Travel · Uncategorized

Why Iceland is Worth Visiting

I had the opportunity to visit Iceland last month. I went with a tour group called EF Ultimate break. There was 45 other people in my group. If you’re vaccinated or previous had COVID, you do not need a negative COVID test or have to quarantine to visit Iceland (This has changed). I arrived in Reykjavik on Saturday July 17th at 6 AM. The first thing we did was explore Reykjavik. The city is beautiful and has a lot to do. Keep in mind that stores and restaurants close early and bars close early on the weekdays. My lunch was from a famous hot dog stand called Bæjarins beztu pylsur. I recommend getting it with everything. It includes ketchup, sweet mustard, fried onion, raw onion and remoladi, a mayonnaise-based sauce with sweet relish. It was really good, probably one of the best hot dogs, I have ever had. After, exploring Reykjavik, we had our welcome dinner. At the welcome dinner I got to meet my whole tour group. We all introduce ourselves and said why we chose Iceland. I had the cod and a beer. The cod was fresh and delicious. We also had dessert, it was a chocolate mousse. After, We went out for beers at Einstok.

The second day we traveled to the Golden Circle. First, we visited Thingvellir National Park, the boundary between the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates. We got to see the Oxarafoss waterfall and walked between two tectonic plates. Then, we got explore explore the Great Geysir Geothermal area and had lunch. It was the first time I saw a geyser and also see it erupt. It was unbelievable but it did smell like rotten eggs. That day I hurt my foot by stepping on it wrong. It was after visiting Thingvellir National Park. It did not hurt when I saw the geyser but after we stopped by to see a cute Icelandic horse, my foot was in pain. I did not want this to ruin my trip, so I kept going. After the Icelandic horse, we saw Gullfoss waterfall. However, to get close to the waterfall you had to climb stairs and hike rocks. My foot was in pain but I wanted to get closer to waterfall. People in my group helped me walk and I was able to get close to the waterfall. The people in my EF tour group were amazing, they gave me Advil, helped me walk, and asked how I was. After taking Advil, my foot felt better and I took it slow to the next waterfall. After the waterfalls and the geyser, we went back to hotel to sign up for our COVID test. To get back to the United States, you have to take a COVID test (Rapid or PCR) 72 hours before your flight. Our tour director wanted us to sign us up early to get our test results quicker. After, I signed up I had a nurse in my group in my foot. She told me it was swollen and I should rest and ice it. I had a couple of hours to rest my foot before whale watching. I got some ice from the hotel and rested my foot. Whale watching, I sat on the boat and watched the whales and dolphins. I did get a little sea sick but I’m happy I got to see some whales and dolphins on my tour. After, I wanted to get something to eat with some of my group but a lot restaurants were closed. However, I think hot dogs are still open. I went back to the hotel to get ready for the next day.

The 3rd day we explored the the south coast. First, we went to get our covid test. There was a line but it moved pretty fast. Everyone in my group got a negative covid test. They emailed or test you the results. After, we went to Skogafoss and my foot was feeling so much better. However, I didn’t climb to the top to get another view of the waterfall. I really think, I got a good view on the bottom. Then we had lunch and went to Reynisfjara, the black sand beach. For lunch I had a vegetarian sandwich and a latte with rice milk. My meal was delicious. Finally, we to Seljalandsfoss, you can go under this waterfall. I was able to get a good picture, under the waterfall. After this I wanted to rest my foot because it was volcano time, This was not set up by EF but our tour guide found us a place that does tours of the volcano. It was really foggy that day and I didn’t want to make my foot worse, so I didn’t climb as much to see more of the volcano. I sat down with two girls from my group and enjoyed the melted lava and we sat and talked. Later, more people from the group joined us. For dinner, I had Doritos and a protein bar. Even though, I had a sandwich at the hotel I was too tired to eat it.

