Friday, December 6, 2019

End of Semester Strife



I'm almost to the end of this degree and I can confidently tell you something: I hate college. Not the going to class or the assignments or the balancing act of schooling full time while working full time or the PITA Professor(s) or having tests on the same day in multiple classes. Nope, those are the least of my problems.

My problem with college?
I'm surrounded by people who are better at something than I am.
Which in and of itself is NOT the problem.

I am the problem.
Because I am vicious to myself.
I do not let myself off the hook easily.
But mostly because I compare myself to those who are better than me and then demean myself until I want to give up.

I cannot allow myself to NOT be the best.
Honestly? It's the fucking worst.

Because as often as I tell myself, "Megan, you need to stop. You need to see how far you've come. You need to realize that you literally cannot be good at everything you just started doing. You need to accept that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. You need to stop winding yourself up, just to need another self-talk to talk yourself down from the ledge."


Anddd, the spiral begins.  Not only regarding how horrible of a coder I am, but about how I'm a phony computer science major who doesn't know anything about the field.  I should be ashamed of myself for having to get help from others to get to this point when I should be able to show that I can do it all on my own.

When I was but a measly Communication major at NC State, we learned about something called cognitive complexity (which has various definitions depending on your subject matter).  Essentially, people who are cognitively complex can hold multiple viewpoints and it helps them be analyze things from various facets.  Generally, people with higher cognitive complexity observe more nuances than those who are less cognitively complex.

TL;DR: Cognitive complexity is thinking of things in a multidimensional way.

If you've ever been with me when I've judged someone, you've probably experienced this about me.  I'll be judging the shit out of someone and then my brain is like, but wait, did you think about this possibility before you judged them?  It's the reason I so often play the devil's advocate role when people are discussing the merits/disadvantages of an idea.  TBH, it's exhausting.  I wish I could turn it off... frequently.

I consider myself a more cognitively complex person and I believe this contributes to my spiral.  It leads to a frustration with myself for having these thoughts.  Kinda like when you cry because you're mad and then you're mad because you're crying (also 100% applies to me).


And in addition to the spiral?
I'm fucking exhausted.
I'm tired of running this race.  So, so, sooo tired.

And I know that the end is near.
But if you've ever ran a half marathon and heard someone at mile 11/12 try to be encouraging by saying something like, "You're almost there!  The finish is right around the corner!" you might be able to relate when I say, FUCK YOU, SIDELINER.

The end looks close to someone on the sidelines because they didn't run the 11/12 miles PRIOR to that point.  For someone who ran those miles, it looks like 1-2 more miles of enduring all the toe pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, blisters, chafing, breathing like you're a second away from death, more people encouraging you that you're almost there, and hopefully a water station because you're dehydrated...

And let me caveat that I say, "Fuck you, Sideliner," with love, because as a cognitively complex person, I understand that the reason for saying, "You're almost there" is to be motivating and encouraging.  But please understand.. I'm tired and grouchy and dehydrated and probably a little bit hungry.





Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Weekend Review {12/02}

FRIDAY

Friday was tattoo day.  I switched up the concept a little and I'm not disappointed.  Originally, I had said no color.. and I made myself a liar.  Oh well.




It was a long day.  I made it home by 11 (yes, pm), and it was put my shit down and bedtime.


SATURDAY

Saturday was productive day.  We had a slow start.  Once I finally got up, I had breakfast and placed the grocery orders and started on homework... and by that I mean, I managed to probably screw up some stuff for our group project that I don't know how to undo.  Oops.  I finally quit while I was ahead.  I finished up my final paper for another class.  When Teh German came in from mowing the yard, I finally gave up on trying to be school productive.

Teh German and I agreed to go to Sesame for dinner and then go pick up the grocery orders.  Our server at Sesame was an absolute nightmare, which makes me sad because this seems to be the trend of late.  We managed to pick up our groceries at both Sam's and Walmart and then headed home.

When we got home, it was dog snuggle and Modern Family time and eventually, bedtime.


