Chicago and beyond....

Trip Start Jan 25, 2008
Trip End Jan 25, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hello unfortunatly i haven't updated in a while this is not because i couldn't be bothered more that iv not really had time due to mainly being in hostels or hotels so not had the access as when staying with people. but anyway thought i would as now in hostel in austin and the internet is free!! will try and keep it short but got a bit of catching up to do.

Anyway i'll start from when we arrived in Chicago and after a bit of looking we finally found Danny who was picking us up in the train station. Both being very tired after a long train journey (the first of many) and due to arriving pretty late in Chicago we decided to hit the hay . The next day in Evanston (just outside Chicago) it was sunday and we basically sat around for a while after both slepping pretty late and we were going to meet up with Siobhan(cousin) later on that day for a bite to eat. we may have left the house for a wander and some fresh air if it hadn't been sooo cold! it was -16c for most of the day so we just chose to watch the basketball on the TV instead. Then at night we went out to meet Siobhan and a couple of her friends at a restraunt which of for those of you who know it is a bit like khubla khans in edinburgh. we got into downtown evanston a bit early so decided to let Danny drop us off and we would find somewhere for a drink, bad mistake as it was stupidly cold and we didn't know were anything was so we wandered around, i got a brain freeze like when you eat ice cream too fast, until we seen a bar and went in to warm up. Had a fun evening eating and cathching up with Siobhan and then after a few more drinks went home a little later. in the mornig we headed into Chicago and it was still pretty cold at around -12c so it was hard to just walk around and take in the city but we did our best jumping in and out of shops when getting too cold, then danny gave us a lift home which was good, but we arrived early to meet him and had to wait in the snow which was starting to fall until he got there, but he had the heated seats on when we got in which were very good!
that night we went to meet siobhan again this time with her boyfriend john for the famouse chicago deep dish pizza, we sat down intending to order one each not knowing what they were really so it was good we hadn't gone on our own for one cause although i put in a good effort with 4 pieces kev only mangaed 2, and out of the 2 pizzas we got ,there was a lot left over.
the next day we decided to do some of the sites and kindly kate said she would drive us into chicago and she took us to the museum of science and industry which highlight was an origianal german submarine which was captured by the U.S. you got to go inside it as well which was really strange as it was as it was pretty much when they caught, except with the dead german guy in it obviously. i'll tell you there is no way i could work in a sub as i must heve banged my head on so many various pipes, handles and the ceiling, also the beds looked like they could only comfortably fit a small child. after this at kevs request we headed to the chicago auto show which was on that week, not really my cup of tea but i got to sit in a hummer and a porche amongst others so that kept me happy. that night we had managed to get tickets to see the chicago bulls vs the new orleans hornets. the bulls lost 86-100 but i'v always wanted to see an NBA game so i wasn't really that bothered. on the way back though as it was late danny had offered to pick us up from the train station once we arrived back into Evanston but once we had phoned him to tell him when we would be arriving at the station our phone ran out of battery and we had no way to tell them when we had arrived in the station, also it ment we couldn't access there number. so it was our luck that when we got off the train and decided we would have to walk the 10 blocks or so home it started to snow and it was already very cold. not a great walk which was made worse when because i was walking so fast to get home i slipped right off my feet and landed on my bum, wasn't sore but didn't help with the cold. kev seemed to find it pretty funny though.

on our final full day in chicago we headed back into town and went to the field museum which is basically there main museum which was free  so that was good. it's famous for having the most complete skeleton of a T-Rex in the world and they call it "sue". very it was free we didn't feel the need t look at everything as we had done in previous places so after a while we decided to head back in town and go up the Hanncock building, which is the second highest in chicago. i'v been up before with mum and dad but it was good this time because everything was covered in snow and lake michigan looked very cool (pardon the pun). we were getting picked up from danny again so headed down and got another cosy car journey home. that night siobhan and one of her friends had said thay would take us out to wrigleyvill which is this big street full of bars, so we met tham a bit later on as we had gone out for a meal with danny and kate to a really good spanish restraunt. so we went into chicago but as it was a wednesday night it wasn't as happening as usual i imagine but we still had a good time and went to a few places and got the train back into evanston a little later than planned.

on our last day we didn't really have anything planned t tdo so we ended up not doing much apart from wandering in evanston a picking up a few things, also  our train was at 8pm to memphis that night so we thouht we should try and get as much slepp as possible the night before as not knowing whether or not slepp would happen on our 9 hour train ride but atleast it was over night. we left getting to the train station a little late so were pretty much the last people on the train and because it was sold out just had to sit were there were seats. i ended up next to a really nice guy who was going to memphis for the weekend so we talked for a while until the train became a little less busy and i found 2 seats on there own so managed to get a little sleep.

Once we arrived into memphis it was pretty early about 7.30am but luckily our hotel which we had booked let us check in early so we went there and caught up on some sleep which was good as ment we didn't have to hang around. once we woke up we started to wander into the city and realised that sun studios was right on our way into the city so we went in for the tour which was brilliant, this was more my choice than kevs(as was most of the music based stuff in memphis) but he probably learned a thing or two. it's a very good tour and you get to hear lots of old recordings from the studio from people like elvis and johnny cash and then at the end you get to pose for your photo with the original mic that elvis recorded his first ever demo (there is a cheesy photo to go with this but you will need to see it another time). after this we headed into the main strip in memphis called Beale street and had a wander around but not much to see during the day as it is mostly bars and music clubs. so we decided to head to the civil rights museum which is built in and around the motel were martin luther king was assasinated and this was very intersting with loads of video footage and stuff to read and also you go up to the balcony were he was killed and see his room. hen you head over the road and go up to the room were he was shot from and there is a lot of stuff about the hunt for his killer and all the theories about his assasination. after this as it was a nice day we went over to the mississippi and wandered along it for a bit. at night we went into town and went to a few bars with live music on mainly blues stuff which was good and we ended up in BB Kings bar which had a really good band playing and we were there till the early hours.

the next day we decided was the day for Graceland and hopped on a free bus out there. very interesting tour, lots of over the top fans and us not being huge fans but it was defiantly something i wanted to see. after this we headed into town and i wanted to go to the STAX museum which is a record label (otis redding, issac hayes) and its museum is on the sight of the original studio. another really good tour with lots to look at and listen to, only problem was it is in a very bad area so we had to get a taxi out there(its good someone told us this cause we were gonna walk) but on the way we stopped at a traffic lights and some woman tried to get in the taxi, looking very drunk. that was funny but still a bit worrying going through that area. at night though we decided to save some cash so had tea and tried 'soul food' which was basically lots of chicken and just had an early night and as it was the weekend of the NBA all-star game there was lots of basketball stuff on TV which suited me(actually if you get a chance check out Dwight Howard's dunks which won him the slam dunk contest...incredible)

anyway will leave this entry for just now but will probs need to do the next soon as i keep on leaving it and building up stuff to write about, anyway hope everyone is well, speak soon, p
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