Wednesday, April 01, 2009

2009 USA Tour : March 30th, 21 Days, 25 States, 7600 Miles Later

Off To Chicago


Surprisingly, today took more working out than any day of our tour, and it demonstrated the incredible convenience and time saving that being online and using satellites can be.


We had to have our RV returned by 1:00 pm and harp returned by 3:00 pm and find somewhere to stay tonight. RV was to be dumped near Crystal Lakes well north of Chicago and harp left at Joliet well south of Chicago, about 7 miles apart.


We left Smokey Hollow WI around 6:30 am and first job was to rent a car to replace the RV. We found a Hertz depot just 10 miles away from the RV depot and was delighted to be able to book this at short notice online.


Also many thanks to the Sat-Nav GPS that trustly led us to awkward destinations through today.


After quickly picking up the Hertz rented van and unloading our luggage from RV into it, We made it to Crystal Lake just in time at 1:00 pm where return back was served well, quite fast and efficient.


Next we hastily drove south to Joliet and asked the harp centre to open a bit later to return the harp. We arrived 3:00 pm. The harp workshop was so fascinating where beautiful ancient pedal harps are being restored, even from the 18th century.


After our guided tour of harps it was off to lunch then Starbucks, because they had WiFi, to select and book a hotel for the night. We settled for Blackstone Hotel due to its very high ratings on Trip Advisor, very low rates, just over $120 a room and promise of view over the lake. What a terrific choice that turned out to be.


As our trusty GPS took us down 55, which covers the old Route 66 into Chicago, we discovered, what everyone had told us, that Chicago is a beautiful city. Not being a fan of cities this is a big thing for me to say. I think it is delightful, very clean, very well spaced and seemingly not pressured.


At The Blackstone, once the HQ of gangsters and visiting presidents


Our room in The Blackstone gave an incredible panoramic view of the lake and its piers in the sun, plus the exotic park between the hotel and Lake Michigan.  The room is large, beds comfortable, so it was down to a room service meal as it had become dark and inspiration to tour the city at nice was not willing.


I did explore the Art Hall, a spectacular Alice In Wonderland kind of setting. I was the only one there, Some doors opened, some did not, some stairs went somewhere, some did not plus several illusions as you walk around. I took photos there. A fascinating find.


We settled into a lovely restful night in this hotel of past gangsters and presidents. 


 

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