Chinatown, Thai-rolled Ice Cream, and a Book Tour

5:34 in the morning and my alarm starts blaring its monotone ring alerting me that it’s time to get up. I looked over and Aria was still sound asleep. Thank God, I didn’t want her to wake up any earlier than she wanted because she isn’t the most pleasant person this early in the morning. Running on 4 hours of sleep I knew I needed to get up otherwise this Chicago trip wasn’t going to happen. I begrudgingly climbed out of bed, trying to be as quiet as I could to avoid waking her. Honestly I probably could have slept longer, but we were going to see Ryan Higa so I needed to look good obviously.

If you don’t know who Ryan Higa is, he is a very popular Youtuber who just wrote a book and is currently on tour for it. His videos usually revolve around making as many puns and weird connections as possible. I highly encourage you to watch some.

It took me about a hour to fully get ready, but luckily at that point, Aria woke up because I really didn’t want to wake her up. She never takes long to get ready, the blessing of not doing your makeup. We left at 6:45, plenty of time to go pick up Ethan and head to Chicago by 7. But, of course, I forgot the cooler that was full of our drinks so we had to turn around.
What’s a road trip without forgetting something at home and having to turn around?

I texted Ethan that we were on our way, but he didn’t answer. We started talking about what we were going to do if he was still asleep. Luckily we didn’t need to because as soon as I texted “Here” he came trotting outside. Why he felt the need to wear a black t-shirt with jeans is beyond me.

The drive was uneventful with Aria and I making fun of Ethan when he fell asleep. About 3 hours into the drive, Aria wanted me to take over driving. I was more than happy to. When we were about 1 hour away from Chicago, I asked if either of them had drove in a large city before. I haven’t and, low and behold, neither had either one of them. Looks like I’d be driving in Chicago for the first time, in someone else’s car, with heavy traffic. At least I don’t get angry while I’m driving, which is what both of them tend to do especially with city driving.

I managed to get to Chicago’s Chinatown without any incidents, so point 1 for Rayne point 0 for Chicago.

We found parking in a lot near a train stop near the entrance to Chinatown. Ethan offered to pay for parking which Aria and I appreciated because we are both broke. As we started walking towards the entrance, I was a little awestruck. The architecture was beautiful. We walked over to a little gift shop and entered. There was everything from swords and anime figures to incense and clothing. Just looking around was fun, something new would catch your eye every time you turned around. Aria and I spotted a ice cream shop that sold Thai-rolled ice cream. We passed the shop and kept walking. After walking around a bit more we decided to go to the shop and get ice cream. I mean, it was pretty hot and we were walking around all day.

If you don’t know what Thai-rolled ice cream is here’s a video.

Thai-rolled Ice Cream

I chose an Oreo flavor and Aria got a s’more one. Ethan left us to continue his Pokemon hunting. He later joined us and told us he wanted to try a new food. We told him to look one up and he found a New Orleans style place in Naperville. We decided to go there.

Leaving the city took forever. I know it’s a city and I should expect traffic to be bad, but this was just ridiculous. I started to become very irritated with the traffic. I pretty sure it took us at least 45 minutes to get out of the city. Once we were out though it was smooth sailing to the restaurant. Lucky for us, the restaurant was only a 2 minute walk from where the bookstore, that we needed to go to, was.

We walked into Heaven on Seven and were immediately greeted with cool air and the scent of something spicy cooking. The hostess took us to our table. It was a dimly lit place with original paintings on one wall and a hug wall of hot sauce on the other. It was decorated it a traditional Mardi Gras way. I opened the menu and man, did my eyes get big. The prices were ridiculous. Now, this is coming from a girl who doesn’t want to spend more than 10 dollars on a t-shirt so it might not have been too bad to other people. Also, I am a super picky eater and don’t want to spend $20 on something I might not like. I decided to try the Cajun Fried Chicken with gumbo and mashed potatoes. They quickly brought out the gumbo and to say I was a little hesitant was a under-statement. I tried it anyway and to my surprise it was delicious. Our main course came and I was not a fan of it. Ethan apologized because he knew that I was broke and didn’t really eat so he offered to get me food at some point. I’ll probably hold him to that at some point.

We left to go to the bookstore and wait to get in line to get our book and a picture with Ryan Higa. It took a long time because we were 323 and 324 in line, but we just stood around looking at books and joking around. Ethan walked away and Aria decided to inform me that he was following me around like a lost puppy. I shushed her because I didn’t want him to over-hear her saying that. I was a little disappointed how short the photo was and also I looked terrible in it. We left the bookstore and it was time to get on the road to head home. I told them I would drive until we got going on the interstate, but after that I didn’t want to drive since I had done almost all of the driving that day. Ethan took the wheel and drove the rest of the way home while I passed out in the backseat.

In was a fun trip and honestly I really enjoyed hanging out with Ethan and Aria since Ethan usually doesn’t hang out with us for that long. It was nice.

Man, I wanted to get this done sooner, but stuff comes up so here it is.

Type ya later,

~Rayne Mason

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