In 2004 I was lucky enough to spend some time studying theater in England. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, but the hassle of traveling that far was also *hella* intimidating.

Why do I bring this up? Well, even though the trip was nerve-wracking at first, it also forever changed how I handle vacationing. Basically, I was fortunate enough to have the professor in charge of our England trip take me under his wing that first day in London and orient me in one marathon six hour session. I learned how to handle the London Tube (“underground” or “subway” to the rest of us), got my currency exchanged, learned the basic lay of the land, booked tickets to a few shows I really wanted to see *AND* arranged for a day trip to Liverpool, England… alllll in one shot.

Yes, I slept like a baby that night, but I didn’t have any plans-related stress for the rest of the trip because I had been pushed to take care of it all early on. I also never got lost ONCE on the London Underground.

Thank you, Richard. From the bottom of my heart.

Anyway, that’s basically what Packy and I spent today- our first full day in Chicago- doing. Not navigating London, but laying plans for the rest of our time in the good ol’ Windy City.

Even though we visited here two years ago and already had *some* of that “getting the lay of the land” work done already as a result, there were still lots of things to figure out. We bought our 7-day train passes, located a great breakfast spot, found the closest beach, booked Cubs tickets and even squeezed in time for me to do some important “on location” research for the play I’m writing.

Oh, yeah. And we had a rather delicious deep dish dinner. Just sayin’.

Tomorrow is Packy’s day to coordinate what we do… looking forward to getting a bit “wild”… and that’s the only hint you’re going to get. 😛