Well here we are back in Bristol from what doesnt seem like a three week holiday! Yesterday in Chicago it was hot and stuffy so after we had walked around a little with time to spare after checking out, we decided to try Chicago’s famous Garrett’s popcorn which is awesome by the way!
Our taxi to the airport came rather early meaning that we had time to spare in O’Hare airport of which the check in was surprisingly easy for a change and with no dramas. It is worth noting that the toilets at the gate of O’Hare airport are not unisex meaning that one of my female PAs had to go in the male toilets, oh well, it’s their fault.
After an eight hour flight, we touched down at London Heathrow airport at 9 am this morning and that’s that!
Keep checking out Facebook and Twitter as we make plans for our next adventure in a years time!
Having no plans yesterday meant that we went for a wander after breakfast and stumbled upon the Chicago Blues Festival. Although Blues isn’t my kind of music, we sat in the park listening and, in particular watched people dance to it some of which was quite hilarious!
The tempreture yesterday was predicted at around 28 degrees so we decided to head to Starbucks for a while with some air conditioning before resorting back to the hotel for a few hours to pack and watch the England game.
After dinner for which we went to TGI Fridays, we headed to Navy Pier to watch some marvellous fireworks which being set off from boats although it could have been better if they had music added but hey it was a nice end to the holiday! On the way back we found ourselves in the underground network of roads for which there seemed to be noway out and took a while to actually find an exit.
Today we fly back to Heathrow and hope that no dramas will occur, but knowing me there will be so I will write the final post tomorrow when I get back which will properly make no sense at all being knackered!
See you tomorrow
Today was rather relaxing as we heading to out onto the beach which surrounds Lake Michigan which excited my PA’s greatly as it meant they could sun bathe. I’m not normally a beach person because I have a phobia of seagulls and they are everywhere in the UK but there was only one or two here. So I managed to survive on the beach for a few hours which seemingly went quickly!
After the beach we went to the Cheesecake Factory for a second time and yet again we filled up our belles far too much. So, after a little shopping spree, to browse for my graduation outfit we headed back to the hotel.
For dinner, we decided to have a wonder around some random streets and found a swanky Italian Steakhouse where I ate way too much!
Tomorrow is our last full day in America, so we plan to take Super Bunny for a walk some I can film some stuff for my up coming workshop and then head to Navy Pier in the evening to watch some lovely fireworks to end the holiday.
See you sunday morning, Nath 🙂
Last night one of my PAs got their final uni results so we decided to go for cocktails to celebrate at the John Hancock tower (we found out that it was free to get up to the bar on the 96th floor, which had kind of the same views as the views at the observation deck).
Yesterday was all about the architectural boat ride. After walking around for about an hour trying to find out where it was, where we found the beach which is what we plan to do today, we found out that it was only 5 mins away from the hotel! If you are into architecture like me, it is awesome, but if you’re not, it’s probably boring.
After the boat trip we decided to go back to the hotel where one of my PAs is still trying to get compensation from United but still not having much luck.
For dinner, we went to the fabulous Dick’s Last Resort where the wait staff are known for their sarcastic and banterous approach to serving food and general customer service. As I said above, we finished the day by celebrating me and my other PAs university results and by going up the John Hancock tower for cocktails.
Today our only plan is to visit the beach and then probably visit the Cheesecake Factory on the way back.
See you later
The weather today wasn’t as bad as we thought, and it didn’t rain at all! Although it looked like it was going to this afternoon. As breakfast isnt complimentary in this hotel, we decided to go for a little stroll where we came across a cafe in the middle of some scaffolding (I’m painting a lovely picture of this place!) where the food was actually nice, surprisingly. We came up with an awesome plan to go and visit a very exciting place of mine, the train station! It looked majestic inside in terms of every detail of the architecture as opposed to British train stations. It upset me that we couldn’t go onto the platform as there were doors which we simply couldn’t walk through.
Our plan was also to go up the Willis (Sears) Tower which is the other observation deck in Chicago. Although we didn’t have a clue where it was, coincidently it was opposite the train station, an amazing spot by my camera happy PA, the otherside of a rather dodgy bridge, that my Irish PA would hate.
