Confessions of a Cheesy Tourist

If being a corny tourist is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

I love all things tourist. Today was our first day in Chicago, and we did all of those cheesy things that sometimes people are afraid to do because they’ll look too much like a tourist. 

The first thing we did was go to Millennium Park, home of the iconic Bean sculpture. Yes, I took a picture of my reflection in it- and you know what? I liked it. The Bean is a giant sculpture in- get this- the shape of a bean. It is reflective and metallic and when you walk up to it, it’s sort of like a fun house mirror. Walking underneath it creates a kaleidoscope effect. I don’t care if I looked like a cheesy tourist-because that’s what I am and I am not ashamed of it. 

We went to Navy Pier next. And you know what? It was really fun. We rode the Ferris Wheel, walked through the little shops, took pictures by the tall ships, and even ate lunch at a cute dinner called Billy Goat’s, home of the “CHEEZBORGER, CHEEZBORGER, CHEEZBORGER” and the man who allegedly cursed the Cubs, back in the 1940s. It was fun and touristy and the food was good!

Then we went shopping! And when I say shopping I do not actually mean shopping because I am poor and my budget is about -$4. But I did buy some “signature Chicago popcorn”. (I really enjoy food) I went into Nordstrom and saw a beautiful black dress, with red lace flowers, which I thought my mom should definitely try on, and then I looked at the price tag. It was almost $4,000 and I had to leave. I cannot fathom spending that much money on my wedding dress, let alone one that I could wear to a fancy restaurant. 

Wrapping up our first day in the Windy City, we ate at a pizza place called Pizzeria Uno, boasting to be the Original Chicago-style deep dish pizza. It was so delicious, and well worth the hour wait. It is still in the building that it opened in, over 70 years ago, so it was cramped and loud, but the atmosphere made the pizza taste better. It was so filling that I could only have one piece. But it was so delicious I considered overly stuffing myself with more deep dish goodness. 

I love being a cheesy tourist. I know I might look ridiculous, but I think it makes my trip more fun. Often I see people (Specifically women) trying to pretend like they don’t like being a cheesy tourist like the rest of us, but they secretly want to, so they’re stuck in a strange limbo between looking like they belong and trying to get a refection picture in the Bean. Embrace the cheesy tourist inside you- it is so fun!

My cheesy Bean picture

My cheesy Bean picture

Adventure Is Out There

Adventures in Chicago!

Actually, we started out our vacation in Indiana. We stayed in a small town called Valpariso, near lake Michigan and the National Lake Shore. 

I must say that I was dissatisfied with the Indiana side of Lake Michigan. I may be biased, but I wholeheartedly believe that the Michigan side is better. For those of you who have never seen Lake Michigan from the good side (Michigan’s-obviously) I have a few suggestions for your travelling destinations: Sleeping Bear Dunes (Personal Favorite), Traverse City, and South Haven.

The Indiana Side did not have a very impressive state park, although I admit, we may have gotten slightly turned around and I don’t know if we actually saw the whole thing. The water is not nearly as clean, and neither are the dunes as big as on Michigan’s side. That is not to say that it was not beautiful; it is still a Great Lake and that alone makes it breathtaking, but I still prefer Michigan’s side of Lake Michigan. So if you have never been to any of the Great Lakes, I urge you- GO!

I have a definitive ranking of the Lakes in their order of Greatness, according to me:

1. Lake Michigan

2. Huron/Superior (They are tied)

3. Erie

4. Ontario

What is a travel post without giving readers food-envy? Whilst in downtown Valpariso, we visited a restaurant called Valley. It had the most adorable country-chic theme. My family and I believe in trying out all the food a restaurant has to offer, especially if it unique. So when our waiter suggested we get their special Skewered Thai Steak appetizer, we jumped at the opportunity. It was some of the most tender, delicious beef I have ever had the pleasure of tasting, with a creamy, yet spicy sauce that is making my mouth water just thinking about it. 

I don’t even remember what my meal was called because it was so good. I had a sort of ravioli spinach with tomato sauce and mushrooms, accompanied by a delicious (and huge) cup of tomato basil soup. We followed it up by going to a gourmet cupcake shop down the road, where I got a white chocolate mousse cupcake that was bigger than a softball. 

Needless to say, dinner was the highlight of my stay in Indiana. And I wholeheartedly believe that if you do not gain 12 pounds while on vacation, you are doing it wrong. 

I intend to gain more than just pounds while I am away. 

Water park Daze

A RANT.

I have mentioned before that I lifeguard at a county water park. We have slides, a lazy river, a waterfall that sometimes works, something called a “Spray-ground”, and a wave pool.

I could probably write a dissertation full of rants for each of these spots, but that would be annoying and it would make me angry. My least favorite spot in the whole park is the lazy river. You would think it was the wave pool, or the dangerous (and brand new) speed slides, but no. The lazy river is my own personal hell, for several reasons:

1. I have to actually get in the water to go to my spot. On cold days this is reason enough to make me grumpy for the rest of the day. On hot days it is merely annoying because my butt gets wet.

2. People of all types talk to me because I am closer to them than at any other spot in the park. Kids ask me everything from my favorite color, to whether they are allowed to pee in the water. Awkward teenage boys either hit on me or splash me while aiming for their friend. Adults are not creative. They always ask the same thing. “How many miles do you walk/laps do you do?”  Wow Mr. Adult you are so clever.

3. One of the rules is that everyone must be in a tube, and then it must be sat in a certain way, and we complicate the matter by having both single and double tubes, and I hate enforcing these tube-related rules, because I think they are mostly unimportant, and I could be focusing on other things. (I should focus on saving lives or CPR, but usually I think about napping, or the food I’m going to eat on break)

And finally 4. There is nothing but empty field right behind the river, so it is exposed to all elements, be it wind, rain or burning sun. I spend an hour walking around it, and there is nothing protecting me, so I either freeze my tutu off, or I get to solidify the lovely one-piece-bathing-suit-and-sunglasses tan-lines.

So, long story long, the river is the bane of my existence.

END RANT

The Beginning (First Post)

Well the title says it all.

This is my first ever blog post. What does one even write on a blog? Whatever she pleases, I suppose. I’ll just talk about myself, because I’m pretty good at that.

First things first, I’m the realest.

That is probably not true. But I’m going to try my best.

I’m an average college student, home for the summer, which means that the title of my blog is probably misleading. The adventures I will encounter this summer will most likely involve children and unfortunate happenings on a water slide. (I lifeguard at a water park)

I like puns and stupid-funny jokes. I like swimming, and by that I mean I am a swimmer, so most of the time I don’t actually like it. When I’m not swimming, working, or learning, I can be found reading a book, eating pizza, or watching hours of Netflix at a time.

Welcome to my fascinating world.