A few days in Chicago

Trip Start Aug 16, 2004
Trip End Aug 13, 2005

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Saturday 23rd was a stressful day. It started with ordering a taxi to pick us up from the Sandusky hotel at 7:45am to take us to the bus station. Well it didn't show up on time, so after a couple of phone calls and me having kittens it finally arrived at 8:15am. We got to the bus station on time but then the bus was late!

Got to Chicago 1hr later than scheduled and eventually managed to get directions to the hostel. Caught the bus and it then broke down. The next bus didn't tell us when it was our stop so we rode all the way to the end of the line. Then we had to get back on another bus and get off at the correct stop. We walked to the hostel and eventually checked in. Realised that the hostel is the same one we stayed in in 2000 which was a bit of coincidence. Wasn't our first choice but everywhere was really busy. The rooms didn't have air con which at first glance didn't seem to be a problem, but as we would find out, was a problem.

So we went back out and caught the 'El' to downtown. the 'El' is an elevated metro system round the city centre loop and then turns into a regular metro further out. We had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe before coming back to the hostel and watching some TV and trying to sleep. The room didn't have any fans either so we had the window wide open to try and let air in, but it also let all the noise in as well. The room was really hot and it was the first time in America that the heat was a problem.

Next day we walked through Lincoln Park & Zoo down to Chicago city centre. We walked down Magnificent Mile where all the posh shops are, saw Sears Tower and Water Tower Place, and visited lots of shopping malls, mainly to get out of the record 105 deg heat. We walked through the theatre district and went to the Rainforest Cafe for a meal. This is another chain of restaurants similar to Hard Rock Cafe but with a rainforest theme (obviously!).

When we came back to the hostel there was a power cut so we walked to McDonalds to get ice cream and sit in the air con for a while before venturing back. When we got back the power was still out so we gave up and went to bed. The power stayed off all night, which was a right pain going to the toilet in the dark.

When we woke up on Monday the power had finally come back on. We went to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Wrigley Field is one of the oldest baseball grounds in USA. We walked around it and saw many houses that had extensions built on the top with seats so that they can watch the games from their homes.

In the evening we went to the Chicago Howl at the Moon pub. It's the same theme as New Orleans - a guy and a girl playing piano and doing requests. We stayed for a few beers and watched 2 guys getting really drunk, then caught the train back to the hostel around 11pm for another hot and sleepless night. There was another power cut as well which just topped off a miserable few nights in Chicago.
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