Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gettin' Our Kicks...a Day Early

Day 2: 498 Miles
Total: 840 Miles

Two days and two itinerary changes. But I'll get to that in a minute. We managed to make it through the night last night...barely. Not the greatest motel in the world. The window air conditioner froze us out most of the night...a nice complement to the amazingly uncomfortable mattress. Then there was the one towel to share between us for all of our uses. But we survived and in the midst of a torrential rain we got the car packed and an early start for the Windy City.

Fortunately we drove out of the rain fairly quickly, and made good time getting into Chicago. So good in fact, that we decided to skip spending the night there and begin our Route 66 adventure this afternoon. So we braved the traffic, and Sharon jumped out of the car to take a picture of the "Route 66 Begins" sign at the corner of Adams and Michigan while I circled the block. She even took a picture of the "Route 66 Ends" sign on Jackson for good measure. After jumping back into the car we began heading west, turning left onto Ogden Avenue and facing southwest...directly toward Santa Monica 2,400+ miles away.



The trip proceeded like clockwork from there on. We stopped in Joliet at the Rich & Creamy for some ice cream. Joliet is a great city and we spent a little time touring it.  


This picture of Sharon standing by a gasoline pump is in a nice park near the ice cream stand.


Next we went to Wilmington, which is the home of the 28 foot tall Gemini Giant. Sharon is standing next to him for context. There are two other Giants from this set in other locations around Illinois, and we will add pictures as we reach them. The Giant is in the parking lot of The Launching Pad, where we had dinner. 



Next it was on to Braidwood to visit the Polka Dot Drive-In. Very cool diner-style interior along with several famous statues decorating the outside of the building. Here we have Betty Boop, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis. The Blues Brothers were shy and chose not to have their pictures taken at this time.



We also tried to stay at the motel in Braidwood, but that didn't work out because they were apparently full. So we drove on to Dwight where we enjoyed viewing the Ambler-Becker Texaco station, but alas, no rooms were available there either.


We went on to Odell where this beautifully restored Standard station resides, but not a single motel was around.


We decided to drive another 10 miles down the road to Pontiac. By this time it was dark and we were tired. We also realized that if nothing was available there we might wind up sleeping in the car. We found a Super 8 which had two nasty smelling smoking rooms, so we passed on those. We went across the street to a Holiday Inn Express, and we finally had success. All in all a great day and we are looking forward to lots of new adventures tomorrow.

Ciao!



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another interesting day. Love the pictures!
Also sounds like you need to look at the brightside of you hotel rooms for the sake of your freespirit of travel. You ain't seen nothin' yet! LOL

Or, you COULD do it your Grandpa's way and drag a nice clean, well stocked travel trailer, terrorizing everyone else on the road in the process, and hope for a spot at the KOA :)

Hope you are still having a ball today. Can't wait to read more tomorrow. :) Aunt Anne

Aunt Mona said...

Jim and I once spent a night in a motel- actually a big name one,- where they ran out of towels entirely so they gave us each two washcloths. One other time on the way home from back east we spent a night in a motel where the sheets were patched. The only place available for many miles. I think the car would have been a better choice.