Tag: Navy Pier

College Prom i.e. President’s Ball

College Prom i.e. President’s Ball

When high school ends, so does the hype around school dances. There aren’t a few set nights a year when the school hosts a dance and everyone buys a new dress, gets their hair done, and takes a date out for a night on the town. I absolutely loved getting dressed up with all of my friends, going out to dinner, and dancing all night. I was so sad to see it end with my senior prom. But, as it turns out I’ve still got a few opportunities to do it all over again at Loyola.

Loyola hosts two balls during the year. During the fall semester is President’s Ball and in the spring is Damen Ball. I hadn’t been to either before this year, but I’d say there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be attending them both in my last two years on campus. Because it is both of roommates’ senior year they decided it was about time to check out President’s Ball and I wasn’t about to pass about the opportunity to buy a new dress.

The reason President’s Ball is held at all is to honor an outstanding Loyola student from each school with the President’s Medallion. After nominations and an interview process, one student is chosen from The School of Communication, the School of Nursing, the School of Business, etc. A formal awards ceremony is held before the ball for the students chosen and their guests.

The rest of Loyola population is invited to the Ball that is held afterwards. The tickets were only $15 and included entry to the dance, refreshments at the ball, and a shuttle service there and back. The ball’s venue was gorgeous. Held in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier, the high ceilings and semi-circular room made for quite the jaw dropping setting.

Before my friends and I made our way to the dance floor we made sure to take advantage of the refreshments. A chocolate fountain along with mini grilled cheese with tomato soup, plus mini hamburgers and hot dogs were perfect dancing fuel. The DJ played a wide variety of music to keep everyone happy and as far as I could tell everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves.

By midnight when the shuttles were pulling away from Navy Pier my feet were in tremendous pain from my high heels, I was worn out from dancing, and had spilled chocolate fondue on the front of my dress. But nonetheless I had a really great time and am oh so thankful I don’t have to give up the proms I thought I’d left behind for good.

Sweet Home CHICAGO

Sweet Home CHICAGO


There is no better place on earth than Chicago and let me tell  you why…

  • Explore: Get to know the city through the CTA (Chicago’s public trains and buses). Students get U-Passes which provide unlimited access and serves as your passport to the city. This is a great way to explore different neighborhoods all over the city.
  • Cheer on Your Team: 24 hours after the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the 3rd time in 6 years, Chelsea Dagger is still playing in my head. Now Chicagoans are tracking the cup (AKA Lord Stanley) as it travels all around the city and prepare to continue the celebration during the parade and Rally at Soldier Field on Friday. Chicago is not only a hockey dynasty but also home to the Chicago Bears,  the Bulls, and crosstown rivals – White Sox and Cubs. Even if you’re not a die-hard Chicago sports fan, you can likely cheer for your hometown team with they compete in town (and Loyola students often have access to tickets ranging from $2-20 to check out these events)! This year not only did the Bulls make the playoffs, the Blackhawks win the championship, and the NFL held the draft in Millennium Park, but our own Loyola Ramblers won the Division 1 Men’s National Volleyball Championship for the second year in a row, but the Men’s Basketball Team also won the CBI tournament this spring. There really is no better place to cheer on both your collegiate and professional teams
  • Enjoy the Waves: Have you ever sailed before? Kayaked down the Chicago River? Or is the beach more of your scene? Or hop on an architectural boat tour of the city from Navy Pier. Either way, there are countless ways to enjoy Lake Michigan.
  • Get Fit: Work out at Halas, Loyola’s awesome new fitness center (complete with a new pool and rock climbing wall) that hosts several club, recreational and intramural sporting events and teams throughout the year. Or join a beach volleyball team, do yoga in Grant Park, run along the lake, or rent a bike from Chain Links or Divvy.
  • Bon appetit: Chicago has some amazing places to eat from Portillo’s  to Lou Malnatti’s to Taste of Chicago where you can try all of Chicago’s tastiest items (may we recommend a Chicago style hotdog, italian beef, and deep dish pizza). This is another time to hop onto the CTA and go to Little Italy, Chinatown, or any other cultural neighbordhood in the city to try some of the best ethnic food.
  • Appreciate the Arts: World-class artists & performers swarm the city throughout the year so catch a Broadway Show, the Joffrey Ballet, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony, a late night show at The Green Mill, or concerts at venues all over the city. Looking to see an inexpensive show on campus, learn what Colossus means at Loyola (it’s one of my favorite Loyola events)!
  • See the Sights: It’s never too late to play tourist and find out why everyone takes selfies at “The Bean” or see why everyone loves Sue at the Field Museum. Don’t forget to check out the view of the skyline from the Adler Planetarium, the SkyDeck in the Sears Tower, or from the Signature Room in the John Hancock Building. While you’re at it, just hit up the rest of the museum campus – The Shedd Aquarium, and The Museum of Science & Industry (thought some of the smaller, more niche museums are among my favorites).

