Letter from Chicago # 5

Two six hour bus rides to get from Toronto to Chicago! Left the downtown riots of Toronto at 1am, onto a Greyhound as part of the epic bus ride to get to Chicago. We managed to doze off for most of it until we got to US Customs. They were abit wide but not too bad, I did tell them I made $12,000 a month when they asked how I would survive in America with no money. After escaping customs we drove round the corner and were decanted off the bus in Detroit bus station. We only had a 2 hour stop over but it was long enough to decide I dont like Detroit!

The bus driver for the next part of the journey went a bit mental because someone had opened up the baggage hold, the guy from the bus station had done it. They were about as organised and as I am, which isn't very! The bus ride to Chicago was pretty nice, put on some Efterklang and some Sufjan Stevens, watched an amazing thunder storm out the window, proper lighting from the heavens to the ground, unlike anything I've seen before. Passed through Eerie, Indiana just like the tv show. It was pretty rund down and there seemed to be a lot of empty houses.

Finally arrived in Chicago and headed to the hostel, dump bags and then straight out for a wander. Were staying in a hostel in Greek Town, a nice wee place just a stones throw from the city centre. We ventured down to the docks, passing through Grant Park I think where the Taste of Chicago festival was winding up. Thousands of people had come out to see bands, comedians and other fun things all for free. It was also the Gay Pride street parade but we missed it! Damm!

We wandered along the edge of the docks, passing the Tiki Boat, basically a raft built for parties complete with car seats up top, a water slide, mini bar and bamboo can decor downstairs. It was the best boat in the docks by a mile! After a wander back to base we went out to test some Greek food, it was alright. We were all pretty tired from the journey and walking so called it a day after munch.

Today we decided to do some touristy things. Waking up later we went for a late breakfast, found the Urban Outfitters, they have some amazing clothes and books. Then we found a nice bar showing the football right next to Grant park so be pitched up and took a load off. We soon got speaking to some older folks sitting next to us, turns out the two sisters were from Aberdeen but had moved to Canada when they were 3 but travel back every few years for a holiday. They now live in Windsor over the border and come to Chicago for a break. One of the sisters is also involved in running a film festival in Windsor so the drinks were flowing and so was the chat, especially about Aberdeen Rowies!

After that it was a wild taxi ride to little Italy where we had some fine Italian foods surrounded by lots of old photos of people who could have been in Goodfellas! Then it was a nice walk back to the hostel, we went threew blocks too far but found some nice street stencils and some American Apparel posters. Liam has become or has always been obsessed with American Apparel, or Ame Appe as were calling it! Bobo has been a great addition to the team, makes it easier to make group majority decisions and the like. We nearly too a ride in the back of truck, proper red neck style. Would have been fun until we realised the only way of escape was to jump out at 70mph on the motorway! Mum did say avoid any banjo players! "Can you squeal boi?".

Today has been much of the same, watched the football, walked around a different area, found more Urban Outfitters, more cool t shirts, especially one with a Moose on it. Getting it tomorrow! Later on we headed out to meet Paddy, had some nae bad indian food then jumped a cab to hipster town. We've kinda been a bit down on the hipsters yet the areas are where we feel most at home! We went to a cool bar called the Viloet Hour, it was like something out of Twin Peaks. Big blue velvet curtains, high backed seats that always seemed to be moving around and the most amazing $12 cocktails! I had a Mai Tai & a Bratch Patch and felt pretty good after just two drinks. They had a nice list of rules in the bathroom which amounted too Don't Be A Dicvkheed & don't bring anyone you wouldnt bring to your mums house. Nice times ideas!

We had a wee walk around the area and found some tye dyed tshirts but the shop was closed. One bar we stumbled across had a full size Delorien car in the window, just like back to the future and the walls were adrorned with 80's movie posters! I know a few people who would have loved it! After a nights rest we headed out to get some new threads from Urban Outfitters, half price Vans and a couple of new t shirts, my favourite being an Ultimate Warrior tee! The it was onto the California Zephyr to make our way to Denver to meet up with Kit and then start the road trip through the Grand Canyon. What awaits us we just don't know!

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