Not From Around These Parts

Not From Around These Parts

Last week, I took on the Windy City with my cousin, Caroline.

While there were times we strutted down Michigan Avenue, coffees in hand, convinced we looked like experts, there were others where we were standing at crosswalks in the pouring rain, trying to figure out where Google Maps wanted us to go.

Here are some of the subtle and not-so-subtle ways we gave away that we had no clue what we were doing. 

We had to pull up the menu

Chicago has it’s own flavor, as most large cities do. I came prepared with a list of foods and restaurants that came highly recommended, but then had to spend ten minutes in line squinting up at the Portillo’s menu.

I swear, the guy beside me in line rolled his eyes when I pulled up the menu on my phone. He rolled them again when I got to the front and had to ask what was included if I ordered my hotdog “with everything.” And again when he caught me trying to subtly Snapchat a signed photo of Guy Fieri on the wall.

We picked the wrong form of transportation

When the Metra would get there faster, we walked. When Uber would have been worth the $12 trip, we decided to walk. When a train, a bus, or a bike would have been a more sensible option, we continued to walk.

We walked along the harbor to the Navy Pier and criss-crossed all over the Loop until Caroline’s sneakers were soaked all the way through from rain and puddles, and my combat boots had rubbed blisters onto every weight-bearing part of my foot.

The next day, we decided to walk from our hotel to the Lincoln Park Zoo and back. If you’ve never accidentally walked ten miles like this - I don’t recommend it.

With aching feet from the day before and shoes with no arch support, we limped and complained the whole way there. As we deteriorated along the way, hobbling and swaying as we waited for crosswalks to change, we likely looked less like accomplished city gals enjoying a lunch break and more like day drunk homeless people.

Somewhere between Mile 1 and Mile 3, I sprained my foot and continued to drag myself along. It is foolish and stubborn moments like this that make me fearful I might someday audition to join the cast of Survivor.  

We made oatmeal in a coffee pot

We're just thrifty weirdos who can’t afford breakfast and didn’t have a microwave in our hotel room.

I did not thrive in Midway Airport

As I limped from the door to bag check to security my purse was tossed into my backpack, my driver’s license was nearly thrown over a balcony, and my boarding pass was almost ripped to shreds under the wheels of an asian toddler’s baby suitcase.

There was barely time to tear my shoes off and unbuckle my belt, but there was enough time for a TSA agent to publicly shame me for not properly pushing my belongings through the x-ray machine.

In this madness, I’d forgotten to remove my phone from my back pocket. The angry TSA agent descended upon me, throwing my phone into an empty bucket to ride through the x-rays, swabbing my hands for traces of explosives, and giving my rear a very thorough pat down in front of several business travelers and nice midwestern families.

Meanwhile, my shoes had dislodged themselves from their plastic bucket inside a different x-ray scanner and one had gotten stuck under someone else’s suitcase. My backpack had been flagged going through the x-ray machine, so it had to be inspected. (I was mostly afraid that they’d confiscate my container of Garrett Chicago Mix popcorn.) I had to wait to claim it while wearing one shoe.

To top it off, ten minutes before my boarding time I realized I was waiting in the wrong terminal and had to hoof it across the entire airport. I was barely surprised to find out four hours later that my luggage hadn’t made it on the plane.


Read about more humiliating things I've done on the Girl, Interrupting Facebook page!