Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Windy City

You think you know someone pretty well, but then you spend two 9-hour bus rides, two nights in a hostel and walk 20 miles with them, and you see a whole other side of that person…the good, the bad, the ugly and the fabulous. For three days in June, the Nashville, Columbus and Detroit Chapters traveled to Chicago for a multi chapter event with the Little Black Dress Club ladies of the Chicago Southland Chapter to explore The Windy City.

For the Nashville sisters, the trip started late Thursday night when they boarded the Megabus for an overnight excursion through Louisville and Indianapolis before the final destination of Chicago. I’m pretty sure that time paused on that trip, and the trip was much longer than 9 hours. If customer service is a high priority for your experience, then Megabus is not for you!
Since the trip seemed to be all about new experiences, the Nashville ladies didn’t go for just any regular hotel experience, they took a chance on a hostel experience (not to be confused with a hostile experience) and stayed at Hostelling International Chicago. It was like summer camp all over again with 8 girls stacked in bunk beds in one room. There may or may not have been some falling out of bunk beds, some indiscriminate videos and snoring. We all took the Full Moon Vow again, so we’ll never tell!
Just about every mode of transportation was used when traveling the city, including bus, cab, train and trolley. The ladies quickly discovered that there are many interesting characters that can be encountered when using public transportation, which usually lead to humor more so than fear. Of course, there is usually safety in numbers.
Friday and Saturday included lots of shopping on Michigan Avenue and State Street, including visits to Water Tower Place and Marshall Field & Company, the second largest department store in the world with 12 stories, including the 5 story Tiffany & Co. mosaic-capped ceiling.
Our sightseeing adventures included visiting The Cloud Gate (better known as The Bean) and Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, a walk along Lake Michigan to Lincoln Park and the Lincoln Park Zoo, a Chicago Architecture Cruise on the Chicago River, a trip to see Wrigley Field and an evening of ferris wheels (not carousels) and fireworks at Navy Pier. There was also much walking done on the weekend, and by the time the Nashville ladies arrived home Sunday night, they had taken over 47,000 steps, which is about 20 miles. Several of the ladies had well-deserved pedicures and massages the following day.
The weekend was not without lots of great food. We dined at Ed Debevics, where the servers are over the top and rude…on purpose. We also shared delicious Chicago-style pizza with the other chapters at Lou Malnati’s in the historic Gold Coast district. Saturday evening we got our Cajun fix at Heaven on Seven where several sampled some of the most delicious grits on earth. Our last meal together in Chicago was at the Grand Lux Cafe and included sharing Mimosas, Bellinis and some very large portions of French Toast.
Shortly after brunch on Sunday, the chapters bid farewell to each other and went back to their respective cities. It was a fabulous weekend spent making new friends, experiencing new adventures and capturing great memories. Plans were already discussed for future gatherings of the chapters, and I know I am looking forward to more trips together!
~ Tonya Overstreet
Nashville Chapter Member, LBDC

Here’s what a few others had to say about the Chicago trip with The Little Black Dress Club:
"After the Columbus chapter did Pilates in Millennium Park they went to the bean. Who did they run into but Nashville ladies! Columbus was very into shopping and collectively got 6 pairs of shoes, 5 purses, and too many dresses to count!"
~ Suzy Hicks, Columbus Chapter Co-Director
“I loved seeing Chicago for the first time and what a wonderful group of ladies to do it with. I'm ready for our next LBDC adventure!”
~ Beth Holt, Nashville Chapter Member
"I loved having LBDC members from Nashville, Ohio and Detroit join us in the Windy City for an amazing weekend! LBDC provides us with these unique opportunities to meet fabulous ladies, who we may otherwise never cross paths with. I'm already looking forward to our next road trip."
~ Richelle Schneider, Chicago Southland Chapter Director
"Meeting lots of great new people, sightseeing, EATING and shopping shopping shopping!! What a blast!"
~ Jenny Smith, Columbus Chapter Member
“Spending 4 days with these women really gave me a chance to get to know them all a little bit better. I can't imagine my first trip to Chicago being with anyone else. Laughing, trying new things and making memories; that's what LBDC is all about."
~ Shay Ashcraft, Nashville Chapter Co-Director and National Director
“Seeing my city, the city I was born & raised in, through the eyes of tourists was an incredible event for me. I was amazed at how well all of these ladies were able to navigate our great city of Chicago. This is a testament to what kind of women LBDC women are; independent & fun loving adventurers!! I would love to visit their cities next!!
~ Peg Donnellan, Chicago Southland Chapter Member

"This was a wonderful way to be introduced to the LBDC! It was a great trip!"
~ Renee Jackson, Detroit Metro Chapter Member

LBDC Directors - Chicago, Detroit, Nashville and Columbus

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