Date :18th Nov – 20th Nov
Weather: It was cold in the day around 2 degrees Celcius in the day and around -3 at night. Scarfs, gloves and goats at all times
Our second stop on our backpacking trip was Chicago. We got a flight from Washington Dulles to Chicago for £89 each. The journey took about 2 hours. We flew with Southwest Airlines who were actually quite cool. They gave you free soft drinks on board and the air hostess was really funny. She was in her late 40s and kept saying funny things over the tanoy. One quote that I remember her saying was when we landed. It was time for everyone to get up and get there bags and she said “like My mother told me when I was 40…get your bags and get out!” – Made us both chuckle.
We landed in Chicago and straight away we saw a shop selling blues stuff. It featured statues of the Blues Brothers outside it. We got a train from the airport to Quency station in the heart of Chicago. On our train journey it was quite apparent that this was an industrial town. There was graffiti and steam works everywhere. . just like you see on the movies.
The Parthenon Hostel
From Quency station drop off it was a 15 minute walk to our hostel in Greek town. It was called the Parthenon hostel and cost us £23 pppn. Our room was small and had a king size bed in it. The common room was small too and the kitchen featured a microwave and fridge. The other people staying here seemed very reserved and kept themselves to themselves. Not the hostel atmosphere I had heard about.. Maybe we would encounter that later on elsewhere.
Walking around Chicago and you can see the difference between Washington and here straight away. The tall buildings, the flashing lights and the bars were allot more active here. There seems to be alot more people wandering the streets. It’s very busy here. People here did not seem as friendly as Washington D.C. People in Washington seemed to want to talk to you when they knew you were from the UK..however here they didn’t seem to care. We did see a cool Coke Truck! Everywhere you go you can kinda see the Willis Tower as it overlooks the rest of the city.
So this building is the 2nd largest in the world. Me n Bec had researched this place beforehand and found that they had a glass bottom ledge that you could stand on at the top called “THE SKYWALK”. Bec isn’t a fan of heights so she wasn’t looking forward to it but at same time she knew it had to be done.
We passed our bags threw security and then entered the lift. A short video was played as we flew up to the 103rd floor. It was very quick. We got out and straight away could see the view. It was cool seeing all the other towers beneath this one. This was the Daddy building of Chicago!
We walked around the corner and there they were.. 3 ledges for the skywalk! We approached them and I had to hold Becs hand to help her stand on the ledge. I was laughing at her expressions however when I looked down and could see how high we were ..my body went funny. I was like SHITTTTTTT this is high n went Woozy! We tried some cool poses out. We also bought a professional photo that had a camera facing down on you. It was a really cool pic. Well done Bec for conquering your fear. . . to be fair I was cacking myself too!
The Bars and Food
Buddy Guys Legends Bar
Bars here are not as frequent as you would imagine. The city mainly caters for food. I guess we thought there would be alot more bars with live bands in them. Those that we found with live bands were a mission to walk too. We had got plans to go to the Green Mill – Al Capones hangout..but again this was a mission. We did however get to go to Buddy Guys Legends bar where Buddy Guy himself is said to sometimes play. This place was cool as it featured cheap food n ok on drinks too. The guy we saw was amazing on guitar and had that rustic blues voice which was great. It featured guitars that were signed by famous artists on the walls. Artists such as Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton and BB King.
Price of Guinness and a large dry white wine was $12,
Opposite Buddy Guys was a small dive bar where you could buy alcohol and take it away with you. The toilets had no handle and the place was dark inside. Nether the less was worth the experience. Hehe.
Price of Bud bottle $3.50
Blackies bar was a cool find. It was around by Buddy guys bar. The thing that grabbed us about this place was the offer they had in the window that said “bottle of wine 12 dollars”. Now this is about £6.54 in the UK which is amazing. So off we trotterd into this bar. Inside was cool too. Had a juke box where me n Bec straight away took over..playing classics like Summer of 69 and Nickelback. 2 bottles later and we left.
Price of bottle of wine $12
This was our local. It was an Irish bar (although not really). Here we spent every night. They had a specials board every day with different drinks on offer. We got free stuff here too including popcorn and green shot things. Bar people were nice too so naturally they had to have a pic with Lance.
Price of a beer on special was $3.50
Lou Malnatis Pizza
So since were in Chicago we had to try the best pizza in Chicago which was apparently Lou Malnatis Pizza. We sat down and awaited our person pizzas that featured sausage, pepperoni and butter crust. It came and it kinda looked like a pie. It was apparent that we couldn’t really use our hands to eat this as it was quite tomatoey. So out came the knives and forks. My verdict was that it was ok..but I personally prefer Dominoes and Pizza hut lol. It wasn’t amazing. I mean it was nice but nothing to shout home about.
Price was $9 per pizza.
Bubba Gump Shrimp
I knew this place had a chain in the USA, but didn’t know they had one in Chicago. This place was on the Navy Pier. This was all around the Forest Gump Movie. You have to walk threw a clothes store first that sold t shirts etc from the film. It was so cool. You then go to the restaurant area. This had all the decorations on the walls. You sit at your booth and you have 2 signs. One says “Run Forest Run” which you have if you’re ok at your table and the other one reads “stop forest stop”. You flip it over to this one if you need service,
There are pics all over the wall too from the film and quotes on the table. We menu is focused all around the film and Shrimp. Me N Bec chose a platter kinda thing which featured 3 different types of shrimp and fries. It was so tasty. I had a lemonade mixer thing and Bec had a strawberry one.. they were so refreshing. This place is amazing as they even have music from the film playing in the background!
Price of Shrimp platter $21
There’s some great features in this park. The first feature was a huge picture thing that changes. I’ve saw pics of this on the net of a fountain coming out of their mouths. Unfortunately this was not on but the face was.
We also saw the BEAN sculpture too. This was a giant chrome bean. It was so cool. We got some great shots here. ,
There was also an ice rink here that was cool. We noticed a cool funny sign next to it.
This was a mission to get to via foot, however had to be done. Before the pier there was a cool statue of kids running in a line.. so naturally had to have my immature photo.
The Piers rides were all closed in November. We did however go inside the entertainment bit that had restaurants, bars and shops in there. This is where we found a candy store which was rather awesome.
Route 66 start sign
We had read that people couldn’t find this sign on the net. One thing that I will say is that it only faces one way. . so if you’re coming up Adams Street you may not see it until you standing on Michigan Avenue. Look back down Adams Street and you will see it.