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Chicago – The Windy City

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

September 20th

The weather is still so hot – did not even bother taking jumper into town – loving it! We made use of the motel free shuttle to the airport and caught the “subway” in. It’s v weird as the tracks run in between the lanes of the motorway and sometimes overhead in town. Got a good view of neighbourhoods coming in but did take an hour to arrive in town.

We skipped the Sears tower as had it on good authority that the John Hancock Observation tower has a better view. The 94th floor on a clear day was amazing – the photos do not do it justice.

   View From Big John  Outside John Hancock

It is inside with floor to ceiling windows. My stomach curled up and hit my ears many times, Josh and I actually found it easier to crawl on our knees to near the edge where Ophelie had no issue putting her head on the glass – I couldn’t look at her! There is some cheesy music playing in the background so I am guessing people go up there to propose. With the music and the height it really was enough to make you feel queasy!

I really liked Chicago and the kids did too. It feels more relaxed than NY and I felt it has more of a hip edge to it surprisingly, but what do I know about fashion. I think NY has it’s own style and vibe whereas Chicago seemed more in tune to Brit fashion and styles.

The architecture is great and you spend so much time looking up. The Tribune Tower has bits of famous buildings embedded in it’s walls, the Taj Mahal, Hamlet’s Castle, Parthenon, Berlin Wall and the Forbiiden Palace. It was fun running round looking at all the different bits of history. The twisted piece of metal from the World Trade Centre really stuck out.

Tribune Tower

Many buildings have the old iron fire escapes outside – I guess a throw back to the great fire. Apparently it all started when Mrs O’Leary’s cow knocked over a lantern……… 

Pizza was calling – you have to taste it in the home of the deep dish. We ate the famous Stuffed Pizza at Giordano’s and I can say it was yum. The amount even beat Josh – a minor miracle! I felt it necessary to sample the local wheat beer too and can also say it added to my culinary experience.


A first travel find for us – when one of the kids needed a loo break (and only 10 mins after the last one!!) we passed the Museum of Freedom that had free entry so in we went. It was a very interesting museum. Lots of exhibits on censorship (for eg music that had been banned) and what the concept of freedom means. It had electronic versions of the Declaration of Independence that you could zoom in on and it explained the sentences which was great for the kids. Who knew that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” was so important to Jefferson? I always wondered where the concept of a Happy Meal came from…………..and yes that was a joke.

A few more “exciting” shots from Chicago and I apologise for the pohots to everyone – I still have not managed to quite work them out yet.

Police 5  Moose Anyone  Snow Zone 

Thanks to everyone for your e-mails and comments – it is comforting to know all the news from home and haven’t you all been busy since we left!!!! Please keep the news coming.

The Long & Winding Road

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

September 19th:

Long trip today – covered 350 miles from Cleveland to Chicago. It wasn’t actually as bad as I thought – the roads are very easy to use, truck drivers actually get out of your way and there’s so much to see. Ohio was a surprise – it’s so flat with not too many trees – it seems like the sky goes on forever. Little Fisher Price farmhouses are dotted all over the place and they all look so picturesque. Fuel is also sooo cheap – I can do just over 100 miles for $10 – not bad.

Took a break at a Walmart Supercentre. OMG you can buy everything from Cheese that helps with bloatedness (this made O and I break out in fits of laughter) to guns. I wonder how many Tesco Clubcard vouchers I would need?? Our accent is conspicuos and soon we had friendly questions. Also saw an Amish couple shopping for baby stuff – you get a real slice of life at Walmart!

Reached Chicago in rush hour and went straight past the Sears tower – wow! Finally found the motel after circling the airport 3 times but am surprised how this has not stressed me out yet. Driving in the centre of town I think would do it but one thing at a time! Expolring tomorrow and no driving – yeah!!

The Open Road At Last

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

September 18th: 

Woke up to yet another glorious day of sunshine. Leisurely start as we ... [Continue reading this entry]

Niagara Falls

Monday, September 17th, 2007
  Gringo in NiagaraOriginally uploaded by roupiesontour
Saturday September 15th. We were sad to say goodbye to ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Big Apple – 2

Thursday, September 13th, 2007
   Battery Park MemorialOriginally uploaded by roupiesontour
Ha ha I have at last worked out how to ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Big Apple

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

We arrived late at the hotel – JFK to Newark was not much fun but we did it and fell into bed exhausted. The subway ... [Continue reading this entry]