Chicago and No Horse Head in My Bed???

Trip Start Jun 01, 2002
Trip End Sep 11, 2007

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Flag of United States  ,
Monday, May 5, 2003

Me: Excuse sir, can you tell me if Jeffereson Park has an actuall park?
Airport Guy: Why?

Me: Well I have 5 hours to kill before my flight and would like to sit in the sun in a park for a while.
Airport Guy: Well sir, we recommend that you stay within the airport boundries because you will run risk of getting lost or mugged or murdered and therefore that would cause dealays to the flight....

Me: You have already delayed my flight, so is there a park or not????!!
Airport Guy: Not sure....

Evening all and welcome to Sunny Vancouverland, well not really sunny actually spent the day inside a pub drinking because it was pissing down rain, but I like to think it was sunny on the inside.

Ok, so after a few hi cups I arrive in Canada all safe and well, but I thought that since I have done nothing in Canada yet I would tell you all about my adventures in Chicago, so relax, put your feet up, get a coffee, call in sick or perhaps just ignore me completely and enjoy.....

So with a couple days in Chicago and to be honest not many people acting as travellers at all I was pretty much on my own to explore the city. After my body clock was back in order after a snooze after the sunrise experience I thought I would wonder the streets and wonder I did.

USA = Big. They love big buildings and big cars and just everything big. You know how in Europe people drive around in those little 1.4 litre things they call cars, well the Americans use these for Lawn Moowers and Popcorn Makers - nothing less than a V8 is accepted on the streets. As for Chicago; the architecture is amazing and with some of the buildings just soaring towards the sky, you have to strain your neck to see up! Very impressive. So I just walk and walk and then I just a walk and then when I think I am at the end of the "Magnificient Mile" (Shopping district) it goes on and on.

Enough walking, need to sit I think, with the day at its peak I thought I would be very touristy and head across to Wriggley Field (yep named after the chewing gum guy) and check out the baseball field (I am sure I could talk my way on to the field to have a few practise swings...) Bingo bango, the train has all these Chicago Cub fans on there, appears that they are playing today at home and this little Aussie sport fan just found a way to kill the afternoon!! (Well at least at the baseball the players do not stab each other!)

Learning that scalpers are not the best news, I go to the line to check the cost out and see how much I should be paying, as I get to the line, this guy approaches me and tells me that his mate has not shown up and if I want to buy the ticket for $20. Why not, not really sure where the seat was. Turns out right behind home plate just on the left - give me a glove and call me a catcher! Turns out the tickets are prime seating - he heh he all for $20.

So here I am enjoying the sights and sounds of the baseball in Chicago. Looking around and seeing the poor dads and uncles who sit the whole game with a baseball glove on hoping to catch a ball for their kid. I then think, well if one come my way I would give it to a kid and then I think hell not, what a great souveniour!!

Then out of nowhere, the name of the city kicks in - no not Gansterville - but WINDY CITY part. In the shade with the wind picking up and me in just a jacket and my little brown beanie and I start to get cold, I then shiver, then I think hyperthermia set in and I saw the white light at the end of the tunnel - wow was it cold. But you would be pleased to know Chicago Cubs won and I am now a proud supporter - "Carn the Cubs"

With my body tempature at about minus 20 I thought I would grab a coffee on the way home - hmmm where to get coffee, perhaps one of the 23 million Start Buck joints around - hell get a franchise and place it on every single corner!! But the coffee is great!

Next day with only a half a day before my flight to Vancouver I thought I would be really really toursity and head up the John Hancock building (one of the big buildings in Chicago land) to look out the observation deck!. They brag about 94 floors and the views etc, but I did not let them into the secret that they have not met Mr Grollo and he is on the case back home!!

In all have to admit the views were pretty fantastic. With the early rain (me in shorts) the weather turned out better than perfect (other than being cold). Had the obligatory photo and killed sometime. Ahh time for the airport.

After finding out that my flight had been cancelled, I was reschedule on a United Airlines flight directly to Vancouver which was great, because I did not have go via Dalls. As it did not leave until 8pm (5 hours later I had some time to kill - see above!)

So eventually I work my through customs and I following happens:-

A intensly attractive airport lady approaches and ask for my ticket, which I hand over with smiles. She looks at me and says "Mr Cormack, you have been selected......... I think Business Upgrade, she says "Intense Security Search"!!

Rubber Gloves enter my mind and the panic sets in!!!

Sent across to Bob who waves his magic wand around me, and then tells me to take off my shoes and socks (I tried to warn him I had not done laundry for a while). This is the best bit, because my belt went off the metal thing, he asked me to take it off and the tells me that he needs to put his hands in the front of my pants to check for a 'razor balde' or 'knife' - You know when you have a witty comment like "Hmm it is never been called that before... or no knife just a samarui sword baby' and you wished you shut up - well I made the right decision and shut my mouth - he was about 9ft 8 ;-)

So through customs eventually - I get my gear and walk through to the next section. This is where my back pack gets swapped to check for 'Chemical" or "Gun" Powder - talk about securtity - but I am sure it is all for a good reason because all this security stops any freak can take a fork on board and stab someone.....not!!

On the plane and this bellow voice says something like "Howdy, I am Mike and I am from Texas - where you from Stranger" in a tone of voice louder than you can imagine and the only thing I can think is - perhaps that 7 hour train trip was not that bad comapred to what I am going to have to go through now!! It is going to a long flight.,.

Ok must run as no more time... take care and talk soon - Ps I am all well and hope you all are!!
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