I spent some time at the airport charging my phone and plotting the first location. I took the orange line to state / lake. The whole time up and on the train I felt a little sketchy because the area was new to me. I eyed everyone and protected my bags. Everyone sermed nice and answered my questions.
I got off the train and I had no idea what to expect. I was looking out of the window the whole time looking for the place I wanted to go to first. It wasn't until I got off when I saw these massive skyscrapers surrounding me.
The feeling this place gave me right out of the box can't be explained with words. It was so massive, the reflections on the water were breathtaking and the fact that it seemed like I had it all to myself. See at this time it was really late in Chi Town and when it's late there is NO ONE in downtown.
I didn't rush to set up for pictures. I just walked around for a bit getting a feel for the place. Every night in Chicago I easily walked 5 or so miles. By the time I am ready to leave I will know downtown well and I do now.
The first night I happened to stumble upon one of the beaches. From here I shot so really pretty shots of the shoreline. I walked and walked, snapped photos here and there. I came with a crazy idea around 3am to sneak into the trump tower.
Remember I wasn't just walking with a camera... I am walking with about 50lbs of gear and clothes around my neck. I walked of the very steep parking structure ramp (was about 4 stories of ramp) and then hiked up the the 27th floor using the stairs. I would escape the stairs every few stories to check stuff out. I know I caused quite a bit of mischief but no one seemed to care or notice me. The search of a great view failed I would now have to find a place to sleep.
I stumbled out of the trump tower and out onto the street once again. I was so tired that I remember peering into an open dirt hole, stood there and really considered sleeping there. I moved on to only find the first small corner without wind. I chose one and layed down for the night.
I woke up an hour later and was litteraly in shock. I wasn't as cold as night two but I don't think all the exercise and lack of sleep mixed well. I am actually not sure what was wring with me. I stumbled into a starbucks and tried to order. All that seemed to come out of my mouth was mumbles, I couldn't speak. I then pointed at the food and started stuttering what I wanted. The guy who helped me must be an expert with kids w/ special needs because he translated what I said to English. I sat down and rested. That night I injured my hip, probably not only from the street but how I layed to protect my bags. It hurt for the next 24 hours.
I moved through the day seeing things that I saw at night but this time under the sun. I visited the John Hancock tower and gazed at the city through the observatory. No tripods were allowed but they didn't say anything about my gorilla pod. I was able to get all the HDR images I wanted.
I ate at a pizza place and had some deep dish pizza. It was good and had a good time with the people there. I showed the guy who served about a funny review on yelp.
Before I knew it, it was dark again. It was starting to get cold and I looked for a place to sleep. I climbed onto a wooden deck of a diner and layed down. Night one I forgot / too tired to remember about my blanket. I pulled it out and layed it over me. I watched an episode or two of it's always sunny. I layed down on one of my bags and clutched the other. Once again I woke up in about an hour. I was once again in shock and move around trying to warm up. What was really bad about this night was the fact that I went to bed 4 hours earlier than the night before, therefore I couldn't just run into a local starbucks. If you know the game the sims when on of the people don't get enough food / social / fun they wave their arms and freak out? Yea, that was me. I was walking in circles trying to warm up. I looked at the weather and it was 35 degrees. I ended up walking to a 7 eleven first and purchased some hot choclate. I proceeded to walk somewhere where I could step in for a few minutes to defrost. A couple of hotels let me stay for a few and then gave me the boot. I eneded up getting another hours sleep inside of a hotel that seemed close until they woke me up. I walked out and right back into the starbucks I stayed in the first morning. The same guy was there and I ordered in English. I explained myself and that I just woke up off of the streets when I first met him. He called me and my trip crazy like everyone else. I stayed for quite some time there unitil I was ready.
I had no plans set in stone for the day except have more pizza and shoot off the hancock tower at night. I ended up taking a cruise and learned a bit about Chicagos history. When I was done with the things I wanted to do I headed for the Amtrak station.
I was late because it was my first time there and I was so confused. After a long plea with the service desk it was either same train but tomorrow or longer route that leaves tonight.
I got on the train a few hours later where I am writing this from. I will write and blog about each destinations after I leave it.