Really though, the only way to fall in love with Chicago is visit and explore it yourself!

6 Facts That Will Boost Your Chicago Pride

6 Facts That Will Boost Your Chicago Pride

Photo Credit: Chloe Anderson

The 3rd largest city in the United States is home to a few surprises. I’ve always felt that Chicago was special, but here’s some facts that will have you convinced as to why this city truly is the best.

  1. Outside of the Louvre in Paris, The Art Institute of Chicago houses the largest collection of Impressionist paintings. I have yet to visit The Art Institute myself, but it’s at the top of my Chicago Bucket List
  2. In 1893, the Ferris wheel was invented in Chicago. Navy Pier’s iconic Ferris wheel is right at home.
  3. Deep-dish pizza was in fact invented in Chicago. Making it practically wrong to come visit and not enjoy one for yourself.
  4.  There are 4 states visible from the top of the Sears (Willis) Tower. The brave souls who go up to the top can see Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  5.  The 4 red stars of Chicago’s flag represent Fort Dearborn,  the Chicago fire, the World’s Columbian Exposition, and the Century of Progress Exposition. The six points of these stars represent important virtues or concepts. I’m glad to know it’s more than just a pretty design.
  6. The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the last free zoos in the world. A bear cub bought for $10 in 1874 was the first animal to call the zoo home.

Cool, right? Check out the BuzzFeed article by Lara Parker to learn 44 more facts about the city. Because there’s more to the Windy City than Michigan Avenue and a breeze–the nickname “The Windy City” is actually thanks to “long-winded politicians”, not the weather. Chicago is certainly a city to be proud of. I’m grateful that Loyola calls it home.

Friends Weekend

Friends Weekend

I was lucky enough to hitch a ride back to Chicago with two of my best friends from high school.  One of them goes to school in Chicago at Columbia, and the other was just visiting us for the weekend.  She has been to Chicago before, but it was nice to show her around a few places she hasn’t been!

When we arrived, I immediately took them both to Stella’s, my favorite diner in Chicago.  Conveniently, it is right across the street from me.  It has the best mac and cheese and milkshakes (random combo, I know).  I decided to switch it up and order a chicken melt and milkshake… both were delicious!

The next day we went to The Signature Room, which is on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building.  It has the greatest view of the city, as you can basically see everything.  It was my first time up there, so I was glad I could share the experience with my friends!

After we went to The Signature Room, we went to Navy Pier.  This was one of Chicago’s wonders that my friend has not seen, so we were excited to go and take some (cliché) pictures under the Navy Pier sign.  We walked through and stopped at some of the souvenir shops.  Since it was winter, we couldn’t get many good pictures outside… which only means we have to come back in the summer!

That night we got dinner in Lincoln Park and hung out there for the night.  We ate at State, a really cool restaurant near DePaul’s campus.  I highly recommend it, especially for a sports game as there are tons of high def TVs everywhere.   We walked around Lincoln Park, stopping at Molly’s cupcakes and stuffing our faces with some amazing red velvet cupcakes (notice the cupcakes.. plural.. oops!).  It was the perfect night of two of my favorite things: friends and food.

I’m so lucky to go to school in a city with so many things to do.  One of my favorite things to do is show off this amazing city to visitors, and I’m glad I got the chance to do so!

Photo Time!

Photo Time!

I want to upload some photographs from this summer to give you guys more of a visual of what I was up to. These photos capture just several of the awesome days I had these past few months.

Spring Awakening 2013– I didn’t take many photos so this isn’t the best representation of Spring Awakening, but the concert was great. Seeing Krewella play was the only reason I went, and I am so happy that I got the opportunity.

I saw fireworks twice this summer, and this was one of the days. Many people know that while the weather is nice outside during the summer, Navy Pier has fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday night. I went to see them one of the nights, and though it was raining and slightly chilly outside, they were beautiful. The whole time they were going (which was only about 15 minutes), Jimmy Buffett‘s music was playing and several times I caught the fireworks shooting to the beat of the songs.

These three photos were taken at Brookfield Zoo where my boyfriend took me to celebrate my 21st birthday. I had only been there once when I was much younger and I had been talking about going to the zoo for weeks so it was a wonderful surprise. We walked through the entire zoo and saw nearly everything, from all the cats, the bears, monkeys, reptiles, wolves, and my favorite- dolphins! Next time I go, I hope to see the dolphin show.

This last photo I’m posting was taking during my last fishing trip in Utica. It may just be a photo of a little fire going, but this fire took over an hour to get going at about four in the morning by four people who hadn’t slept yet. Needless to say, it was an interesting fishing trip even if it wasn’t really a successful one.



