Back in late Spring I had the opportunity to go up to Chicago with a couple friends for the first time since 2008! I was very excited to be going back to that city as a lot had changed for me in these few years that have passed. I was mainly excited for a chance to photograph the big city again with my new equipment, new knowledge, and skill that I have developed since I had been there last. I did do a post from my first trip to Chicago here if you’d like to have a read!
My friend Jessie suggested we take the Megabus from Cincinnati to Chicago since a round trip bus ticket was only $15! We wouldn’t have to worry about paying for parking, or even where to park for that matter, and utilize the public transportation that Chicago abundantly offers. So, I jumped on the opportunity and we all enjoyed a little mini road trip together.
The bus only stopped twice. Once inbetween Cincinnati and Indianapolis, and then once more in Indy to pick up some more passengers. Within just 6 hours, we were up in Chicago roaming around the streets of the bustling downtown. We grabbed some noms, had a little picnic in the park, took cheesy photos at the legendary Bean, and then hung out by the lake for what felt like forever. And we had a lot of fun doing all of it.
Then of course, our phones all came out and we started taking selfies together. Because that’s what best friends do right?
After that, we took a walk back into the city to hop on the train and headed to Logan Square where we were going to be staying with one of Jessie and Julia’s school friends for the night. I remember getting there and we found a little place called Reno’s where we sat at the bar, drank some bottled cokes, and listened to records playing in the 50’s styled vintage pizza bar. It was so neat. I could have stayed there all night.
After that, we met up with Jessie and Julia’s school friend named Emma. She took us back to her place where we were finally able to put all our stuff, freshened up, and headed back out for an evening on the town. Emma took us to a really famous pizza place in Chicago called Pizzeria Uno where I ate the most delicioius deep dish pizza I’ve ever had. I feel as though Emma really treated us to an authentic Chicago experience. I didn’t take my camera with me, but I did snap a few photos on my phone 🙂
The next day, we woke up, hopped on the train to Wicker Park and got donuts at Stan’s. And omg. Their blueberry old fashioned’s were TO DIE FOR. We ate our little donuts in the actual Wicker Park just for Jessie who is a big fan of the movie. We laughed when we realized the park looked nothing like what was in the movie and after some internet searching we found out the whole movie was actually filmed in Montreal but named after Wicker Park lol! I had a big laugh about it.
About a month before coming here, I contacted a previous client of mine who had just recently moved to Chicago with her husband from Cincinnati and asked if she would be interested in meeting up and doing some modeling for me throughout various parts of Chicago. To my happy surprise, she was totally down! (I photographed their wedding in October. See their photos here). Not to mention, I was kind of anxious to see the two of them again! So on that Saturday afternoon I parted ways with my friends, hopped on a train to head toward Lauren and Chris’s place, and was able to explore the city on my own for a little bit. Which, I have to admit, I really, really enjoyed.
And of course, here are a few photos from my time with Lauren ❤
After our session together we walked toward Wicker Park again for some dinner and I got a look at Stan’s donuts again from earlier in that day. Totally stopped by and got a few more donuts to take home. Then, we had noodles at Penny’s and watched the sunset over the city which created a nice glow that I remember loving.
After finishing up with Lauren and Chris we parted ways and I hopped back on the train to head back to Emma’s apartment where I met back up with my friends. It was funny because when I walked in they were all watching old music videos from songs that came out while we were growing up – Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney Spears – which made me kind of extremely happy and giddy. After spending some time together reminicing, we headed out for one more night out on the town since we were leaving in the morning. We got some sushi and then headed to an arcade bar where I got ridiculously excited over all the [real] arcade machines. I also had my first ever tequila shot (omg) and played a ton of Frogger, Pac Man, and pinball. Needless to say, it was fantastic.
That morning we had to wake up and be on our bus by 6am. It was exhausting to wake up so early after being out most of the night (didn’t go to sleep until about 3 am) but we made it and were able to watch the sunrise over the city as we left 🙂
I feel as though this was my first REAL Chicago experience and although it was short lived, we were able to accomplish a lot in the small amount of time we were there. And I’m happy to have seen as much of the city as I was able to.
Til next time Chicago 🙂 Because there most certainly will be a next time.