Get outta town

Summer in the city is fantastic. Street festivals, al fresco dining, beach days and neighborhood wandering are activities to be adored.

But sometimes you just have to get away.

While the cool kids were in Union Park listening to band after amazing band, I hit the road and held my own Pitchfork Music Festival in the comfort of my air-conditioned car. Partially due to my fear of sweaty people, but mostly for my friend Maggie’s bachelorette party in St. Louis.

I realized how little I know about the state of Illinois as I drove through its flat, sprawling farmland.Chicago is not an island on its own—there’s a whole wide-eyed state out there. It looks something like this from the road (with a few small cities in between):

Beautiful day for a long drive.

Clouds look painted.

Pit stop in a small town called Pontiac.

Things I didn’t know before hitting the road:

  • Illinois is overflowing with Lincoln pride. Not only is the state dubbed “The Land of Lincoln,” state capital Springfield boasts an Abraham Lincoln airport, museum, college and more. Wut? Also, Lake Springfield is gorgeous. I wanted to be sailing on a boat, not in a car.
  • Towanda and Funks Grove are towns I wish I named.
  • Bonanza restaurant still exists. For those of you who aren’t aware, Bonanza is like Ponderosa or Golden Corral, complete with an all-you-can-eat buffet.
  • Vanity plates are still vain. Plates with “Classy” on a Mustang convertible and “My Way” on an Oldsmobile told me a great deal about their owners.

Pitchfork-inspired playlist in the speakers:

  • “Odessa” by Caribou
  • “Dance Yrself Clean” by LCD Soundsystem (Bold statement: Probably my favorite single on my favorite album of the summer)
  • “Dog Days are Over” by Florence + The Machine
  • “Feel It All Around” by Washed Out
  • “Wide Eyes” by Local Natives
  • “Austere” by The Joy Formidable
  • “On Melancholy Hill” by Gorillaz
  • “Money” by Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
  • “Riot Rhythm” by Sleigh Bells
  • “Private Eyes” by The Bird and the Bee (Guilty pleasure: Get this Hall and Oates cover album. Divine.)
  • “I Died So I Could Haunt You” by Stars
  • “Holiday” by Vampire Weekend
  • “Swim” by Surfer Blood

Hit the road and see something new if you could use a little break. I can’t express how therapeutic it was to take in the scenery, play some great tunes and soak in the sun. I temporarily forgot about my stressors and the annoying things happening with my apartment. More to come on that later. The fact that I got to hang out with some college pals in St.Louis was icing on the cake. And anyway, Pitchfork Festival is streaming live.

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Filed under Chicago, city life, music

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