from bean town to the town with the bean ((september travels))

it’s been yet again wayyyy too long since i’ve blogged. this is becoming far too common of a trend. so, here we are, near the end of october. and we’ve got a lot to catch up on friends. during the month of september i traveled to a couple new locations. the first week of the month brought me to Boston for speakers training for EXHIBITOR2013 and and at the end of the month i traveled to Chicago for the first time to help with an event for the Ryder Cup. Here are the tales of my travels.

Boston: EXHIBITOR2013 Speaker’s Training

prelude: back in March i attended EXHIBITOR2012. i made some contacts and was given the opportunity to create a proposal for my own session. submitted the proposal and in june i got word that my proposal had officially been accepted. so that led me to bean town after labor day weekend. i was excited, anxious and nervous. i had no idea what to expect. i suddenly felt incredibly i inadequate. what had i gotten myself into?! am i ready for this? it was all suddenly starting to become real. up until this point, it was just a cool thought; “I get to present my own session at a conference.” and now it was about to get real. ride or die time. and after a reassuring call to mom, i got my confidence back as was ready to rock.

it wouldn’t be a emma travel day without some delays. thankfully my layover was only delayed about 45 minutes. by the time i touched town on the east coast it was about 12:30 in the AM. my hotel was about 10 min from the airport, and i didn’t check a bag, so i got all settled in about 1AM. straight to bed and early to rise. breakfast was ready and waiting as i went to meet my fellow speakers. to my pleasant surprise, there were only about 10 of us there for training. i was definitely the youngest one there, but i was super jazzed to get going.

we spent the next two days going over strategies, tips and tricks for speaking. we mind mapped our session, and had to give a 10 minute preview to the rest of the group. all my previous nerves disappeared. i love the adrenaline that runs through me as i’m standing in front of a group to present. it’s my element. 10 minutes sped by and as i listened to the feedback from my peers i felt so ready to get to work.

not even there 48 hours and it was time to peace out. all i got to see was the airport, the hotel and my view of the haaabahhh (harbor). boston, i shall be back. but it was good times while it lasted.

gloomy morning in Boston


ready to rock Speaker’s Training

sunset ova the baaastin hahbah

Chicago: Transportation Ryder Cup Summit

traveled to start off the month and then a trip to wrap it up. i got to take a trip to the windy city to assist with an event for some gents attending the Ryder Cup in Medinah. i  had never ventured to this place before, so i was pretty excited. not that i would have oodles of time to do stuff; but i was going to get to be there. and that’s something. as per the usual, it wouldn’t have been an emma travel experience without a little drama. i literally go the last, the very last, seat on the plane. and they didn’t announce it until, oh about 5 minutes to take off. now thats the kind of stress i could gladly do without. either way, i did get on the plane. and enjoyed a nice and short 55 minute trip to chicago. i’m pretty sure that i waited just as long if not longer to get a cab and get to the hard rock. made my way to the bar to grab some vino and some dinner and then it was time for bed after enjoying the view of the city from my room.

evening view of downtown chicago

day 2 started and it was time to get to work. worked on some logistics and then it was time to explore to find some pumpkin flavored coffee and some breakfast. it quickly became evident that starbucks was where it’s at; since you could hardly walk a block without seeing one. on my way there i caught this amazing view across the river; wow. amazing. i soon found my pumpkiny goodness and ventured to a little park to enjoy.

city views and the Chicago River

explored downtown a little and then it was back to the hard rock to get some work done. soon it was lunch time and i was dead set on enjoying some classic chicago deep dish goodness. i tried to get in to giordano’s per a suggestion that it was the place to go, but the wait was ridic even though it was like 230 and i was in a bit of a hurry. i figured, “hey, i’m in chicago. odds are pretty good that if i wander another block or so i will find another pizza joint.” and i was right. i walked a little bit further and found Gino’s East. I got a seat at the bar, and placed my order for my deep dish. one of my favorite things about traveling on my own is that i get to really do what i want to do with my free time. and since i usually sit at the bar when i eat out, you get to meet some pretty cool people. that night i chatted with a woman who is a stewardess. i ate half of my amazing deep dish, and i was ready to go for a 3rd, but had to stop myself. it was already 6 and in about 2 hours we’d all be going out to a nice place for dinner. chicago deep dish. i was impressed.

Chicago Deep Dish from Gino’s East Pizzaria

day 3 started off by getting the boys off to the Ryder Cup. i finished up a couple other logistics, and then it was time to explore chicago. i got my coffee and breakfast and headed back to the same park to kick off my day. after that, i just started walking. i would pick a street and just go. after chatting with a guy the morning before at the fountain i decided that i needed to go check out lake michigan. i was also set to go to navy pier. and then just see everything i could. i found lake michigan pretty easily. it was just figuring out how to get to the other side of the street that took a little bit of exploring to do. but after awhile i figured it out and sat down at a spot near the beach to admire the view, the gorgeous weather and my pumpkin latte and bread duo. so beautiful. then i walked around a little bit more and managed to find my way to navy pier. i dont think i could have asked for a more perfect day to be out and about in chi-town.

Starbucks by the fountain

gorgeous views by Lake Michigan

exploring downtown Chi-town

views of the city from Navy Pier

reppin’ the 2012 Ryder Cup 

i found a little cafe to eat lunch and then headed back to the hard to get things ready for the night. then i went to be a typical chicago tourist and take pictures of myself at the bean. millennium park was just a couple blocks away from my hotel, so it was a nice short walk. it was just like i thought it would be. tons of people. holding their phones. cheesin’ it up. the nice part of that is, that you don’t feel ridiculous being one of them. i took some pics of myself and then asked someone to take one for me. i walked around millennium park a little bit more, but most of it was closed off for an event. from there i wandered to the theater district, and found a macys to walk around in. by that time it was starting to get dark so i figured since i’m not so good at directions, and i’m in a new city, i should probs get back sooner rather than later.

classic touristy pic at the bean 

being a tourist :)

that night we all had dinner and mourned the loss of USA in the Ryder Cup. we had a meeting in the early AM, i hung out in millennium park one last time taking in chi-towns awesomeness. and then it was time to head back to the airport. and there came one of the highlights of the trip. i got the most legit cab driver ever. he was so friendly and conversational. and then we started playing “cash cab”. he gave me five clues, and i had to guess what country his culture came from. well, i couldn’t get it. but he was so fun. and turns out he’s a bit of a local celebrity.

and with that, september is now more of a distant memory. and i’m off this week to travel it up some more. until my next post, friends. xoxo