Arriving, LA, Chicago & Pittsburgh
After completing our most recent trip, I thought I had better attempt to manage the mess of photos from our second trip to the states. 6 months on and I haven’t even touched the photo files – it’s all in the too hard basket. As the trip was over a couple of weeks, but we ran around from state to state, I thought I’d attempt to break up the trip. This entry will look at arriving into LA, surviving our first day, departing LA for Chicago and our adventures around Chicago.
Travelled from Melbourne to Brisbane first thing in the morning. We left home at 5am, arrived in Brisbane just after 8am which left us to have an hour or so in the lounge, prior to boarding. We departed from Brisbane around 10:50am (which I think was the same time as our second trip back to the states, recently).
We stopped off for (more) breakfast at iHop in LA, after we had pulled our hair out installing the car seat. Word of warning for those travelling overseas, esp to the states – they will not install a carseat for you. Most of their cars are fitted with different mechanisms to ours (somewhat easier once you know how!) but to a complete newbie, we struggled for a good 40 minutes. Someone eventually walked past and told us where to put the straps, how to tighten, but he wasn’t allowed to do it for us! We then ventured onto Santa Monica. We stopped off for some lunch (In-N-Out Burger) in Marina Del Ray, and also wandered over to Costco for a look. As soon as we checked into our accommodation for the night (Hilton Gardens Inn LAX) James had to head into the city to attend the WWE event. I headed to the Toyota Sports Center (training center for the LA Kings) which was right next door, and then headed up to the shops. I ate dinner in the hotel, where Jack was charming the pants off some fellow hotel guests.
Another early start as we are flying to Chicago from LAX, with a stopover in Detroit. We had some Popeye’s chicken for lunch between flights and got talking to a lady that worked for Delta – she gave Jack his first Delta airline pin. We were on a pretty tight schedule once we arrived in Chicago, so we walked to Shake Shack and had a burger and a frozen custard, before heading to our first NHL game where the Chicago Blackhawks were playing. We chose to stay at the ACME Hotel, one great hotel, in a great location! It’s a bit funky with interesting artwork, and a lovely set of neon lips that light up the bathroom mirror. James normally always takes photos of the rooms that we stay in, but I can’t seem to find them anywhere. They leave you a hot thermos of coffee, freshly made every morning and even offered hire of Google Glasses.
Our first full day in Chicago! We wandered the streets, braved the misty rain, and took in a few tourist sites – Navy Pier, Millennium Park and the ‘bean,’ We had subway for lunch, and traditional Chicago deep dish pizza for dinner. Truly delicious!
Checked out of Chicago – had so much more to see and definitely will be needing to come back here! Chicago felt very much like home. I bet it gets very cold in winter, as the wind that whipped off Lake Michigan was freezing. We found the local doughnut van and had some highly recommended doughnuts
We flew into Pittsburgh, hired a car and drove to our accommodation. We are only staying briefly in Pittsburgh to attend another NHL game, so we chose accommodation close to the venue. We arrived in time for dinner and headed over to a sports diner.
James was kept busy all day playing with the big boys, which left Jack and myself to explore. Now, Pittsburgh looks beautiful – the fall colours as we were flying in was something I’ve never seen before. However, when I was chatting to the lovely shuttle driver, she warned me about certain neighbourhoods. Her house is not in the best part of town, and gets shot at, at least once a summer.
So we headed to South Side to stretch our legs, do some shopping and have some lunch at the Cheesecake Factory! Later that night Jack and I had front row, ice-side seats to the Penguins home game. It was beyond awesome, however Jack was more fascinated with all the people behind, staring at him, as he watched everything except the game!