Thursday, February 28, 2013

Weigh-in & Chicago

Image courtesy of Ampersand Seven

Oops! I missed yesterday's weigh-in. I had Monday off, so my brain has been on the wrong day all week.

Anyway, I'm down a pound to 302.6! Just a couple more pounds to 300. :) It's amazing how a couple pounds can feel so close yet so far away. I remember thinking I'd be under 300 by Thanksgiving and then seriously disappointed when I didn't get there by Christmas or even New Year's Day. It's gone much slower than I imagined it would, but then I remember being 350, 340, 330 and it doesn't seem so bad. I got stuck between 310 and 320 for a few months, but 310 - 300 has been sailing along at an average pace of 1-2 pounds per week. :)


As I said, I had a personal day on Monday. I took it thinking I would need a full three days to finally recover from bronchitis, but it cleared up Sunday night. I felt restless and stir-crazy Monday morning, so I decided to go to Chicago.

I was a bit too late to make the second morning train from Kalamazoo, so I figured I'd drive. Driving gives me more time in the city anyway, since the last train from Chicago to Kalamazoo leaves at 6:00. I wish they had an 8:00 train.

Anyway, there was a bit of a snafu on the way, as the toll road no longer accepts MasterCard debit cards. I told them they could run it as credit, but they had a fit. I had to shut the car off and run across six lanes of tollway traffic to the McDonald's in the toll plaza. I used the ATM then ran back to my car. My coat is purple, and traffic wasn't heavy, but I still worried about getting hit. I stayed near the toll booths, though, where traffic was stopped, and everyone let me through. It's kind of hard to miss a fat girl in a purple coat. ;)

Once I got to Chicago, I parked in the economy lot at Midway and took the Orange Line into the city. I wouldn't normally park that far out, but taking the Orange Line from Midway into the Loop completes one step of my goal to ride every CTA line from end to end. :) I'm also SUPER close to completing the Red Line; I only have three stops to go. They're on the far south side, though, so I'll have to do that during the day and sit behind the conductor, just to be safe.

I had a good time in the city. I mostly just walked around and looked at buildings. I saw The Rookery and Chicago Board of Trade in the financial district on LaSalle. Then I went to Hershey's to get a gift for Brent and the gift store in the Hancock Building. They used to have really nice pictures and posters of Chicago, but I didn't see any this time.

After that, I went to Gino's East for dinner. I'd kind of hoped they sold pizza by the slice, but the smallest deep dish option was four pieces. I can barely eat two, so I skipped the pizza and ordered pasta. To be honest, I didn't like it, but I was pretty full from the chicken nooodle soup I got as an appetizer (which was very good), so it was no big deal.

I took the #151 bus to the Sears Tower, as I've always wanted to see The Ledge. The wait wasn't too bad, even though the express elevators were under maintenance. I waited about 30 minutes to go up and then 30 minutes again to go down.

The Ledge was awesome! I kept offering to take pictures for couples while standing there, and one of them offered to take my picture in return. I don't like my glasses (they're my old pair), but I love that you can see the city all around me.

It was quite an adrenalin rush. It was a lot of fun, but every time I looked down, I had to fight my brain's urge to push me back onto the regular floor. I could literally feel the muscles in my legs trying to turn and move back, even though I was fine. It was pretty funny and a very good lesson in biology/psychology.

After my fun on The Ledge, I took the Orange Line back to Midway, picked up my car, and drove home. I took I-94 instead of the Skyway this time, to avoid more shenanigans with the tolls. I had cash on me at that point, but I was still miffed about the earlier trip. Plus, the tolls have gone up quite a bit, so I don't know if the Skyway is worth it anymore. It used to cost around $2.80, but now it's $6.40. Someone suggested getting an I-Pass, since tolls are 50% off and you don't have to worry about carrying money, but you have to pre-load it with $50. I don't know if we'll drive to Chicago enough to make up for that. The only time we drive is when we're going just for the day; otherwise, we take Amtrak. So we'll see.

I really enjoyed my day to myself. I love wandering around Chicago and feeling anonymous in the big city. I'm so sick of Kalamazoo; I can hardly stand to even drive to work anymore. I need a change of scenery in a big way. Brent suggested going to Chicago as often as possible so I can get a break. I used to go almost every weekend, but that stopped a few years ago. Now that I've paid off my debts and have some extra "play" money again, I might do that. I have next Friday off since I'm working this Saturday, so I might head over there again. There are lots of things I like to do that Brent doesn't (like The Ledge), so I can use that time to do the things I like. He says he doesn't mind if I do stuff like that when we're there together, but I'd hate to make him wait or drag him to something that bores him. So these little day trips will be good for me, and then we can do the big stuff we both like during our trips together.


  1. Sounds like a perfect day! (Although I would be plastered against the side of the building). I'm terrified of heights! Great job with the weigh in as well!

  2. Good job on the weigh-in!! Your day in the city looks like a lot of fun. I have never been to Chicago, but hope to go one day!

  3. When we lived in Cambridge, I would take days like this in London. Sometimes it was to see something specific going on, but often it was just to walk around and see the city in general. One day it was just to walk along some of the canals. I loved those trips!


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