[East: Part II]

Safe and sound in the lovely Hendersonville, North Carolina...finally! I felt like I was literally traveling for months, when in in reality the trip was about four and a half days. But my gosh, sleeping in a real bed last night has never felt so good :) I appreciate privacy and mattresses in a way like never before. So here's the story of the second half of my cross-country adventure! 

Chicago was amazingly beautiful! Maybe it was just the magic of wandering around by myself in an unknown city for a day, but I was totally enthralled with the insane architecture and wonderful people of the city. My hotel was right downtown, so I was able to walk all over the place...to the breakwater, Michigan Avenue, the financial district, Sears Tower, Millennium Park, and a bunch of other little nooks and crannies in between. I tried to not look like too much of a tourist as I wandered around snapping photos, and someone even asked me for directions...so maybe I looked kind of at home? 

Favorite things:

  • I found these amazing gardens in Millennium Park and got a little lost in them for about an hour...my feet had terrible blisters on them by the end of the day! 

  • The fire escapes on all the buildings. I don't know why I think they're so beautiful, maybe its because I'm from Santa Barbara and we don't have them, but I just love the zig-zag patterns they make across the city. 

  • The people were so friendly! Some guys were laughing at me because I didn't know when to cross the street...I started talking to them for a bit, and they were so helpful with tips about the city! 

  • I had to overcome my stupid fear of eating alone...I had some delicious Mediterranean food for lunch at a little sidewalk cafe. Yum!

  • Sears Tower

    fire escapes :)



    proof that I didn't just get these off google images

    So then it was off to our nation's capital! Union Station in Chicago was even more hilarious than LA...there were Amish people everywhere, a man who looked like he'd been living in the Himalayas for like twelve years, and this really sketchy guy named Roberto who wouldn't stop talking to me...and he kept dropping suspicious white pills under my seat...what? Anywho, I finally got on the train and had an aisle seat, but the trip was mostly in the dark, so no matter! Most of the trip in the morning was along the lovely Potomac River: 

    After arriving in Washington D.C., my wonderful friend Eugenia picked me up from Union Station...with a sign! Obsessed with her. It was SO lovely to see a familiar face after all of those hours of traveling alone. We went to Georgetown and visited Georgetown Cupcakes and then drove around to see some of the monuments and the Capitol Building and the White House and what not. Everything there is so epic looking! I loved all the brick in the little neighborhoods around Georgetown...another thing we don't have in Santa Barbara.

    Capitol Bulding

    Key lime cupcake..yumm!

    Me and Eug :)

    All too soon it was time to say goodbye, and I boarded my last train to Greenville, South Carolina (the closest stop to where my grandparents live). The last bit was pretty uneventful...I was sitting in between a bunch of very sassy black women who were talking for like five hours straight over me. Funny for the first hour. At 5am I finally arrived in Greenville....after about 110 hours of traveling. I stepped off the train and into what felt like a swamp, it is SO frikkin humid here! But thank goodness for air conditioning. 

    So in conclusion, I think taking the train across the country was a pretty sweet experience, although it might just be a one time thing, at least for a while! It definitely taught me to be ok with being uncomfortable, which is something that I really want to be better at. Stay tuned for stories from the Carolinas!

    Much love :)