August 9th, 2008

Chicago: Day 1

sitting here, listening to my brother's rendition of 'smooth operator' and at the moment, i wish i didn't have ears. it's been a long first day in chicago, which actually started sometime last night around 11 when we took off from lax. the ride was long, and we almost didn't make our connecting life, but we made it to o'hare airport around 7:30 in the morning! my mom, my brother and i were running on 2 hours of sleep, i think, although it seemed like much less. anyway, my aunt and uncle were there at the airport to pick us up, and they took us to their duplex apartment somewhere 10 minutes away from downtown chicago.

it was great seeing my cousins again. it had been two years since i've seen them last and they've already adjusted amazingly well to american life since coming from the philippines, even to the biting cold of the winter. speaking of coldness, it was pretty cold coming out of the airplane today... wasn't expecting that! i brought practically all shorts and t-shirts cause i thought it was gonna be humid. some parts of today were pretty hot, some cloudy, some rainy. overall, just kind of strange...

anyway, we had breakfast at their house, and then by the time we got around to leaving again it was 11. my uncle drove us around downtown and i immediately thought of batman. some parts of dark knight were filmed here, haha. most of the builings are brick, in stark contrast to the cold glass metal of l.a. it was fun seeing everything, and i hope tomorrow i'll get to walk around more. I caught a glimpse out the window of the famous bean sculpture which was pretty impressive in real life! anyway, we ended up hanging around navy pier and taking tons of photos. navy pier is a really touristy place, with rides and pirate shows and a beergarden where they have concerts and such. we took a free trolley ride, in which i struggled oh so hard to stay awake... the jet lag was finally catching up to me.

i don't remember all that we saw on the trolley ride, but i do remember when we got back to the parking garage and watching my uncle pay $23 flat rate for parking!!!!! DEAR GOD. $23!!! i will never complain about downtown l.a. prices again. that was insane. sheeeshh, public transportation is a godsend here. anyway, after navy pier, we drove around more and ended up somewhere near humboldt park, where my uncle bought us some fried chicken from a puerto rican truck which was awesome! then we drove around some more and ate lunch at giordano's, a place famous for its deep dish stuffed pizzas. we had to wait an hour to eat, but it was worth it, in all its cheesy oily glory. mann that stuff was soo packed with horrible caloric fatty stuff. i ate a slice and it was GOOD, but directly after i felt BAD. after my day-to-day diet of grilled chicken and vegetables due to my constant state of poorness, it was an abrupt change which will not bode well for me later, i'm sure. once we got back to their house, i took a pepcid AC and fell asleep on my cousin's bed. couldn't take staying awake anymore.

i woke up around 8 PM only to discover that pretty much everyone else was asleep as well. i read a little bit, waiting, then i sat outside with my mom and aunt while they cooked dinner. my cousins have an awesome patio set-up at their place, with a table and a futon outside, and views of brick houses all around. i wasted time before dinner watching the olympics and michael phelps win his first gold of 2008. dinner was then had outside with everyone, while the cool air surrounded us. i was happy to stuff myself with fruit this time around... seriously. deep dish pizza. man oh man. i don't know if i'm gonna do that again anytime soon...

and then lots and lots of karaoke! my little 10-year-old cousin has been watching waaayy too much hannah montana, as her dance moves are let's say, pretty advanced, haha. her sister, my other cousin, played on her electric guitar for us while my 10-year-old cousin sang along. it was a pretty good night of singing and laughing and craziness, some of which i captured on video and will probably make its way on to youtube in the near future :)

tomorrow, i'll be meeting a friend i haven't seen since freshman year of high school, and then we're going to milennium park (where that bean is!) and then i don't know what else. awesomeness to follow, i'm sure...