Hello everyone!!! I missed you all!!! I swear I don't take a long hiatus like this on purpose. I've said it before and I will say it again....2018 was #$*%!!! Like forreal, complete &#%*$.....you fill in that however you want lol. Also, when I look all around me....everyone else went through a messed up year too.
Sidenote: I PROCLAIM that the year 2018 was a precursor for the GREAT THINGS that will come to you in 2019! Everything that you prayed for, hoped for, and/or affirmations will come to pass and be more abundant than what you asked for.
Now, I took this great trip to New York and Chicago in mid-October (Oct. 16th-Oct. 21st) this year, reason was to celebrate my bestie's 30th birthday and go to a Christian conference in Chicago. We spent 2 days/1 night in New York (just for the heck of it) and 3 days/3 nights in Chicago. Throughout this trip, I had goals to accomplish:
New York Goals
- Eat a classic New York Pizza and get a hot dog from a street stand
- Go to Times Square and do a cart wheel...disaster.
- Go to the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art) ....*details on confusion later*.....I'm a museum freak!
- Ride on a subway
- Walk through some of Central Park (that thing is huge)
- Tour through Brooklyn and Harlem (historical purposes)
I've actually accomplished most of these in the small amount of time we had!!
Accommodations!!! As you all know, I'm the type of traveler that spends more on the moments/experiences in a city than where I stay. Don't get me wrong, it will be 3 stars and up but more cost efficient lol. I'm the Airbnb type of girl, living amongst the locals......but I tried something different and stayed at *cue music* "duh..duh...duh!!"..... a hostel.
Hostel - a lower priced, social accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge and sometimes a kitchen. Room can be a mixed or single-sex, and private rooms may also be available.
Queens, New York, Hostel #1 : Q4 Hotel ($$) My Overall Rating - 3.8/5 www.q4hotel.com
- Location! Location! Blocks away from several subways, restaurants, museums, etc. Took us 15 minutes to get to Manhattan from the subway!
- WiFi, computer-access work lab *very happy!* Oh yea! I lost my phone in New Jersey!! Went old school and emailed my mom, majority of the time. Along with borrowing phones.
- Each bunk had a small light and a USB/plug outlet *BIG PLUS when you want personal light and have your phone nearby without disturbing anyone.**
- No windows....very strange to me. The windows are blocked out with some sort of opaque screen, maybe a safety hazard??? I really wanted to see the locals and the NYC scenery, but it felt like a prison cell.
Overall with the NY hotel, it was a decent stay! No elevators, so I didn't mind the walk. Staff was extremely helpful with directions. The hotel's appearance has a nice charm with the chandeliers and modern touches. Plus, some really good small cafes and eateries around the area! I will be back to finish my list and more!!
GREYHOUND TO CHI-TOWN!
- Get Chicago Deep Dish Pizza!
- See the 'Bean' in Millennium Park
- Go to a museum (always a MUST anywhere I go)
- Walk around the Wicker Park area and take in the scenery
Wicker Park, Chicago, Illinois Hostel #2 : Holiday Jones ($$-$$$) My Overall Rating: 5/5 http://www.holidayjones.com
- Location! Location! LOCATION!! This location is sooo prime to EVERYTHING! Across the street from Target, steps away from a pizzeria and a Starbucks. If you walk along the street, you WILL bump into anything!
- FREE empanada/coffee in the morning! A coffee shop is attached to the front part of the hostel. Each guest is given this special offer. It was great for us when we had to rush for the morning portions of the conference!
Cons..... can't think of any! In fact, I don't mind staying again!
I loved the atmosphere of Chicago! It's a beautiful city with BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE....not that I was looking hard *wink, wink*. I will be coming back to get the FULL experience since I was mostly here on a business perspective. I highly suggest that everyone try out Holiday Jones for their next stay, especially if you're going with a group. The place is clean, I actually did share the bathroom with the rest of the rooms on our floor *which was not as bad as I thought*. The empanadas and coffee is good at the front portion of the hostel, really flavorful (sweet cream corn and the blue cheese was my fav!). If you're going during the winter time, BE READY TO BUNDLE ALL YO BODY UP!! THAT cold weather and wind...Jesus. That's the windy city for a reason.
To conclude, 2 beautiful cities and 2 different perspectives on both. Let me answer some questions that you might want to know.
~ Which of the two cities did you like better? OK, this is really tough. New York for the people and the culture. Chicago for the looks of the city atmosphere. ~New York Pizza or Chicago Pizza? NEW YORRRRK! I'm a thin crust kind-of girl anyway, so that's a given lol. Besides, I didn't enjoy my deep dish pizza...sadly. ~ Hot dog?? Again...New York. Their hot dog consists of mustard, ketchup, and sauerkraut (not bad!). Chicago is poppy seed bun, mustard, relish, onions, tomato wedges, pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt. It's just a no for me. ~ Transportation? For now, New York. I used Uber in Chicago.
If you have any questions and/or comments about this trip or any travel advice questions, let me know through the comments section! I greatly appreciate you all sticking with me on this journey!
Love always and travel well, Shellsy