I was living with my parents when I got the call. I was let go from a previous job driving truck where I drove out of my way an hour and a half to pick up a friend who was kicked out of their home. The Call was from Swift Transportation and they wanted to offer me a job working.
The call was from California and the recruiter thought I was living in Ontario California. The address was almost the same. Ontario, CA like Ontario Canada. I explained that I was from Canada and they had checked with their higher-ups to see if it was still okay to extend this job to me and was given the go ahead.
Once the go-ahead was approved they told me that would send me to Chicago for training and an interview. That meant I was given a bus ticket to go to Chicago from Port Huron, MI, and a hotel to stay at while I was there.
I was pretty excited at the time because I had not stayed in Chicago, only driven through. I was also pumped because I was about to get a job working in the US. I’ve always wanted to live in the US, but being a Canadian makes that much harder to accomplish.
Off I went two weeks later. I had my father drive me to the US where the bus picked me up. I remember spending a lot of time riding that bus. I thought that the bus ride was forever. It stopped at nearly every city along the way, which is great when you want to explore, but the bus was stopping briefly at other bus stops to pick people up. I had transferred busses two or three times on my way there and was exhausted by the time I arrived. What should have taken six hours to get there took about ten.
Looking out that window and seeing the landscape of Michigan was wonderful. I always appreciate the scenery. It was early summer, everything was green and seeing each city on the way was interesting.
I arrived in Chicago in the late evening and had a cab take me to the hotel where I was staying. The hotel was in the Heart of Chicago walking distance from the training facility. Instead of being an open hotel like you would expect to find at a hotel 8. This hotel was in the side of an uptown building which was quite interesting as it looked like it wasn’t big enough from the outside. It was cozy and small inside. A bed, a tv, and a mini-fridge that I avoided as I didn’t drink. I unwound myself and fell asleep fast. My alarm was set for the next day and I was eagerly anticipating the day.
Training was fun, they took me through the facility and familiarized everyone with all the equipment and if I remember correctly they had us do tests in the truck, backing up and dealing with the air hoses and all that sort of thing.
That day I got back at about 4 pm. Since I had some time to myself I decided to take the subway and find my way downtown. On the way to the subway, there was this high school I had to walk past, It was large and had some kids outside talking.
I didn’t have any fear about using the subway, although I’m sure I should have been afraid. I paid for my token and went up the stairs. The subway system was built above the road but at that location, it looked like a bridge for cars. Once up top I found the map and followed the directions to downtown. The time it took to get to downtown was about 15-20 minutes if my memory serves me.
Once I arrived downtown I was in awe. I’ve never seen a city built like Chicago before. The subway was built overhead on beams directly above the streets
To me this was special. I had the opportunity to walk around everywhere. Not realizing that Chicago is a huge city I thought I could walk anywhere. I did walk a lot. Probably for five hours or more, well past dark.
I made my way over the the Hard rock cafe, and to the river north district where there is a beautiful line of bridges that run through the heart of downtown
I then made my way back up toward the sears tower. What a gorgeous city. I really didn’t know where anything was as I hadn’t done any research before I went. I would love to stop by and do some sightseeing sometime when I’m there with my wife.
A great package I’ve discovered when I was in Toronto is CityPASS. They offer discounted rates of adventures that you would want to do in a specific city. That might include going up the Sears Tower or visiting local museums. They offer this service to a few cities in North America.
The next day while at the training center we were all in a room together going over safety and legal documents. After I would fill out the paperwork they realized that I was a Canadian and unable to work in the US. I thought they might be able to find a way for me to work in the US. which is why I took the chance to travel. Instead of staying for the whole training they immediately sent me home. I called my parents in frustration and they were waiting for me at the bus stop when I arrived home.
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