Posted by DuskVamp (681 posts) -

About a month ago, I wrote two blogs about my first 4 weeks of my summer in Chicago with Wrighteous86, which you can find here and here. It was a very full vacation, so I've put the last 2 weeks in this blog to finish it out. Sorry it took so long, but I just started back up in college, so it's taken me a while to find the time!
 

Training Beluga Whales

I'm going to college at the moment to hopefully go on to study Zoology in University, and Wrighteous knows how much I love animals, so for our one-year anniversary he gave me a "Trainer For a Day" experience at the Shedd Aquarium. We got to dress up like the workers, go behind the scenes and see how they prepare food, clean and care for the animals, and all kinds of things like that. We got to ask our Zoologist a lot of questions to help my studies, and got some hands on experience with the animals. We went into a private area to see the newborn dolphin calf that was kept from the public and watch it nurse it's mother. Not only did we get to hang out in the Penguin exhibit, where they ran over our feet and nipped at our legs, but we got to train and play with a Beluga Whale calf!

 So amazing!
When we were petting the whale, Wrighteous said that it felt like a soggy, squishy, pillow and I have to agree. It was very smooth and soft, but very slick, when I stroked the whale, my imprint was left behind. It was the best gift I’ve ever been given! Afterwards, we got to roam about and see the exhibits from the public's side. All in all it was an amazing and very thoughtful anniversary present!
 

Man Vs Food

After the aquarium, I took Wrighteous to a place I had seen on Man Vs. Food: Lucky's Overstuffed Sandwiches. He just made it look so good on TV!
 
 The sandwiches certainly lived up to their name! I was disappointed though that most of the stuffing is just chips (fries) in the middle of your sandwich. Which made it hard to taste anything else, they weren’t great chips either. So now I know that next time I watch Man Vs Food, that all those orgasmic moans he makes over the food are faked!

In the end, I didn't quite finish. I got really close though! I think Wrighteous felt a bit sick trying to shove it all down, but in the end, he managed like a champion!
 
 Wrighteous wasn't quite sure he could do it.
 

The Magnificent Mile

Later that week, Wrighteous and I went to the Magnificent Mile, a street in Chicago with all of the really posh shops. We spent all day going in and out of clothes shops. I had lots of fun, though I don't think Wrighteous shared my enthusiasm!

To reward him for being a good boyfriend, I let him take me to Dave & Buster's for dinner and some games. We played a bit of everything, but it seems I have a knack for arcade games, as I won the Jackpot a few times on some of the spinning light games and got loads of tickets. Wrighteous wasn't quite as lucky on Deal or No Deal...
 
 So tired after all that winning!
Nearing the end of the night, I started to get pretty tired, so I cashed in all my tickets for a load of sweets, and a bobble-head of Alan from The Hangover. It turned out to be a successful night! It’s a good thing I don’t have an arcade near me, or my beginners luck might turn me into a gambler.
 
 I was very pleased with my prize!

The Lake House

 Wrighteous took a long weekend off work so we could go to his family's lake house at Apple Canyon Lake. The view from the house was gorgeous, and the lake was just down the hill from his back garden.
 
 Beautiful View!
 We were surrounded by woods, which was kinda scary, but it was also a lot of fun, because I got to drive his golf cart through the trails, where we saw loads of deer. We also spent a bit of time enjoying the water at the beach, though I was scared to go too deep as I can’t swim (had a bad experience as a child) and had to cling to Wrighteous.

Near the lake house is an old historical town called Galena, and we went up and down the roads checking out the antique shops and nice restaurants and food shops in the neighborhood. It was cool seeing what America looked like 100 years ago. It reminded me a bit of the town at the end of Red Dead Redemption actually.
 
 
 Blackwater?

Busting Myths

 Our trip was winding down, and I was getting ready to go home, but we had one last thing on our agenda: the Museum of Science and Industry. There was a Mythbusters exhibit going on: I looked for any sign of Will and Norm, but sadly they were nowhere to be found. 

I loved this museum. There were IMAX movies, and an amazing Weather exhibit full of hands on stuff to play with, and a machine that created it's own lightning above our heads! I was a bit partial to the Baby Chick Hatchery, though.

At the end of the day, we decided to pop in the MythBusters exhibit. It was fun trying out all the Myths they had there, like pulling a sheet off of a table without breaking dishes, and getting dressed as a superhero in a phone booth. The end of the exhibit had a live stage show to see if it was possible to dodge a bullet (though they replaced the bullet with a paintball). They needed volunteers, so Wrighteous, a girl, and myself were selected to test our reflexes. Wrighteous was too slow for me and the girl and had to sit back down, and in the end, my reflexes were the best; shows why I was so good in the arcade.
 
