Only In America II: All-You-Can-Eat Pancakes at Midnight

Are you ready for the second part of my mini Series “Only in America”? Here it is:

Only in America II: All-You-Can-Eat Pancakes at Midnight

I can’t actually believe I did this. Well, not just me, but my trusted friend Marisel and I. It’s no secret: we like to eat. But not an unending flow of pancakes after bedtime. This was probably one of the first things on my list of ideas for the mini series. perkins menuA couple of Sundays ago, we were sitting in Perkins after church (for any of you who don’t know, Perkins is a pancake/breakfast restaurant that’s open 24/7) and we saw the little ad on our table that sparked the idea for “Only in America”. All-You-Can-Eat Pancakes from 9pm-6am every day for $5.99 – never ever in Germany. Not for $5.99 and certainly not from 9pm-6am. I don’t think we have a restaurant that’s open that long. Well, maybe the McDonalds in downtown Frankfurt, but even they shut off the milkshake and sundae machines. So yeah, no midnight milkshakes and certainly no midnight pancakes in Germany.

Perkins at Full Moon

Perkins at Full Moon

So there we were, Marisel and I at Perkins after seeing The Huntsman Winter’s War (brilliant movie by the way and not just because Chris Hemsworth is in it) not knowing what torture would await us inside. We were so excited we even asked a lady to take a picture of us outside in front of the sign. Looking very confused we added that we weren’t from the US and were having a touristy moment. As you can see on the picture, that night was the perfect night. An empty stomach (that’s right, no snacks at the movies) and a full moon (muhhaaahahahaaa… just kidding).

To cut a short story long, we went inside, ordered and were served our first plate of 5 pancakes. 5 HUGE pancakes.

only in america all you can eat pancakes

First pancake: This is soooo good! We should do this every Friday after the movies. Third pancake: Wow, I think I’m almost full… Are we out of syrup already? Waitress comes: More pancakes? Us: Sure, just three to see how we’ll do. Forth pancake: I’m full…. just one more to go… no syrup… too sweet. Fifth pancake: I can’t anymore, maybe we should stop. Four more pancakes arrive. Oh boy!

all you can eat pancakes

End of story

… Each of us “only” managed 6 pancakes and I felt so sick I couldn’t even fall asleep without watching some make-up tutorial on youtube to distract me from the nausea. My verdict: For people who can eat a lot, sure; for me, maybe just a slice of pie next time. See you at the gym!

Love, Sophie x

P.S. Be sure to check out other posts in this series:

Only in America I

Only in America III


Only in America I

Today I have been in the US for 65 days. That’s right… over two moths now. As I have settled into this new life here there aren’t as many exciting things happening. This means that I need to make things happen; I need to go out and experience what I can’t experience at home in Germany. Of course I am going to tell you all about it with my Mini-Series called “Only in America”. For the next few weeks I will try out different things that a) I have never done before and b) I can’t do in Germany. Most of these things will be really simple, but will nevertheless be a new and exciting experience for me.

So here goes, my first post of the series:

Only in America I: Drive Thru StarbucksIMG_0628

As you may have read in my previous post: I am a Starbucks addicts. No judging please. Don’t we all that that certain something we admittedly (or not) spend too much money on. Back to the drive thru Starbucks. Some of you may be wondering why this is so different or why it is so American. You see, in Germany the nearest Starbucks is about a 30 minute drive away from our town and you usually have to walk a few minutes after parking or arriving via train. Here it’s about 10 minutes away. A drive thru Starbucks – not in Germany. On top of having to actually go inside to get your drink, you usually try and look as cute as possible. It’s not a regular coffee shop in Germany, it’s where you go to buy coffee after a shopping spree or if you want to look hip when you get to university in the morning for your 8am lecture (guilty!). So instead of just doing the drive thru, I did it at 8am after just getting up… in my PJs 😀 Why you may ask? Because I can and no one cares. Some people show up in Target dressed the way I was. Anyway, I’m not sure if I was too asleep to see the drive thru sign or if it was just hidden too well, but I spent around 5 minutes driving around the car park trying to find the entrance to the drive thru. After finding it and being quite pleased with myself for driving close enough to the window without scratching the side mirror I had my yummy hot latte in my car, in my PJs on a beautiful Minnesota morning. IMG_0629YAY! My verdict: Although I’m not sure how nice it would be doing the drive thru in winter, I can definitely recommend it for spring and summer, so can it be morning again please? 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post. Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss my next entry about all-you-can-eat pancakes at midnight.

Love, Sophie x

First visit to the Second City

I can’t believe it has been 2 months since I first arrived here in Minnesota. One of the reasons I haven’t posted anything in a while is that I have slowly, but steadily acclimatised to life here and gotten used to everyday life. Whether I’m driving, shopping, going to the park with the kids or hanging out with friends and my host family, this has become my new normal.

