Heat Wave

“Summer is almost over”. This thought ran through my head quite a bit the past few weeks, and I realized that I hadn’t really gone on any trips or visited any friends. I was supposed to attend a leadership conference this summer with some students from the sorority I advise, however those plans fell through. I decided that the next best thing to do is keep those days off and go somewhere fun. My boyfriend and I decided to back pack through Chicago.

For 2 days we walked through a good chunk of the downtown portion of the city. We hit some tourist spots like the John Hancock Observatory and Millennium Park. I insisted on taking a taxi to certain areas, but my boyfriend the navigator decided we should walk everywhere. “Just a few more blocks, honey”, he kept saying. What he didn’t realize is that Iowa blocks are not the same as Chicago blocks. The 5 or 7 blocks in Chicago could easily mean 2 miles. Oh the many miles we walked…my feet cringe from the thought of pain.

This summer the Midwest has experienced a crazy heat wave lately. My boyfriend and I made the mistake of going to Chicago on the hottest days of the week. With 10-12 miles of walking a day, extreme heat and humidity, smog, heavy backpacks on our shoulders….who knew this could lead into heat injury? I kept asking to stop after so many blocks because I needed to rest. My feet were incredibly achy and began to blister. We stopped at a Starbucks to get something to drink and cool down in the shade. My head was throbbing, but my boyfriend kept saying “Just a few more blocks, honey”.

On day 2, we were on our way to Art Institute of Chicago, and all of sudden my boyfriend kept getting confused from the map he had in hand. He didn’t know which street to take, or the fastest way to get there (which I kept saying “Let’s take a taxi”). He was beginning to experience a headache. We found a man on the street selling bottles of cold water. I whipped out my phone to look up the symptoms of heat stroke. Confusion--check. Muscle weakness—affirmative. Headache—copy that. Oh boy, what did we do to ourselves?

We tried to take it easy for the rest of the day and doing our best to keep hydrated. Then it began to rain, and we had to head to the Amtrak station for our ride to Bloomington-Normal (home of Illinois State University, where I completed my Master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration). I have never been more thankful for rain than I was on that day. The atmosphere cooled down a bit, and it felt nice to wash away some sweat. As we sat in our hotel room that night, we looked at each other (in pain, no less) and thought “We are never doing this in the summer time again”. We had fun though, but heat exhaustion wasn’t “cool”.

Please take a look at some of our pictures from the trip! If you ever get a chance to go to Chicago, do it. It’s a great city to explore.

And don’t forget to keep hydrated this summer!

What exciting places have you been to this summer? Tweet me @tabatha_cruz :-)

Tabatha Cruz
@tabatha Cruz

Student Affairs - the First Years

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