Winter Weardown

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in Chicago, USA | No Comments

Everyone I’ve spoken to in Chicago agrees—this has been the worst winter in memory. It’s been bitterly cold and snowy. It’s almost March and I’ve only ridden my bike twice whereas last year I proudly rode all winter. Luckily I have a few business trips on the horizon that will get me away from these depressing temperatures.

More snow falling in Logan Square

More snow falling in Logan Square

Traveling Through 2013

Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in Chicago, New York, USA | No Comments

In my travel roundup of 2012 I was hoping to travel a bit more internationally this year. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. It’s funny too, as I finally broke down and was approved for the Global Entry program. A big bonus of the program is qualifying for the TSA Pre-Check line when flying participating airlines.

I stuck with mainly United again this year—once you get status on an airline business travel becomes so much more enjoyable. Last year I made status based on miles (Australia put me over the edge), but this year I made it on segments (New Jersey and Detroit aren’t far, but each flight counts as a segment). Whereas I had two trips booked last year at this time, it’s looking like a Chicago January for me in 2014.

January: Brooklyn, New Jersey, Atlanta, New Jersey, New York

2013_12_1Jan-1My first time in Brooklyn, and a view of the unfinished World Trade Center

2013_12_1Jan-2Another first—Atlanta—where I rode the metro and visited the aquarium

2013_12_1Jan-3After working in New Jersey I stay in Manhattan for a few days

February: Detroit

2013_12_2Feb-1There’s never much to show when working outside of Detroit so here’s a shot of my winter biking adventures

2013_12_2Feb-2The short flight to Detroit does provide for great views of Chicago

March: New Jersey, Minnesota

2013_12_3Mar-1Odd weather left the view of Manhattan fro Jersey City radically different day-to-day

2013_12_3Mar-2Flying in early allows me to meet up with New York friends and draw at the FIT museum

2013_12_3Mar-3Minnesota is still awfully cold in March, the bike up to Chicago’s annual Traveler’s Century Club meeting was much more pleasant

April: Chicago

2013_12_4Apr-1An entire month at home!

May: Pittsburgh

2013_12_5May-1With May came weather good enough for long bike rides, helping out with the local Kidical Mass ride, and outlandish Mexican wrestling matches

2013_12_5May-2I worked in the hotel inside Pittsburgh’s airport for days, but managed to get out and take a bus to the Warhol Museum before flying home

June: New Jersey, Minnesota

2013_12_6Jun-1Every once in a while I’m upgraded to First Class

2013_12_6Jun-2David was in town from Canada, so we managed a Sox game and a concert in Millennium Park

July: New Jersey, New York, New Jersey, Brooklyn


2013_12_7Jul-2The Turrell exhibit at The Guggenheim was excellent, although incredibly crowded

2013_12_7Jul-3This trip was a big museum stop for me—both The Guggenheim for Turrell, and The Met for the Punk Fashion exhibit

2013_12_7Jul-4I saw Belle and Sebastian and Bjork in a rain storm at Pitchfork Music festival but managed to get hit by a car biking home

2013_12_7Jul-5Working in New Jersey 8 times this year, I finally bought myself a MoMA membership. This visit I stayed a few days at the end to visit with a friend in Brooklyn

August: Detroit

2013_12_8Aug1A friend and I took our bikes out to the suburbs to bike the beautiful Fox River Trail

2013_12_8Aug2Detroit again—this place and I don’t get along

2013_12_8Aug3Summertime in Chicago is grand—free concerts, block parties and garage sales

2013_12_8Aug4View of the city on a bike ride past the Planetarium

2013_12_8Aug5The annual seersucker bike ride to Jackson Park

September: Detroit, Denver

2013_12_9Sept-1Sooner or later I knew I’d end up in a Detroit ER…

2013_12_9Sept-2On the bright side, after the ER I headed to visit my sister in Denver for the Tour de Fat

October: New Hampshire, New Jersey, Austin

2013_12_10Oct-1Chicago’s beautiful lakefront

2013_12_10Oct-2New Hampshire was another first for me this year

2013_12_10Oct-3I visited both MoMA and PS1 on this New York visit

2013_12_10Oct-4My first time in Austin was nice, but wasn’t the amazing place everyone had talked up

November: Miami

2013_12_11Nov-1The Guy Fawkes tweed ride is the best ride of the year, but the ride home from Bridgeport is brutal

2013_12_11Nov-2Once in the hotel I didn’t leave, and I managed to kill my computer. Maybe South Beach next time around?

December: Detroit

2013_12_12Dec-1A snowstorm kept me delayed in dreary Detroit an extra day and a half

Fall Colors

Posted by on Nov 3, 2013 in Chicago, USA | No Comments

Today was a beautiful fall day in Chicago. It was cold but not yet so cold that you don’t want to leave the house. Since I’ve been traveling so much I haven’t had a chance to make it up to the forest preserves North of Chicago since the beginning of Spring. I love fall, but just wish it wasn’t followed by winter.

Shooting Deer

Shooting Deer

Fall Bike Trail

Fall Bike Trail

A Few Days in Midtown

Posted by on Aug 31, 2013 in New York, USA | One Comment
Police in Times Square

Police in Times Square

Every time I am sent to Jersey City for work I try to make the most of it, visiting Manhattan, because I never know when I’ll be back. Somehow I’ve been to New Jersey seven times this year so far but I never run out of things to see. I’ve even bought an out-of-state membership to MoMA on my last trip.

My second visit to New York this year (the second in January) took me to Chinatown for dumplings and a comic exhibition at The Museum of Chinese in America. I decided to stay a few extra days and got a hotel room in midtown. I’m not sure what I was thinking “vacationing” in New York alone in January but it was cold and, honestly, a little miserable.

