I guess it was Sinatra who sang: “Bet your bottom dollar you’ll loose the blues in Chicago.” Well, I lost more than the blues when I landed in ‘Chi Town,’ I lost my iphone back in 2011.
I remembered having that “oh shit” moment, when I realized my phone was gone! I’ Slowly retraced my steps in my mind before checking into the Chicago Hilton on Michigan Avenue, an old hotel that was once an army barrack in WWII, and is said to be haunted!
It was in my possession when I got off the plane, and I remember texting a sociopath I happened to be dating at the time. But after that, I had no memory on where it could be. The shuttle people didn’t care about my dilemma, and calling the airport was another travesty! What was I going to do without my iphone? How was I going to get around? And tell time? I never wear a watch because the batteries tend to die as soon as I put one on!
I remember thinking to myself: ‘how did people get around in the 1990’s?’ How did people communicate and meet up? There was no internet, texting, or facebook! How did we survive?
The next morning I woke up, picked up a free map of the city from the hotel. I wasn’t going to let loosing my iphone get into the way of my adventure! With my trusty map in hand and a three page synopsis on Chicago written for me by a friend who once inhabited the city, I proceeded to open the door leading out of the hotel only to have it slammed back in my face by a fierce gust of wind. Hence the name “Windy City!” No kidding!
My trusty map stated I should head up on Michigan Avenue, which seemed to be where all the main tourist spots were. But no watches! When I asked people if they sold watches, it was as if I was asking them for plutonium! I must have stopped at more than a dozen drugstores and could not find a watch or something that told time to save my life!
First stop, Grant Park to check out Buckingham fountain. I love to travel alone, and I am an expert at taking pictures of myself. Occasionally, a kind person will take some, but they quickly are annoyed at the many poses I make them snap! Not to mention risking getting my camera stolen!
After, my glamour shots, and my face being frozen from the icy wind coming off of Lake Michigan, I decided to keep hiking up Michigan Avenue. That’s where I saw this thing they call “The Bean,” a large sculpture that looks like an abstract mirror that distorts your image. Not what I would like to wake up to every morning, but very cool!
Apparently I was in Millenium park, and ran across “Crown Fountain,” an eclectic fountain with an LCD display showing giant pictures of people’s faces! Surreal indeed with the tall city buildings mirrored backwards in the pool of water on the ground!
Captivated with all the beauty in my adventure so far, and the brisk clean wind, I no longer cared what time it was! All I had to do was depend on Michigan Avenue to be my tour guide, and just walk!
Soon, I came across a sign that read “Architectural Boat Tour.” I walked up and asked when the next tour was leaving down the river. The salesperson said at 1pm, I then asked him, “What time is it now?” He answered 1245pm! Perfect!
The tour meandered along the lakes that crisscrossed through the city, and housed some of the most spectacular architecture I have ever seen in my life! I was not surprised to find out that many dead bodies were pulled out of the bottom of the river during the prohibition era! After all, this was al Capone’s old stomping grounds!
As the tour ended, I found myself starving, and headed to a place called “Mr. Beef.” I did get lost, but getting lost was well worth the delicious Italian beef sandwich that Anthony Bourdain made look so mouth watering in his Chicago episode.
A good friend of mine had told me that I should be at the John Hancock tower by Five thirty pm, in order to catch the beautiful sunset. After my sandwich I headed back to Michigan Avenue to continue my journey, and hopefully in time to catch the breathtaking view my friend raved about!
Finally reaching the building, I asked a nice gentleman I shared the elevator with what time it was, and he looked at his iphone and said it was 5:15pm! Perfect timing!
At the top of the building, I enjoyed the sun kissed view along with a refreshing cucumber cocktail! I was proud of myself for navigating through the windy city in a time efficient manner without a watch or an iphone. Yes, I did get lost, but I used my inner intuitive guidance to get me back on tract, and trusted where I was going.
Chi town was great adventure, but thankfully the only thing I lost was my iphone! Sometimes we get so dependent and addicted to our “smart phones’ that we forget how “smart” we intuitively are. All you need to do is trust yourself, and let your conscious (intuition) be your guide!