Betwixt the Coasts: From West to East in 80 Days Part 7: “Chicago, Chicago, (Will the hotel overcharge me for the third time, if not:) What a Wonderful Town”


Yeah really. I’ve had to claw back (successfully as it happens) £138 so far (1. “Our Accounts System was faulty” and 2. “It was another room number, sorry”…no I did not bloody well have 5 Tropical Sunrises by the pool thank you very much).

As I write this bit I’m confused, cos I’m eating some Snack Club “Energizing Trail Mix” which is essentially raisins and salted peanuts confusingly mixed with smarties, aka M&Ms all confusingly convoluted and contained cunningly…er…to confuse. Oh well. I had the previous week been served some scrambled egg with toast and jam, and that confused me too. Americans seem to savour savoury and sweet….I’ve yet to try Fried Chicken on Waffles and Syrup, which is flipping everywhere I tell you, aka EVERYWHERE EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE!


DIE YUPPIES it says graffiti scrawled on a toilet paper dispenser in Chicago’s Original Pancake House…

Well I’ve also seen tucked away in a tucked away park in South Chicago the only Ono (Yoko) permanent piece of work created by herself, which is lovely, slightly but not really ironically after eating Eggs Hollandaise at Yoke’s Breakfast House. Yoke? Oh! (Oh no, they geddit)….

We’re back in Mad Portion Mad Cost Food City Territory here (“Box it for you?”), though I got a little (delish) Dim Sum for a Wee Sum, and a Cheeseburger which didn’t break the bank (but nearly broke my teeth)….

We’re at Day 44 (of hopefully 80) and a week away from hitting the East Coast of America. It’s been busy, eventful, tiring but largely really friendly …. Everyone REALLY still says “Have A Nice Day” and seems to mean it…it’s also I guess a case of that hardly known Bob Marley hit “No Courtesy, No Tip”….


I love the accent misunderstoodings….asking the metro person if they have a map, the response is “why d’ya need a mop?”

Well it is the Windy City. My blue hat has just blown off (my head) three times! Then. I decided to go the Whole Hog, or should I say The Whole Lamb and Beef minced in a kind of Shepherd’s Pie called “The Ultimate Shepherd’s Pie” in a Financial District Ye Olde English Pubbe called “The Elephant and Castle” …. This was truly delicious (though adding beef makes it more Cottage perhaps?), but the revelation was the added SALAD (guess I expected peas or cabbage) but this salad was simply the most wondrous ever, containing almonds and cranberries (pointed out by my tattooed super fun barperson) and she REALLY wanted to know my opinion on the meal, as I washed it down in full with a pint of Ye Olde Speckled Hen….. might have to go back one more time for the Chicken Pot Crusted Pie & some London Pride.


I topped and tailed my life visiting Chicago over the last 44 years by returning to the Sears now Willis tower, now the third tallest in t’world (the tallest in Dubai I went up last year) and a bit of Art Institute, plus some dinners with friends will end my visit to this rather massive place. My tales of karaoke and meeting a guy in a pub who used to run clubs in London (with several mutual FB pals) will have to wait for another day…..


Back to the Israel/Palestine conflict on Telly followed by extensive coverage of the Republican Candidate debates I suppose …

More during my lengthy Amtrak to Charlottesville, Virginia (“Where, Why, Wibble?”-Non-Existent Ed.)



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Yoghurt. In a bar. With Chocolate.

Well would you believe it? Yaar vanilla kefir bars (part of the WH Smith Meal Deal) are manufactured in Estonia! Whatever happened to Cadbury’s, Galaxy, and Toffo? This is what happens when you leave Europe, you get flooded with er…... Continue →