As much as I am admittedly a homebody, I don’t mind a bit of business travel – especially business travel of the low pressure, conference-attending-and-networking variety, which I had last week. I spent Thursday and Friday in Chicago, where my firm has their home office, attending a multi-office practice group meeting. The meeting was great – there were interesting and informative workshops, and I also got to meet colleagues from other offices, some of them for the first time (and I’m hoping that leads to some good projects). The one drawback to business travel? Being stuck in a conference room. Especially when you know what you’re missing, because the view from reception is…
Oof. It was tough to sit still, knowing that was outside. Even amidst the fun of hearing everyone’s favorite labor relations war stories (#nerdalert) I found myself fidgeting and glancing toward the window a few times. Knowing that Friday would be a busy day of meetings right up until I had to head to the airport, I decided I was going to get up early and take a sightseeing run around all that good stuff right outside my hotel.
Started at the hotel front entrance, and a mere two blocks later, I was at the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). No need to stop and gawk, since I was there on Thursday and would be heading back up those high speed elevators on Friday – that’s where our office is.
Next sight: the Chicago River. Someday, I want to take one of the architecture boat tours that wend their way down this waterway. Maybe next year.
For this year, I contented myself with a quick breather on the bridge, and a selfie. (Alert: more selfies ahead.)
Headed down Monroe Street, and totally unexpectedly, spotted…
HAMILTON! (I may have come to a screeching halt and shouted “THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS!” right there on the sidewalk. Fortunately, it was very early, and not many people were out.)
My plan was to run to Millennium Park, since I’ve never been there, and then see how I was feeling – and continue on if I still felt good. I had a specific destination within the park in mind…
Do you see what I see? A BIG SHINY LEGUME.
Got a little closer…
I call this Red Face With Bean.
Since I was still feeling good (that red face notwithstanding) I continued through the park and headed down to that beautiful lake I’d been staring at all the previous afternoon from the conference room window.
The sun was still coming up and there were some really cool cloud formations overhead. It actually sprinkled a bit while I was on the lakeside trail, but nothing too bad – mostly just refreshing.
Happy runner! (That’s Shedd Aquarium and the planetarium in the far, far background. I thought about running all the way to the planetarium, since I was feeling so great, but decided I really needed to get back to the hotel and get ready for work.)
Fortunately, the views on the way back were fabulous, too.
I had time for a few more sights on my route back to the hotel! Buckingham Fountain…
So, so beautiful.
And finally, the Art Institute of Chicago. I’d love to get a closer look at all of these sights – not just fly past them on a run. But it was better than nothing!
I thought I’d probably run about two miles. Imagine my surprise later, when I mapped it out and it was closer to four! I felt fantastic the whole time, and could have gone much further if I didn’t have to get showered and fancy for another day of meetings (and then travel). I’m sure it helped that I took a lot of breaks – as you can tell from all of the pictures. But I still felt darn proud that I got up early (after a long night of cocktails and bocce with colleagues) and got some miles in. Plus, on foot is the best way to sightsee, right?
Thanks for a great run, Chicago! Hope to see you again for more miles one of these days…