 Displaying my lightening fast reactions!
In the end, I was able to dodge the paintball when it was fired from a specific distance. It was a lot of fun getting to be a part of the show!
 

Wrapping Up

Those are just the highlights of the amazing time I had for my first visit to America. I was so sad that I had to leave the States and Wrighteous, but school was starting up soon. I had so much fun and I can't wait to come back! Wrighteous says we might go to San Francisco for a week next summer, maybe we'll even bump into Giant Bomb while we're there! This winter he'll be visiting me in the UK for a few weeks, and we'll be staying in Spain for a while during that time, and I already can't wait to see him again. I hope you enjoyed reading about my first trip to America, and seeing how well this Giant Bomb relationship is doing. I want to thank our fellow GBers that are, or have been in long distance relationships, for all their help and advice. Giant Bomb is a website about love. Thanks everyone!
 
 Thanks Giantbomb! From DuskVamp & Wrighteous86.
#1 Posted by DuskVamp (681 posts) -

About a month ago, I wrote two blogs about my first 4 weeks of my summer in Chicago with Wrighteous86, which you can find here and here. It was a very full vacation, so I've put the last 2 weeks in this blog to finish it out. Sorry it took so long, but I just started back up in college, so it's taken me a while to find the time!
 

Training Beluga Whales

I'm going to college at the moment to hopefully go on to study Zoology in University, and Wrighteous knows how much I love animals, so for our one-year anniversary he gave me a "Trainer For a Day" experience at the Shedd Aquarium. We got to dress up like the workers, go behind the scenes and see how they prepare food, clean and care for the animals, and all kinds of things like that. We got to ask our Zoologist a lot of questions to help my studies, and got some hands on experience with the animals. We went into a private area to see the newborn dolphin calf that was kept from the public and watch it nurse it's mother. Not only did we get to hang out in the Penguin exhibit, where they ran over our feet and nipped at our legs, but we got to train and play with a Beluga Whale calf!

 So amazing!
When we were petting the whale, Wrighteous said that it felt like a soggy, squishy, pillow and I have to agree. It was very smooth and soft, but very slick, when I stroked the whale, my imprint was left behind. It was the best gift I’ve ever been given! Afterwards, we got to roam about and see the exhibits from the public's side. All in all it was an amazing and very thoughtful anniversary present!
 

Man Vs Food

After the aquarium, I took Wrighteous to a place I had seen on Man Vs. Food: Lucky's Overstuffed Sandwiches. He just made it look so good on TV!
 
 The sandwiches certainly lived up to their name! I was disappointed though that most of the stuffing is just chips (fries) in the middle of your sandwich. Which made it hard to taste anything else, they weren’t great chips either. So now I know that next time I watch Man Vs Food, that all those orgasmic moans he makes over the food are faked!

In the end, I didn't quite finish. I got really close though! I think Wrighteous felt a bit sick trying to shove it all down, but in the end, he managed like a champion!
 
 Wrighteous wasn't quite sure he could do it.
 

The Magnificent Mile

Later that week, Wrighteous and I went to the Magnificent Mile, a street in Chicago with all of the really posh shops. We spent all day going in and out of clothes shops. I had lots of fun, though I don't think Wrighteous shared my enthusiasm!

To reward him for being a good boyfriend, I let him take me to Dave & Buster's for dinner and some games. We played a bit of everything, but it seems I have a knack for arcade games, as I won the Jackpot a few times on some of the spinning light games and got loads of tickets. Wrighteous wasn't quite as lucky on Deal or No Deal...
 
 So tired after all that winning!
Nearing the end of the night, I started to get pretty tired, so I cashed in all my tickets for a load of sweets, and a bobble-head of Alan from The Hangover. It turned out to be a successful night! It’s a good thing I don’t have an arcade near me, or my beginners luck might turn me into a gambler.
 
 I was very pleased with my prize!

The Lake House

 Wrighteous took a long weekend off work so we could go to his family's lake house at Apple Canyon Lake. The view from the house was gorgeous, and the lake was just down the hill from his back garden.
 
 Beautiful View!
 We were surrounded by woods, which was kinda scary, but it was also a lot of fun, because I got to drive his golf cart through the trails, where we saw loads of deer. We also spent a bit of time enjoying the water at the beach, though I was scared to go too deep as I can’t swim (had a bad experience as a child) and had to cling to Wrighteous.