The last day, I got to explore Reykjavik with my roommate and two other people from my group. I finally tried the bread from Brauo and Co. Its really hard to miss this place because the building is really colorful. The most popular item is the morning bun. It went so well with my chai latte. We walked around with our bread and drinks and went shopping. I got a wool Icelandic blanket for 130 dollars, so worth it. A lava necklace for my dad, lava salts, and a Christmas ornament for my mom. We got to go to Hallgrímskirkja church and a punk rock museum that use to be an old public restroom. Then we went to the blue lagoon, it was a prefect way to end of the trip. We had been walking so much and my foot needed it. I got a drink, my mask, and relaxed and enjoyed being with the group. The Blue Lagoon was packed but it was worth it. The water is so beautiful and relaxing. You can choose different masks to wear and get a variety drinks. I could probably stay at the blue lagoon for a couple of hours. I also recommend visiting the sky lagoon. We had our Farwell dinner, I had lamb and it was delicious. I kept hearing recommendations about the lamb and it was amazing. The meat is soft with so much flavor, I ate my whole plate. On our last day we all talked about our trip and said our goodbyes to our tour director. It was a sentimental moment, I really feel our group got really close. We all looked out for each other and had fun. My group really helped me with my foot and I rarely felt left out. I don’t know if its because of the pandemic why we got so close but it really made the trip. The last thing we did was go out in Reykjavik, we went to a couple bars and just played drinking games. The bars closed at 1 AM on the weekdays but we made the best of it.

Iceland is worth visiting because it feels surreal. I felt like I was on a different planet. I have feeling that Hawaii gives the same feeling. Everything in Iceland is beautiful and Iceland scenery is very unique. I got to experience a lot things I hadn’t seen, a black send beach, a geyser, seeing lava, volcanos, and magical waterfalls. Also, Icelandaic people are really nice and they will go above and beyond to help you. A girl in my group lost her GoPro in the blue lagoon. The people that worked there brought it back to our hotel. They even created a little video saying that they found it. Iceland feels very peaceful and relaxing and I understand why people move there. It’s a really romantic place, I hope my future husband will go on a trip with me to Iceland. Lastly, their tap water is amazing. The best I have ever had! They also have the best yogurt, Skyr. It is a thick consistency and not sugary tasting and very flavorful.

Travel · Uncategorized

Blue Hole Regional Park

Even though its not on my Texas Bucket list post, visiting Blue Hole Reginal Park has been on my Texas Bucket list. The park is about 40 minutes from Austin TX, in Wimberley TX and it has a swimming hole. The water is 75 degrees all year around. It’s spring Feed from water from Jacob’s well. To enter Blue Hole Reginal Park’s swimming hole, you have to make reservations online and the ticket is 12 dollars. If want to enjoy this beautiful area and swim in the water, I recommend making reservations in advance. We made our reservations in the beginning of March for May 15th. The reservation help make the area not too crowded. We had plenty of space to relax.

I had a chance to the visit park and swimming hole on May 15th with some friends. When you first enter the park it’s a little walk to the swimming hole. Then there is a booth where you need to show your reservation. They give you a wrist band to go in and out of the swimming hole area. The swimming hole was surrounded by trees very shady for when its sunny. They have picnic tables (reservation only) but many people had towels on the grass and just enjoyed the nice day. The day we went, it was cloudy but the water was still very enjoyable. There’re two swing sets to jump in the pool. I did go on one of them and my jump was not graceful. However, it was the best way to get in the water. It helped me get adjusted to the water. We also took breaks from the water and try to enjoy what sun we had. The Blue Hole Reginal Park swimming is my favorite swimming hole in Texas. The water is refreshing, the area is beautiful, and the swing sets make the water more fun.

After Blue Hole we went to enjoy some whiskey at Crowded Barrel Whiskey Company. It’s an experimental whiskey company. I’m not a huge whiskey fan but I got a whiskey cocktail and it was delicious. The whiskey company is located in Texas Hill Country and you can enjoy the view while you enjoy your whiskey. After, we got another drink at Desert Door in Driftwood. For dinner we got BBQ. Visiting Wimberly and Driftwood was a nice break from Austin. I have not taken many trips since 2019 and this little trip was what I needed.

Uncategorized

Iceland in 2021

A lot went on in February. Texas had a snow apocalypse , it snowed basically everywhere in Texas. That is not normal at all. Austin got 6 inches of snow and it was 12 degrees Fahrenheit (-11 Celsius). It hadn’t snowed like that in Texas since the 80’s and it hadn’t been that cold since the 60’s. Many homes did not have water or electricity because Texas wasn’t prepared. I did not have running water for six days. I was fortunate enough to have electricity and have a place to stay that had water. My friend Corina let me stay at her place while I didn’t have water. I am very thankful to her. We watched tv, got coffee, and had amazing food. Me not having water helped me spend more time with my friend. The no water helped me have a long weekend sleepover. It ended being a good thing in the long run.

