Bringing Chicago to Surrey!

I’ve been having Chicago blues, lately.

I miss my friend Christina and I also miss Buffalo sauce. Sad but true.

Unfortunately I can’t fly Christina over 😦 BUT I did find Frank’s Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce in the supermarket recently and that did manage to put a smile on my face.

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It sat in our cupboard for a couple of days and then one night after dancing, Matt kindly made me dinner. But this was no ordinary dinner. He had recreated my favourite Chicago Bar Dish… A Crispy buffalo chicken burger with sweet potato chips. I wish I had taken a picture, but I was too excited and hungry and so it got gobbled up pretty quickly! It was delicious and gave me a buffalo fix that I had been craving for weeks!

A few days later we were looking online for house bits and pieces..7 months in and still haven’t changed a thing!

When Matt came across a proper beer pong table on Amazon. Now, not very practical you may think or not exactly what we were looking for. But hey, we both looked at each other with silly grins and knew we had to buy it! After all, we are known to love a drinking game..or 5 πŸ˜‰

It arrived at my work on a Friday afternoon.. I liked this tables thinking.

But then I had the fun task of actually getting it into our car, after a few attempts, I finally drove home like this..

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As soon as Matt got home we excitedly opened it up and set it up in our lounge.

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We sent the above picture to a few of our local friends and said we would have to arrange a beer pong tournament soon, and began to pack it away. But when we looked back at our phones a couple of friends had asked why we weren’t hosting that night.

Good question!

We looked at each other and said It’s Friday, we’ve got beer.. Let’s play beer pong! and believe me you don’t need to ask rugby boys twice!

We quickly replied to our friends to say it was on! Not that Matt and I are competitive in any way!

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And before we knew it Megs, Fraser, Emily and Sam had come over to join us πŸ™‚

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^^ These are the before pictures!

Now I must admit I hate beer, so what to do when you hate beer? Turn it into Prosecco pong! Because of this we decided to do teams of Boys Vs. Girls so the Boys could still have their beer and then it got serious, the game began…

The boys played fast and would bounce their balls (ha) quickly one after the other. Us girls tried to have a strategy and were a lot slower. But that tactic clearly paid off as the girls won the first game! πŸ™‚

We also found our Polaroid Camera so as you can imagine many snaps got taken throughout the night!

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^^ Winners!

Randomly at this point I got a text from Christina, in Chicago, to say she was at a baseball match and to see what I was up to. I first played Beer Pong with her and I know she loves it so I quickly sent her a picture to show her what we were up to. Then Matt found the baseball match she was at on the TV so we tried to spot her in the crowd, no such luck though.

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^^ In our Chicago Bulls tops with the baseball on

And then we got back to game Two..

The TV had been changed back to a music channel and us girls were too busy dancing and singing along to Spice Girls to notice that the boys had gotten a ball in with a bounce shot! Sneaky boys!

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^^ Look how smug and happy they are

This meant they automatically won and we had to down all the drinks…all that prosecco..all the bubbles. Ouch.

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Feeling slightly tipsy by this point the next two games flew by in a blur of bottles. But after four games we were Two All. So we had to play a fifth game as the decider.

It got serious and we were all trying so hard to concentrate. But it happened. The boys managed, yet again to bounce the ball into one of our cups, and so they won the game! and the decider! 😦

After all the excitement, we had a bit of a rest, us girls needed a breather from all the fizz! And decided what to play next. After all the night was still young.

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And this is where things got a little messy. We then decided to play what I think is another American game..Flip or Flippy cup. Again in 2 teams either side of the table (this time long ways) You start with the first player of each team drinking their drink against each other. As soon as they finish they place their cup on the table the right side up and try to flip it to land upside down. As soon as your team member has done that the next person then drinks and flips and so on until you have a winning team. The losing team then has to do a dare, drink, shot whatever the other team decides.

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^^ You can see where the night was going with the blurred pictures!

As us girls were feeling quite tipsy anyway the boys decided that only the last member of our team had to do a shot from our ‘spinner’ basically a 4 bottle optic. Ours contains a bottle each of Vodka, Whisky, Rum and Peach Schnapps. We spin and whatever one it lands on you must drink. It’s a favourite in our house!

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To make it fair the last person of each team would then move up to become the first player for the next round of flip cup. After a few rounds of this we were all pretty tipsy and so decided to stop the drinking games and just chill, dance, sing and gossip instead.

Fraser and I even made a little routine to Sean Paul! If I could add the video I would but I don’t know how! If someone tells me I promise to add it. It makes me laugh.

The next morning there were a lot of sore heads and I’m not surprised given how much 6 of us went through.

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I’m happy we managed to bring a little bit of Chicago to Surrey, spontaneous nights are always the best!

Love, Chloe xx

Chicago Part 4 – Boats, Bubbles and Basketball!

We ended up having a bit of a lie in on Wednesday morning, I guess it was all that walking we had done the day before! However when I opened the curtains and saw that it was sunny, we quickly had some breakfast and got ready so we could head out and make the most of it!

It may have been sunny but it was not warm! We now understand why Chicago is called the Windy City. That wind is full on!! I actually thought one day I was going to fly away ha. But we were not complaining as the sunshine was well and truly out.

We decided that we would go on a boat trip and see the city from the lake, so we took a leisurely walk along the river down to where all the tours took place.

