TRAVEL – trek america’s grand trek: wisconsin and minnesota

travel - trekamericas grand trek - wisconsin and minnesotaToday is a big driving day (seven hours to be exact) to our next campsite in Jackson, Minnesota, and that means only one thing – roadside attractions!

One thing that I have to say is that the past couple of days in Chicago definitely surpassed my expectations! The city wasn’t on my bucket list, but I’m so happy that I got to visit it! It’s so beautiful and has amazing architecture, as well as being clean with lots of green areas. It also seemed so much more ‘relaxed’ and friendlier than New York. I definitely want to go back!

travel - trekamericas grand trek - wisconsin and minnesota cheese mousehousewisconsin cheese and mouse house
linebreakOur little roadside attraction day included stops at the Jolly Green Giant Statue, indulging in a chocolate extreme blizzard at a Dairy Queen and sampling some cheese at the Wisconsin Cheese Mouse House. We were also meant to pay a visit to the Spam Museum (because why wouldn’t you?), but unfortunately it was closed due to refurbishment (oh no, we were all clearly gutted…)

travel - trekamericas grand trek - wisconsin and minnesota jolly green giant statuejolly green giant statue
linebreakAfter roadside hopping, we arrived at camp and all pitched our tents before heading into the pool and playing a few games. Me, Bobbi and Polly decided to challenge the boys to a game of mini golf with the losing team having to do a forfeit (their idea not ours). It was a close call, but we won, and the boys had to streak around the campfire! It was so funny! Looking back, I’m so happy that we didn’t lose!

travel - trekamericas grand trek - wisconsin and minnesota campsite jacksonchilling by the pool in our campsite in Jackson, Minnesota
linebreakThat night we also had our first and successful campfire and tried smores! They were so delicious and really sweet! We then all played drinking games and chatted until the early hours.

As everyone was heading to bed, me and Polly decided on a whim coming back from the bathroom to take the tarp off the boys’ tent. It was rather funny as we were making quite a bit of noise and laughing, but they were fast asleep! Little did we know that this small act would start a two week ‘prank war.’

Despite it being such a long day in the van, it was so good to chill at camp and relax. But this was not going to last as in only a few hours’ time we would be waking up in a thunderstorm with signs of a tornado heading our way…

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TRAVEL – trek america’s grand trek: indiana and chicago

travel - trekamericas grand trek - day 4 indiana and chicagoCedar Point marked a major low point of the trip – and it was only day three!

But we picked ourselves up (in fact, the experience had brought us only closer together) and packed up our soggy tents, ready to head to Amish community, Shipshewana in Indiana!

travel - trekamericas grand trek - day 4 indiana and chicago - amish museum me, kirsty and matty at the amish museum, shipshewana
linebreakSteve took us to the Menno-Hof Museum where we learnt about the Amish & Mennonite way of life. I found it to be really interesting and loved the experience, however a few members of the group thought that the tour was a bit preachy – but hey each to their own! After having some fun playing dress-up in Amish clothes, we all headed back to the van ready to hit our next destination; Chicago!

travel - trekamericas grand trek - day 4 indiana and chicago - on the way to chicagotravel - trekamericas grand trek - indiana and chicago - chicago art institution lion helmettravel - trekamericas grand trek - day 4 indiana and chicago - giorgianos pizzatop: on our way into chicago, bottom; giordanos pizza at the bean
linebreakWell, what can I say about Chicago, apart from the fact that it was my favourite city of the entire trip?!  Once we had arrived at the Windy City, we checked into our lovely Hostel International (which was conveniently located just down the road from Millennium Park and the famous bean) before heading out to try Giordano’s famous deep dish pizza. We arrived at the bean to find that Steve had already ordered us some, so after taking many selfies, we all had a few slices (we could see why Chicago’s so famous for them) and chilled out in front of the bean.
travel - trekamericas grand trek - indiana and chicago - chicaho skyline on lake michigantravel - trekamericas grand trek - indiana and chicago - chicago bike tour - trump buildingtravel - trekamericas grand trek - indiana and chicago - chicago bike tour - rain men
top: chicago skyline along lake michigan, middle: trump tower, bottom: rain men
linebreakAfter stuffing our faces we all went on a nighttime bike tour with Bobby’s Bike Hike. I’m not going to lie, it was one of the best bike tours I’ve ever done! Our guide Jeremy was so friendly! We got to cycle along Lake Michigan, pass the Abraham Lincoln statue , through the infamous Viagra Triangle (yep, you read that right – this area is apparently where sugar daddies meet their younger and hotter counterparts) and visited the Trump building and a hotel which was featured in The Dark Knight.  We also went passed a few museums and the planetarium before ending our tour at the Buckingham Fountain which was all beautifully lit up!
travel - trekamericas grand trek - indiana and chicago - chicago bike tour - buckingham fountain
buckingham fountain

linebreakSeeing Chi-Town all lit up a night was such an amazing experience! It gave us all an idea of where to go on our free day and it more than lifted the spirits of the group after the mishaps of Cedar Point!

Later on that night a few members of the group went out for a few drinks at Kelsey’s Bar, whilst me and a couple of others decided to stay in and do laundry (I know, party animals!) But me and Bobbi needed an earlish night as we were on a mission to see a not-so-crowded bean at sunrise!

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(Image one credit to Bobbi, rest from Google Images)