Cold weather has never been a friend to me, especially when the windchill drops the temperature into the negatives.
Being from Southern California, cold is an occurrence that happens when the temp drops below 60 degrees. So we aren’t that prepared when we travel to places we aren’t familiar with. This past week I was lucky enough to travel to Chicago for the auto show. I’ve never been before, and I clearly wasn’t prepared. Wearing Rainbows to the airport? Check. Just a sweater and a tank top? You got it. I don’t own a winter jacket, and while I had shoes in my carry on, I was severely unprepared for just how cold it actually is, especially when the windchill is factored in. One look outside my airplane window and I could only sigh and shake my head.
With snow still covering the ground, sandals and a light sweater were a bad idea. Which was made more clear when I checked my phone and saw that it was a cool 15 degrees outside. Wonderful. Luckily, I had plenty of time before I had to meet up for dinner plans. Maybe I could find a mall or something to grab warmer clothes.
Too bad there was traffic thanks to the time of day.
A quick shower and changing into relatively warm business clothes was all I could manage. But it was enough as the restaurant was a quick five minute walk from the hotel. There were little snowflakes here and there, but nothing that was worth calling actual snow. I really should have bought a warmer jacket before I came, especially with a nasty cold that just wouldn’t go away.
Dinner turned out to be a pleasant evening with great company and new and familiar faces. What a truly wonderful night. The next day was the first day of the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, and while it isn’t one of the bigger auto shows in the season, it still had plenty to offer.
It was my first time at this show, and from what I’ve heard from previous coworkers, this was the show to go to to have a good time. I got much more out of this trip than I would have expected, from new friends, opportunities, and a thorn in my side in the way of a worse cold.
I wish I could have spent more time in this city, taking in the history and architecture, as the area I was staying in had such great buildings, castles, churches, and views of the lakes. Snow covered the banks, turning the sand to ice. With the night lights, it turned the scene into an almost ethereal experience, and I only wish I had a real camera and not my phone to keep that image with me.
But as I left after my short stay, I took one last look outside my hotel room window on the 46th floor, and I was taken aback. This is definitely one place I need to come back to, just hopefully when it’s a little warmer.