So where was I on Tuesday?
I was in Chicago!
I took some other pictures, but I uploaded them over here at Facebook.
I wasn't there for any political reasons though. I've spent the past week in a suburb of Chicago at a resort hotel attending a conference for NAFSA: Association of International Educators. It's a national organization for people in international affairs in universities and colleges both here and abroad. My department sent me up a day early on the train so I could attend the pre-conference workshops on study abroad. It was my first time on an American train! It made me realize how much I loved being on trains in Japan and how much I miss that now. The Amtrak itself was a good enough experience, but the Metra (suburban Chicago train) was a different story. It was sooo confusing! None of the actual trains are marked, so it's difficult to tell if you are in the right one. I ended up asking 3 different people just to be 100% safe.
Since my first train arrived at 10:30am and I didn't have to leave Chicago till 5pm, I spent the afternoon playing along "The Magnificent Mile". I really like walking along Michigan Avenue, but I hadn't been there since I was interviewing and training for JET. I was still proud of remembering where things where though. My main goal was to hit the Sanrio store in the Northbridge mall. I may have bought too much...
I debated on that lunchbox because I'm 27 years old, but I had been thinking that I wanted a thermal-type lunchbox so my food would stay cold during the day. It even came with a plastic container inside! The organizer was the most important thing, though, because Sanrio's organizers seem to suit me best in terms of calendar layout, note pages, address book, and storage pockets.
After Sanrio, I went outside and started walking north. I stopped in the Disney Store, but it's such a huge letdown. I think its primary target is children so it's basically all toys and a few coffee mugs for the adults. Again, I miss the Japanese idea of the Disney Store where you can buy anything from toys to household wares. Going a little farther down the street, I stared lovingly at the Burberry store but didn't feel worthy enough to go in. T___T I did, however, stop by the Coach store, where I blatantly lied to the employee. I was just being nosy, but when she asked what brought me to the store, I said, "Oh, just looking for Christmas gift ideas. We live just outside of town, so I thought I'd stop by." And by 'just outside of town,' I mean '4+ hours south.' XD
Shortly after that, I arrived at The Water Tower. I stopped a girl on the street who was holding a Lush bag and asked her where the shop was. It was just across the street in Macy's so I stopped by there as well. That was a surreal experience. @_@ When I told the employee I had only been to Lush stores in Nagoya, she yelled to all the other employees and said, "HEY LADIES! This customer has been to our shops in Japan!" Then all the Lush Fairies flocked around me and started asking questions. I just wanted bath bombs and some shampoo, but I got the full interrogation. Then they did a bath bar demonstration for me because I made the mistake of saying, "No, I'm not familiar with the bath bar." -_-; Again, I may have bought too much...
I managed to escape with two bath bombs, a chunk of coconut shampoo, and a free sample of conditioner. I also randomly went into a Sephora store and got some clear mascara. The best clear mascara I ever had was a cheap kind from Japan, and I'm having such a hard time finding a similar type here. I don't wear colored mascara because my lashes are too long as it is and color makes me look like an unintentional goth girl. Let's hope this Sephora stuff works because it was 10USD a tube! D:
Well, I'm mentally and physically exhausted from three straight days of professional development. Going to head to bed and sleep in till noon tomorrow! Oh, and because food pictures are awesome... ROOM SERVICE BREAKFAST!!