As promised, here’s a short-and-sweet blog of some Winter Break pictures:

I went for a walk several days before Christmas, and before I knew it, I was walking to this nice little park area, Milton Lee Olive Park, right outside of Navy Pier that I visit several times a year. It has a beautiful view, as you can see, so I decided to take a picture of it to share with all of you.

This photo has nothing to do with me, but it’s a photo my cousin took on her trip to Barcelona, Spain during break. For those of you dreaming of traveling and getting out of your heads a little, enjoy.

This last photo isn’t really good, but it’s the Holiday “L” train that exists during the holiday season to bring a smile to people’s faces. It’s the first time I’ve rode on it, so I was super excited to take a picture of the inside.

Puppies and Movies and lots of Food, Oh My…

Puppies and Movies and lots of Food, Oh My…

“The Dark Knight Rises” hits theaters in two days, and I am one of millions eager to see it. My friends and I are already planning an outing for next week, which means the anticipation will build till then.

Summer started out slowly, but after a month, things picked up, and getting to see the third Batman movie in this trilogy is just one of the awesome parts of my summer.

Here’s a brief summary of last weekend’s happenings:

Friday, July 13th

1.       I started this superstitious day with bowling with friends. I was out in Lombard, so we went to this little bowling alley called Stardust Bowl of Addison. Considering I’ve rarely bowled into the triple digits and my worst score ever was a 40, I was ready to do granny style bowling every time just for amusement. Though I didn’t reach triple digits (only one of us did- and there were six of us!), I did manage to get third place (by trying). I’m getting better!

2.       After a round of bowling and two rounds of air hockey (this I lost at both times sadly), four of us decided to continue the day with a grand buffet meal. We’d been talking about trying Golden Corral, so that’s exactly what we did. That chocolate fountain that they have? It’s no joke- this fountain of sweet chocolaty bliss was perfect.

3.       The last trip of this day was to a small place called Puppies. Guess what they sell here;monkeys! On a serious note, I found my soulmate in a small Chorkie (Chihuahua/Yorkie mix). He is four months old and so lively, but alas, I couldn’t take him home. At least I can adore him through this photo I took:

Saturday, July 14th

1.       On this day, I got together with one of my best friends as well as two of her close friends from home. The four of us went to Navy Pier and rode the Ferris Wheel (this seems to be my new routine), and then started a walk out to Taste of Chicago.

2.       Though we reached the Taste and the food looked great, we knew the portions wouldn’t fill our rumbling tummies for a reasonable price, so instead we walked through it until we stumbled upon Buckingham Fountain. And to think that just a few weeks ago I said that I wanted to make it a goal to finally see it this summer! It was beautiful, and even more so with the setting sun.

3.       After finally getting some food, we traveled back to Rogers Park to my friend’s apartment, where we settled in with some treats and the movie Sucker Punch. Though I’ve seen it before, I hadn’t paid close attention, so seeing it for the second time was amazing. Those critics that said this movie wasn’t good? Their favorite movie is probably Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (no offense to anyone).

So what’s next for the rest of July? Movie theaters, Six Flags, and the event I’ve been dreaming of for weeks now- Anberlin’s acoustic concert at Taste of Lincoln Avenue on Saturday, July 28th.

Recent Chitown Adventures: Part 2

Recent Chitown Adventures: Part 2

Okay, so I promised two blogs for this week, so here’s the second one.

On Sunday, I was with a friend all day, and we decided to head down to Navy Pier because she wanted to check out the shops and hadn’t been there in a while. I might as well have been an out-of-state tourist because I had no idea that Navy Pier had so many cool little shops indoors.

We journeyed into many places, including the Build-A-Bear Shop and this cool little place with all different kind of ties. If I weren’t already tight on cash, I surely would have been at the end of this trip because there were so many things I wanted to buy.

We decided to spend what money we had on something a little bit more beneficial (but not at all nutritious) to us- Garrett’s popcorn and Haagen Dazs ice cream. Here’s a photo of one of our treats:

Was the ice cream as delicious as it looks? Definitely. Was it worth the money? That’s to be determined at a later time over cheaper ice cream.

After my second trip to Navy Pier in one week, we strolled around downtown until we came across this super awesome outdoor art exhibit. Artists from all over were displaying their work, whether it was handmade clocks, watercolor Chicago skyline paintings, or handcrafted jewelry.

My personal favorites were the paintings done by this one woman named Lidia Wylangowska. Here’s a photo I took of the small print version of a painting that I bought:

The last adventure of the day was lived up in the suburbs, out in Des Plaines. My friend and I took a road trip to a tiny restaurant called Bob Mele’s Little Villa Restaurant and Pizzeria because it was karaoke night there.

Talk about a botched attempt at a song. If Queen had heard us sing “Somebody To Love”, they would have rethought why they wrote it in the first place. We would have to beg for somebody to love our version because it turned out, we didn’t even really know the lyrics to the song (and that was just the beginning).

