from jersey girl to chicago hope

spent last weekend at chicago with my parents. we drove there for almost 14 hours which was supposed to be just 12 hours because of all the road work in pennsylvania and indiana and illinois itself. this trip made me fully understand why chicago is called the "windy city" and why NJ is called the "garden state."

chicago reminded me a lot of canada because everything's just flat and wide, and there were few trees. the roads are so straight that you could see straight ahead and keep going that way without any curves or bends. it also looked somewhat like downtown newark, only chicago is way cleaner! lots of hospitals around too.

saw my relatives there and finally met one cousin i have only seen while i was still a baby, but we never really got to talk. but i did get to kiss him the moment we came into their house. he was playing this video game. he's an older cousin who's half-mexican.

we got to climb on top of the famous sears tower, which used to be the tallest building in the world, but is still a chicago landmark. you can see lake michigan which is so vast and blue you'll think it's an ocean. we got to ride one of their trains which go on different routes depending on the color code. there are a lot of trains in chicago, both on the ground and above it.

we got to eat dinner at a restaurant in their chinatown which is so much cleaner than the one in new york. and the fun part after that is shopping for cute stuff at their gift shops! i got to buy pucca stuff in one of the stores.

on our last day there, we got to visit the national shrine of st. therese in darien which is only about 20 minutes away from one of my cousins' house. one of my aunts treated us to a buffet lunch at this italian restaurant. and so i would say this trip has been one dinner party after another for four days straight. whatever pounds i lost at work i gained it all back in just that time frame.

the downside to living in chicago is the enormous sales tax. they tax everything! it's 8.75%, whereas NJ only taxes 6% and clothing, shoes and certain food items are tax-exempt.

later today is going to be my last day at work...and then i'm going to shop with my 20% off coupon! hehe. they are so going to miss me at handbags. but i have to pack my stuff in time for my flight on monday.

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