SUNDAY

Sunday morning was another slow start.  Since I knew that trying to do homework would only result in 1- my frustration, 2- me fucking more shit up, I opted to stay away from the computer for the day.  Instead, we had a disagreement about paint and then we ended up still going to Lowe's to get paint samples.  We also bought a fake tree, which I thought would never happen since Teh German has always been #TeamRealTree.  What this really means is that one day he'll relent and let me put my childhood ornaments on the downstairs tree.  This was not that day.

The other thing we purchased at Lowe's was an appointment for someone to come put in a backsplash in the kitchen.  I'm not sure what home improvement bug crawled up my ass and died to motivate me in all these ways, but fucking FINALLY.


When we got home from Lowe's, we unloaded Baloo and Teh German moved Suzi out of the way so I could unearth the Christmas totes from the storage closet.  Teh German set up his new fake tree and I did the other house decorations.


My absolute favorite part of pulling out the Christmas decorations is these dog antlers that I purchased for Phil a millionty years ago.  Meri absolutely hates these things and I expected the same reaction from Pax.  Nope, he was cool as a cucumber.  Meri was as awkward as always.



When you corner your husband and hold the fake mistletoe over your head for forced kisses.
#ThisIsMarriage

Final results of our efforts:






Teh German was done with his decorating way before I was.  He enjoyed a cigar outside with Teh PT Husband while I enjoyed a Trap Christmas* Spotify playlist and continuing my decorating ministrations.


Despite having such a busy day, when we finally went to bed, I couldn't get to sleep and once I did, my sleeps were shitty.  #HateHateHate

*I like Christmas music, but I hate hearing what sounds like the same versions over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.. so the trap versions are a great alternative for me when I'm not in the mood for classic Christmas.. and I get to shake my booty to Christmas music... #WinWin

______________________________________________


A very unintentional productive weekend.  I am excited to start putting paint swipes on the walls, but due to decorating, it didn't happen.  I could have done some swipes then decorated while the brushes dried, but it was just too much effort and I wanted to focus on ONE thing (a rare occurrence for me), so that's what I did. 

I'm pumped the Christmas decorations are up because once the semester ends, I'm not going to want to do anything, which is usually why Christmas decorations have been minimal in years past.  Also, I need to do it when I'm feeling in the spirit, which was Sunday.  So it's d.u.n. 

The backsplash purchase was a splurge.  Teh German has been talking about doing it himself for a while... but honestly, it seemed like a real frustrating project to me and when I saw that you can pay Lowe's to contract someone to do it for you for only $300, I was sold.  This means #1: no frustrated German noises that put me in crisis/disaster recovery mode.. but also: no frustrated measuring, no multiple trips to buy more of an item, having someone else get all the necessary items and then.. THEY DO IT FOR US.  Like, #MINDBLOWN.  We have a house account for things exactly like this AND this was a planned home improvement that we just hadn't made happen yet.  Soooo, trigger pulled.

Paint swatches probably won't happen until next week or later, depending on how school productive I can be this week.  We'll see.  I want to put random paint swatches on the walls though, so the motivation is there, but I'm lacking in time because the end of the semester is barreling through my life like the Amtrak train.  Truthfully, it's not that I've got that much going on, but I have 2 big projects that aren't complete.  Both are partner/group projects, one just needs to be done and we're working on it (now), but had some HUGE technical set backs when my partner's power supply in his desktop blew AND he, inconveniently, left his laptop charger in GA over Thanksgiving.  The other project is a disaster.  I have no idea what I'm actually doing because test-driven/behavior-driven development is theoretically cool, but my worst nightmare in Ruby on Rails.. and if none of that made any sense to you, it's fine... same.

The best news from this hell semester is that I only have 2 final exams, since the rest of my classes had final projects.  I'm hoping that one of them will be online since our scheduled exam time is on a Sunday at 1pm.. WTTFF?? Thanks, Obama Hurrication.

And finally... there's a horrible combination of no-fucks-to-give + senioritis that I'm enduring right now.. and the struggle is rreeeeaaaallllllllllllllll. 

This week includes:
-Computer Science major test
-Friday test
-project screenshots (for the project we have had all semester, but started Monday, it's college, mkay?)

Next week is the final week of class.  #JesusTaketheWheel.


