Day Twenty Two - Sunday 16th April, 2006The scenery as we crossed Pennsylvania was very impressive and our hotel in Stroudburg, in an area know as the Pocono, was very nice.
Today we continued our journey westward on I80. The countryside turned a little flatter and less interesting and we crossed into Ohio and eventually to the outskirts of Cleveland. We stayed at another nice hotel in Eyria and did a bit of exploring but being Easter Sunday many attractions and stores were closed. WalMart was closed but the Appleebee's Restaurant we went to was very nice and the service was great.
Day Twenty Three - Monday 17th April, 2006Monday we started out for Chicago around 340 miles away. We were following Interstate 80 and were soon in Indiana. At one stop Raylsfound out about an Amish area only 6 miles off the highway and so we turned north (to go south) and immediately saw a sign saying Welcome to Michigan. Interstate 80, which had joined up with Interstate 90 was just a matter of 200 yards/metres from the Michigan border. So we quickly checked out a Walmart in Michigan and then crossed back into Indiana and checked out the Amish area of Shipshewanna, well Rayls did!
Around 2pm we weren't sure of the time as nobody knew if Indiana was in the same time zone as New York we headed for Chicago.
Just before Chicago and still in Indiana is a town called Gary. You would think with a name like that it would be a really nice town. It is very close to the border of Illinois and in fact you can see SearsTower in downtown Chicago from Gary. We just drove through Gary on Interstate 90 and I have to say it is not the most appealing place in the world very industrial, sort of like a really large Kwinana, back home.
Traffic died as we crossed into Illinois a combination of lots of traffic, tolls and road works. At one stage we were all fascinated by a McDonalds store built in the middle of the Interstate - it had just drive through and people in the long line of traffic would pull into the Maccas line, get their food and then re enter the stream of traffic. It took around 90 minutes to cross to the other side of Chicago and to our hotel. We are staying in the Elk Grove Village Sheraton Suites a $300 a night hotel we got for $39 a night as part of an internet special. Very nice hotel and close to most of what we wanted to do in Chicago.
For dinner we went to an Outback Restaurant on Monday night not the most Australian of places but the food was good.
Day Twenty Four - Tuesday 18th April, 2006Today we headed to downtown Chicago probably 20 miles away. Gary was not game to drive after his efforts in NYC so we took public transport. This is quite an eye opener for a bus driver from Perth. Glen was a big help with all this. We drove to a Park and Ride about a mile from the hotel (we were the only car in the car park) and then the bus drove straight past the hotel and along 90 to the Rosemont Train Station on the line between Chicago and OHare Airport. The train ride was an experience.
First thing we did downtown was go to the top of Sears Tower, 103 stories. Rayls and Glen were fine here but Gaz panicked a bit and was unable to go anywhere near the viewing windows. He had managed the Empire State Building OK but not Sears Tower. It was a clear day and the view is just magnificent but, for Gary, only from the inner wall of the building and he was happy to get back on the lift and hit the floor.
We spent a further 4 hours or so wandering around Chicago and even caught an Elevated Train the El.
Then it was the train back to Rosemont and an awkward bus trip back as the service we wanted was just a peak hour service and so we took a different bus which got us around a 15 minutes walk from the hotel. No help from the bus driver in finding our stop.
In the evening visited with our Chicago friends Dick and Becky. It was nice to see them again after 5 years and we chatted about a varied range of topics for a couple of hours before we headed back to the hotel.
Day Twenty Five - Wednesday 19th April, 2006Today we took Rayls to spend the day at Long Grove. Long Grove Village is a German settlement now turned into quaint old shops filled with unique treasures and a place Rayls can spend many a happy hour.
Glen and Gary headed off in a different direction to check out a a couple of shops that Glen wants to see mainly a Doctor Who shop. Gary and Glen also went to the Woodfield Mall where Glen discovered a Lego Store!
In the afternoon we picked up Rayls and headed back to the Woodfield Mall for some shopping. This is a major shopping area.
We had dinner in an Arbys and a relatively early night - Glen heads on to LA tomorrow to and then returns to Perth.