Other than my Sunday field trips and a lovely Sushi dinner with my cousin at a restaurant called Tank on Monday, the rest of this week has been rather slow. Thankfully, my workweek is over so who knows? Maybe I’ll check out Taste of Chicago this weekend.

Recent Chitown Adventures: Part 1

Recent Chitown Adventures: Part 1

My recent adventures have kept me from posting a blog last week, but I am happy to say that I have plenty to write about to cover not one, but two posts this week. Yay!

Last week, my mom treated me to Cirque du Soleil: Dralion, and any dream I have recently created for myself about joining the circus died. Why? Because I have zero chance and ability of doing what they were doing. Here’s a recap of my favorite parts:

1. During the first act, they kept bringing up this one specific guy from the audience up onto the stage. My mom and I were convinced that he was just an onlooker like us because he acted exactly like an audience member would- confused as to why he kept getting pulled on stage, nervously giggling at everything he was made to do, and trying to run away every chance he got.

Alas, he turned out to be a part of the show, but nevertheless, he was hilarious. He was forced to wear a red clown nose, almost all his possessions (including the shirt off his back) got stolen, and in general, they just would not leave this guy alone. What was the best part of his appearances? His reactions to everything. I was crying into my mother’s shoulder of laughter when he imitated the little clown who bothered him the most.

2. Also in the first act, there were acrobats doing flips and tricks on trampolines. The cool part of their number was that they were also using tall walls as props; they would jump high on the trampoline up onto the walls, flip off of them, and then drop back down a far distance. I’ve only done those tricks in one place: my dreams.

3. My final favorite piece was the duet performed using two thick and long ribbons descending from the ceiling. It’s hard to even begin to describe how beautiful and graceful this act was, so I’ll just say that it was amazing. Neither of the performers was attached to any safety devices, so the only things they held onto were the ribbons and each other. My heart wouldn’t stop beating rapidly throughout the whole performance, both out of fear of them falling and awe of their actual moves. Flawless!!

My other favorite event of the week was Fourth of July. From start to finish, it was one of the best-spent Independence Days I’ve ever had. My best friend was performing a dance in Washington Park that day for the International Festival of Life, so I got to take the Green Line for the first time to get there. Afterwards, my friends and I all went down to Navy Pier to catch the fireworks, followed by a lovely ride on the Ferris Wheel as the night’s closer.

Between the fireworks, flips and flaming hot weather, I’d say last week was one of the best I’ve had this summer so far.

A Week Past Summer Solstice

A Week Past Summer Solstice

July is rapidly approaching, which means that half of my Loyola summer is officially over. Two months ago, I was stressing over my finals, and in two months, I’ll be back in the classroom, brainstorming ways that I can convince my professors to give me As (I know- a good start is by doing the homework and studying).

So far, this summer has been filled with many hot and eventful days. And there are many more to come. Several of my summer’s highlights to date are:

  1. Went to my first wedding with a best friend of mine, and took the Amtrak train for the first time to get there. I did not think that I would be hearing country music at a wedding, but I was on cloud nine when I started to hear song after song of pure country bliss. I downloaded “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton and “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” by Luke Bryan the moment I got back from that trip.
  2. Went to one of Chicago’s Full Moon Jams. This firedance is held once a month during the full moon during the summer months in Chicago right off of Lake Shore Drive. Right after the sun set, drum playing began along with a group of people dancing with fire (using hula hoops, batons, fans) in a ring. My favorite part of it? When these two guys started blowing fire out of their mouths like dragons.
  3. Going to Lincoln Park Zoo and seeing this awesome juggler performing near the Polar Bears (or technically, where the polar bear SHOULD HAVE been but WASN’T- I will not cry…). There was a small crowd gather around him as he did awesome tricks that I’d never seen before. One trick was that he stacked several objects (I think it was a flat wooden stick, two balls and a wine glass), one on top of the other, and balanced them using his mouth while juggling two balls in each of his hands. If you don’t understand this…well, I didn’t understand how he did it. Hopefully he’ll perform there again!

And now, here are several rapidly approaching events that I’m looking forward to:

  1. Going to see the performance of Cirque du Soleil- Dralion for my birthday this weekend with my mom. I’ve seen Cirque du Soleil once before and they did not disappoint, so here’s to round two of acrobatic awesomeness!
  2. Seeing the Fourth of July Navy Pier fireworks downtown this year. I saw them several times before, and it was breathtaking. The view of them bursting over the lake is definitely not one to miss- even if it takes four hours in traffic to get downtown to see them.

Along with these events, I plan on having some smaller adventures as well, like: finally seeing Buckingham Fountain, going to Six Flags Great America and hopefully going to the Shedd Aquarium. Maybe July is my month to do all of them!