After 2020 and 2021 being difficult years. I booked a trip to Iceland in July. Originally, I was suppose to visit Italy. I have had this Italy trip planned with EF ultimate break (tour group) since February 2019. I was suppose to visit in September of 2020 but COVID. Then, I changed my trip for June 2021 back when I thought COVID would be over. Italy is still not open to tourists for the summer. I changed my trip to Iceland, when I saw it was open on EF’s website. Iceland tourists need to be vaccinated. I will be getting my second dose of the vaccine on April 16th. The trip is six days including travel time. I think it will be a good short safe trip. Iceland handled COVID really serious. Being vaccinated and going to country that took COVID serious makes me feel safe. I will still wear my mask and have plenty of hand sanitizer.

Not traveling for awhile has got me confused. Even back in 2018 when I didn’t travel a lot. I still traveled in Texas, saw my family, went to LA, and Scotland. In 2021, I don’t know how to prepare anymore. I feel like I don’t know how to dress anymore or pack. I need to look for my passport. I’m just having trouble getting started but the day I changed my trip to Iceland, I was ready to pack that day. I wanted to pack my convertor and portal battery charger because that’s how excited I am. I’m fortunate, that I get to get the vaccine and travel safety because I miss travel so much. I even have the days off already from work. It’s something I am really looking forward to. Some things I am looking forward to seeing in Iceland are the blue lagoon, black sand at Reynisfjara beach, beautiful waterfalls, and the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. I know the food is really expensive, so I am really going to try to budget when it comes to my meals. I’m going to drink the delicious drinkable tap water with my meals. I will have a beer or two when I am there but the majority of time I will be drinking tap water. I’m also going to the grocery store to make sandwiches. Not all my meals will be grocery store though. If you have any recommendations about Iceland please, let me know. Also, let me know if you have traveled internationally during COVID.

Uncategorized

My 2021 Plans

The day before yesterday, February 8th was my 4 year anniversary of my blog. It’s unbelievable to me because I didn’t think I would make it this far. I wanted to make it this far and longer but it seemed so far away in 2017. Now it’s here and this blogged has help me so much. I can’t imagine my life without it even if 2020 was not a big blog year for me. In the beginning of 2020, I was writing often. That was one of my 2020 goals was to write once a week. Then the pandemic hit and I went through so many emotions, a lot my trips got canceled, and I lost my job. I felt like I had nothing to write about. Even today, my blog is always in the back of my mind but I do not know what to write. I have this attachment with my blog that I feel that I am letting it down. For my 4 year anniversary I wanted to write a 2021 plan for my blog and for my life. To help make me feel better and have something to look forward to. Here are my 2021 plans.

  • Taking a Social Media Break: This break will help with my anxiety. Sometimes, I compare myself to others on social media and that makes my anxiety worse. I think once a week a month is a good break. Also, taking a break from social media will help me concentrate on other things. Like my blog or read books for my book club.
  • Write More Often in my blog: 2020 was not a big writing year for me. It started strong but did not continue strong. I did not travel much not even in Texas. When I was going to start planning to travel in Texas, I lost my job and wanted to save money. Also, my emotions were all over the place in 2020. This year, I want to write more than 2020. I am going to start planning my posts ahead of time. This will keep me in track and make it easier to write.
  • Try to be more active-Safety: Recently, I have been taking 30 minute walks everyday and it nice break from being inside. I also wanted to visit more outdoor restaurants or find hiking places in Texas. Being outside will help me see different scenery, exercise, and get vitamin D. This will also help with my emotions and put me in a better mood. One place I am vising soon is Family Business Brewery in Dripping Springs. They have no indoor dinning and it’s all outdoors. I cant wait for some good pizza and beer.

