In the fall of September, 2008, 8 others and myself rented a big econo line van that seats 14 and we traveled to the Windy City for an Armenian Youth Conference for a weekend. That trip always comes to my mind quite often and how much fun we had in Northbrook Illinois at this Seminary. Now as we were on the Highway 401 West going toward the Sarnia, Ontario USA Border, we stopped at the duty free shop. I decided to get some snacks and M & M’s. So at the checkout cashier counter, the lady asked for my licence plate number of the car I was traveling with, Now I asked her why do I have to give you my licence plate number when all I am buying is M & M’s and snacks for the road to Chicago? She said we have to ask on all products that are bought from the duty free. I said Oh Ok, so I bought them and everyone bought some things, so we went back on the road and waiting at the border, then we got through the customs and we were on our way to Chicago. It was incredible.
As we were driving through the states in Michigan, we decided to stop at Kalamazoo Michigan for a bite to eat at Steak N Shake. We had an incredible lunch there, and it was so delicious. Then there was hooters across the street and so the curiousity and sudden interest sparked us into going across the street to see what hooters was all about since I or some of us had never been there or seen it, and there was the girls with the manager training these new employees of hooters. So we just watched and spoke to the manager after. So we said on our way back from Chicago back to Canada, we will stop over. So now we got back on the road and it took about another 3 hours to get to Chicago.
Now, the most awesome and exciting moment happened when I finally saw the sears tower and driving toward the Skyline of Chicago. I have always had dreams about going to Chicago someday and seeing the Tribune sign, tip top allerton, those revolving doors that I saw in the theme of the Show Perfect Strangers, and I had seen homes like the show Family Matters and Married with Children. It was so cool and I was jumping for joy of excitement being in a city where a lot of the shows I used to watch when I was a kid was all Chicago based. Now the Show Mike and Molly made me relive those memories of My Trip.
Now as we went to downtown Chicago on Michigan ave. The girls and I decided to go to Victoria’s Secret. I had never ever been in one until I was there. It was one of the coolest places and it was two floors. So I bought a few things and I saw Heidi Klum’s big poster and I felt like I was actually talking to her. It was awesome. Now we had got there just about an hour or 2 before closing, so here is the funny thing that happened. So as I had said I watched those Chicago based shows, so I decided to do something exciting and re-inact the theme beginning of Perfect Strangers, so I saw the revolving circular door to get out from the store and there was a security guard with the big BLACK WHITE Squared Hats and Police nearby and Now I was playing around with the circular door and laughing the same time and the security and the police knew exactly what I was doing, and they said “You are trying to the Perfect Strangers theme aren’t you?” I said yes BALKI lool. It was so funny. The security actually laughed and said we get that a lot from people who come to Chicago. I said I am from Canada and I loved those Chicago based shows. He said a lot of tourists do that.
Now we were walking in downtown Chicago after our Victoria’s Secret mission and I had hoped I would see the HARPO Studios or a Glimpse of MISS OPRAH herself, but wasn’t in luck. So after about 2-3 hours of being in downtown Chicago, we went back to our van to go to the Armenian Conference we came there for. The place was about half an hour north of Chicago and I just couldn’t stop staring at the skyline until we could no longer see it and the skyline is just beautiful with all the lights, and the subways going around which are so old but really define the place. So we had made new friends from the States at this Armenian Youth Conference and It was one of the most memorable weekends of my life. I had a blast!
Now as the weekend commenced and we were all set to go back to our cities and towns, and I had a super hard time leaving Chicago and I started to cry and as we were heading toward the skyline of Chicago again, I couldn’t stop snapping photos and taking pictures of every angle and every speck of it so that I can see it in the future. I still look at those pictures and just remember. I will never forget it. Now we were following our new friends we made back to the State of Michigan. We gassed up in Indiana. There was this scary old looking area we got gas in and we were rushing to get out of there. Now as we got into the state of Michigan we stopped at Hooters for a bite to eat as we said and the Manager remembered us and he said you kept your word. We said of course. We had a delicious meal and we spent a good hour to two hours there. After we continued our journey home to Ontario, but we stopped in Ontario, and made a detour. We decided to go to BUFFALO for the day before heading back to Toronto. We had arrived to Buffalo at 5am in the Morning and so the Customs guy asked us, why were going to Buffalo, we said oh to sight see, enjoy, and the Customs guy said SIGHT SEEING IN BUFFALO? He said its the most boring place ever, what the heck is there to do sight seeing? LOL so then he let us go. So we stood in Buffalo all day and then we came back right into Canada and came home. We all had a blast. I still talk about it to this day with my family and friends.