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Michael’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 28 Dec 2006

Location: Chicago, USA

MapHey ya'll, my time in Chicago is coming to an end, and Richie's is about over. So what has been happening since Christmas? Not a whole heap.

Boxing Day (which doesn't exist in the USA) was supposed to be spent out at lunch, but was cancelled, and eventually we headed out shopping. By the time we got our act together and headed out to the shops, we'd blown too much time, and really didn't get anything done.

Instead, Richie and I jumped in the van, and armed with a couple maps, and our ears still ringing with the warnings from everyone here about everything from parking in the ghetto to driving on the right, and correct, side of the road, we headed into Downtown Chicago and back to the United Centre to see the Chicago Blakchawks play, and round out the trifecta of winter US sports.

Well, we made it there without a hitch, and even had 30 minutes to spare - which was handy. We still had to get our tickets, and along with all non-tip service industry in the USA, the service was SLOW. It wouldn't have been too bad, except that it was about -2 degrees outside, and the wind was nasty.

So we get inside, and headed up to the top of the arena to get our seats. Now, we have no idea how this game is played outside the fact that there are guys on skates, with sticks, trying to hit a puck into a net... that's it. What is icing? Slashing? Hooking? Who cares. Ice hockey is actually really good! We had a ball. The game finished, with plenty of the above mentioned penalties taking place, and dude's in the sin bin. But we had fun. We asked for our money back because we didn't get to see a fight, but were not lucky on that front. Blackhawks beat the Dallas Stars 2-1, and we made it home without a hitch at all!

Today was a busy day - shopping. Richie had a last ditch effort to pick up some cheap shoes, and came up with a couple pairs, and we both ended up with more t-shirts and stuff. I ended up with a much bigger purchase - the baby that I am typing this entry on. Yep, got me laptop - just need to hope that the net connection has come through at the house... how's it goin Nat? Thanks again for sorting it out.

So, yeah, after the shopping spree, we headed home, watched more college football ball games, had another huge dinner, and packed all of our gear into our bags. I have no idea how I am getting all of my stuff home. My backpack that I travel with has no extended to a backpack and two duffel bags, each at maximum weight and dimensions... seems carrying tins of tim tams, boxes of cherry ripes and reece's peanut butter cups, Aussie Milo tins and an AFL football takes up some room! Taking the London tube at peak hour from Heathrow to Waterloo will be a nightmare, as will getting back from the Southampton train station to the house... think I'll be opting for a taxi!

Till next time, likely from Vegas, hope you are all psyched up for a huge New Years... know I am trying to get psyched!