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Weekend Review {11/25}

FRIDAY

Friday was the last day of class before Thanksgiving break started and it was a struggle.  I managed, but Lawd, I did NOT want to be in my dungeon.  As soon as class was finished, I headed to work to fight with the instant pot (which is no way instant (as it claims to be)).  Because we don't have a stove at work, I figured I could make the pasta in the instant pot and it wouldn't take that long, because instant pot, and then just melt in the velveeta and cream like normal.

Fun fact, when you put 2 pounds of pasta and 12 cups of water in the instant pot, what is normally a tedious process of building pressure becomes a lifelong process of building pressure.  In case you also think that cooking pasta in the instant pot could be a good idea, I would recommend sticking with 1 box of pasta as 2 boxes + the water took almost 40 minutes to come to pressure.  The pasta only had to cook for 3 minutes... Then there was the process of depressurizing, which also took a LONG time since 12 cups of water.

Here's how instant pot deficient I am: I had to have someone else turn it on to start the process for me.  He is a regular instant pot user, so that helped, but even he was shocked at how long it was taking.  Soooo, take my advice, if you want to "instantly" cook your pasta, it is NOT instant. 

Several people came in the kitchen while it was cooking and we had the "Do you recommend the instant pot?" conversation.  Spoiler alert: I 110% DO NOT RECOMMEND the instant pot.  It is a liar.  NOTHING is instant.  It takes just as much time to build pressure as it does to cook something on the stove (unless it's frozen, in which case, the instant pot is superior, but not better than throwing that frozen thing in the crockpot in the AM and coming home to a cooked meal). 


Anyways, despite my loathing of the instant pot, it worked for me in this situation.  Mac and cheese was made, not nearly enough of it was consumed because we had so.much.food.  I left it all at work though, knowing it would get eaten and knowing that I'm making mac and cheese again this week for Thanksgiving.

I was so hungry I took a half-eaten-plate photo. /shrug

After eating and cleaning up, I left the office for a massage appointment I had scheduled late the in the week.  I know that I just had a massage on Halloween, but I was a mess and I was struggling mightily last week with being in school without a break since the September Hurrication.  So it was part treat yo self, part necessity as my body was rebelling against me.

At some point during my massage, I realized I had left the week behind.  I wasn't focused on all the school things that constantly bombard me and it was such a relief.  If I would have had the time, I would have written a pretty feely post about end of semester strife, but I didn't...  because Thursday I was put on a new project and tasked with writing documentation for a project I know ZERO things about, oh yeah and they need it by next Friday.. but really Wednesday since holiday week.  Fun!  Not.

Wednesday, I texted Teh Bestie and said I needed a pep talk because I was run down and struggling.  She called right away and reminded me that it was only 2 more days until the break and really only one since there was no class on Thursday.  But the bigger part, more than the pep talk she gave me, was that I reached out instead of struggling on my own.  Usually, I struggle quietly until I manage to pull myself up by my bootstraps or whatever.

Anyways, after my massage, I headed home to work and wait on Teh Advising Sister to arrive.  She arrived around 7 and soon after, we headed out for dinner. We went to Pearlz in Avondale.  I hadn't been there, so fun adventures!  After dinner, we went to Kaminsky's for adult beverages.  We were pretty tired after drinks, so we headed home and had some couch time, judging dating app matches for Teh Advising Sister. 

Way later than anticipated, we finally headed to bed.


SATURDAY

Saturday was a slow start.  We had plans to go day drinking to celebrate Teh PT Husband's birthday.  We managed to meet with the gang, late, and proceeded to hang out for many hours. 

We started at Ghost Monkey Brewing, but due to a church group with A LOT of children, we headed out pretty quickly and went to Two Blokes Brewing.


We spent several hours at Two Blokes, then headed to Dog and Duck for dinner.  There had been plans to go Westbrook Brewing, but since they closed at 6, the group headed to Commonhouse instead.  We actually ended up going home after Dog and Duck because the dogs needed to be fed and I was over day drinking.

