Sunday, March 22, 2015


My birthday was back on the 11th of this month. I was sick for it: stuffy nose, chest congestion, couldn't hear well, and my mind had trouble thinking. I was crazy busy that day at school, getting ready to leave for the National Science Teacher Conference, and didn't have a lot of time to really stop and enjoy my birthday until I landed in


We stayed with Tom's brother and for the first two days I was mainly at the conference with a few colleagues. My students will tell you that I love being a nerd, so being at the conference was almost heaven. I mean - BILL NYE walked TWO feet in front of us!

I spy....Bill Nye! This was only moments before he walked by us  

Chicago is pretty big compared to DC. I was jealous of everyone, including Tom, that were running on the paths along Lake Michigan. Tom got in some serious mileage while we were there. For those first few days, all I saw of the city was the convention hall and the Starbucks around Dan's apartment. When I did get out to run I didn't feel too hot. I mean, I was actually cold because it was cooler along the lake than it was in the city, but because of my cold I was not feeling the greatest. I was also overwhelmed with how many runners there were on the paths and there was constant noise from the traffic. I probably would become an 'ipod runner' if I had to live in Chicago. And can we talk about the hills - or the lack of hills?! I just could - not - get over the fact that there were no hills. None. No inclines, just flatness. I have become really good at running hills since moving to DC and the lack of elevation change was killing me.

Selfie mid-run

The frozen Lake Michigan at sunset
Finally, on Saturday, I got to see some of the city.

Chicago KNOWS how to celebrate St. Patty's Day. The river is colored and EVERYONE is in green! I couldn't get up to 'The Bean' because Millennium Park was closed, but I loved walked around.

A boat passes through the river a few times, releasing a vegetable-based dye into the water. 

Thanks to diffusion we get a green river! Gotta love Science!
T highlights of the trip, in no particular order:

  • Hanging out with Dan and Katie! They were awesome hosts and were great at pointing out the bests of the city. 
  • Meeting up with a friend (and former teammate) that I haven't seen in a few years. 
  • Being a nerd with my two awesome co-workers! 
  • Deep. Dish. Pizza. Quite possibly the best food out there.

  • Bill Nye - or, William Nye - if you want to go by his nickname :)

  • Garrett's Popcorn (thanks to Andrew's mom for recommending this to us)
  • The opportunity to learn more Science and to take ideas back to my classroom. People, we need to reduce our CO2 emissions NOW. If you all could have spent just one day listening to what I heard you would make changes immediately. 
  • Free rides from Uber and Lyft - it was nice hearing what other 'locals' recommended around the city and not to mention being able to get dropped off exactly where I needed to be. 
  • The GIANT McDonald's with a museum inside. Note: I do not normally go to McDonald's but we just had to check this place out.
  • The architecture 

  • The skyline
  • The glow of the setting sun on my evening runs. 
  • Walking up Clark Street during the St. Patty's Day celebration - that was entertaining.
  • The LEGO Store. I was always jealous that I never got any as a kid. Why did adults assume a girl wouldn't want any? 
  • Eating a Chicago dog with some Guinness on the back porch because it was in the 60s. What glorious weather!

  • Winning free registration into next year's conference in Nashville!
  • Realizing once again that I truly love my job and am so happy that I went back to school for teaching. 
Chicago was a ton of fun. I'd love to go back when the weather is warmer and when I'm feeling a little better. 

1 comment:

  1. If you're looking for a venue for a small event in this area, you may want to stop by and check it out. Their staff is very friendly and the food is great. We preferred venues in Chicago because they are all-inclusive, so you don't have to worry about chairs and catering because it's all part of the package.