I arrived to an overcast and rainy Chicago on Saturday at 7am local time. In other word, exactly 8 hours after leaving Toronto. I didn’t mind the weather because I had Lady Luck on my side. Approximately 24 hours earlier, I received a message from a couchsurfing host saying he had a bit of floor available for me. I say a bit because this person’s house was about the size of a large kitchen and he was already hosting 4 other surfers. At that point, I didn’t care about space, I just wanted a place to sleep (and ideally some travel buddies).
I got into Chicago, unusually unprepared, with no map, no itinerary, and no sights to see. I wandered around in the mist for a while before finding a place to grab a bite. I grabbed breakfast there, not sure when I’d eat again, not because of money, but because of lack of planning. As I ate my “lumber jack skillet” I read a newspaper and waited for the rain to stop. After an hour, I washed my face in their washroom and headed out.
A luck would have it, it had stopped raining and the sun started to peek through the clouds. I walked around downtown Chicago and found Cloud Gate, that reflective bean-shaped sculpture in the heart of Chicago. After digging it for a few minutes, watching the tourist get more and more numerous, I decided to meander over to my host’s place.
He welcomed me to his place at around 11am. I dropped off my bag and decided to grab some famous Chicago style hotdogs. These dogs, topped with relish, hot pepper, onions and a pickle (I feel like I’m forgetting something), are to be eaten without ketchup and are quite delicious. Now full, I wandered towards Chicago’s Chinatown to see if it was like every other Chinatown in North America. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it exactly the same. I headed back to my host’s place around 6pm since he was expecting two French surfers around that time and he was preparing us a Filipino meal. As I got in, the two other surfers (besides the two French girls) came in (a German girl and an American). We had a delicious meal with some drinks and followed that with a drink at a bar before calling it a night. After a long day of exploring and a night spent in a car, the floor felt wonderful.
Now that my travel and housing situation in Chicago was taken care of, I had to figure out how I would get to Denver.