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Holiday in the USA (Part 1)

December 11, 2012

Hello! First of all, thank you for all your supportive comments about my vitamin B12 deficiency. I’m starting to feel better and more energised, so things are going well so far. It’s actually one month to the day since I returned from the USA, so I’m way behind on posting about our trip, but better late than never. Writing these posts will help me to remember what a great time we had will keep me entertained on these freezing cold evenings.

Although I had a wonderful time in the end, the holiday did get off to a shaky start. I was on a cottage break with some of my friends the weekend before I was due to fly to Chicago. My plan was that I would drive to Heathrow airport on Monday afternoon, stay the night, and then fly early on Tuesday morning. Being in the middle of the countryside enjoying ourselves we were mostly oblivious to the news, but I did get some time to catch up with blog reading. That was when I found out about Hurricane Sandy. Oh dear, I was meant to fly to New York and then on to Chicago. To cut a long story, involving tears and frustrating calls to my airline, short, I managed to re-route through Atlanta and still arrive in Chicago on Tuesday evening.

Peter was already in Chicago working at a trade show, so it was wonderful to see him waiting for me at the airport. I was tired, but managed the 45 minute ride into the city and a sushi dinner before collapsing into bed for an early night.

Thanks to jet lag I was up bright and early on Wednesday morning ready to explore the sights of Chicago. Peter had to go to work, but he doesn’t really enjoy sight-seeing around cities anyway. It was a gorgeous sunny day, but it was cold! The air temperature was about 7 celcius, but the bitter northerly wind made it feel much colder. I wrapped up warm and decided to wear the Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer look with pride.

It was very quiet around most of the sights because it was so early. I love walking around a place before it’s quite woken up. It’s a totally different experience to the normal hustle and bustle of a city. I followed a walk suggested in my guide book and took a look at some of the famous architecture in the financial district first. I then headed to Millennium Park to see the Cloud Gate, which blew my mind. I spent a long time staring at it from different angles.

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I then walked over to Lake Michigan, which was sparkling in the sun. All of Peter’s colleagues had laughed at me the night before, saying it was too far to walk, but it wasn’t far at all. I think I have a warped sense of distance.

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I walked as far as the river and then walked along the river and crossed over onto Michigan Avenue. The Wrigley Building is perhaps the most impressive building I have ever seen.

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I don’t think the photo does it justice, but it was such a crazy shape, it seemed almost two dimensional.

I had soon realised that I had packed a bit too lightly, especially considering the cold weather, so I took the opportunity to do some shopping along the Magnificent Mile. I then crawled back to the hotel room and collapsed on the bed. I don’t know how far I walked, but I estimate that it was at least 6 miles, so I was pretty tired.

On Thursday I had another walk around The Loop (the area in central Chicago where we were staying), before heading to the Art Institute. It was huge and had far too much to see in a couple of hours. I concentrated on the American art sections first before taking a whistle-stop tour of the Impressionist gallery.

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I would like this Tiffany lamp for Christmas please, thank you.

On Thursday afternoon I went to the rescue of Peter who had forgotten the charger for his power drill. I hung out at the convention centre until Peter finished work because I was pretty tired at that point and we had already checked out of the hotel. It was about 8pm by the time we got back to the hotel and took a taxi to pick up our hire car.

The taxi drive was definitely an interesting part of the holiday. For a start, we asked to be taken to the “car hire” place, which the driver just didn’t understand. After some frustration I twigged what was the matter and eventually asked to be taken to the “car rental” place instead. The driver wasn’t exactly sure where he was going and managed to annoy another driver in the airport. The other taxi blocked us in and they both got out of the car and faced off at each other. There was some fruity language and Peter and I were sitting in the back wondering what to do next. Thankfully we did make it to the rental place without being witness to a murder.

Well done if you’ve made it to the end! Next time it’s our road trip …

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2012 11:34 pm

    I live just a few miles north of Chicago — I get to look out over Lake Michigan every day!

  2. December 12, 2012 1:45 pm

    Oh so glad that the hurricane didn’t spoil it all! I would love to visit Chicago, it looks like a cool city 🙂

  3. December 12, 2012 4:11 pm

    Glad you had a great time! We had some issues with them not understanding some of our words, like a jacket potato!

  4. runningcupcake permalink
    December 12, 2012 5:15 pm

    Those photos are fab! I loved Chicago when I visited- much more than I thought I would. Loved the bean- thought it was so interesting- we have one photo of it and you can’t work out where we are in the reflection, but we are there somewhere I am sure.
    Glad you got there OK- travel disruptions are always a pain, especially if you are travelling on your own. Looking forward to your next recap 🙂

  5. December 12, 2012 7:54 pm

    It looks like such an amazing city, glad you had a great time!

  6. December 13, 2012 5:25 pm

    Chicago looks awesome. I’d love to go some day!

  7. December 13, 2012 6:21 pm

    Your photographs are stunning! The architecture really does have the ‘wow’ factor doesn’t it? I’d love to see if for myself one day.

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