Chi-Town and why my dislike for some Americans continues…

I have been wanting to go to Chicago pretty much since the last time I went to Chicago with my girlfriend looking for her wedding dress back in 2010.  The irony is that I went because I needed to escape my breakup and the drama surrounding it with A and I knew Kim would be the perfect friend to spend a long weekend with.  This time I went with A because we have somehow managed to escape the nastiness of a breakup, and come out on the other side friends again.

I wanted to go with A because he loves baseball as much, if not more than I do, and my reason for going this time around was to see both the Cubs AND the White Sox play – to see both fields and come two stadiums closer to finishing my goal of seeing every major league baseball diamond.  (I have seen 7 now – still a LOOOOOOONNNNNG way to go).

We left Toronto early Wednesday morning, Canada Day, and both of us immediately fell asleep on the plane.  Thankfully the 1.5 hour plane ride was smooth and quiet and we woke up feeling a bit more refreshed and ready to make our way to the hotel.  Supposedly, when you take a cab that is already waiting for you from the hotel into Elmhurst (where our hotel was) they charge you a fare + half.  If we had called our own taxi they just charge you a regular fare, but we didn’t find that out until we had already agreed to take the already waiting taxi because we knew no better. lesson learned.  After a $45 cab ride I was terrified that the hotel would refuse us entry so early as check in is 3 pm and it was only 9 am, but they had a room available so we thanked them and went to our first floor room to unpack.

Hunger was a priority so we googled where Denny’s was and found it was a ten minute drive (about 4 miles) away so we called a cab and they advised it would be $12.  This seemed expensive, but we were starving so we headed out.  Denny’s makes me happy…cheap, delicious food and service was great!

After breakfast – we needed to sleep.  We both took a four-hour nap.  What an exciting trip!  HA!  That night we learned how to take the Metra (their version of the GO train) into downtown and the nicest train conductor told us how to get around downtown and advised us that cab drivers love taking advantage of Canadians and tourists in general so we needed to act like we were home-grown.  He told us the cab ride to Navy Pier should cost no more than $10 and to tell the driver assertively that was where we wanted to go.  Navy Pier was just as I remembered it – but colder…much colder due to the Lake and the winds coming off the lake.  I bought a sweater that all tourists were wearing and so did A because even HE was cold…after walking around and seeing some of the Piers attractions the fire works show began and I took it as a salute to Canada (even though they have Fire Works every Wednesday).  We had Giordano’s for a late dinner, of course settling for deep dish pizza (holy crap that pizza is THICK).

The rest of our trip had a mixture of highs (seeing both MLB teams and going to a live jazz bar) and lows (getting taken advantage of by a few more cab drivers and we had some major issues witht he hotel that A will be complaining about to management) but spending time with A and being away from the Toronto Pan Am madness for even a few days was totally worth it all.  I know now, that next summer I want to do another American city to cross another diamond off my list – maybe Boston or Seattle?  I have a year to decide!  I hope next year it’s with a little one in my arms or at least a man who loves me holding my hand.

Exploring, travelling, adventure – it’s something I was not exposed to as a child and so I am making sure I get to do some of it now.  It may not be far, but it’s still thrilling to me.  I can’t wait to expose my future little Koko Bean to life outside of his or her hometown.

Love Nicole

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