My move-in experience was a little different from most of my classmates. Instead of moving in the RC on Wednesday like everyone else, I moved in on a Sunday, 3 days before Move-In Day. My family wanted to help me move in, but my dad couldn’t take weekdays off of work, so we opted to move in during the weekend.
We drove 14 hours from Texas, and even stopped in St. Louis to take pictures with the Gateway Arch before we made it into Chicago. Talk about a long drive! I even got to witness the endless miles of Illinois cornfields during our drive. All was well until I realized I would be alone for a few days. Everyone was supposed to move in Wednesday, after all. What was I going to do when my parents dropped me off at the RC and made their drive back home to Texas?! It was an intimidating thought at first, but it dawned on me that I was in the city of Chicago and I could do lots of things to occupy my time before my classmates arrived. This was a great opportunity to not miss out on exploring the city.
There are so many awesome things to do in Chicago and every day I would wake up at 9AM and set my agenda to do something different in the city.
Monday, August 10th
At first, it was a little daunting to think about me exploring the city by myself. Luckily, I have a friend who lives in the Chicago suburbs. We decided to meet up in Chinatown and try a restaurant we’ve never been to. We ate at a restaurant called Strings Ramen Shop; it was only a 20 minute bus ride from ICO. If you ever want to try ramen on steroids, I recommend trying out this place. It’s not your typical $.50 ramen out of the packet! Afterwards, we headed north to Lincoln Park to try out Molly’s Cupcakes. These are probably the best cupcakes I have ever had! I definitely recommend all the cupcake lovers out there to try this place out.
Tuesday, August 11th
One of my goals was to explore the Lakefront Trail. Luckily, ICO is ~1 mile away from Lake Michigan. I decided that I was going to walk/jog the trail until I reached Grant Park in Downtown Chicago. I know I would never jog outside in the Texas heat but here in Chicago, the weather is perfect for jogging… for now at least! I stopped at Museum Campus and sat along the sides of the lake while taking in the mesmerizing Chicago skyline. Moments like this made me appreciate the city of Chicago and its vast amount of buildings that makes up its skyline. After hanging out in Grant Park, I headed to Opart Thai. The food at Opart Thai was phenomenal! I’m a big fan of Thai food so this place definitely hit the spot.
Wednesday, August 12th
Since exploring the Lakefront Trail was fun the first time, I decided to do it again! This time, my goal was to walk all the way to Navy Pier. I probably walked ~5 miles from ICO to Navy Pier. I even made it to the Wabash bridge to take a nice photo of the Chicago River. After I explored Navy Pier, I ate lunch at a European cafe called Iguana Cafe. The cafe was off the Blue Line, so it was very easy to get to. Afterwards, I stopped by Target and grabbed some school supplies and things I needed for my room before heading back to ICO.
I will never regret the opportunity I had to explore the city myself, especially when school is about to get busy. Exploring the city is only a glimpse of more memories I have up ahead at ICO. Now, I can explore the city with my classmates. It’s always more fun with a big group of people!