Monday, 15 May 2017

Chicago: 48 Hours in the Magnificent Midwest

I first discovered Chicago in 2013, and have been fortunate enough to return several times since, usually for 24 or 48 hours, so I highly recommended this HIIT city destination. 

I also managed to fit in a 12 hour shopping trip layover when I visited Belize in April 2016.


A serial East Coast traveller (remember when everyone travelled to New York for a weekend break?) a work opportunity arose that saw me book a flight to Chicago for onward travel to a little student town called Champaign; four-hour return Amtrak trip, and well worth a visit for a true taste of America (they even have a freakin’ Dairy Queen).

Flights
Flights are around 9 hours direct from the UK, and, depending how organised you are, range from £500-£800 for economy return.  

Hotels
For reasons I’m about to go into, I enjoy staying at Hilton O’Hare (the only airport hotel; handy for layovers) or the Hilton Rosemont (one MTR stop from O’Hare and an entertainment haven).  City-centre hotels are very competitively priced, stay near the Magnificent Mile to hit most of the attractions.

Must-eat Meals
When in Chicago, you have to try the Deep Dish Pizza.  Available all over the city. Garretts’ gourmet Popcorn is a perfect souvenir...just make sure you buy a few bags for yourself.  A great Ghiradelli chocolate shop offers you a free chocolate on arrival, each time you walk through the door; do with that information what you will.  Every other snack and restaurant chain is available.


Okay, okay, so what should I do with 48 hours in Chicago?


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

24 Hours in Cardiff

I love celebrating Christmas in May, don’t you? 

Last weekend I enjoyed a whirlwind visit to Cardiff, seeing (the fabulous) Tom Chaplin, off of (the amazing) Keane, thanks to my Christmas present from (the gorgeous) Mr D.

Now, I never have a bad time in the Welsh capital, and have stayed here a fair few times - love how accessible the city is....plus, the shops are open until 7pm! Anyway, no time for city-centre shopping on this trip. 



Here’s how we managed to spend our 24 hours of parental freedom:   


Monday, 24 April 2017

Waikiki in a Week

You know when they say it’s better to live with no regrets? I will never regret spending a week on Waikiki beach, even though I lost a day.

The infamous south shore beach on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu (which holds the capital, and is site of the international airport) Honolulu, was the scene of a spontaneous catch-up for my friend Kathy and I in 2008. We hadn't seen each other since we returned from teaching English in China two years previously; she lives in Canada, I live in England.   

So how did Hawaii happen?


Monday, 17 April 2017

From Ashford to Plymouth (and Cornwall) in a fortnight

So, Easter: how did you spend yours? 

I've just looked back over my recent photos and I think I know why this Pinot and Cadbury's egg is going down so well....we've packed in a fair bit over the last fourteen days.

Our adventures began in Ashford, Kent, via an overnight with friends in Chippenham - where I managed to leave my purse and my daughter's Kindle behind!  Time to pop on some sunnies and kick off your shoes: 




Thankfully we were staying with friends in Ashford, so we shared our budget for the five days of fun. 

First stop was Folkestone beach.  


Monday, 27 March 2017

That time I went to...

Twelve years ago I lived in China, teaching English as a Foreign Language.



And that inspired the start of some serious itchy-feet; I regularly popped across to the US, Europe and Asia over the next seven years, and when I met MrS15S