Near the lake house is an old historical town called Galena, and we went up and down the roads checking out the antique shops and nice restaurants and food shops in the neighborhood. It was cool seeing what America looked like 100 years ago. It reminded me a bit of the town at the end of Red Dead Redemption actually.
 
 
 Blackwater?

Busting Myths

 Our trip was winding down, and I was getting ready to go home, but we had one last thing on our agenda: the Museum of Science and Industry. There was a Mythbusters exhibit going on: I looked for any sign of Will and Norm, but sadly they were nowhere to be found. 

I loved this museum. There were IMAX movies, and an amazing Weather exhibit full of hands on stuff to play with, and a machine that created it's own lightning above our heads! I was a bit partial to the Baby Chick Hatchery, though.

At the end of the day, we decided to pop in the MythBusters exhibit. It was fun trying out all the Myths they had there, like pulling a sheet off of a table without breaking dishes, and getting dressed as a superhero in a phone booth. The end of the exhibit had a live stage show to see if it was possible to dodge a bullet (though they replaced the bullet with a paintball). They needed volunteers, so Wrighteous, a girl, and myself were selected to test our reflexes. Wrighteous was too slow for me and the girl and had to sit back down, and in the end, my reflexes were the best; shows why I was so good in the arcade.
 
 Displaying my lightening fast reactions!
In the end, I was able to dodge the paintball when it was fired from a specific distance. It was a lot of fun getting to be a part of the show!
 

Wrapping Up

Those are just the highlights of the amazing time I had for my first visit to America. I was so sad that I had to leave the States and Wrighteous, but school was starting up soon. I had so much fun and I can't wait to come back! Wrighteous says we might go to San Francisco for a week next summer, maybe we'll even bump into Giant Bomb while we're there! This winter he'll be visiting me in the UK for a few weeks, and we'll be staying in Spain for a while during that time, and I already can't wait to see him again. I hope you enjoyed reading about my first trip to America, and seeing how well this Giant Bomb relationship is doing. I want to thank our fellow GBers that are, or have been in long distance relationships, for all their help and advice. Giant Bomb is a website about love. Thanks everyone!
 
 Thanks Giantbomb! From DuskVamp & Wrighteous86.
#2 Posted by crazyleaves (640 posts) -

You guys are too cute! I'm glad you had a good time in the States, we're not so bad. I think it's great you duders are making it work. It'll pay off in the long run. I would say y'all should come down to Austin next summer it's way cheaper than SF and there is just as much cool shit to do. But, it does get over 100F here and sadly no GB crew.

#3 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

I'm always left not really knowing what to say at these blogs, I just think it's so awesome that something like this can happen. I'm cheering for you guys.

#4 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1724 posts) -

Fucking Beluga whales!

#5 Posted by Scooper (7882 posts) -

Thumbs up!

#6 Posted by Fattony12000 (7053 posts) -

Good Luck Have Bomb!

#7 Posted by ManU_Fan10ne (662 posts) -

@Scooper said:

Thumbs up!

x2 :)

#8 Posted by Irvandus (2826 posts) -

Always cool to see things going well for people.

#9 Posted by pyromagnestir (4247 posts) -

Gambling is pretty great. I highly recommend it. It's the best hobby ever!

@ManU_Fan10ne said:

@Scooper said:

Thumbs up!

x2 :)

x3!

#10 Posted by TyCobb (1945 posts) -

That whale should be in my sandwich!

#11 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4578 posts) -

@Irvandus said:

Always cool to see things going well for people.

Part of me is convinced this is just an elaborate hoax and at some point one of them will be kidnapped by terrorists or something and it becomes this weird Alternate Reality Game.

#12 Edited by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Whyyy do birds suddenlyy appearrrrr

edit: Is it just me or does that baluga kind of look like a penis?

#13 Posted by TwoArmed (110 posts) -

That lady's one eye peeking around the side of the whale is awfully sinister-looking.

#14 Posted by BoG (5181 posts) -

Hey, y'all found love... think you could set me up with that beluga whale? She's cute.

#15 Posted by AlfredCapone (164 posts) -

@DuskVamp: I LOVE LUCKYS!!!!!!

#16 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -

I won't be posting much here anymore, but as always I just want to say that this is a fantastic write up and I'm glad you guys had such a good time.

All the best for the future!

#17 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3745 posts) -
@MarkWahlberg

@Irvandus said:

Always cool to see things going well for people.

Part of me is convinced this is just an elaborate hoax and at some point one of them will be kidnapped by terrorists or something and it becomes this weird Alternate Reality Game.