Here's the (selfish) thing.  I don't drink beer, so day drinking at breweries isn't my jam.  I go to be a good sport and hang out with my friends, but it's not got the same appeal for me as it does to the majority of the people we hang out with, so I try not to be overly sassy about it.  Additionally, it was a birthday celebration, so it wasn't my call.  We've discussed day drinking at distilleries, but that has yet to happen.

Teh German opted to come home instead of being dropped off at Commonhouse and then he proceeded to be upset after he realized he had "missed out" by not going.  Siiiigh.  Whatever.  I was able to get in my TV time for the week.  We watched Noah Trever's and Iliza Shlesinger's standup comedies.  We were in bed by 11.  It was fantastic.


SUNDAY

Sunday, the guys scheduled a brunch event, gasp!  It was called "Beards and Brunch" and there was absolutely NO information about the brunch part of the event, which was my priority.  It was a Rusty Bull Brewing, where I'd seen food trucks before, so no info on the food situation made me skeptical about the situation and I was very adamant if there were not solid brunch options, I would go somewhere else.  After being at breweries for the majority of the day before, I had no problem going somewhere I could also drink something besides water.

Fortunately, Rusty Bull has a kitchen (which I was not aware of, and no one told me about) and the brunch options were pretty good and I didn't feel the need to relocate.  Teh German and Teh PT Husband signed up for the beard competition and didn't officially win, but they were the real winners in my book.

Eventually, Teh Advising Sister said she wanted to do ax throwing, which is connected with the brewery.  We were all down.  It was $26 for an hour of throwing time and we almost finished one game, but after about 15 minutes of trying to score and play the game correctly, we gave up the fight and just spent the rest of the time throwing without keeping score.

Fun fact: I'm actually kinda good at ax throwing.




That was one of my legit throws.
BOOM!  BULLSEYE BABY!


After our time ended, we all headed home.  After walking the dogs and feeding them dinner, we headed over to Teh PT House for socializing.  We hung out until about 7:15, when Teh German and Teh Advising Sister agreed on Japanese for dinner and we headed out to Sushi 101 for dinner.

After dinner, we headed home and it was bedtime soon after since Monday was a normal work day for us.

______________________________________________

A fantastic weekend with Teh Advising Sister!  I love when we have company and she's always down for whatever (i.e. day drinking with people she sees maybe once a year and some strangers).  We went to several new-to-me places and I can now say I've done ax throwing annnddd that I'm fairly good at it.

This week includes NO SCHOOL, kinda.  I should say no class, since I still need to work on some homework things, but I'm not overly motivated to do those things.  In addition to these docs that I'm working on for work, doing homework is even less appealing.  Friday is more tattoo and I have no idea what I want.  Originally, I wanted geometric pattern as the background, but now IDK and decisions are hard.

Thursday is Thanksgiving.  In the AM, Teh PT Wife and I are running a 5k, then we will go home and do cooking things.  Socializing and food in the afternoon.  Maybe if I'm super productive this week I can pound out those docs AND get a Friday post up?  Bahahahah, let's not get overly excited, Gentle Readers.

Happy Thanksgiving if that's your thing.
Happy normal week if it's not.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Five on Friday #217

EINS - Random Shit

Matilda's peer pressure skillz are undeniable... and now I'm signed up for the Kiawah Half.  Although, really it's Teh Bestie's fault since she texted us the the photo of the medal and expressed sadness over not getting it.  Then Matilda was like, I'll come to Charleston for that.  And I was like, if you come to Charleston, I'll commit.  And that's how I ended up signing up for a race I wasn't planning on doing again and how I ended up running 9 miles that afternoon.

Ok, I actually ran 9 miles because I meant to run 8 and then I was too far from home and it ended up being 9.  It was a fantastic run, despite tripping over a silk fence trying to get to the dirt access road I use for extra miles now that the main road is open and there are no side walks.

________________________________________


I finally fired my shitty cleaner.  Gentle Readers, I feel such relief at having fired her.  Especially after finding this the day she came to clean.


If you can't see it, that's orange mold around the faucet.  In fact, there's so much, it's drooping and starting to fall off.  When I told her she didn't need to come back, she expressed how hard she had worked and how hard she had tried to please me and how she never cleaned anyone's house for as cheap as she did ours.  Of course not, most of your houses are families with kids.  Whatever.  It's done.  Soooo.fucking.happy.

