Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tourists in Chicago

Today Katelyn and I woke up at 8:25 to meet with the rest of the cohort in the lobby. At 8:45 we left the hotel to sightsee around Chicago and visit sights such as the Bean. First, however, we stopped to eat breakfast inside the nearby mall. I ate scrambled eggs with oatmeal and fruit. After eating, we went to visit the American Girl store, which fulfilled my childhood dream. I've always wanted to go to one of the American Girl store but there was never one close by my house so I was really happy to have visited one today. 

After leaving the mall, we went to Millennium Park to visit the Cloud Gate, otherwise known as the Bean. At first sight, I had actually expected it to be bigger than it was but it was still quite large. I was surprised to see that it was seamless, unlike the Gateway Arch we saw a few days ago. After taking a few pictures, we decided to see the orchestra that was rehearsing near the Bean and they were amazing, like nothing I had ever heard before (in person, anyways). 10 minutes after we sat down, we left since we didn't want to be late to the Northwestern University information session.

Cloud Gate aka The Bean
Upon arriving to the Northwestern University campus, I absolutely fell in love with it. Even the town of Evanston itself is actually beautiful and has many different places to dine and socialize with friends. During the information session given by Michael Kessler and a student named Mike, I discovered that NU is very diverse in its major and minor combinations. There are students at the school that have a varied combination of majors and minors. 

Our tour guide, Carrie. 
One of the more beautiful buildings on campus.
While on the tour, I found that the NU campus is large and right next to the Lake Michigan shore. There are two beaches practically on campus and I really liked that. Also, the Norris Student Center which houses the food court and bookstore has a very laid-back atmosphere which I really appreciated. Something very interesting about NU was it's Rock Tradition. In 1903, a purple quartz fountain was donated to the school but one day the water was left on and the pipes froze and burst. In the 1940s, a group of students decided to prank the school by painting all over the rock. They were forced to clean it off but did it again as seniors and the tradition has remained. The Rock now has several layers of paint, since it is painted almost everyday by different student groups. 

After visiting the lovely Northwestern University campus, we returned to our hotel to hang out before going to our dinner. In that time, Katelyn and I changed into our formal outfits and freshened up a bit, then met up again at 6:20 to leave to the restaurant, Capital Grille. Since it was not raining we all walked there and got to see a bit more of Chicago. We arrived at about 6:40 and by 7:00 all four of our guests had arrived. 

Accompanying us tonight was Shannon Kennedy, a NU admissions officer, and Liam, Katie, and Iheoma, all tour guides and NU students. I had the opportunity to sit in between Liam and Katie, while Iheoma (known as Momo) sat across from me at the table. We talked about various aspects of the school, including housing, school events, and classes. I was particularly interested in the Dance Marathon, where students dance for 30 hours to raise money for different organizations. I also really liked Armadillo, also known as the Dillo, which is a student-run music festival. I know that if I attend NU, I will definitely take part of that.

For dinner, I ordered a filet mignon which was perfectly cooked. It was raw on the inside, which is how I like it, and it makes it easier to cut. As a side I had creamed spinach which was surprisingly good. I'm not sure what spices it had in it but the spinach itself was very tender. For dessert, I had a coconut cream pie. It had heaping mounds of whipped cream on top and I enjoyed every last bite.
Filet mignon

Coconut Cream Pie

After the dinner, we went back to the hotel and got caught in the rain, but it was only drizzling. Overall, today was a spectacular day and I'm definitely planning on applying to Northwestern University.

Katie, Liam, Katelyn, me (hidden behind Momo's hair), Momo,
Jun, Shannon, Sue, Kevin and Natalie

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