Training to Live

living and learning, one day at a time

what i brought home on my bike, part IV »« celebrating life!

welcome to chicago!

this morning started off very early (for a day that i didn’t have to go into work, that is) – i took a bus to the subway station, then the subway all the way downtown, then a shuttle to the ferry and then a short ferry ride to the toronto island airport to catch my flight to this windy city. i was flying a newish airline that i’d never flown before but had heard awesome things about. every single one was true! the waiting lounge was lovely (free drinks – cappucinos, lattes, tazo tea, all kinds of juice bottles/pop, etc, and lots of snacks plus free wifi and comfy chairs), the staff were all extremely pleasant and everything just went really smoothly. plus all their branding/marketing is extremely sharp, and i’m kind of a sucker for gorgeous design! i’d fly with porter again in a second, even though actually getting to the airport is a little bit more complicated that going to the main toronto airport.


we flew into midway airport in chicago, and that was a breeze as well. i found anne almost immediately and she, rebecca and i headed onto the orange line to make our way to the hotel. i found my awesome roommate hanging out in the lobby. the hotel let us check in early, which was awesome because after an hour out in the super chicago humidity, i really needed a freshen up and a shoe change! then we met sarah and meg in the lobby to head to a lunch place that several friends had recommended to me called Lula’s. it was fabulous – very healthy food blogger worthy and interesting. i got a “taneka” sandwich. i don’t even know what that is, exactly, but it was yummy!

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i love a sandwich that is packed with interesting stuff, and as you can see, this one is loaded!

then we decided to make our way back downtown to go on an architecture boat tour on the river, which also came pretty highly recommended to me by friends from around here. it was a bit cooler on the water (just a few degrees!), but mostly it was nice to just sit down and hang out somewhere after a busy morning of running around. chicago has some amazing architecture. i took a whole ton of pictures, but of course now i hardly remember anything about any of the buildings. i’m just going to leave you with a nice little selection to enjoy.


you can already see, just looking down the river, that chicago’s skyline is interesting.

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lots of lift and draw bridges!! very cool (although slightly less cool when you’re in a car, stopped because the bridge is up. apparently in chicago, only on wednesdays and saturdays in the summer do the bridges move, so i guess that’s not too bad)

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there’s a famous chicago architect who was super into triangles, so there are many buildings designed around that shape. i like triangles too!

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trains and bridges! two of my favourite things.

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i thought this wavy building in the middle was pretty wacky!

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this is navy pier. we didn’t really *go* to it, but it was on my list of things to see. i haven’t decided if this counts or not! luckily i have a lot of time on sunday and most of monday to work on exploring the city a bit more.

after we took a quick cab back to the hotel (we were far too hot, sticky and exhausted to ride the train at rush hour), we checked in and grabbed our swag bags (holy! good thing i packed extra luggage inside my luggage) and came upstairs for a rest before the opensky cocktail party.

getting to the party took us a while, as apparently we walked RIGHT PAST harrison station, but we did eventually make it. it was lots of fun to meet so many people. the food was tasty and we each got a free drink ticket (which is more than enough drinks for this one! i also had many glasses of ice water because i was soooooo thirsty!). the photobooth was cool – mary and jennifer and i squeezed in just before it closed at 9! i don’t have any pictures from the event (besides the open sky prints!) because i accidentally left my camera battery charging in the hotel room. good one!


i met andrea (also from TO), stampy lisa, krista, kristina, callie (callieflower kitchen, who goes to the same university i did my undergrad in! even in the same program i started off in too), sabrina, jennifer, morgan, emily, susan, erin and many many other people i’m forgetting. it was nice to see a few familiar faces (from last year, other meetups, etc): caitlin, nienke, allie. i loved putting together faces and names with twitter handles!

at around 10, after la salle power co turned into a club (and the music started to get a little too loud), mary and i called it a night. there was a bit of a failed froyo mission with krista and kristina (and a few other people whose names slipped through my very seive-like brain). it was raining, but not hard enough to make things miserable. we took the L back to the hotel, and pretty much hopped right into bed! lots of chatting and late night blogging happened in our room before the lights eventually went out.

i am now up ridiculously early (the clock definitely said 4:xx when i woke up) and think i’m going for a little run before the morning begins. i should probably take it easy though, since it’s going to be a super super long day and i will need all the energy i can get later on! ) i really sound like a grandmother some days….:-P

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August 14, 2010 at 6:25 am
  • August 15, 2010 at 7:14 pmSarah

    Haya—thank you so much for running with me today! It was great to get to talk with you and explore the city!

    • August 15, 2010 at 9:35 pmhaya

      ditto!! also, thanks for walking. i don’t think i really could have kept going for much longer ;-) i look forward to running in the fall!!
      awesome to meet you. keep in touch.

  • August 16, 2010 at 1:57 amMarianne

    Sounds like you had a great start to your Chicago trip :) I wish I didn’t live so far from all these blogger shindigs – just can’t justify the cost to get there.

  • August 16, 2010 at 6:49 amhaya

    me too! i’d love to meet you! maybe someday i’ll make it out to vancouver.

  • August 17, 2010 at 10:09 amNienke at Revel

    Yes, Porter rocks!!! Hope you made it home safe yesterday :)

    • August 17, 2010 at 10:18 amhaya

      i don’t think i’ll ever be able to fly anything else now!
      i love the lack of waiting in lines for checking in, customs, security, etc, the friendly staff (i loved how i saw so many crew people on the shuttle bus to and from the ferry! pilots, flight attendants, etc), excellent service, wifi (though it would be extra awesome if they had it on the planes), foods, etc. i’m a big fan.

      we really need to get together again some time! i didn’t get to properly see you this weekend.

  • August 18, 2010 at 7:35 amEmily @ Relishments

    It was so nice meeting you, Haya!
    Blog question: Are you using any sort of program to set up your photos like that? They’re adorable (putting photos on my blog is the bane of my existence…I need all the help I can get).

    • August 18, 2010 at 7:51 amhaya


      i use ecto (becausei have a mac) and putting in pictures is really easy. i have my defaults set to put the border around and sizes preset (though i just discovered that you can very easily manually resize). if you have windows, you should definitely get windows live writer. ecto is pretty good, but live writer is apparently awesome.

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