A bachelor party hit a snag last week when Robert Chernow's buddies' flights were delayed, so he made the most of it by going it alone — and posting the hilarious results on Instagram.
Using the hashtag #ChicagoForOne, the SyFy network staffer's photos went viral as he documented his solo adventures in the Windy City, where, without groom-to-be Jake and the rest of their bachelor-party buddies, Chernow was seen pouting at various landmarks that typically inspire smiles and laughs.
"Hey @notjake_fromstatefarm, thanks for inviting me to your bachelor party and then having your flight get canceled so I'm the only one here!" reads the caption to his first #ChicagoForOne photo, posted Thursday, showing him smiling and holding a ticket to a preseason Chicago Bears game.
That smile had faded by the time he hopped on a boat that offered plenty of seats for "all my friends [whose] flights to Chicago got canceled."
He appeared forlorn at Navy Pier, despite having his pick of carousel horses.
He also posted a screen-grab of his profile on Tinder, which is often used for dating. "First time using Tinder!" reads the caption. "Fingers crossed!"
Oh, about that preseason Bears game: Let's just say his section provided plenty of legroom.
Snagging an Italian beef sandwich at Portillo's, Chernow said he met a woman named Theresa, who supposedly told him "these sandwiches are normally meant to be shared, but you seem sad enough to finish one by yourself."
As the day came to an end and his story began to go viral, he treated himself to a "personal spa day," which is a pretty good spin on basic hygiene.
Chernow's luck hadn't improved by Friday, when even popular tourist attractions wound up being oddly desolate.
Throughout his journey, he snapped photos of himself with locals, including a John Hancock Tower worker named Chad who supposedly told Chernow that "the panoramic views of the city are unforgettably breathtaking…except when the fog rolls in…like this morning."
According to Chernow, "Chad was right."
A green-screen alternative would have to suffice, but didn't seem to help his mood.
Finally, after Chernow spent more than 40 hours experiencing the city on his own, the groom-to-be showed up late Friday and reportedly told him, "thanks for making my weekend all about you." Chernow added, "On a side note — I'd like to thank everyone for their unwavering support in my time of loneliness. Chicago is an amazing city with even more amazing people."
But even with his friends by his side and offers from Chicago businesses to accommodate them all, Chernow continued to post #ChicagoForOne photos during the rest of the trip.
The Chicago Cubs invited his group to Wrigley Field, where Chernow kept the party-for-one theme going.
He even made a new friend, but had trouble striking up a conversation with the Cubs' mascot Clark, who's "contractually obliged to not speak. This is going well."
The photos helped Chernow collect about 12,000 new Instagram followers, up from the 600 or so who'd followed him prior to his #ChicagoForOne experience, which he toasted Monday from a Chicago bar.
In a video recorded specifically for TODAY, Chernow summed up his #ChicagoForOne experience.
"[I] spent 48 hours alone, but luckily, [my friends] have all arrived since then, and now we get to actually celebrate," said Chernow, who turned his camera around to film his cheering buddies. "Totally worth it!"
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