Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Traveller Spotlight: Michael

Today I was able to talk to a guest named Michael who is visiting us from San Francisco.  He is in town reuniting with a group of 12 friends that he met while participating in AmeriCorps in 2007-2008. AmeriCorps is an organization that engages Americans in service related activities all over the country, which can range from working at a school to a state park.  Michael said his team was able to help with the reconstruction after devastating Hurricane Katrina, among other projects.  He joined AmeriCorps after college and really liked being able to travel all over and meet new people.
    At this point, Michael has only been here for a few days, but he still saw a lot! His weekend activities included seeing the ‘bean’ at Millennium Park, heading over to Navy Pier, enjoying some deep dish pizza, and hearing some live music over at the House of Blues. He said the evening at House of Blues was nice because it was much more mellow than the liveliness of the Saint Patrick’s Day festivities. Though he enjoyed his time, he said he was just ‘along for the ride’ and his favorite part of the trip was catching up with the friends he hadn’t seen in about six years.
Even though he has been in the city for a few days, this is his first night at the hostel.  We hope you have a great stay, Michael!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Saint Patrick’s Day 2014

We hear a lot about “going green” these days. But Chicago takes this idea to the next level.  On Saint Patrick’s Day—and all throughout the month of March, Chicago celebrates Irish culture and tradition through several outlets.  There are pub crawls, parades, an Irish Film Festival, and more!

But, the biggest event would have to be the Dyeing of the Chicago River.  At 10:45 am, 45 pounds of eco-friendly vegetable dye are poured into the river, transforming it into a gorgeous emerald green color.  This grand tradition has been taking place for more than 50 years, and it is a perfect kick-off for the rest of the day’s festivities.  The river will only stay green for about five hours, so be sure to check it out before heading to the parade!

Downtown Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is one of the largest in the country! It begins at Columbus Drive, goes north through Grant Park, and ends are Monroe Drive.  The parade includes vibrant floats, Irish step dancers, marching bands, and bagpipes.

In case you aren’t ready for the St. Patrick’s Day fun to end, don’t worry; the fun isn’t over yet! On Sunday, March 16, the South Side Irish Parade will take place at 12 noon at Western Ave between 103rd and 115th street.  Also on Sunday is the Northwest Side Irish parade, starting at 12 noon and located at Onahan School at 6634 W. Raven Street. 

Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day and don’t forget to wear green!