Hi from Chicago - USA
Trip Start Jun 20, 2010
74Trip End Dec 23, 2010
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Where I stayed
Hotel Dan - Loyola
Eventually we made it to Chicago and we knew we had arrived in the US when before we collected our backpacks, we had passed two Starbucks, two McDonalds, two Dunkin Donuts and an array of other fast food restaurants! Gotta love this place!
We mastered the underground from the airport and headed to stay at the home of someone we had been put in touch with but had never met (thanks Meg). We were welcomed to Hotel Dan by Dan himself (the hostess with the mostess) and met his partner Jeremy. Within 30 minutes we might as well have known each other all our lives!
That night we went out for dinner with some of their friends Cici and Mark but instead of heading straight to the restaurant, Dan doubled as a tour guide and drove us through downtown Chicago so we could get our bearings and take in some sites
Sunday was July 4th ... Happy Independence Day America. Our day started with brunch in Wicker Park next to Bucktown, which included bottomless Bloody Mary's and Bucks Fizz ... the celebrations for the day had begun! For desert Dan and Jeremy took us to 'icream’ (http://www.icreamcafe.com/) an idea that Ivor wants to bring to London. We then met some of Dan’s friends (Anita and Aura) who had been at the Cubs game at Wrigley Field in Lincoln Park (the 2nd oldest baseball ground in the US). What was supposed to be a ‘quick one’ ended up including a visit to a reggae bar, the Cubs local bar (that randomly had salsa lessons – Pengster you would have loved it!) before heading to Navy Pier (tourist central) to watch the fireworks. After the fireworks we went for some food to a city restaurant where Ivor and Jeremy provided us with an entertaining double act of falling off their chairs – booze or faulty chairs????
The next day was a late start but it was Tourist Day
Our second last day saw the temperature and humidity level rise in Chicago. So instead of heading to the city we opted for a relaxing morning at Hotel Dan coupled with a walk on the beach. In the afternoon we went to the Hancock Tower and had some drinks on the 95th floor in the Signature Room. Not only were we treated to amazing views of Chicago, we also witnessed a thunderstorm with lightening that engulfed the tower – breath taking! After drinks, Jeremy took us down the magnificent mile (main shopping road) and then we met up with Dan and drove to ‘Boyz town’ to have dinner at a top Sushi Restaurant.
Wednesday came too quickly for us. It was time to leave, not only a beautiful city but our new found friends. Chicago had a tough act to follow after Toronto but we can safely say that it stepped up to the mark.
Without a doubt we will be checking into Hotel Dan in the near future.
Dan and Jeremy thank you for everything – hopefully we will see you again while we are in the States (hint hint – Vegas baby!!!) and one day look forward to putting you up in Hotel ‘Bear and Shake’
........ to be continued!
PS Just in case you were sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering what had happened to our Toronto Tour Guide’s (Erica) foot, what she thought was a splinter actually turned out to be a nail. This has now safely been removed – hopefully she will be back on her feet soon.