Traveling is the bomb! Traveling with the person you love is even better. Back in July, Hailey and I set decided to embark on a trip for her birthday! The school had just ended for me and she was looking forward to the time off work. It took us quite some time to decide on which destination we would travel to. After a few painstaking weeks of going back and forth, we came to an agreement on traveling to the Indiana Dunes for a day and then to Chicago for a couple more days.
Everything was awesome! The first time I had ever been up to the Indiana Dunes was with Hailey. It was there, on top of the biggest sand dune, that I asked her to be my girlfriend–six years ago. Six years later, we returned for our one-year anniversary. After we had our fill of sun, water, and sand we set off for our “midway” stopping point where we would lodge for the night. The midway point was just outside downtown Chicago, smack dab in the south side of Chicago. It was the first time I had ever been fearful of our lives staying at a hotel.
The one thing you never want to during a bad situation is… Google about the bad situation. Whether it be a sickness, crisis, or anything in between, a sure-fire way to make things worse is to Google about it. So, that is exactly what I did. I Googled the area we were in and it turned out we picked the one hotel, in one of the worst spots of Chicago, with one of the highest crime rates, with one of the highest murder rates, and we were going to stay the night. Yay!
Englewood has long time been known as a leader of the most dangerous parts of Chicago. When we arrived, there were police cars parked along the sides of the roads, and standing in front of the entrance of our hotel. Instantly regret overwhelmed us. People stared us down as if we were foreigners from afar.
We checked in and walked up to our room, almost instantly we were hit with the smells of cigarette smoke and weed. Once we got to our room and stepped through the door we immediately wanted to turn around. The room reeked of smoke, it was damp, and the floors, bed, and walls all had stains on them. We had no clue what we were supposed to do. It was only around 5 p.m. and we were stuck. So, we decided to go out to eat and then to a movie. Again, people eyeballed us as if we were outcasts.
After the night was over and we returned to the hotel to sleep, the fun continued. There was chatter through the walls, laughs, and arguments. As we lay there, we immediately begin to discuss what the heck we were thinking. The night carried on, we both fell asleep, and around 3:30 in the morning we awoke with a heart wrenching panic. The fire alarm had unexpectedly gone off with flashing lights and loud sirens, just like the kinds found in high schools. I woke up thinking, you’ve got to be kidding me. That was the final straw, I got my pocket knife out of my bag and clung to it until morning.
At day break we got up, got ready, and got the heck out of dodge. Other than our horrible hotel experience, the trip was great. A word to the wise, do your research before you travel, it may serve you well!
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