The reason I am writing now is to tell you about my new love: CHICAGO! This beautiful yet underrated city managed to capture my heart despite the rain, snow and windy weather this past weekend. That’s right. I get to check off another state I have been to on my list. As Au Pairs we have to earn a certain number of credits in order to get our certificate of completion at the end of our stay. A great way to get those credits is to do a weekend course at participating universities across the country. California, Florida and Illinois are just a few states on that list. As I’ve never been to Chicago and flights are as cheap as $120 from Minneapolis, I decided to see what Chicago has to offer. And I’ll tell you, it’s a lot. Here are a few fun facts I learned about the Windy City over the weekend.

The Skyline

  1. Contrary to popular belief, Chicago is not called the Windy City due to weather conditions, but rather because of corrupt politicians blowing “bad wind” across the country; and not the kind of bad wind that comes from the onions on the Chicago style hotdog 😉 . Anyway, back to the weather; it’s not even in the top 20.

    Still windy :)

    Still windy 🙂

  2. According to the trolly driver, Chicago has more bridges than any other city in the world (yes, including Venice, Italy).
  3. Chicago was built on a perfect grid after the Great Fire in 1871 which makes getting around super easy. There are rumours the fire was started by Mrs O’Leary’s cow that kicked over an oil lamp. Funnily enough, there are also pictures of the O’Leary barn that survived the fire. I’ll let your figure that one out.
  4. Chicago is the third largest city in the US. NYC and LA are the top two. Now having been to all three of them, I can definitely say that Chicago is cleaner and less crowded and certainly more underrated than the top two. NYC most certainly met all my expectations, while LA is still the most overrated city I have been to so far. Apparently, the two “San”s in California (San Diego and San Fransisco) are better alternatives. I’ll let you know when I’ve done both 🙂
  5. The lakefront of Chicago is foreshore way nicer than many other cities (Did you get the little pun I put in there? 😀 ). With its shore front paths, beaches, and parks it makes Chicago the perfect all round city. That’s because a large space of lakefront is public property and can’t be built on, preserving the trees and plants that make Chicago one of the greenest cities in the US. Even Donald Trump couldn’t get the city of Chicago to change its mind and his tower is now in the midst of many other towers and not on the lakefront of the city, as he had planned. There is hope, people.
Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

Along with the other Au Pairs that came along from Minnesota we stayed at the HI Chicago Hostel right by Michigan Avenue, about a 10 minute walk away from the Art Institute and Cloud Gate, which I have now BEAN to (Thanks, Dad. You brighten my days with your hilarious and original jokes.) Although staying in a room with 7 other girls doesn’t exactly give me the good night’s sleep I need for the adventurous weekend I had, they do give you breakfast and free DIY Chicago Style hotdogs on Saturday afternoons. You pay about $40 a night, and considering you are in The Loop (downtown Chicago), it really is an amazing alternative to other options. Sadly, it is also very popular and fully booked on weekends that 280 Au Pairs attend classes at the nearby university. I’ll let you know what alternative we’ll find for our June trip.

The Bean

The Bean

To sum up this amazing weekend, here are my “top five” from our short trip to Chicago:

  1. The Bean – yes if you’re a tourist, you will want a picture of your reflection in this giant donut resembling piece of art (Thanks for that comment, Louise). Also, it’s the place Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams kissed for “The Vow”, one of my favourite movies.
  2. The Tilt – a crazy attraction at the top of the Hancock Tower, Chicago’s second highest skyscraper. Although you have to pay an additional $7 for this experience, it is worth it. You lean on the glass window that tilts out over the city 1000 feet above the ground. Need I say more?

    The Tilt

    The Tilt

  3. The Pizza – according to my host dad, Gino’s East is one of the best places in town. Fortunately, it’s a five minute walk away from the hostel. If you can, go deep dish, which originated from Chicago.
  4. The Skyline – head out to the planetarium, which is on its own semi island and gives you an amazing view of the beautiful skyline and Lake Michigan. If you have time, actually go inside the planetarium. That’s on my to-do list for the future.
  5. The coffee – after walking around the city in the rain and snow, you’ll want to warm up. Much to the dismay of many, I am a total Starbucks addict. We decided to try something different and ended up next door at Peet’s Coffee, another less-known franchise from California. The best coffee I have had in a looong, looooong time. If you ever see one near you, go for it. Their hot chocolate and tea is also highly recommendable for those of you weirdos out there who don’t run on coffee 😉

Along with a deep dish pizza, a visit to the Art Institute, the Willis Tower, and the Navy Pier, I’d also love to spend a day at the beach and take a boat ride on the lake, when I go back in June. I can’t wait! Hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know what you think.

Love, Sophie x