The trip back into America was interesting. At customs everyone on the coach has to disembark and take their luggage through. The customs officer that I went to was quite nosy! She was even reading my journal and cards from friends that I have brought with me! At least she was doing her job well, but it did mean that most of the coach, bar two people, had to wait for me. The funniest part was when she was quizzing me concerning marriage to Thommo! She wanted to know if and when we were planning to get married and would it be in the States, she said it is quite common for foreigners to do so.
When we arrived at our hostel, which was quite late, we just went to bed. Getting used to tip toeing around, do not like waking everyone in the room up. The next morning I really wished that the others in the room had been as considerate as I tried to be! Why is it that the mornings you are so tired people start talking loudly or russle plastic bags for half an hour?! Most of the girls in my room seemed to either be
working or studying. The hostel rooms are beneath some of the college halls of residence. Overall the hostel was nice enough, very clean and although it was a large one again it was easy to meet people and I felt that the common areas were well designed. Thommo was in his element as they had a free table tennis table, although I think playing against me was not good (there were no rubbers on the bats, so the ball tendered to go flying in the wrong direction!).
The first day we ventured up the Sears Tower, getting used to going up tall buildings and looking over cites now. The views were once again fantastic. I think we have been pretty lucky weather wise with regards to the views. We then experienced the L on our way to an architectural river boat tour. We learnt about nearly every building on the south and east part of the river. A large majority of Chicago burned to the ground in a fire in 1871. It appears that the cause of the fire was not known, legend has it that a woman’s cow kicked over a oil lantern. Although many years later the
Sears is the big black one. Photo taken from the river
cow was exonerated as it was found out that the cow was not even in the barn that evening. After the tour we made our way to the Navy pier, this pier is like many others, with tourist attractions and places to stuff your faces. We decided to go on another boat tour, this time out on the lake. The views of the city were exciting. I think I like Chicago’s skyline the best so far. We had dinner at the Elephant and Castle pub, British themed if you haven’t guessed. Lovely fish and chips!
In the morning we joined other people staying at the hostel for a walking tour of the downtown area. Some of the information was repeated from the previous tours but a vast majority of it was new. The tour also gave us the opportunity to meet other travellers and was free! We meet three really nice British people and spent that afternoon and evening with them. We went to dinner at Giordano’s. They all enjoyed a fat Chicago pizza and I had another sandwich, am living off them really.
The next day we made our way with Kieran to the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Another random Bronze statue
Can not resist taking photo's with them
It was raining really hard but the walk was worth it. Am not really sure I agree with caging large animals but this Zoo was amazing. One of the best factors was that it is totally free and we managed to see the Sliver Back Gorillas taking part in operant conditioning and the sea lions being fed and checked. The baby Gorilla was so cute and you could sit real close to him. Afterwards we went to a cheap cinema to watch Silent Hill, umm a bit strange!
Onwards to Memphis……
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