Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chicago, Part One

Last night, Sue, Katelyn, and I decided that it would be best for us to sleep in the same room in order to wake up on time for our 5:50 AM trip to the airport. Our plan worked and we were all up by 5:00 AM to ensure that we didn't leave anything behind. 

We left the hotel at 6:00 AM and upon arriving at the airport, we checked in our bags then went to the security gate. Luckily, I had the pre-TSA check which meant that my security check was fast since I didn't have to remove metals or take electronics out of my luggage. We then waited for everyone else so we could board the plane. Before we boarded the plane, however, we ate breakfast at Chili's, which wasn't too bad. I had eggs sunny side up with toast and bacon and it filled me up enough to last me throughout the flight. 

At about 8:40 AM we boarded the plane to depart at 9:10 AM. We arrived to Chicago at about 11:00 AM and by 11:30 we were checked into the Drake Hotel. The Drake Hotel is definitely the most elegant hotel I've ever stayed at. As we entered we were greeted by a doorman and the lobby was decorated beautifully. Chandeliers adorned the room, along with a beautiful rug and lavish furnishings. 

The beautiful Drake lobby.
My beautifully comfortable bed.

The hotel room.
We then hung out in our rooms for about an hour. I share a room with Katelyn, while Sue, Natalie and Jun share another and Kevin has his own room. After refreshing ourselves we went to the University of Chicago for our information session and campus tour. First we grabbed some snacks at the bookstore, which were actually very good, to my surprise. Packaged sushi usually doesn't taste very good when it's store-bought but it was pleasantly good.

After eating at the bookstore, our information session began. It was led by Zack Evans, an alumnus from 2011 who nows works as an Admissions Officer. He told us many enticing details about the school, including the fact that the school opened in 1890, has 51 major and 30 minor programs and has 40 study abroad programs in 20 countries.

As soon as the session was over, we were taken on a tour of the school. Our group was led by Steve, who gave as very insightful information about the campus. I was really excited to hear that the movie Divergent was filmed on campus because it's a really good movie. I greatly appreciated the architecture of the buildings, especially the architecture similar to that of the post-Gothic period. It was also interesting to hear about the school's traditions, including one where parents leave their children at the front gates and part ways with them during convocation and go back there to pick them up when its time to graduate.

On the campus tour.
One of the beautiful buildings.

Walking around campus.

Coming back from the tour.
Although the tour was interesting, I was excited to go back to the hotel because it was time to get ready for dinner. Our dinner was at David Burke's Primehouse and we had originally planned to walk there but as we walked outside of the hotel, we saw that there was a huge torrential downpour taking place outside, so we took a taxi instead.

At the dinner, we met University of Chicago admissions officers Troy Carlson and Matt Rosenbaum along with students Teddy and Elizabeth. I had the opportunity to sit next to Teddy and Elizabeth who provided me with very helpful tips when it comes to applying to colleges. They both helped to give me an idea of what it's like to participate in extracurriculars while taking classes, since they are both active in the Arts and other student groups. 

The admissions officers gave us tips for applying to colleges, especially the quirky prompts that the application for UChicago offers. I will definitely take their advice into account throughout my college endeavors in the future.

For dinner, I had the 40 day prime rib steak, which was very good and humongous! I could say that the steak was probably bigger than my head. As a side, I had a bit of the whipped potatoes, which are basically mashed potatoes but didn't have any chunks at all. For dessert, I ordered the Chocolate Pecan Financier which is a sort of chocolate cake-waffle hybrid and coffee ice cream on the side.
Steak for dinner.
Chocolate Pecan Financier for dessert.
At the end of the night, we were all invited to see the aging room, where all the steaks are stored. It was really fascinating to see, since restaurant clients are usually not invited into the kitchen. After visitng this room, we went back to the restaurant where Troy gave us each a "swag bag" complete with UChicago merchandise, which I am extremely grateful for. Overall, it was such a great night!! I'm so appreciative that I have the opportunity to be in the ILC to experience this. Tomorrow, we get to be tourists and visit the Bean, which I am looking forward to. But until then, it's time to sleep!

Kevin, Matt, Jun, Sue, Katelyn, me, Natalie, Teddy, Elizabeth and Troy.


  1. Hahaha, it was fun reading your blog. "Swag bag" made me laugh soo hard. Haha.