In addition to the faucet mold, I also happened to take a looksie at the downstairs toilet bowl and noticed that the holes where the water comes out for flushing had huge black rings around them.  RRRAAAGGEEE.. It was simple enough to scrub off with a toilet brush (which I did), but that's what I was paying her to do.  #Validation

I already hired a new lady.  She cleans for Teh PT Wife and her mom.  Can.NOT.wait.

________________________________________


I was having a crisis about the word ax after my Tuesday post.  I learned that ax can be spelled with or without the 'e'.  With an 'e' upsets Chrome, which is actually why I spelled it without an 'e' in the post.  I typed out axe, but thought I had over-assimilated to axe body spray or something.

________________________________________


To the fuck face who thought sports bras with a zipper were a good idea,
FUCK YOU.
-Runner with chafing from your fucking "good idea"

________________________________________


I'm 100% not interested in a career in cybersecurity, but I 100% want to go to this Women in Cybersecurity conference next year, so I'm faking it.  I've applied for 2 scholarships to go to the conference and I've also got someone at work on the mission.

The real reason I want to go?
It's in Denver in March and it means missing 2/3 days of school prior to spring break starting and then we'd spend my spring break in CO... because I'm already there and Teh German would fly out because... DUH, Colorado.  As if he would turn down the opportunity to be in CO.

________________________________________


I've scoped out some Black Friday things and I need nothing (*praise hand emojis*) and can't find things I even want.  Soooo, money saved????

________________________________________


Girl, Stop Apologizing was not what Girl, Wash Your Face was to me.  I wanted it to be, but it fell flat because I couldn't related to too much of the book (mom, business owner, etc).  There were a few solid one-liners that she said that hit home, but not enough to make me want to buy the hard copy to mark up.  I will admit that the conference addition at the end of the audiobook was more moving to me than the entire book.

One of my favorite quotes:

You don't have to give any justification, because as long as you're not asking anyone [for] approval, you don't need anyone to give you permission. 

~Rachel Hollis (Girl, Stop Apologizing)

________________________________________


PM: These docs are just checks in the box.  No one is going to read them.
Me: Uhh, ok.
...
..later...
...
Me: Do we have this?
PM: It should be in the doc.
Me: Yes, the one I'm writing.
PM says random shit that doesn't help me solve the problem in anyway.

TL;DR: The documents I'm working on literally just slinging shit at the wall and seeing what sticks.  DO NOT LIKE.

________________________________________


I forgot to hit publish on this post.. so you're getting it late.  #EndoftheSemesterProblems



ZWEI - Money Shit

-Food/beverage things.
-Groceries
-Gas
-Spotify
-Audible
-Massage
-More dog pjs (this time for Pax)
-


DREI - From My Phone Shit


If ever there was an accurate analogy for my life.
At least the warning light turned off...

There were people who actually said to me, "When would you ever need a charger than is longer than 6 feet?"
I present to you, "When I want to take a relaxing bath and play on phone/read a book and my phone is dead."

Looks suspicious.
Like something in my house with fur was not pleased with how I made the bed and.or was cold.

Looking at Black Friday deals and seeing a 5TB external hard drive for only $90 makes me feel ancient.
I paid $300 for a 256GB external hard drive in 2006.  It had to be plugged into the wall.



VIER - From the Internet Shit


You are not any less important than the people you look up to.
-MHN

#TechWriterProblems






You will not be able to be everything to everyone today and that is ok.
MHN


She continued to give her best,
even when her "best" looked different from one season to the next.
-MHN

I hope you can give yourself a little more credit.
I hope you can remember this road has not been easy for you.
I hope you can see where you are as progress even though so much is still unknown.
MHN

🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌

My daily challenge


FÜNF - Things that made me happy this week


  1. Getting to spend time with Teh Advising Sister.  
  2. NO CLASS.  161 days.
  3. Work tasking.
  4. Applying for "scholarships" as an excuse to get a free/cheap trip to Denver.
  5. FOOD.



