Chicago - Travel Diary21:44:00
I hope all is well. I’ve not been blogging in such a long time, but it’s something I really would like to get back into. Between working full time in my internship, tackling college assignments and making up the time to be social and plan things in my spare time, it can be pretty difficult to make the time to blog. I’ve just submitted a pretty big assignment so it is the perfect time to get back into the swing of things again.
I’ve still not completed my diaries of destinations from the states, and I really hope you aren’t bored of them. I really want to finish writing about them so I can look back at them in the future. So I hope you don’t mind that I am writing a few more US travel diaries. I’d also like to write about my recent trip to Scotland, but I’ll probably write about the top things to do there rather than a diary to mix things up a little.
One of the highlights of my time spent studying abroad was when my mum decided to travel to the states to meet me during Thanksgiving break. Before I even departed on the biggest journey of my life, my aunt Patricia told me about our American relatives Dick and Judi who lived near Chicago, Illinois. When I started studying in the states I decided to start emailing Dick. I told him I was studying abroad and that my mum and aunt were his second cousins. After a while, we decided that we would meet up during my time in the states and eventually, on a whim, my mum wanted to come to join the family gathering.
November came surprisingly quick. I’d updated Dick on all the life-changing trips I’d done like the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and Las Vegas by email and we discussed the arrangement for my upcoming visit. My mum flew into Chicago on the Monday of Thanksgiving week and I arrived the following day.
Meeting family I never knew I had was very interesting, to say the least. Dick, quite like myself is a lover of all things travel and he showed us his cherished photo albums. On my first night in Chicago, he and his wife Judi brought us to his son’s house to introduce us to his nuclear family – his wife, three children and his son’s girlfriend. They were all so lovely and I’d love to come over to meet them again. On this first night, we had a small little discussion about what we’d get up to during the week and I also went to see Moana with my cousin Jack. On our first proper day in Chicago (the day after the family introductions), Dick and Judi went to the Natural History Museum with us. This is well worth the visit. There is so much to see and do, depending on your preferences and you get to see a movie with your standard ticket. We saw Su the Dinosaur (of course!) as well as a room that was an ancient Egyptian pyramid which much of the ancient Egyptian history and much more.
Dick was a very good tour guide. Although not as young or fit as myself or my mother, he volunteered to drive us to the main area of Chicago and show us the main sights in Evanston which is close to where he lives. One of the most striking and memorable sights in Evanston was definitely the Baha’i temple which is one of the few in the world. It was a gorgeous white dome building with beautiful detailing, something I will always remember. We visited it on Thanksgiving following a brisk Thanksgiving morning walk on Evanston beach. It was absolutely perfect. That evening, we headed to Dick’s son’s Jeff’s house for dinner where he prepared a delightful feast for the whole family. Not only did we have a crispy, cooked-to-perfection turkey with vegetables, but we were also served both apple and pumpkin pie. Honestly, I don’t understand American’s obsession with pumpkin pie, I much preferred the apple.
On Black Friday, instead of heading out to the shops with crazy women to fight over highly discounted clothes, we had a girl’s day out and headed to the Shedd Aquarium. Much like the museum, this is somewhere I’d highly recommend going, although if you only had one day in Chicago you definitely wouldn’t have time to see anything else as the aquarium is so large. The ticket price includes entry to the aquarium as well as the chance to see a mesmerising dolphin show and a 3-D film.
My mum and I had one proper full day of exploring and sight-seeing. We headed to the Bean in Millenium Park first. The shape of the Bean supposedly represents a gate way to the heavens. I don’t understand why it is such a popular tourist attraction but it was cool to see what the fuss was about. Following this, we had a walk around and found some many other sights like the Buckingham fountain. We also went to the Christmas market which was absolutely adorable. The stalls were full of lots of different things, from little german houses to wickless candles, to mugs and much more. I ended up getting a cute bobble hat as it was cold and a candle which was called "monkey farts".
On our final day we were meant to head to Willis Tower. However, the weather was not in our favour and the views were pretty much non-existent. However, I did get a chance to go to the John Hancock building in Chicago while I was in Chicago on another occasion, preparing to get a flight. Instead, we headed to the Chicago Art Institute which has a huge array of art. I personally loved this section on the bottom floor that had these cute little miniature rooms of different styles. There were also lots of beautiful paintings by Claude Monet.
Chicago is most definitely one of the top places I visited and I’d love to go again. It is an absolutely wonderful city that is right next to the sea and is absolutely perfect for someone young and bubbly.
Have you ever been to Chicago, let me know what you got up to while you were there in the comments!
I’ll talk to you soon guys,
Bye for now.