The Coffee With The Proper Chicago Round-Up


If we were having a coffee this week, mine would be my second Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.  This is the start of the run down to Christmas to me.  PSL gives way to Starbucks Red Cups for Christmas and X-Factor has also started this weekend, and that finished in time for the winner to challenge for Christmas number 1.

Of course, that would be if I had a coffee at all.  I got back from Chicago on Friday and I’m struggling with jet lag.  This is unusual for me, travelling East.  I usually just stay really tired on the day of landing, get an early night and I’m sorted.  This time I managed to stay (largely) awake till 20.30 but was struggling so went to bed.  I promptly woke up at 23.30, and couldn’t sleep again until what I think was about 4am, which makes sense with the 6 hour time difference.  Last night I decided to try to stay up till midnight (having been completely shattered) and slept through till 9am, so I’m hoping that that is that sorted.

I’ve had some more dreams that follow on from last week, about the person I haven’t seen for a long time.  This was more of a thought processing dream than a dream dream.  I know what I mean by that anyway! Last night I also seemed to work through some work stuff which could or could not be really handy next week!

My second week away for work was largely frustrating.  We had a great opportunity to really change some stuff and make it easier.  Instead, I think we maybe went a bit too far back to where we are now and what we know and are used to.  That wasn’t where I wanted to end the 10 days and wasn’t where we were headed at the half way mark, so I wasn’t entirely happy.  We should get to a good solution, I just don’t think it’ll be as good as it can be.

Entertainment wasn’t great either.  Being out in the suburbs didn’t help.  In the UK, when you’re in the suburbs, you’re always 10 minutes away from somewhere with stuff to do.  Where we were, we had a mall, but that was it.  I know it was a work trip, but when you travel that far for that long you want to have a bit of a fun too, and that wasn’t really the case here beyond the usual going out for food to one of the same three restaurants.

I can’t entirely remember what I said about my trip last week, but I remember I didn’t do any photos due to “technical issues”. So, without wishing to repeat, I’m going to just put some photos with little comments.

I got noise cancelling headphones that were a godsend on both flights.  I used them on the way home without any feed to them, just to block out the plane drone.  They helped me get a whole hour of sleep on the way home.

On the way there I watched the whole first season of Stranger Things.

I enjoyed it so much I downloaded the whole of the second season for the flight home, but the flight was too short and I didn’t feel great because the woman next to me appeared to be a clean freak and had lots of strong scented things to clean with – her hands, her tray table… It’s always the smells in planes that make me feel nauseous.

When it rained, it really rained.  And then, because it was so hot, it went really humid.

We went to Chicago at the weekend and, in between looking for air conditioning, we did some stuff.  We started in an English bar, watching football.

I actually really enjoy watching football (my football) in bars in the US.  It happens early, you can have breakfast and the fans really enjoy it.

We then went to Millennium Park to see the Bean.

We moved in to Chicago a bit more, but I wasn’t a fan.  It was very claustrophobic to me.  Chicago is, so I’m told, the second largest city in America behind New York.  We entered the city, drove for 20 minutes and there were still skyscrapers in the distance.  Once in, the streets seemed really tight and the height of the buildings was just too much for me to feel what Chicago would really have to offer.

On the Sunday I went to the baseball.  Cubs beat Reds 9-0.  Again, the temperature was ridiculous.  I enjoy the baseball, and Wrigley Park is one of the iconic ballparks in the US, probably only behind Fenway.  I didn’t really think it would be all I got to do that day but after leaving and eating, all there was really left to do was head back to the hotel.

Best not forget the real reason I went to the baseball though…

Love cheesy nachos!

The other food I couldn’t resist while I was there was Fruit Loops.

I was amused when I found footprints that looked like someone hadn’t waited for the tarmac to set before walking on it.

I was also amused by this “God is Gate” number plate.

But I was constantly annoyed by the lack of ground floor.

I started to miss home with a few days to go.  I think after the weekend I started counting down the days which doesn’t help.  I rang Moo.  I don’t think he knew what was happening but I’d obviously disturbed him playing and/or eating Dreamies.

I’ve never been convinced that Moo really misses me too much when I’m not in despite sometimes wondering whether he’d rather be anywhere else other than living with me.  I don’t think he noticed me arrive home (the taxi driver has an electric car) so I walked in the games room and shouted for him.  He shouted back and I heard him jump to the floor and rush to the top of the stairs.  He stopped three stairs down, peered at me through the railings, meowed again and ran over to me.  He hasn’t really left my side since and stayed and talked to me for all the hours I’ve been lying in bed not sleeping this weekend.

And a brief Pokémon update…

This weekend has been hard work, and I’m back in the office tomorrow.  I was too jet lagged to post on Friday, so I apologise if you were waiting for something.  I’ll hopefully be back on it this coming week.  Hopefully your last 7 days have gone smoothly.

(I’ve been loving Snow Patrol’s latest album this last week, by the way.  I really recommend it.)




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