Happy Friday, Gentle Readers.

Pack Up + Go: Chicago! {Review}

For our anniversary this year, we opted to do a Pack Up + Go trip.  Friends of ours went on a trip and they highly recommended it, so I was like, why not?  Teh German was like, here's why not: you pay someone to plan your trip for you.. and I'm like, "EXACTLY."  Then he said, "We could just plan it ourselves."  And I laughed and laughed and caught my breath and laughed some more and finally choked out, "You mean, I could plan it."  He glared, my point was made, and then we filled out the form to start the process.

Our friends had explained the process and said that if they did another trip through Pack Up + Go, they would opt to fly somewhere instead of drive.  Makes sense, as we live in Charleston, SC and there's very few places worth visiting within driving distance.  So, we chose to fly.  This increased our budget.

Ultimately, we decided on a budget of $750 per person, which is $1500 for 2 people.  That's a lot more than I wanted to spend on a weekend, but I didn't have to plan it and adventures and shit, so fine.

If you're less interested in the process and more interested in the things we did, check out this link:

The process goes like this:

Pick your category.


Set your number of travelers and budget per person.


Fill out the info form.


Then you wait... for like, half your life or something to pass until it's a week before your trip.  And you tell everyone you know about this awesome trip you are taking, but you don't know where you're going and everyone is like DAFUQ?  Then you explain that's part of the appeal, but mostly the fact that you don't have to plan anything.

A week prior to your trip, you will receive an email with generalized information about your destination and your anxiety and excitement will start to build.


Honestly, I didn't bother to pack until the night prior because I wanted to wait for the updated forecast before making life choices.

There might be marital strife regarding the opening of the envelope.. or at least there was in our case.  I was chomping at the bit to open the envelope.  I wanted to wait, but I didn't.  We finally settled on opening the envelope the morning of the trip.  Teh German got pissed when I brought the envelope upstairs to potentially open it before we even went downstairs.  Siiiigh.  We ended up opening it right before we left, after I made the argument that I wanted to know where we were going so that way if we hadn't packed properly, we'd be able to grab stuff we needed.  Teh German struggles to argue with logic, so it was agreed.

Then I let Teh German open the envelope, poor life choice, because he took his time and I ripped his head off when he couldn't get the cardstock apart to see the destination page and I said, "JUST OPEN THE FOLDER ALREADY!"  Patience is not my strong suit, ok?  The envelope had been in our house for a week, to watch him stand there with the answer to the question we had been asked for an entire month right there and not just DO IT was physically painful for me.  I probably even grabbed at the stuff to do it myself.  I'm probably the worst.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  IDK.

Some of the contents of our folder:



Satisfied that I had packed everything for our location, we headed to the airport.  Once we got checked in and made it to our gate, we sorted through the folder.

We had:
-hotel reservation information
-tickets for a show
-a dinner reservation info sheet
-a few pages of facts about Chicago
-transportation info card
-3 pages of suggested things to do
-some other etc stuff

I knew that not all of our time would be planned, but I guess I expected more of our time to be planned.

From the suggested things to do, it didn't seem to be taken into account that it was a whopping ~35°F outside, which really eliminated a lot of "go check out this park" or "walk to ____".  Don't get me wrong, I said in the questionnaire that we liked the cold, but like, not to just be outside for extended periods of time without having an activity or purpose.  There's literally only so much cold a body can handle while the winds are whipping off the lake.

I also said that we were interested in breweries, cocktail bars, and eating.  Many places were suggested for us, but we cannot literally eat and drink all day.  We ended up doing breakfast most days, but not lunch, and then only kinda being hungry by dinner time.  If we stopped for drinks during the day, we ended up pushing dinner back because we weren't hungry.  It was weird and as people who thrive on a schedule, it was kinda difficult.  That's the downside about good food places, I want to eat all the things, and I cannot.  By the last day, we ended up sharing a meal because we were so full from eating other things.

I was disappointed that most of the suggested activities were food/beverage things.  I know that seems ironic since I had said we were interested in food/beverage, but we couldn't take advantage of most of the suggestions because we took a few of the suggestions and ended up being too full to take more of the suggestions.

