Chicago Hostels, Axe Murderers and Friends…Oh My!


There are a few situations in life that really stand out and one for me is being broke and needing to get to Chicago with my room-mate at the time Eileen (we will call her Eileen because I haven’t gotten her permission yet to use her real name and the song Come on Eileen always makes me wanna dance.! Ya, now you can hear the music can’t you?) for a course we were taking. Eileen was a world traveller and fantastic at finding great flights and places to stay for cheap.

I believe this experience may have just been a “bump” in her perfect record.

Eileen booked us flights out of Buffalo to Chicago for cheap and booked us a hostel to stay in! I was quite excited because a few months prior to this she had booked us in a hostel in New York and it turned out to be a really nice place!  Hostels were my new “fav” way to travel!

Remember, I am not someone to ask a lot of questions, I just go for it!  Had I asked her the name of the hostel, I may have had a few questions about the quality.

The day came and we caught our flight. We went and did our course for the day in Chicago and then jumped on the bus to get to our hostel.  We rode and rode and rode and as the pretty houses and beautiful lights of Chicago faded into the distance, I began to ask questions like, “This neighborhood looks a little scary don’t you think?” and the most obvious question I should have asked before we left Brampton “What is the name of this hostel?”

Fat Johnny’s Last Resort (NOPE! Not making that up!)

As the bus dropped us off and we walked another 5 blocks passed an unmarked white van with some creepy men standing around it, I began praying that we would make it out alive. Every scary movie I had ever seen was now playing through my mind.  Suddenly we turned the corner and Eileen declared that we had arrived.

Ummmmm…..okay…..are you serious Eileen??

The windows were covered with beer flags and as the door opened huge clouds of cigarette smoke and stench came billowing out.  As we walked in you could see 4 mattresses on the living room floor.   The “keeper” of this 1 star (and that is being generous)hostel, FAT JOHNNY, woke up from his drunken slumber to greet us and take us to our bunk beds.  As we walked through the smoky, cat pee odor, Eileen just kept smiling like this was all an awesome adventure.

I later discovered she was waiting for me to punch her in the face for this and wanted to try to “stay on the positive side for the both of us.” The thought did cross my mind but I really didn’t want her to leave me in this place.   As we made our way upstairs, FAT JOHNNY snarled at us to grab some sheets from a shelf in the corner…then took us past the boys area (I think that is where the axe murderers were….just saying) and into a room where he kicked the edge of the beds and yelled at two girls to get out.  FREAKYYYYY!

Once alone in the room, Eileen turned to me and said with a big smile “hey! We have A-team sheets!”…**This is a PG rated blog so I won’t tell you what I said next…just use your imagination!

AND that was the moment I realized I was really a princess and I was about to sleep on the mattress with the pea underneath….oops…that should actually be with the “PEE” underneath…. EWWWWWW!!!!

As you can tell, because I am here to write about it…we snuck by the axe murderers early in the morning and jumped over Fat Johnny drooling on the living room mattress and made the run for it. Although whenever anyone mentions Chicago, I can’t help but twitch a little….

Oh…AND Eileen and I are still best friends/sisters to this day….and I never punched her!

I jut googled to check and I am happy to report that this $12 a night luxurious hostel is now closed.

Come on Eileen! NEXT ADVENTURE!!



2 responses »

  1. Dude…I was reminiscing about my stay at Fat Johnny’s Last Resort in 2004 and ran across this post. Classic. I have so many stories from that place and only those who stayed there have any idea how nuts it was.

    Did youngest in the room with a garden hose for a shower?

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