I have been fortunate over the past year, in that I have gotten to travel A LOT. And when I say I have traveled a lot, I mean I have been on 40 different planes in the past year. Now, I know there are people that travel far more than me, but I went from maybe getting on a plane twice a year to getting on a plane more than twice a month. So big change for Catie.
I was lucky enough to find a job that has allowed me to travel and go to some places that I never thought I would. It has also allowed me to go to some places that I have always wanted to go, but have not been able to for one reason or another. Today, I am going to focus on one of each, Charlotte and Chicago.
Charlotte was one of those places I never really thought to visit. I had heard from friends that North Carolina was beautiful, but they were normally referring to the coast, not the middle of the state. When I found out I would be going here for work, I figured why not stay an extra day and explore the city? Boy, was I happy I did. I came to find out that Charlotte is a vibrant city with a lot to offer; an awesome food truck scene, some great museums, fantastic parks and an awesome Uptown to explore.
One of my favorite spots was The Mint. A museum in the heart of Uptown, that has everything from American Art dating back to the 1700s to modern pieces. When I decided to visit The Mint I had not stepped foot in an art museum since college. I forgot how great it can be to put away the cell phone and just enjoy something. What I thought was going to be a quick stop turned into over 2 hours of admiring the pieces the museum has on display.
Chicago is a city I have been wanting to visit for a long time now. Unfortunately, mother nature was not so on board and it snowed the entire time I was there (in the middle of April I will add). Fortunately, I still loved my time in Chicago.
Because I was so excited for this trip, I did a little (read a lot) more research beforehand than I normally would. I decided to get a Chicago Go Card, which basically allows you to buy passes to different attractions in one place (you also can get a small discount by doing this). Because I was only there for a day, I only got passes to 360 Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Big Bus Tour. Now, I know what you are thinking, you really did one of those dorky bus tours? Absolutely. First of all, the tour guides have a lot of great facts and figures about the city that you wouldn’t get in a normal taxi or bus ride. Second, it takes you to all of the big tourist attractions so I used it as my taxi for the day.
My first stop, was Glazed and Infused Donuts (who knew Chicago had such a big donut scene?), which possibly had the best red velvet donut I have every eaten. Next up, even though it was stormy and snowy outside, was 360 Chicago followed by Millennium Park to see the famous bean statue. I will admit that I think both would have been much cooler had it not been snowing outside, but were still great experiences. After that, I defrosted on the Big Bus tour for a while, before stopping by the Museum of Contemporary Art for a while. I ended my day by going to none other than Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, which had amazing pizza and amazing service.
I cannot wait for my next trip to a new place! Until next time… CB