Food/Drinks · Travel · Uncategorized

Christmas in Austin 2020 Edition

Hi everyone, I’m trying to write more but I haven’t gone to a lot places. Not as much as I use to. I really miss travel and can’t wait to get back to it when it’s safe. My first trip will be Italy and Amsterdam. This year has been a difficult year but I’m trying to make the best of it. I wanted to write another Christmas post about Austin because the holidays are my favorite. My first one was Christmas in Austin. Here are safe places to visit during the pandemic for the holidays:

  • Gibson Bar: This bar goes all out for Christmas. They have cute Christmas decorations outside and inside the bar. They even have holiday drinks. They have a big outdoor area, where you can sit enjoy holiday drinks and sandwiches from the delicious food truck (Luke’s inside out). I got a hot toddy cocktail (bourbon, lemon, honey, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg) and my friend got a spiked apple cider. Of course, we got food too.
  • Edge Rooftop Bar: Have a beautiful view of downtown Austin while seeing snow fall. Well… fake snow. They do fake snow from 6pm to 10pm Wednesday – Saturday and reservations have to be made. It was fun to experience because there is no snow in Austin. My friend and I had beers, enjoyed downtown views of Austin, and pretended it was real snow.
Enjoying the fake snow.
  • Peppermint Parkway: It’s 35 dollars per vehicle. You get to enjoy holiday lights while you drive in your car. I was not able to experience it but a friend of mine went. She had a good time and I loved seeing her Instagram pictures. Maybe in 2021 I can visit.

I know Christmas is about to come to an end but I wanted to share Christmas places you can visit in the future. It will be a lot more enjoyable when it’s safer. Also, the weather is nice in December in Austin. Christmas outside is perfect in Texas.

Travel · Uncategorized

An Ireland Memory

One of my favorite memories is when I went to Ireland in March 2013. It was my first overseas trip and it was during St. Patrick’s day. I really think I was meant to go to Ireland. That is what I truly believe. I was 25 and I wanted to start traveling. I decided to travel with a tour group called EF Ultimate break back then it was called EF College Break. I heard of the tour group from a close friend of mine who traveled with them when she was in college. Let’s go back to September 2012. Back then, I was looking to travel. I was working full-time and could finally afford to pay for my own trip. I was looking at EF Ultimate Break’s website. They set your payments into monthly payments for your trip. The more advance you book your trip the less payments you will pay monthly. At first I wanted to travel in the end of December for New years. That was not an option because the monthly payments were not affordable for me. I could not travel in the summer due to summer classes for grad school and my friends wedding was in May. Back then I did not know when in May it was taking place. I decided on a trip for March for spring break. The monthly payments were more affordable and I was off from school. It would also give me more time to save vacation time for work. The only trips offered through EF in March were Ireland during St. Patrick’s day and Costa Rica. I decided on Ireland and never looked back.

I went solo on my Ireland trip. My trip was nine days and we would be traveling between cities in Ireland. The cities we were vising:  Killarney, Cork, Dublin, and Galway. Spending St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. My flight was from San Antonio to Newark NJ and then to Shannon Ireland. I did not get any sleep on the  fight. I just assumed we would get to the hotel after meeting in the Shannon airport. We did not go to the hotel. Instead, we ate breakfast first, then went to see the Cliff of Moher. They were beautiful and pictures can not give the view justice. After, we got snacks at a restaurant and I had my first Guinness in Ireland. Our first hotel was called Darby O Gills, it was cute and perfect for Ireland. I fell a sleep in the boat ride after the hotel. It was a great boat ride by Ross castle.

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On St. Patrick’s Day Eve we went to a comedy show in Dublin, had green beer, and celebrated being in Ireland. I met a couple of friends on my tour group that wanted to see a Dublin Ghost Tour. The Ghost tour was a bus that stopped by haunted places in Dublin. It was pretty interested and I even won the Dracula book by guessing a haunted series theme song. The tour showed us an area where you can still see a ghost of a Catholic priest giving mass. I do not remember what day we went to the Guinness Factory or what day we to the St. Patrick’s Parade in Dublin. I think we went to the Guinness Factory before the comedy show. What I do remember is that the trip was amazing and it’s what started my travel bug. I have not been the same since.

On St. Patrick’s Day, I  went to the parade with new friends but we did not stay long because it was freezing. I was so cold, I wanted to cry. We ended up seeking warmth in a Mexican restaurant where I lost my umbrella. The restaurant owners where from Mexico and it was nice to see Mexican culture in Dublin. After the restaurant we just walked around and explored Dublin while trying to find good WIFI. My tour group set up a pub run but we got lost and ended in a different bar with the same name. We ran into other girls that made the same mistake and we decided to make our own pub run. That night we went to pub to pub and just had a good time. We even met some locals that told us more about Ireland.