It was pretty busy and we hadn’t pre booked tickets so we brought the next available seats they had (which was roughly an hour’s wait so not bad at all) and then took a stroll along Michigan Avenue. We people watched and pretended we were millionaires, window shopping at all the designers stores…OK so maybe that was just me πŸ˜‰ It was so good to feel the sun on our skin though. We then stopped off at a corner bakery grabbed a cookie and smoothie each and had a little rest before heading back to the boat.

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We booked with Wendella Boats and went for the 90 minutes Signature Lake and River Tour.

The tour started from Trump tower and we made our way along the river towards The Willis Tower.

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We had a really friendly tour guide who knew so much about all the architecture and history of Chicago, it was so interesting to find out all the facts while sitting back, relaxing and taking in all the views. The boat even had a fully stocked bar downstairs should you require drinks or snacks.

We travelled all the way down to Willis Tower before turning around and making our way back along the river to get to Lake Michigan.

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^^ It got a bit windy at one point, check out the make shift headscarf! πŸ˜‰

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^^ The Chicago skyline from Lake Michigan

11377346_10155576954830092_3634763409750520240_nΒ The Views were pretty amazing, made even better by the weather!

The tour went really quickly and afterwards we decided to head back to the apartment for a quick lunch and a swim before getting ready for dinner at The Signature Room…

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^^ Getting glammed up selfies πŸ˜‰ with a little burnt nose from the day on the boat!! oops.

We met Jason and Christina in the lounge area of the building for a glass of wine before heading to dinner. Christina had booked a table for us all at The Signature Room which is on the 95th Floor of the John Hancock Centre, a couple of weeks beforehand as she said it’s super popular so get’s booked up and I was very much looking forward to some good food!

We arrived a bit earlier than our reservation and also requested a window seat for dinner which meant waiting a little bit longer, but we were told it would be worth the wait! So we headed to the lounge bar and lucked out with a window seat overlooking Chicago.

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^^ As you can see we opted for a bottle of bubbles and we watched as the city changed from day to night. Magical!

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^^ check out that view!

We were told our table was ready, so we headed back down to the restaurant area and our table had an amazing view of the lit up city just like above. Now what to have for dinner…

The menu had a lot of choice, however I was instantly drawn to all the seafood they had to offer. To start we shared the Oysters. Then for mains Christina went for the Scallops, I had the halibut, Matt went for Surf & Turf (steak and lobster tail) and Jason went for the New York Strip steak. I’m really sorry I didn’t take any photos though!! I was too busy talking and taking in the view!

A couple of things I noticed though, the waiter wasn’t the friendliest and he looked like he didn’t really want to be there. This was a shock as the waitress we had in the lounge bar area was the total opposite. Also the food was quite over priced for what it was/what you got but I guess they have you because of the view.

Having said that the food was pretty delicious and presented beautifully. I do have one photo of the food…dessert!

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^^ This was the raspberry sponge cake and it was yummy!

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^^ Final photos of the night, feeling very full and slightly tipsy after bubbles AND wine, but such a lovely night!

Thursday was our last proper day in Chicago and we didn’t really know what to do for the day. We had tickets for the Bulls game that evening so we didn’t want to do anything too crazy and we had to pack at some point too. yawn!

So we finally decided to head to Navy Pier, for what we thought would be a fun morning of old school fair type games, fairground type rides, good outdoor food/drink areas and a busy/fun atmosphere. But in all honesty we couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. We did notice that building works were going on so maybe that is why it lacked any atmosphere and hopefully they are revamping the place! But it just felt dreary, run down and dead. Hardly anyone was there. Had we even come to the right place?

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view from the Ferris Wheel – looks a bit unloved don’t you think?

We headed straight to the Ferris Wheel as we had been told this was the thing to do here. It was cheap, fun and you got a good view of the city and Lake, but I guess after seeing the view so many times this week, we had sort of done it. Sorry Chicago!

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After the ride we had a walk along the promenade but nothing seemed to be open, so we then walked through the gardens and into the indoor shopping area, where everyone seemed to be! The shops were mainly touristy and not what we were looking for though so we decided to head back into the city.

I feel bad writing this as we loved Chicago but we wouldn’t go back to Navy Pier. On a positive I guess it’s a good place if you have kids, as it has a huge build a bear workshop, a Children’s museum and IMAX Cinema so I guess they would be entertained for a good few hours. I just don’t think it was what we thought it was going to be.

We did some last minute shopping, brought a couple of basketball jerseys for the game that night and had a bite to eat at a local bar. Before heading back to the apartment, packing (my least favourite thing of all time) and then headed to The United Centre for the game

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I’m not really into any sports, but I was so excited to be going to my first ever basketball game. There is something about American sports, yes they go on forever and you have time outs alll the time which is so annoying. BUT you put on the BEST entertainment, half time shows, cheerleaders..the list goes on and secretly that’s what I was looking forward to most! πŸ˜‰

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We had pretty amazing seats, front row of the upper tier and I was so happy that they sold other alcoholic drinks rather than just beers, plus look at the cute cup my drink came in! (Vodka and lemonade, yummy) ^^

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And then we settled in for the game, maybe eating a few cheeky buffalo wings and nachos through the night. Me..Buffalo wings? Never! πŸ˜‰ and these ones were gooodd but pretty hot!!

The entertainment was everything I had hoped for, cheerleaders, break dancers, the funny mascot plus Broadway stars performing at half time. I was never bored. Basketball is fast paced and exciting, I like that.

It was just a shame that The Bulls lost so meant they were out of the play-offs. Matt was pretty disappointed about this too. (He loves and follows all sports!)

But it was still an amazing way to enjoy our last night in Chicago!

Love, Chloe xx