22.05.09 - Cleveland to Chicago
Trip Start May 20, 2009
22Trip End Jun 08, 2009
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Back on the ground we took a route up the Millenium Mile (Chicago's Oxford Street) and through downtown to the Millenium Park - currently hugely popular due to an attraction colloquially known as 'The Bean' which, certainly not in violation of the trades descriptions act, is a huge, metallic bean shaped sculpture affording endless photo opportunities. By now, true to form, it was getting windy and bloody cold (one can only speculate as to what it might be like here in the winter). At the same time, Greg was becoming obsessed with finding the Sears Tower which, after walking around in the cold for what seemed like forever, he subsequently admitted to not knowing what it actually looked like. We therefore headed home Sears Tower-less and shivering.
The guide book pointed us towards Lincoln Park for evening festivities. Despite the stereotype of America being totally dominated by piss poor beer (Bud and Miller light etc), most places have well renowned microbreweries kicking out all manner of lagers, pale ales and wheat beers. Case in point was the Goose Island Brewhouse, which allowed us to sample a variety of the aforementioned tipples whilst ploughing through a hearty plate of pulled pork in front of the seemingly infinite collection of sports bearing plasma screen TVs. Fed and watered, we asked a few of the locals (a couple of slightly older ladies - one of which was a great doppelganger for Eddie Honda of Street Fighter fame, the other slightly less recognisable but would pass for Mum Ra from the Thundercats) where would be a good place to head to play pool and have a few more drinks - in true American style we were offered a lift which we duly accepted. Dropped off by our makeshift taxi, we proceeded to shoot pool in the busy bar and couldn't help but notice how poorly dressed our male, transatlantic cousins were on a Friday night on the town in a major city. The standard uniform seemed to be shorts (or trousers big enough for 4 people to spend the weekend in), sports shirts and baseball caps. Dressed for London (shoes, jeans and a shirt) we stood out a little, but not enough to earn us a shoeing so all was good. A few more enquiries and we were chatting to a group of students who suggested that the 80s club they were going to (Steppe Up) was on the way back to our hotel and also not the worst place in the world. On arrival, it seemed passable though the state of most of the clientele in terms of inebriation was on a par if not beyond your average northern UK town. Furthermore, and this appears to be fairly standard over here, the toilets resembled the 7th layer of Dante's Inferno - it was really a case of close your eyes and hope for the best. The rest of the evening passed without event, though one of the guys proceeded to apologise circa 64 times for the fact that we were in Chicago and this was the best he could show us.
Day Three Stats:
Mileage - 340 (795 total)
State registration plates seen - 8 (31 total)
States visited - Ohio, Indiana, Illinois