Of the few non-food/beverage suggestions there were (music/comedy shows/museums/visit parks/boat tour), they provided tickets for a comedy show and we did the Chicago touristy things (Millennium Park/Navy Pier) and went to a suggested museum (which was an absolute blast) and did the boat tour (very interesting, although it was a bit chilly, which we tolerated without complaint until all the bridges kept dripping melting snow/ice on us as we passed under).  The only activities we did that weren't suggestions were the Gangsters and Ghosts tour (win) and going to the Maxwell Street Market (flop).

My goal had been to just go along with the suggested plans, but it was impossible because it was SO MUCH FOOD/BEVERAGE.  Truly.  Click on those photos and zoom in to read the sheets.  I spent at least an hour Saturday morning going through the provided suggestions and on my phone Googling things to do in Chicago that weren't food/beverage.  By Sunday afternoon, we had run out of things we really wanted to do.  We ended up spending hours at a brewery utilizing their free wifi and splitting a burger for dinner until it was time for us to head to the airport.  There were a few reasons for this.

We went to the planetarium and it didn't take nearly as long as we expected it to, so we had a lot more time to kill than we anticipated.  We didn't want to get to the airport too early since the beer options were better (and cheaper) by our hotel.  Additionally, we were tired.  It's exhausting packing as much as possible into 3 days.  Our schedule was wonky because our eating schedule was off and sleeping in beds that are not Teh Cloud is difficult.  I know that sounds "princess-y", but I'm just being honest.

So my overall opinion?

I would recommend Pack Up + Go to someone who wants a surprise, but personally, this was a once and done type of thing for me.  I had to plan more than I wanted to.  I wanted a few days worth of suggested agendas laid out.. but I guess I should caveat that with, reasonable agendas.  There's only so much food/beverage this human can consume.

We ended up spending a LOT on Lyft rides (~$160) because public transportation is overwhelming for me and Husband didn't want to figure it out either, I guess, because he never suggested taking the L for anything.  Our hotel was over a mile away from the touristy areas of downtown Chicago and I've watched enough Shameless to know that I'm not walking around Chicago in the dark.  Also, places like the Museum of Science and Industry and planetarium aren't close to the touristy areas NOR was it close to our hotel.

I did try to arrange our schedule so that things we did were kinda close to each other to minimize on Lyft costs, but by Sunday, we were having to debate on what to do in relation to having to pay for a Lyft to a destination/back vs not do anything and that's when I knew I was over it.  Having a rental car wouldn't have solved the problem because 1) traffic was horrible, 2) parking costs would have probably been about the same as the Lyft rides.

Was it worth it for the experience?
Yes.

Would I do it again?
No.

Total Money Spent:

Cost Activity
$1500 hotel, plane tickets, comedy show tickets
$160 Lyft
$50 Friday breakfast
$60 Architecture boat tour
$25 Afternoon brewery stop
$75 Friday dinner
$20 Pre-comedy show drinks
$15 Comedy show beverages
$40 Saturday brunch
$40 Museum of Science and Industry
$50 Lou Malnati's pizza
$60 Gangsters and Ghosts tour
$65 Breakfast in bed at the hotel
$32 Navy Pier Ferris Wheel
$45 Navy Pier time killing snacks/noms
$40 Planetarium tickets
$45 Afternoon brewery/dinner stop
$30 Airport beverages

$~2350

Total $$ Spent (+/-)


So yeah, it was A LOT of money for a weekend.  We had a good time though, so it was a worthy anniversary trip.  I can say that I would have never picked that hotel, so that was a pro and a con.  I am a Yelp Elite, so I am always using Yelp to determine our places to eat, I even do it in Charleston, so I probably would have ended up at a few of the places they suggested anyways.

I think the next time I want to go on a surprise trip, I'm going to trade planning services with a friend that knows us and our preferences.  I can still be surprised, the cost will be less, and they will know us personally to know that we can't eat all.day.long.


FYI: I was in no way compensated for this review, but I mean, if someone wanted to compensate me with free travels, I wouldn't say no.