Band Travels to Chicago Over Weekend

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Band Travels to Chicago Over Weekend


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Not many people are willing to get up at 4 a.m., get to the school at 5, get on a bus at 6, and then engage in an 8-hour bus ride. However, that’s exactly what a bus full of band kids did on April 16.

Being one of them, I can assure you that the bus ride was very, very, very long. However, we passed the time with jokes, songs, and movies (among the lineup was The LEGO Movie, Interstellar, and Jurassic Park).

We arrived in Chicago around 5 p.m., and immediately made our way through downtown, looking around at the sites, including the iconic Cloud Gate (more well known as the “Bean”) and 360 Chicago atop the John Hancock Tower.

Once situated in the hotel, most kids went swimming, while some (like myself and Ethan Conn) hopped on Steam to play some long-missed video games.

The next day was filled with a band competition in the morning, then off to the Navy Pier. There, we explored the stores and sights to see. From there, we went to the Field Museum, filled with the history of many cultures and other historic artifacts.

After a dinner of some great Chicago-style pizza at Gino’s, the band departed for a performance by the Blue Man Group, where their own Matthew Owens was recognized by the crowd (and the message boards on the walls) for his birthday, which happened to fall on that date.

The bus ride back to the hotel that night was full of laughs and jokes, even though most of us already hurt from laughing so much from the concert. Upon arriving, there was a surprise party thrown for Owens in the hotel’s restaurant. We all made our way upstairs, threw our things in our rooms, and proceeded back downstairs to enjoy some cake. However, once we went back up to our rooms, most of us went to bed immediately.

My room definitely didn’t stay up…nope…

Saturday was our final day, and although the morning wasn’t quite so early for us, we were still lagging behind. Eating a quick breakfast, I went back upstairs and joined the others in putting all of our things back on the bus.

Our next stop was the Museum of Science and Industry, where we messed around with the many exhibits, most featuring futuristic ideas and the top technology in modern day. Downstairs even housed the U-505 submarine from World War II, which US forces captured off the coast of West Africa in 1944.

After watching a movie over D-Day at the OMNIMAX theater, we departed for Shedd’s Aquarium; our second-to-last stop. There we explored and watched one of the shows, demonstrating the tricks of some of the animals, and explaining how Shedd helps rescue animals and aid the planet.

Our final stop was an awards dinner, where learned we had taken second place at the competition. Then, we all went to the playing of the Billy Elliot musical, where we had our good share of laughs. Sometime after 11 p.m., we departed.

I must be honest that I’m not sure what happened on the bus ride home; it’s all just a blur of drifting in and out of a half-asleep state. In addition, you probably don’t care what happened; most everyone was drifting in and out of sleep like me.

Just before 9 a.m. on Sunday morning, we arrived home. Everyone was eager to get back home; the trip had been fun, but we were all so burned out.

The trip to Chicago this year is one that none of us shall forget. I can guarantee that the trip wouldn’t have been even half as fun without all the kids that I went with. Band is a family…a completely and totally messed up family, but a family nonetheless.

I wouldn’t trade this trip for the world. I wouldn’t trade these family members for the world. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The memories I made in Chicago 2015 will never fade. All the good, and even the bad, which I didn’t quite mention. I’d like to keep that laugh to the four others in my room and the room beside us.

That being said, all that remains ahead is to catch up on the sleep we lost while there. Even with all the downsides, the goods way outweigh the bads. Here’s to Chicago 2015.