The last day we went to the Aran Islands from Galway. We had to get there by boat. It was was small but beautiful area. We met a local that told us that when he moved there, the phone company told him that it would take three weeks to set up his phone. It seemed like an isolated area but a cute community. Our tour group even left a dollar at the local pub. Tourists put money in the pub, so if they ever come back they can see it.

One of my favorite memories from the whole trip was visiting the sheep farms. Sheep farms do not make their money from selling wool anymore. So visiting sheep farms helps keep the sheep farm open because that is where they make their money. The sheep farm was so beautiful, the landscape was gorgeous. It was also amazing to see the dogs herd the sheep. Ireland is one my favorite places and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Personal Thoughts · Travel · Uncategorized

After this Pandemic

Next weekend I was suppose to go to Chicago. It was going to be my first solo trip without a tour group or staying with a friend. I was going to be in my own airbnb in the cute neighborhood of Pilsen. I would of enjoyed some beautiful street art in Pilsen, eaten delicious deep dish pizza, visited local bars, met up with an old friend, see the Willis Tower and other tourist areas in Chicago. Obviously, the trip had to be postponed. Now next weekend, I will be at home. I have been doing that for a month and I am fortunate to be able too. However, I think its making me lethargic. That’s why I had to go for a walk outside yesterday. Also, the fact that we will not be getting back to normal for awhile is making me feel like I am wasting so much time. At least before, I could control going on a trip and seeing friends/family. Now I do not have control, I just have to wait. I have to wait till things get better and not concentrate on things I can not control.

This pandemic has made realize even more that we need to do things we love when we can. We do not know whats going to happen in the future. I did not know this pandemic would happen. Even though experts predicted it, I did not pay attention. I was not prepared and I did not always do things I wanted. Things I love doing are traveling, trying new restaurants, and exploring my city. I can not do any of those things right now. Now I wish I would of traveled more and explored more things. I wish I would have gone to Italy last summer, visited my parents more, and went to the state fair in Dallas, last year for my birthday. After this pandemic, I want to hug my friends and family, I want to travel more (in Texas, United States, and out of the country), complete all my bucket list blog posts, take more time off, to not wait to go somewhere, and just appreciate what I have. I know being at home all the time is taking a toll on mental health but I feel like this pandemic is going to make me appreciate things more when its over. I do not know when that is going to be. I’m hoping sooner rather than later. So for now, I’m going to sit on my couch, look outside my window, and  pet my cat. I will be taking this pandemic one day at a time.

 

Travel · Uncategorized

My Future Italy Trip

I have a trip planned for Italy and Amsterdam for mid September. Right now Italy is on lock-down because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). I do not know what it will look like in September but I will keep an eye out for it. If not I will have to change or cancel my trip. I have been wanting to go to Italy for awhile. I remember back in 2013 I had a trip planned to London, Paris, and Rome. Those are three places I really wanted to go. I ended up going to London and Paris in 2014 and canceling Rome to return to work early. I just started a new job and did not want to take an extended vacation.

I made a plan to go to Italy in 2020. My trip is to go to Venice, Florence, and Rome with EF Ultimate Break to get a true Italy experience. They’re even taking us to Italian Riviera & Cinque Terre and the Vatican. I planned this trip back in February of 2019. It’s crazy how advance I planned Italy before I even knew I was going to Spain or Malaysia/Thailand. Some things I want to do is take a gondola ride in Venice, tour the Colosseum, and eat as much pizza and gelato as I can. As much as my stomach will let me. I also want to make a wish at the Trevi fountain to return to Italy. I’m really excited about this trip, I am hoping the coronavirus goes away or they can approve a vaccine really quick. However, I do not what is going to happen, so I will keep my eye for it. I bought travel protection with EF ultimate, if I need to make a trip cancellation or change trips.

Currently my Amsterdam trip is suppose to be a day then I have to head to Venice. I am thinking of extending my Amsterdam trip for an extra day. I do not think one day is enough. I will have to book my own place and find my transportation to Venice. Once I get to Venice everything is planned because I booked with EF ultimate break. They let you extend your trip and I decided to add Amsterdam to my list before heading to Italy. They made sure to tell me I needed to book things in Amsterdam and I need my own transportation to Venice. If any of you have stayed in cute airbnbs or hotels in Amsterdam let me know. Mostly likely I will take a plane to head to Venice from Amsterdam.

