The Filial Sons travel across the United States of America: 17/02/2016 - 19/02/2016 (Day 11-13)

The next morning, we woke up early as we had agreed to meet a good friend of Nalin’s for breakfast. However, Nalin decided to give me a little treat first.

My brother ever so kindly purchased a large cookie for me

We had to go all the way to wicker park to meet Nalin’s friend Jessica. She had visited Singapore in 2013, around the time I started my NS. It was good to see her again after two years. She had graduated the same year as Nalin and has been working in some interesting positions. She did some work with animals in the state of Louisiana. She worked in the Bayous with many of the swamp animals such as the snapping turtle and the alligator. She is now back in Chicago looking for work. It is interesting to see how some people spend their life following graduation. It is great to see some ambitious people like Jessica who are out there trying to pursue their dream.

We spent the time catching up over breakfast. I had ordered myself a typically American sized avocado and egg sandwich. After breakfast, we headed over to her place just to chill for a bit. She has made us some tea and we spent the time catching up.

On the way back to her place, we stopped by a CVS pharmacy which was an old bank. The vault is now used to store some of the pills, it is known as a pill vault.

After the chill session, Nalin and I had split up. I headed up north to Evanston to the Northwestern campus to see an old classmate of mine, while Nalin headed back downtown to see an old friend of his. I had gone up to see my friend Aditya, he was in my class back in UWC in Singapore. It had been about 7 months since I last saw him. It was nice to not only catch up with him but to see the old Northwestern Campus as well. I did a 6-week college prep programme at Northwestern back in 2012. It is up there as one of my fondest memories. After the short lunch and catching up with Aditya, I headed back to the main city to meet up again with my brother and to just relax till the evening.

After a while, my brother took my out to dinner to meet two of his very good friends, Andrew and Lu who had gotten married almost two years ago. Nalin had wanted me to meet them as he felt I would get along with them very well. It turns out we shared some common interests. We share a love of the motoring show top gear, food, travel, blogging and photography. We had dinner at the same Italian restaurant my family went to when Nalin graduated from Northwestern three years ago.

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel where Nalin had invited a fair number of his friends for a wine and cupcake night. It allowed me the opportunity to learn about what kind of shenanigans my dear older brother had gotten up to in university. Turns out he is quite similar to me. He loved to arrange big group outings and loved chilling out and having drinks with his good friends. I enjoyed meeting his friends and I found I had gotten along with them rather well. I could relate to them and they’re simply fun to talk to. It gave me an insight into college life and it gave me a great deal to look forward to. After the little soiree, my brother hosted we retired for the evening to rest for the relaxing day ahead. Tomorrow we would be going to New Orleans, Louisiana.

The next morning, I finally got a relaxed morning as we didn’t have anywhere to be. We spent most of the morning just looking around. We took a leisurely stroll around downtown before heading to the airport to catch our American Airlines flight to New Orleans. After some time we took the half an hour cab ride to O’hare international airport to catch out evening flight to the south. Nalin and I had prepared for the worst in terms of the TSA security line but as luck turned out we were able to go through very quickly. We were then in for a long wait. After some time we got a small bite to eat and a drink at the Frontera grill, a Chicago favourite. The food was amazing and quite tasty. Soon after we headed to our gate to board our tiny little aircraft that would take us to the south. I was shocked by the size of the little aircraft. The overhead bins were as big as my laptop computer. Nevertheless, the seats were comfortable and it gave a nice ride all the way to New Orleans.

How I feel about small regional aircraft

After about three hours we soon landed at Louis Armstrong International airport. Since Uber is not allowed to pick passengers up at the airport, we resorted to taking a regular taxi to our hotel which was right in the heart of the city. The drive was quite uneventful but we passed some landmarks including the Superdome which in 2005 was where many came to stay during Hurricane Katrina. We soon reached the hotel and relaxed for a little before heading out to grab some dinner.

The entrance to our hotel

We soon found a restaurant that was like a build-a-bear workshop but for pizza. This intrigued the two of us and we set about making killer vegetarian pizzas. I accompanied my masterful creation with a nice cold beer.

Dinner scenes

After dinner, we decided to head back to our hotel to rest a little before heading out to explore the city. But first I wanted to exploit a law that is only there in the state of Louisiana in the US. I decided to exploit the open container law and ended up drink-texting (that’s walking whilst texting and drinking all at the same time). Nalin took a photo of me and sent it to our parents, they were obviously not amused.

Drink-texting

Soon we retired for the night and looked forward to a fun two days in NOLA (The term the locals use to call the city).

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