About Margaret Hicks

I'm Margaret. I'm an author, a tour guide, a traveler and a whole bunch of fun.

Odysseo – The Best Show Ever

This is a sponsored post – I received tickets to see Odysseo for Social Media week. 

Odysseo! The horse show! So excited to see this.

See, I’m a city girl, I didn’t grow up around animals. I never milked a cow, never slopped a pig (is that a saying?) I didn’t even see my first real cow until I went to the Indiana State Fair in college. Um, I hiked a mountain in Colorado once! When I was like, 16, and that doesn’t really have anything to do with animals. So.

I can assure you then, I most definitely have never talked to, sat with, sat on or even ever touched a horse.

Horses were not a thing to me as a girl, they’ve always been elusive and beautiful and scary – much like the popular girls from high school.

So when I got the chance to see Odysseo, I jumped.

The Big Top is south of the Loop, in between Soldier Field and McCormick Place (I’m surprised Friends of the Parks let them set down here, HAHAHAHAHAH, kidding…oh man, I slay me) and the tent is HUGE.

I got to check out the Rendez-Vous VIP Package which was so nice. It was a chilly night by the lake and the VIP tent was cozy and warm. There was a gorgeous dinner buffet, drinks and popcorn for the show.  Oh! And the best “set ’em up quick” bathrooms I’ve ever seen.

Walking into the theater for the show was a surprise, it was filled to the gills, but it wasn’t nearly as big as I had imagined. Quite intimate actually. We weren’t allowed to take photos during the show because people forget to turn off the flash and that bothers the horsies and please oh god, don’t bother the horsies! But we could take pics at the standing ovation.

The show was spectacular, all of a sudden a dozen horses on this not-as-big-as-you-thought-it-would-be stage and they’re running! FAST!

I have great fears and compassion for animals who lose it in human situations – so this was bananas! I was  so scared and so excited and I think the word I’m searching for is “thrilling.” I had all sorts of backup plans of how I would escape when the horses went nuts…but that’s just me maybe.

The actors/dancers/horse riders were so serene and lovely and calm and there were beautiful moments of just human amazingness too. There was a carousel where they seem to float in the sky and a Pink-esque silk, dance piece that was so astounding I made incoherent noises of amazement through the whole thing.

A half-hour intermission, so plenty of time for a drink and some popcorn in the VIP tent. And I felt a little easier in the second half and it did not disappoint. At one point they flood (so slowly, you almost don’t notice it) the foreground of the stage and the horses all go galloping through water – it is so, you guessed it, thrilling!

Backstage at Odysseo:

After the performance we all went backstage to see the stables and the warm-up room (one for performers, one for horses) and then we got to go on stage! So fun and weird.

Odysseo was just gorgeous, a great way to spend an evening and if you’ve got the means, the VIP tent is totally the way to go.


*If you’re interested in purchasing tickets, here’s a link for a 15% off!


Get Up On – Chicago Edition

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a solid Get Up On and there’s a few fun things I think you should get up on.

Cape Horn Illustration 

(LOOK AT THAT DRAWING OF THE ROOKERY!!! Oh my gosh.) I met Phil a few years ago and we’ve stayed friendly on the itnernetswebz. Recently we went on a walk together to look at buildings. I told Phil what a brilliant idea I think his marathon maps are. BRILLIANCE. Absolute brilliance. And the Chicago Alphabet print is about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Plus, he’s a passionate fellow who loves this city and his work. Check out Phil’s work and then maybe buy something! Right!?

Capriotti’s Sandwiches

Walked by a million times, never went in. Needed something after a long tour day on a Saturday and most casual sammy were closed. Capriotti’s still open! I’ve been there a bunch more times since and honestly, it hasn’t been that long since I first went in. This is a chain, I know, but their sandwiches don’t taste like what you think they’re going to taste like and it is glorious. I’ve had the turkey and the roast beef and I was surprised both times! And the bread. And they’re huge! And they’re nice in there. Get up on sandwiches.

The CTPA on Social Media!

This one is a bit personal, but I’m on the board of the CTPA – The Chicago Tour Guide Professionals Association. We are starting our social media accounts and they are going to be really fun! It won’t all be about tour-guiding, but great Chicago info as well. Look for us!

Instagram: @ChicagoGuides

Twitter: @ChicagoGuides

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChicagoGuides


Chase Tower

Chase Tower – The “Yes, And” Building

Before I was ever any kind of tour guide, I was a comedian, an improv comedian. My mom sent me to teen classes at Second City when I was 14 years old. At 26, I went back for good and I’ve been studying comedy – improv comedy specifically – for 20 years.

One of the big rules, really THE big rule, of improv is “Yes, And.”

In a scene, you want to “yes” your partner and then add something to it. If your scene partner says “it’s raining and it’s so cold out!” Don’t say “it’s not raining, it’s sunny and warm!” Because it really screws up the scene, screws up your partner and it helps nothing. In improv, we want to make our scene partner look good.

So, if you then say “You’re right! It is cold and raining AND I forgot my umbrella and I have sixty pounds of sugar cubes on me that have to be delivered to a sick horse tonight!” Then that is “Yes, And.” I yes’d my scene partner and added something.

Yes, And.

Chase Tower

Lately I’ve been having a new and exciting love affair with Chase Tower. Finished in 1969, designed by C.F. Murphy and Associates, Chase Tower is one of our most recognizable buildings.

But I’ve always just walked past it. Sometimes I’ll bring people by to do the “look up.” When you look up at it from the base, it looks like it’s curving over your head, it’s pretty cool. But other than that, I didn’t really think about the building much.

Chase Tower

A few weeks ago I took this Insta and my caption for this is how well these buildings go together, like an outfit! Look how pretty Chase Tower makes the Inland Steel Building look!

And then just the other day, I snapped this lovely photo:


WHOA! Look at this! This is like, 3 of Chicago’s best architects reflecting and staring at each other. And look at Chase Tower. How pretty is it? How pretty is it making the other buildings?


Chase Tower is a “Yes, And” building. It is a lovely building on it’s own, but it’s not until you see Chase Tower with all the other buildings that you realize how pretty it is. It is making it’s scene partners look good. Really good.

It is agreeing with them and adding something. And it’s so subtle that you just think the other buildings are just really pretty.

New respect Chase Tower. New respect.

Second City would be proud.

Free Chicago Architecture Tour

The Free Chicago Architecture Tour!


Yes! Free!

This year I’m adding a one-hour “Summer Fridays” free Chicago architecture tour! So, on Fridays, at 1:00, we’re meeting at Harold Washington Library and we’re going to do some skyscraper spotting.

Why Do You Love Buildings So Much?

Buildings are where my heart is always. I love the history and the stories of Chicago. This city is filled with stories of victory and heartache and grief and pride. But somehow for me, all of that comes through in it’s buildings. In telling the story of architecture (the mother of all arts) I can tell the story of the city.

This is a beautiful tour. We’ll look at “Chicago School” skyscrapers, some of our best! We’ll learn some of the different styles of architecture and really, this is information we should all have. Architecture is the art form you move through every day, all day – let’s talk about it!

Tour ends at the Picasso so we can see the one and only “skyscraper church.”

This tour is free! I want everyone to be able to enjoy this gorgeous city in the summer. Gratuities are always loved and fun and appreciated and totally not what this is about. 🙂

If you’re interested in coming on one of the FREE Chicago Architecture tours, click the button below. Please RSVP because it’ll help me know how many are coming!

FREE Architecture Tour

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