This past weekend I traveled to Chicago to conduct interviews for High School Diplomats, an exchange program I work for year-round. To keep within budget, the trip was only for about a 24-hour time span: 7:30pm arrival Friday night – 7:30pm departure Saturday night. I was excited for the trip because I had never been outside the Chicago O’hare airport, and thought I might get a chance to see what this big city had to offer.

Here’s what I gathered from the trip:

1. Apparently Chicago can’t handle rain at 50 degree weather. My flight was delayed about 2.5 hours on the way there

2. Chicago drivers, at least at the airport, are insane. Don’t even think about driving 1mph under the speed limit, or even try to merge into their line.

3. It should really be called Chicago–the freaking windy city. If I didn’t sprint from the car to the building, I would literally get swept away by the wind

4. Seems like a great city to train for a marathon in. It’s pretty daggone flat up there.

5. Even with Google Maps on an iPhone and a GPS, it’s still possible to get lost if you travel with me.

6. Adding the word “swag” occasionally to the end of you sentence bumps up your cool status big time.

7. 24 hours is not enough time to see any city, especially one of the biggest in the country. Especially when most of my time was either spent in a high school giving interviews, or in the airport waiting for yet another delayed flight.

8. and lastly…Hertz don’t hurt. Hertz is a great rental car company. Great customer-service, sick rides, and all at a relatively good price. After being flustered from the long trip, the Hertz employees really put me at ease, and made my first experience of renting a car less nerve-racking and way more enjoyable.

Overall, the candidates we interviewed were great, it was good to reconnect with my fellow staff member, the hospitality at the high school was unbelievable, and it was good to get away for a day or so. But I still would have to say it was sure nice to be back in good ol’ Raleighwood! I think next time I’d like to go back for at least a full weekend, definitely in the summer, to get a better perspective of the city, as well as try to track down the Chicago Cash Cab!