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#MMGYTravels: Rays of Sunshine Warm Hearts and Hands in Chicago

Christy Vaught

TRAVEL FACTS
The Trip: #RayOfSunshine experiential event with Barceló Hotels & Resorts
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Destination Highlight: Private helicopter ride over the Windy City
Miles Traveled: 1,021 miles

Ah, summer weather. Sand between your toes. Clear blue waters. Warmth from the rays of the sun. All things you would find at an all-inclusive beach resort in the Caribbean and Mexico.

Not what you would find in Chicago in the middle of January.

I, along with six of my bravest MMGY colleagues and client Barceló Hotels & Resorts, traveled to the Windy City in the middle of January. Temperatures: single digits. Wind Chill: negative degrees. It was cold and windy, but we were excited to warm the hearts (and hands) of Chicago citizens.

Our task was to bring the warmth and sunshine that one would experience at a beach resort to cold, windy Chicago. As we embarked on our mission throughout the city, the temperatures began to rise, the sun began to come out and we realized how cool (pun not intended) Chicago was for natives and tourists alike.

During my previous trips to Chicago, I spent most of my time shopping at The Magnificent Mile or checking out the latest Broadway production at the Chicago Theater. This time, however, I enjoyed getting to know the people of Chicago.

As we walked from Michigan Ave. to State Ave. and beyond, people were more than excited to receive our hand warmers or scarves that we were passing out during our five-day trek in Chicago. We also hosted a Barceló beach party complete with island music, food and drink in Millennium Park. It was the perfect backdrop. Not even a few snow flurries could stop the 250 guests from enjoying the party.

The highlight of my trip was a helicopter ride over the entire city. In my opinion, everyone should experience a city from the clouds. Three words: calming, majestic, wow.

You see, when we arrived in Chicago, the low temperature was 1 degree. Upon departure, it was nearly 49 degrees. I like to think that we can legitimately take credit for bringing “Rays of Sunshine” to Chicago. You’re welcome, Windy City.

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Chicago
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