The Willis Tower claims to be one of the worlds tallest buildings (but they all say that), but it is 262 Michael Jordan’s high! The views at the top were stunning consisting off mainly clouds, but at least you could see downwards, especially within the glass box which overhangs the building.
We then decided to update all of our social media in Starbucks before heading to another majestic landmark which was the Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. This wasn’t a normal fountain, it was supercalifragilisticexpialdocious (according to my PA). As you can tell I have gone a bit made having wrote this blog now for 17 days, but hey! Currently my PA is singing songs from cartoons that I don’t have a clue about (FYI it’s Arthur the Aardvark).
As skys were becoming darker and darker, we resorted to returning back to the hotel where Stuart, the Wheelchair engineer came to Super Bunny’s rescue with a new joystick, at the expense of O’Hare Airport. For dinner, we decided to experience Chicago’s magical and famous deep dish pizza where my PA’s decided to stuff themselves but I took a more easier approach.
Tomorrow, the weather forecast predicts that it will be hot and sunny in the morning before thunder storms hit so we plan to go on the architectural boat tour and then shelter somewhere so we don’t get hit by the lightening!
See you Friday morning, Nath 🙂
Today was a relaxing day after the dramas that we had yesterday! By the way, I received my final university results and calculated that I have got First class Honours degree!! My celebration present to myself was one of having lunch and then visiting the John Hancock Tower. As one of my PAs is also graduating this year, we plan to celebrate properly when she receives her final results before Friday. Chicago has raining all day getting heavier and heavier so we were unsure about whether we would see anything up the tower but in fact it looked awesome being above the clouds! The observation deck was like a standard one apart from It had a TILT window . Unfortunately I couldn’t go on it but basically the window tilts out from the building so that you are looking face down over the Magnificient Mile which would have been good to go on.
After we headed back down the tower, we found ourselves in The Cheesecake Factory (we didn’t plan it…much!) we stuffed ourselves with Cheesecake and then did a bit of shopping before returning the hotel so we could dress more weather appropriate (we didn’t check the forecast this morning)
We thought it would be a good idea to go for a little walk through Millenium Park which is only a few blocks away, however, we soon realised that the rain had turned torrential but we still carried on none the less. We planned to go in search of the giant bean which I will shortly upload a photo of to Twitter (where I look like a drowned rat!). After a brisk walk round, we decided to head back to the hotel for the night before we got even more soaked!
Tomorrow the weather forcast is for thundery showers and cold (lucky us!) so we’re unsure what to do tomorrow apart from going to the train station (obviously).
See you Thursday morning
Well if you know me, you will know that nothing is ever easy and this was certainly the case yesterday when I travelled from my cousins to Chicago!
We spent a relaxing morning at my cousins (being fed far too much food…I won’t mention the burnt nachos) which I can’t thank enough for letting us stay with them, before a short taxi from theirs to London airport where I finally managed to pay for something! The staff all seemed really helpful so such a small airport and quickly came up with a solution as to how to get my electric wheelchair onto the aircraft unlike the drama we had at JFK. The flight was delayed around an hour due to bad weather conditions and busy airspace in Chicago so meant that I could spend more time with my cousins before saying goodbye.
Once we boarded the plane and started taxiing, we found out that we couldn’t take off for around another 25 mins still waiting for the all clear from Toronto air management. we landed in Chicago O’hare around an hour after and, as before, this is where the drama began!
The ground staff were useless! We had asked for my electric wheelchair to be brought to the aircraft for me to disembark into, however they bought an aisle seat which I do not use as I walk off the aircraft, my PAs explained this and so the ground staff then went and found a manual wheelchair, again my PAs tried correcting them asking again for my electric wheelchair and then my manual wheelchair showed up. Forth time lucky I was finally able to get off the plane to sit in Superbunny. Once again, it wouldn’t turn on, but this time we had assumed again they had disconnected the battery after my PAs had specifically told them not to as we have a Bunny Tranquiliser (battery imoboliser) so my PAs got on the floor whilst about 5 guys were standing round looking as they tried to reconnect the battery whilst still on the airfield. After a short while the ground staff saw my PAs struggling and offers to help. When we reconnected the battery we thought everything was fine until I realised that the joystick had lost it’s resistance meaning that it was undrivable! By this time, my PAs had had enough as this is the second time it has happened in a week so went on a mission to complain and file a damage report and attempt to receive some compensation for the inconvenience and cab fares that we have missed at both airports for having to spend time filling out damage report forms which took 2 hours.