Atlanta Afternoon

Posted by on Aug 27, 2013 in Georgia, USA | No Comments

Window Washer

As it turns out, Hotlanta in January is pretty beautiful. My work required me to stay on the edges of the city in a typical business park, but I allowed myself an afternoon in the city before flying home. When I’m visiting a new city in the U.S. I do a little research but everything written about Atlanta focused on corporate-sponsored tourist attractions. Friends recommended a few neighborhoods I might like but they all inevitably were difficult to get to on the metro, especially on a Sunday with reduced service. When I asked to be taken to the nearest metro stop, the hotel concierge warned that I shouldn’t visit the neighborhoods I was interested in, even in daylight, even if I was a “tough city girl from Chicago.”

Being warned tends to have the opposite effect, and did nothing but encourage me to see what I was missing. As much as I wanted to prove him wrong, the transit gods were not in my favor that day so I headed downtown to the central business district. I walked along Peachtree looking at archetecture, recommended by someone on Twitter, and visited the aquarium. Chicago has a pretty cool aquarium so I wasn’t too impressed, especially since it was designed so… childish. Because I spend so much time at art museums I’m often take aback when everything is “family friendly.” After my cartwheel in front of the Coca-Cola museum and Atlanta’s skyline I sat outside and simply enjoyed being outside without a coat.

Never Ending Chicago Winter

Posted by on Mar 25, 2013 in Chicago, USA | No Comments

Lake Michigan

Growing up near Chicago has trained me for winter and I’m used to much more snow than we’ve been getting in recent years. What is it about this year’s winter that has everyone I know pleading for it to end? Despite the lack of snow it seems we’re well below average temperature for March. I don’t mind the cold, but I miss the sun.

Business Travel Déjà Vu

Posted by on Mar 20, 2013 in Travel Talk, USA | No Comments

My early flight home from Minneapolis yesterday morning was delayed by two hours. After a while I gave in and bought a magazine in the airport gift shop. I was halfway through before realizing I had already read it–and that I’d bought it two business trips ago.

The day before I insisted I was in Michigan (I was wrong) and that it was Tuesday (it was Monday). Should I take this as a sign I’m traveling too much?


January in New York

Posted by on Mar 13, 2013 in New York, USA | No Comments

I found myself working in New Jersey twice in January this year. When I’m there I try to make it over to Manhattan for museums and shopping, but this time I visited Brooklyn for the first time. Meeting up with a friend who grew up there he laughed at the fact that I picked Williamsburg, since he doesn’t consider it real Brooklyn. Next time I’m out East with nice weather I’ll try to make it further into Brooklyn.

I Heart NYC but...

I Heart NYC but…

Officially Winter

Posted by on Jan 19, 2013 in Chicago, USA | No Comments

I can deal with the cold temperatures, it’s the weeks without sunshine that get to me during the Chicago winter.

Frozen city

Frozen city

Hazards of parking in the gutter

Hazards of parking in the gutter

Streets full of ice

Streets full of ice

Traveling Through 2012

Despite my lack of updates, I managed to take quite a few trips this year. Only a few were non-work related but I try my best to spend a little time in each city I visit. Both St. Louis and Detroit trips were in and out in one day, but I always arrange extra time in New York and D.C.

Who knows what sort of travel is in store for me in 2013, but I hope for at least one international trip. I’m still toying with the idea of biking around Iceland but, for now, all I know is I’ll be visiting New York and Atlanta.

January: Washington D.C.

Air and Space Annex Museum, VA

Air and Space Annex Museum at Dulles Airport, Virginia

February: St. Louis

Chicago sunrise

Daytrip to St. Louis

March: Virginia, Syracuse

Small plane from D.C. to Syracuse

Small plane from D.C. to Syracuse

Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse

We had Dinosaur BBQ twice in Syracuse

Syracuse cartwheel

Cartwheeling at work in Syracuse

April: NYC, Jersey City

Manhattan by air

Manhattan by air

NYC morning

Visiting with Sema (who I last saw in Kyrgyzstan), cartwheeling on the High Line

Jersey City sunset

Jersey City sunset

May: NYC, Jersey City

NYC park museum afternoon

Afternoon spent in parks and museums in NYC

NYC High Line

Have I mentioned how much I love the New York High Line?

New York afternoon

I managed to get my client to go with a Star Trek theme this trip

Chicago Twilight

Chicago Twilight

July: Washington D.C., Detroit

Modern art in D.C.

Modern art, including “The Art of the Video Game” exhibition, in D.C.

Seeing friends in D.C.

Museum hopping and seeing friends in D.C.

One day in Detroit

My first time in Detroit – one day in the suburbs

August: Denver

Overcast Denver

My first ever overcast day in Denver, visiting my sister

September: Connecticut, Houston

Connecting flights to Connecticut

Connecting flights to Connecticut

Sunrise on the way to Houston

Sunrise on the way to Houston

November: Sydney, Pittsburgh

Gorgeous Sydney

Who knew Sydney was so gorgeous? I can’t wait to go back.


My time in Sydney was way too short, and the flight way too long with no TV in my seatback



Dreary Pittsburgh

A dreary first visit to Pittsburgh, testing the limits of my carryon with a 16-day trip

United status

I finally reached the lowest level of status on United, halving my boarding number and scoring me an exit row

December: Boston

Boston business

Business trips to Boston mean cookie cutter hotels and plenty of lobster

Boston by air

Boston’s topography is totally different than I thought

Chicago fog

Flying home to Chicago for the last time in 2012

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