Day 1: Exhale-Inhale (Beth)

For those of you just tuning in, Ryan and I have been planning a road trip across the country for the past six months.   We’ve taken some shorter trips, a longer trial run, and Tuesday (5/15) was the first day of the official monster trip, planning to last about a month and a half total. (To see the growing collection of photos from the trip check out our photobucket album)

Our exodus from Hamtramck, MI started around 11:00am.  Our first scheduled stop was Chicago and to be honest, I was so tired the majority of the trip that nothing stood out to me that would be noteworthy for this blog, mostly due to my apathetic state of mind and sole focus on remaining vertical until our arrival in Chicago.  However, once the city came into view, I became much more attentive.

Having never been to Chicago before, my first impression was that the city seemed larger than life!  It looked so vastly different from Detroit it was incredible. The physique of Detroit resembles a large, horizontal exhale.  Adversely, Chicago embodied a sharp, vertical inhale.  All the buildings in Chicago lunged upward toward the sky for what seemed like at least 50 stories.  I don’t know where everyone downtown was trying to get to, but they were all on a mission to get there as fast as possible.  Outside of the main downtown area just riding in, there were a shocking number of people running or biking… for fun.  No one even looked like they were breaking a sweat!  Now this, I find abnormal.  Personally, I cannot think of any situation that would cause me to voluntarily break into a run… except if I found myself within sprinting distance of a Krispy Kreme that was about to unplug their “hot now” sign…

When we got to Chicago, we met up with a good friend of Ryan’s from college, Dave.  I’d never met Dave up to this point, so it was nice to be able to put a face with all of Ryan’s debate team anecdotes from college.

Ryan’s friend Dave

Dave was such a gracious host and introduced us to our first taste of Chicago’s infamous pizza.  As we sat down to eat, he warned us that we wouldn’t be able to eat with our hands, and he was dead-on!  This pizza was so thick and heavy with cheese, we had to eat it with silverware.  Delicious!  After a pleasant evening catching up with Dave, we settled into bed, woke up what felt like 3 seconds later to find it morning, grabbed some breakfast, packed up and headed out.

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