After the claim was filed and they had figured out how to use their own computer system, we were escorted out to the taxi rank. As usual, communication was poor between the airport staff and transportation staff as they decided to shout at us about I don’t know what because I had switched off by his point.
Finally a taxi showed up around 9:45pm which was 10:45 in Canadian time zone so we were all knackered and for now we were on the homestretch, obviously not! We got to the hotel and went to check in and, as we found in Europe, they didn’t read the notes on the booking confirmation regarding wheelchair accessibility and adjoining rooms for which they had neither. The only way around it was for them to transfer 2 of us to another hotel which we were reluctant to do. Out of the blue, a random woman from Canada (who was slightly drunk!) overheard our conversation and realised that her friends in an accessible room and kindly volunteered them to move rooms for which we accepted and all was resolved. We finally had dinner at around ten to midnight (we were now very grateful for my cousins over feeding us).
We have had a lazy morning this morning apart from one PA who has spent the whole morning on the phone with the engineer who is going to try and fix Superbunny and the very unhelpful United Airlines! All morning she has been passed from person to person in which nobody is able to offer the right help or information!
We about to go down for something for breakfast which will be classed as lunch and then go up the John Hancock tower as it’s not too far from the hotel.
See you in the morning
Today went rather quickly as I had my cousins visiting for which we tried to have a BBQ but the English weather came and caught us up and so we all stayed inside. Whilst the was happening one decided to brave the rain and stoke up the BBQ under an umbrella, funnily enough, as soon as we sat down to eat the sun came out, typical!
I forgot to mention this morning that on the train to London, Ontario, a part of our luggage had been put in the fridge during all the commotion which we later realised contained my wheelchair charger, so hopefully it still works! Although we don’t really need it now.
Tomorrow, we plan to have a relaxed morning before the fun starts again, when we head to London airport to catch the plane to Chicago and hopefully this time my wheelchair will go on the plane without any problems.
See you Tuesday, Nath 🙂
So yesterday was the day of catching the train to London, Ontario. As we took the train to Niagara Falls earlier in the week, I thought that getting on the train was simple, how wrong was I!
We ordered the taxi the day before to pick us from the hotel to go to Union station which all went to plan and then it went downhill from there unbeknown to me different train companies in Canada have different procedures regarding accessibility. As opposed to Go transit which we used to go to Niagara Falls and as I said you could simply get on the train without any problems, apparently Via rail you have to book in advance similar to good old British network rail. My PA went to buy tickets and discovered that there were no seats available for the return trip and that we should have rang them for assistance. Luckily we arrived at the station about an hour before because by the time we had everything sorted, like normal for me, we ended up running for the train!
The train carriages are very much like the 125’s in the UK as they have a large wheelchair space ( not like Cross Country trains!) but they actually have tie down points for wheelchairs which is different but quite a good idea however there is only one on each train which is a bit rubbish and is the reason we couldn’t get the return train home.
After the 2 hour train journey to London we were greeted by my cousins, who we are staying with until Monday and then some of my other cousins came round that evening , I have such a complicated family tree!
As we realised at the station in Toronto that the only return train that we could get on was at 7:40 am and our flight wasn’t until 7pm, we decided to book a flight from London to chicago instead.
Today, some more of my family are visiting for the afternoon which should be good.
See you tomorrow,
Well this post isn’t going to make any sense as I’m knackered and my PAs too. This morning after a late start, we went for a wander around the Eaton Centre which is the main shopping mall in Toronto. Like normal, I just went along with the flow and got dragged into many shops.
Afte this, we we returned to the hotel and went to the jacuzzi again and I did my first bit of sunbathing in my life which was exciting. For dinner, I decided to go to Hooters which an experience in itself.
Tomorrow, we head down to London, Ontario on the train yet again to spend the weekend at my cousins. I presume that they have wifi otherwise see you Tuesday.