Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude remains the sole focus of my writing, which for today is for a recent trip to Chicago with my closest friend Cedric where I achieved over 10,000 steps, three days in a row.
On almost a last-minute whim before Cedric’s annual visit to Toledo, I booked a very affordable short trip for us to visit Chicago via Amtrak. (Airfare and driving were far more expensive overall.) As an aside, Cedric and I used to visit New York City in early December every year just to see the holiday lights and wanted to do something similar this year so we came up with this trip to Chicago.
We stayed at a relatively newer property there (StayPineapple) that was in good proximity to much of the things we had planned to see, which included the Macy’s holiday windows/Walnut Room, Willis Tower, Shake Shak, Millennium Park, Weber’s Grill, Magnificent Mile, ChristkindlMarket, Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Lou Manati’s Pizza, and the Shedd Aquarium.
Back in the day, I would never have thought twice about walking to all of those destinations when visiting a big city for a mini vacation. I used to walk the many streets of New York City in much of my youth and Washington, D.C. in a good majority of my young adulthood. But I am 49 now and laden with many health issues that I am not in control of, where most days feels like they are more in control of me.
Considering that, I am grateful to report that I had enough energy to push myself during this visit to walk to each of those destinations and a few others as well, getting to see much of the city with my feet on the ground rather than in a cab, bus, or subway. I honestly prefer walking in my life because I feel more connected to where I am at, than when on any form of public transportation.
When all was said and done, I was frankly surprised and very thankful for how many steps I had achieved, the hardest of which was on the final day there where we walked to the aquarium, almost 2 miles away. Add in our walk in the aquarium once there, I was quite spent by the end of our afternoon visit. Unfortunately, there was no public transportation in the immediate vicinity, and it was raining as well, so I just accepted the situation in as much pain as I was and walked back extremely slow. I had a good chuckle with God when I finally returned to the hotel that night. I was so thankful to be back only to discover as soon as we were that the hotel elevators had all broken down with no fix in site. Given we were on the 12th floor, I practiced acceptance and got a few last steps in.
Overall, pushing myself as much as I did on this trip to see all the sites on foot, I most assuredly paid the price as my body was very sore afterwards, But ultimately, I was very grateful for how much Cedric and I did enjoy our visit and for how many steps I did take during this trip, something I felt warranted another entry in my Grateful Heart Monday series.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson