I hate large cities. The mass of bodies weaving between cars & buildings like rushing ants. Impatient drivers honking the second the light turns green. Buildings pressing in on all sides. It makes me queasy.
With that said, we drove to Chicago last week. We left home in the early morning & I drove for about five hours, a good bit of it in the snow. Laura finished the drive, & as the skyline came into view my anxiety increased. Inching through traffic & past construction as we circled the interstate surrounding the city, the further we made it into its heart, the worse I felt. I can’t drive in places like that. There is too much stimuli for me to focus. Bicycles, people crossing the street, cars parallel parking, delivery trucks double parked.
Our main reason for visiting Chicago was to see Hamilton, which we initially thought about seeing in NYC, but that place is the worst. At least Chicago doesn’t smell like an unventilated public toilet. Cities like Dallas & Nashville, even Washington D.C., are enjoyable. Major metropolitan areas but the cities breathe. Unless we were walking or biking on the Lakefront Trail, traveling in Chicago felt like an escape attempt. Overall though, the trip was enjoyable.
We stayed at a hostel (Chicago Getaway Hostel) for the first time. Most hostels are cheaper than hotels & cleaner than motels. It reminded me of living in a dorm my freshman year of college. You can book a private room (which we did) or sleep in actual dorms that sleep dozens of people. Bathrooms are shared unless you book a room with a private one. The Getaway Hostel served free breakfast & the rest of the day the industrial sized kitchen was available for guests to cook their own food. You could microwave leftovers or pan fry a steak.
I’ll leave you with some treasures from our trip.