 

 

Personal Thoughts · Travel

Portable WIFI for Traveling Abroad (TEP Review)

TEP wireless provides internet for international travelers anywhere they go. TEP calls it pocket WiFi and it’s secure unlimited internet and you rent it for $6.95 a day. Awhile back I wrote a blog post about staying connected abroad.  Usually when I travel internationally, I depend on finding WiFi at my hotel or coffee shop. My past two international trips I did not do that. It was such hassle not having access to my phone at all times. So for my Spain and Malaysia/Thailand trips I  got the TEP, portal WiFi and unlimited internet. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I did not want to spend the money on the TEP before but it was so worth it. I was able to stay connected with people back home with Facebook messenger and whatsup, yelp restaurants, use apple maps to find my way around, and request an uber. It was amazing to have my phone abroad at all times.

For Spain, I only had to use my WiFi for one country. It was about $66.81, I got a coupon for 15% off for my first time use. If it’s your first using TEP, email them for a promo code. I carried the TEP in my purse. The majority of time it worked. There were times it did not. For instance, I was buying wine at a grocery store and it did not work there. I think because the grocery store was underground. Also, if you’re going to be out all day. I would bring a probable battery charger to charge your TEP. I had to do this anytime I knew I was about going to be out all day because the TEP would run out of battery. Other then that, TEP was great.

Malaysia in Thailand I had to choose the Asia country option.  It was about $122.50 for 7 days. It was more expensive than Spain because I was going to more than one country. However, I wanted to have my TEP  work at all times. So, I was willing to pay the extra when I was in Thailand for 2 days. My TEP was similar like it was in Spain, it worked the majority of the times. It do not work very well when I was on my boat tour in Thailand but everywhere else it did. I can’t imagine traveling internationally without TEP now.

The TEP will not work on making regular phone calls or text messages on your phone. I was able to use other apps to make phone calls like Facebook messenger, facetime my parents, and TEP has an app too for phone calls. Also, anyone that had an iPhone I could imessage them. The TEP provides unlimited WiFi, a TEP voice calling app, and an emergency service. The way it works is your order the TEP for the country or countries you’re going too and the dates. Then they ship it to your home and when you’re traveling connect with the TEP to your phone. After your trip you can ship it back to TEP. I completely recommend it and they have fast customer service if you ever have a problem with your TEP. I know its extra money for your trip but if you don’t have an international plan or do know want to get a SIM card, I would get the TEP.

 

Travel · Uncategorized

Future Chicago Trip

Back in the summer, I talked about my United States Bucket list. To accomplish my bucket list, I wanted Chicago or Portland Maine to be my next United States trip. I decided on Chicago and will be going at the end of April. Both by plane ticket and airbnb are booked. It will be a four day trip and my first truly solo trip. I do have a friend that lives in Chicago and I’m hoping to meet up with her. However, I will be staying solo in my airbnb. I chose to going in April because it was way too cold for the winter and I hear summer is really hot there.  I am so excited and I am hoping its not very cold. I have been wanting to visit Chicago for awhile, I think ever since I saw the movie While You Were Sleeping. Here is some things I have planned to see:

Millennium Park:

To see the Cloud Gate, the sculpture that looks like a bean. I want to explore the area and maybe even go ice skating. I want to do this the first day I am there. I arrive at like 5:30 PM. I want to check in my airbnb and drop off my bags. Then go to the park. It’s suppose to be a 10 minute uber ride. If I do not have enough time that day or traffic is bad, I will go the next day.

Willis Tower:

This is also a 10 minute uber ride from my airbnb. I do want to do this the first day but I might try to save it for the second day i’m in Chicago. This will help me go early an hopefully avoid crowds. Touring the sky deck is $24 dollars. I feel it is worth it to see a good view of Chicago.

Boat Ride:

I want to do a boat ride in the Chicago river. To learn about the history of the city. I can admire the architecture and just experience the city. This will definitely be a second or third day thing.

Now that I am thinking of it, I feel I should explore the neighborhood by my airbnb first. There is a good deep dish pizza near by and I can get drinks after. Then the next day I can save it for the Millennium Park, Willis Tour, and the boat ride. Hopefully that night I can meet my friend for dinner. Then the 3rd and 4th day can be more calm days where I can relax and enjoy more of the city. If anyone has any recommendations please let me know.