On a completely unrelated note, see Taken 2, in cinemas now!
#18 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

Why do I keep hearing this whenever I read something about you guys? Ha! Keep enjoying each other and this magnificent world!
     

#19 Posted by Doctorchimp (4069 posts) -

@MarkWahlberg said:

@Irvandus said:

Always cool to see things going well for people.

Part of me is convinced this is just an elaborate hoax and at some point one of them will be kidnapped by terrorists or something and it becomes this weird Alternate Reality Game.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter is the most authentic military shooter.

#20 Posted by EuanDewar (4761 posts) -

#21 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3745 posts) -

Since this is her last blog on the subject, I figured I'd throw my hat in on one or two things she skipped over.

We played a couple of games while DuskVamp was living with me, but she was very insistent that we play Catherine. Every time one of the relationship questions came up, I could feel her eyes' piercing gaze, judging every little muscle twitch or bead of sweat on my face.

  • Is it okay to lie if you'll never be caught?
  • Does life begin or end at marriage?
  • Can you show everything in your inbox to your lover?

It was like one of those Cosmo quizzes from hell, specifically designed to make me answer uncomfortable "yes or no" questions about my faithfulness and views on love and sex. For the most part, I think I passed, though she wasn't happy with one or two of my choices: particularly the fact that I'd always play dumb with Catherine, not directly telling her no, because I liked the attention, while staying faithful(ish) to Katherine. I'd always not-so-subtly comment on her sexting photos to me too, so as to keep that gravy train coming without having to take any responsibility for it. She saw right through that, unfortunately. Girls have an eye for that kind of deception, I guess. Let's just say, I'm lucky we got the True Lovers ending, otherwise it would have been a long, cold 6 weeks on the couch...

Her last night before going back to the UK, we also went to a Hibachi grill; the first time for both of us. It was just a lot of fun watching them toss ingredients around, set things on fire, and play with our food. They gave us so much, too! We were both stuffed before he had even finished cooking. If you've got the money, a Hibachi grill is a great place for a date, guys.

Mine was cooked well-done.

And finally, a few observations that DuskVamp made as a Brit seeing the US for the first time.

  1. First off, our roads and cars are much wider than they are in the UK, as most people know. She was surprised that many of the streets in Chicago and most of the places we visited in Illinois had gray streets, though, rather than black. Something I never noticed before. She was also constantly pointing out people driving their cars with small-to-extensive bodily damage. I've never noticed how many people have damaged cars driving around in the States, but she was pointing them out all the time. It was probably so obvious to her because the UK has a much stricter set of tests that cars have to undergo in order to be roadworthy, where as we mostly just have a very minor emissions test.
  2. She was surprised how the suburbs and homes therein weren't as massive and fancy as she was expecting. From the media we produce, she assumed everyone lived in as nice a neighborhood and as big a house as Kevin McCallister in Home Alone (a reference we kept making since it's set in Chicago). She seemed a bit... underwhelmed with my middle-class suburb and my ranch-style home. It didn't help that it was one of the hottest Chicago summers on record so all of the grass was dry and yellow.
  3. Homeless people everywhere. Homeless people are a problem throughout the world, but she was surprised that such a relatively wealthy country had homeless people just camped out in front of Union station, and lining the blocks that the 9-5 employees walk to work, one every 15 feet or so, asking for change. Not to mention most of them are regulars and have their own "spots" and that nearly all of them in Chicago are grossly overweight for being so "hungry" and "poor". I guess that's not as common in the UK and they have systems and police in place to prevent that? Not quite sure.
  4. She also had heard rumors of shopkeepers being much friendlier and more active in the US, that we're "known for our hospitality" and she found that to be true, but in a very artificial way. Retail workers do say "hello" and "have a nice day" but they say it very mechanically and don't really mean it or think it while saying. I'd prefer it the UK-way, actually, where they for the most part stay out of the way unless you ask for help.

That's about all I could think to add though. If you're still with us, thanks for caring. If you're annoyed by all this, you won't have to deal with it anymore. As always, thanks Giant Bomb, for everything!

#22 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

I played Catherine with girls and they hated Katherine; her only defenders were a couple of guys who knew the story of the game.

So that was fun.

#23 Posted by medacris (643 posts) -

You're both inspirations to all of us in an LDR. Have more fun, and keep up the awesome work!

@Little_Socrates: Aw, but I like Katherine.

#24 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3745 posts) -

@medacris said:

You're both inspirations to all of us in an LDR. Have more fun, and keep up the awesome work!

@Little_Socrates: Aw, but I like Katherine.

Are you in one? Have we already discussed it?