I love to move. Really, I just love to walk, to run, to bike, and to see everything. Everywhere. If you know me, you know this is true. That’s why it’s crazy to thing that 3 weeks ago was the first time I’d ever been to Chicago (that I remember, at least).
Why is this surprising? Because you can truly walk, run and bike everywhere to explore this massive city. However, even though I felt like it was so easy to get from one place to another, this humongous city made me feel smaller than I’ve felt in a long time. But not Rocky Mountains kind of small. No, a completely different kind of small. With buildings towering above, and a history that dates back to times I never even think of, this city has a way of making you feel so significantly insignificant. And I loved every moment of that feeling.
The rush. People power walking by. Cars whipping curves. Honking. Non-stop motion. My kind of place. If I didn’t know that there was no possible way I could survive the windy, freezing winters, I’d likely move to this city in a heartbeat.
Along with the unforgettable adventures Matthew and I had in Chicago, one of the best parts of the whole 3-day trip was undoubtedly the low cost of it all. Let me break it down to dollar signs (at least the ones I remember)
- Airfare: 2 x $93 round-trip from Denver to Chicago.
- Place to Stay: $0 (thanks to Matthew’s brother, who kindly let us stay at his place in one of the prime parts of the city – right next to Millennium Park)
- Transportation: 4 x $5 for metro pass to/from airport into the city & $9.95 – $2.00 = $7.95 with this $2 off coupon for Divvy Bikes ~ our transportation along the Lakefront Trail, to the Cubs Stadium, to Logan Square and all around (you just have to visit a station to exchange/renew bike checkout every 30 minutes to avoid extra charges)
- Food: Probably around $100 in all. Just to name a few great spots: $40ish dollars for some delicious deep dish + a free appetizer (when you sign up for the Giordano’s e-club — we had pizza for days after this one) + tasty Chicago dogs from Portillo’s Hot Dogs + a steal on some delicious Middle Eastern food at a BYOB place in Logan Square, Sultan’s Market!
- Drinks: Not pricey at all, but went to the local grocery store, Mariano’s & Trader Joes, and at times, 7-Eleven (Chicago is awesome ’cause you can get alcohol nearly everywhere) & went to one of the local breweries, Motor Row after buying a great Groupon ($13 for eight 4 oz tasters to share and a pint each)
- Attractions: The Field Museum (discount with student ID!) & the Evening Architecture Boat Tour (had a Groupon for this! – highly recommend)
- Free entertainment: Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, alllllllll the parks, Lakefront Trail, the 606 Bike Trail, lakefront beaches, yoga in Millennium Park, and the views (even from the girl’s bathroom at the top of the Hancock Center)!
Overall, it was a great trip, and not only made me feel small, but made me realize how incredibly small Denver is.
Although I really did love Chicago, I am still happy to be here, spoiled with my endless sunshine, surprisingly mild winters, stunning mountains, and of course, non-stop activities around every corner.
But, we’ll be back to visit, Chicago – for more deep dish, hot dogs & breathtaking city views.
frugal & free,