A small plane and a quick 2 hour flight later and we’re in Chicago, the windy city! The repeated warnings on the train from the airport forbidding people from soliciting and gambling didn’t fill us with confidence but who are we to judge eh. We’re fortunate enough that my friend from Uni had moved to Chicago to teach and she willing to put up with us for the weekend (thanks Laura you beauty). Her flat was amazing as well, right in the centre, 34 floors high and with belting views of the city, someones doing well for themselves! Once we’d had a brief catch up and got the introductions out the way it was time to eat! Laura took us on a foodie tour of the city; through a hidden door for the best cooked meat you could ever imagine, up 10 floors of a shopping mall to get frozen yoghurt and then to a hole in the wall which turned out to be a cupcake ATM – because everyone needs 24 hour access to cupcakes! The following day Laura had to go to work (unlucky for some) so me and Rod did a little exploring, we saw the giant shiny bean and the Lake which looks as big as the ocean and then we had plans to bike to the zoo, unfortunately we didn’t make it that far because there were no bikes left so we went to get burgers instead, at least we tried. Rated the third best burger in America, according to Laura’s sources, was a spot called Au Cheval. We’d been assured that the 2 hour wait would be worth it so we waited patiently and oh my god was it good, I don’t even like burgers but this was something else! Two patties, the thickest bacon you’ve ever seen, a perfect fried egg and all sorts of crazy sauces on it, worth checking out if anyone is planning on nipping over to Chicago.
The Saturday before St Paddy’s day is cause to celebrate in Chicago, everyone is Irish for the day! Hundreds of thousands of people must have turned up for the celebrations, the river was dyed green and there was a parade on but the crowds were at least 30 people deep by the time we arrived so we didn’t see much. We decided to embrace the Irish spirit and head to the pub instead. We met Laura’s friends and found a little Irish bar slightly away from the mayhem, we spent the afternoon drinking and playing games whilst the staff handed out free corn beef butties, belting. We moved on to a club at 7 (yep people go out that early over here) and it was already rammed, everyone had the best intentions of a big night but a full day of drinking takes its toll on the body so by 11 everyone was tucked up in bed, think that might be mine and Rob’s latest night so far though, result!
Oh and I forgot to mention, we almost missed the parade in the morning because Rob managed to block Laura’s toilet and then flood the whole bathroom whilst trying to fix it and then he had her cereal bowl to try and scoop the overflowing toilet water into the bath, nice one Rod. Don’t seem to be having much luck with the waterworks in America!
We had the best intentions to be good tourists on the Sunday but a combination of bad weather and bad heads prevented us. After a true American brunch, pancakes n’ all, we were done. Laura was heading to Tanzania that afternoon so she desperately needed to pack and after a busy week we needed to chill. Even travelers need Sundays off! So instead of doing all the wonderful cultural activities the city had to offer we stayed in and had a ‘Making a Murderer’ netflix binge, that show is just too addictive, sorry Chicago. Had an amazing weekend, all thanks to Laura for letting us meet your lovely friends, funding our weekend and just being the best host! It’s been so nice to see a city with someone who lives there, you get so much more out of it. Not going to miss the coldness of Chicago though, we’re off to San Diego next for a good dose of sun!