Life on the Road
After the Olympics taking over London and the mammoth amount of sport I found myself watching over the summer, finally it was time for another trip, this time across the pond to The Windy City known as Chicago. I'd wanted to visit Chicago for quite some time only having heard great things about the place, but it was one of those places I probably never would have booked a flight to, so receiving a wedding invite to a celebration there was a perfect solution, especially when you're boyfriend is the best man!
As soon as we arrived in Chicago, we could instantly tell it was somewhere we were going to love. Driving past the lake, the beautiful blue sky and sunshine reflected on the water, shimmering and glistening taking away our tiredness and impending jetlag doom. Our friends took us to a place called The George Street Pub (GSP) where we soaked up the American way of life watching all the sports play out on a Saturday afternoon and learning the appropriate chants (Bears, Steelers... you name it I know 'em all now). This place became our local hangout, purely for the chicken strips which were deep fried in beer batter and something which we came to rely on slightly too heavily. Whilst on the subject of food, Chicago, wow she made me really fat. I didn't dare set foot on some scales, but my guess is I put on at least half a stone out there. It didn't help staying with four boys, all of whom were persistent that we frequent each and every place made famous by "Man V Food". I could explain it, but I will leave you with the pictures instead.
So yes, you can imagine. Food featured heavily on our trip stateside. We ate more than I could even imagine and I hope I have successfully given some food envy. I've definitely made myself hungry posting all these pics anyway. However, Chicago wasn't just about food as we were there for a wedding which culminated our ten days there. Aside from the wedding and the food I had some other memorable times including meeting a new cheerleading friend, who kept me company when the boys disappeared on the bachelor party to Vegas (the less said about that the better). Meridith was celebrating her 21st birthday when she stumbled across me reading my book in a bar. Yeah ok, granted I wouldn't normally read a book in a bar but desperate times folks and my plan worked to meet some fun people, who bought me no end of disgusting tasting shots. Meridith had decided she just had to braid my hair "cheerleader american style" as well, so lots of shots and lots of braids; clearly a winning combo. We even swapped clothes. I have no idea why.
We also decided it was a must to climb to the top of the Sears Tower, the tallest building on the Eastern side of the world (behind the Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur). When I say "climb", obviously I mean get in the elevator. The views were quite simply stunning of Chicago and the surrounding areas including Lake Michigan. if you find yourself up there, I would highly recommend the guided tour to tell you what everything is.
There was shopping, drinking, swimming in the lake, a bit more eating, an architectural boat tour along the Chicago RIver, a visit to Kingston Mines Blues Club to watch Eddie Grant perform, the rehearsal dinner and then finally one of the most beautiful weddings I had ever been to. Chris delivered his Best Man's Speech well, without offending too many Americans, then we danced and danced into the wee small hours of the morning, taking the wedding out of its usual environment and into the nightclubs on the high street. Yes, even the bride in her dress! My final picture sums up what a fantastic experience we had and how many new friends we made at our American Wedding
Chicago - I Love You!