Chicago Trip | Reflections and Photos from the "Real Camera"

8:26 PM

Since adulthood Chicago has been one of those "dream cities" for me. Coming from a small town, not only is Chicago HUGE, it's also full of extraordinary things. I couldn't possibly have known (and still don't) just how much this city has to offer, but I sure did believe in it's potential. I was supposed to make a trip there, earlier this year. It fell through and life took over. By the time things had settled, the time for a visit to Chicago had passed, but I had a feeling it was coming... and boy did it.

A super spur-of-the-moment idea, Jes and I - in perfect poor planning style - threw together our belongings and hit the road in search of a change of scenery and a reason to be excited again. We needed it. Both of us, for our own separate reasons, but equally as much and I love that we didn't stop smiling for even a moment.

Sky Deck was everything to me. I've been wanting to go up those 103 floors and stand inside the ledge for such a long time. It really is overwhelming to see the city so small beneath you... and to know that you are small. It's humbling, exciting, and wonderful. I wish everyone could do it. At least once.

There are trains everwhere, and pigeons and cars. There are huge buildings and towering signs. All these things create the most magical light that washes over the city. I kept thinking how every photo I took was going to be beautiful because the city was already beautiful. It's crazy to be in something so full of life and commerce where the signs all harken back to some times in the past that you only see in editorials or on period-themed tv shows. I thought many times, that if my grandmas didn't hate crowds they'd probably feel as "big city livin" as I did, if not more.

This city is so vibrant. It's green, there is so much plant life. Trees, gardens, parks everywhere. The ground is alive and thriving. It's clean too. And bright. All these alabaster buildings touching the sky, popping with brilliant lines and beautiful colorful signs. It's breathtaking. It's hard to even look away.  But it's also alive with humans and kindness. Everyone there was friendly. So many smiles were exchanged and no one pushed or shoved there way anywhere. We all crossed the streets together, aware of everyones space around us. Hellos, and nods were all around us. Hotel staff, Greeters, Police, Locals, Tourists, EVERYONE had some way of making you feel like the city was hugging you. I loved it. And it was so unexpected.

I'm planning on snagging this Chicago Bucket List from Etsy soon. There are so many things I'd like to experience from the tucked away gems I've been researching, all the parks, conservatories and the beach and even other touristy things. I love that everyone else is snapping pictures because I'm really enjoying opening back up to that world of photography.

I'm so thankful for this weekend and this city.

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