remember when I visited downtown for the first time, and my reaction to it was pretty much the same as yours. And thanks for reading my blog!

  4. Birds Nest 101 says:

    I am a Chicago native and live in Chicago proper, not the burbs. I take those EL’s everyday and lucky to see the skyline eceryday. Although, it gets extremely cold here 😦 wind chill is biting. don’t feel sad about Harpo studios, it’s on the south side of Chicago nowhere near where you were 🙂 glad you enjoyed!

  5. Darling Michelle says:

    I’m from Michigan! I lived in the Grand Rapids area most of my life. It is about an hour north of Kalamazoo (I’ve been there several times too!). I’ve been to Chicago several times and have friends who live there. It is an exciting place for sure!!! I’ve been up to the top of the Sears Tower and it felt like my ears were going to explode! It was a delight to read about your trip to Chicago! I’ll have to check out the Hooters the next time I drive trough Kalamazoo on my way to see my family in Grand Rapids!

    Thanks for the follow! Wishing you a lovely day! 🙂
    Darling Michelle

  6. allinthedayofme says:

    I have a daughter living in a sub berg of Chicago. She rides a train to downtown Chicago to her job in a tall skyscraper. I’ve ridden with her a couple of times. So I know exactly what you mean about being so in awe of the windy city. It sounds like you had a great trip.

  7. dan4kent says:

    So very fine to have you like some of my work. Growing up as a farm kid, I always told myself that ‘someday’ I’d live in Chicago. Mission Accomplished. Reading your road-trip thoughts was like looking through the glass of a clean window…easy to see through with a hint of reflection thrown in for good measure. Glad you’re on the Planet. Well done.

  8. Miri @ says:

    Awww, you take me back to a trip I made to Chicago long ago. Diana Krall was at the then newly renovated Chicago Theater. It was a trip made on a whim. It was wonderful. My mother often spoke of taking the train from Denver to Chicago when she was 18. She saw “My Fair Lady” there on stage and never forgot it. You will have to go in September sometime. The arts festival is then. I imagine that Chicago would be so alive then too. These are the moments to make.

  9. Strategic Monk says:

    Thank you, Talin. I worked in Chicago and lived in Oak Park for several years. I really miss the architecture you describe and the history of the city, as well as the best pizza in the world. Your writing took me back for a great visit. Thanks!

  10. cryinforthedyin says:

    Hello..Thanks for the ‘likes’..I read your post here. It prompted me to remember traveling days..out of all the days..those are remembered..lessons of life..things that are, very obviously, unique to the situation, as all things are..time happens once..this time sounds like you had a great one..Peace Tony

  11. simplestjoys says:

    Hi Talin–thanks for keeping up with my blog. I’m glad to see that you’ve enjoyed your time in Chicago. ‘Tis a lovely city, and a get-away-from-Madison place for me from time to time. If you stopped by the midwest again, make sure to let me know! I’ll show you around Madison and Chicago 🙂

  12. Heather H. says:

    A trip to Chicago is on my bucket list! I love that your group stopped in Hooters just out of curiosity. That’s is so something my friends and I would do. We don’t have a lot of shame. Every Feb. my school’s National Beta Club attended the state convention and there was a Hooter’s across from our hotel, and the boys were obsessed with going to eat there.
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. lawmrh says:

    Thanks for visiting my “Irreverent Lawyer” blog!

    I enjoyed your various posts on your own blog and especially, the positive message on the video blog. Well done.

    The trip to Chicago blog post was interesting. Chicago is a fun, vibrant city. And I liked the reference to “Steak and Shake.” I have been to many over the years and besides “Burgermaster” in Seattle, “Steak and Shake” makes the best shakes!

    Keep writing and blogging. Best of luck!
    – Mo

  14. JM says:

    Hello Talin, and thank you for dropping in to my blog earlier. You are most welcome, now and at any time.

    I had a lovely aunt who lived in Ontario – in Gananoque. Sadly, I met her only once, and she has now passed away. But I remember very well the lovely letters she sent me at a time when I most needed some friendly words. Perhaps everyone in Ontario is like her! 🙂

    I am glad your trip to the Windy City went well.

  15. RedandGonzo says:

    Random tidbit: DId you know that it’s named “The Windy City,” not because of the weather, but because of the spouting off of politicians?

    Glad you enjoyed your time there. Chicago will remain one of my all time favorite US cities.

  16. Papa Nerd says:

    Chicago is an awesome city. It’s nice and the people are friendly. If you get to go back, the best way to see the skyline is from Navy Pier. When I was in Chicago, some friends and I were at the Pier, and I turned around and the skyline was all lit up, and I could see it all. I’ve never seen anything quite as cool as the Chicago skyline reflected off of the waters of Lake Michigan, just after sunset.
    Thanks for the follow!

  17. morgan9 says:

    Common, flowing vernacular. I would have a good editor look at it, to help you enhance the beauty of the narrative flow (so as to clear up some ambiguities I read . . . wasn’t sure what you were trying to say.) Yet, as I said, its common simple clean intimate voice carries a whallop of interest. Thank you!
    mickey morgan

  18. Katie says:

    I visited Chicago for the first time in October – and it was a road trip! Four adults, one dog, 12 hours… it was great, and your post brings back memories. Glad you had such a great time there; I’ll definitely be going back!

  19. thesprucetunnel says:

    Thank you, Talin, for writing about your Road Trip to Chicago. I grew up there as a child, and I still think the Chicago skyline is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Your writing has reminded me of that sad sense of leaving that skyline behind when I have to leave the city.

  20. GeorgeK says:

    I Loved reading about your experince and Chicago. Now take that sadness you felt leaving Chicago and times it by 100, that’s what I feel almost every day being that I am from Chicago, born and raised just 7 mies north of downtown. I grew up there with that skyline and all those fantastic places on Michigan Ave! Oak Street, Rush St, etc. etc. Great road trip!! Thanks

  21. ajarndonald says:

    Chicago is absolutely with no doubt the best city in the world. That’s why I was born there 50-years ago. I’ve been gone for 10-years now, and I will never return due to medical limitations. I ended up here in the second best city in the world Bangkok, Thailand. If anyone ever plans to visit Thailand I’d love to hear from you. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas & a safe and Happy New Year 2012:)

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