US Road Trip : Part 1

Back in February, Simon and I made a HUGE life-changing decision to move back to my hometown, Honolulu, Hawai’i.  Fast forward 6 months, we both quit our jobs, packed up all of our belongings, sent 97% of our stuff via shipping container, packed up whatever we needed to survive being temporarily homeless, made our furry babies a safe and comfy den, said our goodbyes and see you soons and headed off into the sunset on a 43-day road trip across America before getting on our one-way flight to our new home. We figured that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to just be on the road for so long without the worries of our adult obligations such as jobs, mortgages and so on.

We chose to go to Townhall for dinner because they had a great selection of vegan options and it was dog-friendly.  Our dogs were pretty anxious and nervous after being on the road for hours and we didn’t want to stress them out by leaving them alone in the AirBnB by themselves.  We really wanted to make this road trip (and the big move) as stress-free as possible for the ol’ boys.  The only thing about taking our dogs out to eat with us is that they have terrible table manners!  They go apesh*t every time they see another dog so I literally had to distract them if a dog walked past us (which there were many).

We spent the night before resting and loving on our stressed pups and then we were off to our next stop, Chicago!  We had to stop for some coffee before we hit the road, of course.  I love finding cool little coffee shops and Rising Star was on the way AND they were doggy friendly.  (Being dog-friendly will be a recurring requirement during this trip, btw).


We spent the first night in Chicago resting and getting the dogs comfy and the next day, we took them to the dog beach so that they can release some energy.  They had so much fun running around off leash and meeting other dogs (and humans).  So much fun that Choco refused to leave and was arguing with me when I kept asking him to go. I was STARVING but I really wanted them to get exhausted to we let them play for as long as they wanted to.

Once the boys were good and tired, we got some food from a vegan place called Loving Heart.  I got a “beef” seitan noodle salad with coconut curry and Simon got a Teri-“beef” burger.  After our lunch we headed over to take our obligatory picture with The Bean because can you really say you’ve been to Chicago if you don’t go and take a picture of  THE BEAN??  Choco was so tired by then that I had to carry him the whole time.

Prince and Choco were so pooped from the day they had, they were more than happy to cuddle up and go to sleep back at the AirBnB so we were able to drop them off and do some sightseeing and go out to dinner.   I know Chicago is known for its deep-dish and hot dogs but, I’ve tried deep dish pizzas and honestly?  not. a. fan.  I like my pizzas thin and crispy!  Though we didn’t try their famous pies, we DID try the vegan pizzas at Doma’s Pizza and I was not in the lease disappointed.

On our 3rd and last day in Chicago, we tried another great restaurant with many vegan options.  I really loved how pet-friendly restaurants in Chicago were!

Guys, no joke… I planned our stop-over to be in Chanhassen JUST so that I can try this place.  You know how you hear about an eatery and you are like, “I NEED TO GO THERE!”?  Well, The Herbivorous Butcher was one of those places for me.  I mean, we had to stop and rest SOMEWHERE between Chicago and Rapid City, and The Herbivorous Butcher was on the way and almost perfectly in the middle of the two cities.  It was meant to be and sooo worth the drive.  In fact, it was so good that we went back the next morning before getting back on the road to buy some of their meats and cheeses so that we can make our own sandwiches for the next few days. And who am I kidding… we got another sandwich and a brats as well.


Post Notes and Links

Pilsen Gentrification Article : https://interactive.wttw.com/my-neighborhood/pilsen/gentrification

Chicago Airbnb: Vintage Storefront on 18th Street

The Herbivorous Butcher : link to website

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