Road Trip: Ohio. Again.

Day 6: Sunday, April 16, 2023 - Chicago, IL, and Indiana Dunes National Park

Day's statistics:
Weather: upper 30s-low 40s, rainy
Steps: Steve 11,243; Linda 10,738
Travel: 336 miles

While one might think a single day in a city like Chicago is not enough - and it probably isn't - had we not been there before, we probably would have spent more time there. But we hit the major highlights the first timne back in 1998. Our trips weren't chronicled like they are now, so there are notable gaps, but we have some memories.

Overall the sleep was good - except for a freight train (?) at 5:00.
Breakfast was a nice buffet including eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, pastries, fruit, and coffee. This was the first hotel / motel wherein we had to go outside to get breakfast. Other than some light rain, it was no big deal.
The shower in this hotel was a little picky - it was either way too hot, or way too close, as there was almost no way to get a good temperature. I eventually did, and after my shower, left the water running as it was so Linda could shower without having to deal with problem.

As it was Sunday morning, we decided to head to church.
During the morning drive we actually had a little frozen precipitation on the windsheild. It didn't last long.
The first church we went to wound up being closed because it was damaged when extremely high winds caused some marble sculptures above the roof to fall off their pedestals, through the roof, and into the church's floor.
There was a couple in the parking lot equally puzzled by the situation. We talked to them briefly, perused the internet, and found two other churches nearby. We informed the other couple and we headed to the closest one. I dropped Linda off at the curb and went to find a place to park. As I was walking in, she was walking out informing me that they were conducting a Latin Mass. So we headed to the second optional church. We were about ten minutes late to Mass at Saint Catherine of Siena - Saint Lucy and Saint Giles, but were able to receive our blessings. After the service was over, we took some pictures inside the church.
The altar.

A number of stained glass windows.

The speakers are acctually housed in the septagonal portion at the bottom of the hanging light.

These thin chains on the wall are used to open and close the windows above.

The pipes for the organ.

Before going into the city, we stopped by the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Oak Park.

We visited the gift shop, and then headed out.

The drive was about ten miles. As the weather was rainy, the city was partially blanketed in fog.

We eventaully found a parking space about four blocks up from the Cultural Center. There were no meters, and there was no kiosk that we could see to pay. And we were one of about a dozen cars. So we took a chance and left the car. We were on the street next to a small open plaza with a fountain and sculpture.

We tried to decifer what direction the GPS was telling us to go and we started walking. After about three or so blocks we stopped to re-read the GPS. And found that we needed to go in the other direction. Had it not been so chilly, windy, and rainy, that might not have been such an annoyance.
Regardless, we turned around and headed in the other direction.
We eventually arrived at our destination. The Cultural Center used to be a Public Library.

Across the street from the center is Millenium Park.

We tried to get a map of the facility, but they did not have any. So we went to the top floor and started to make our way down.
Before viewing the artwork and such, we used the restrooms. I found that the men's room had a bacon dispenser.

The first piece we encountered was a trio of dresses created by Miridith Campbell, embodying the three branches of the military that she served in.

Horned Warrior Headdress by Dwayne Wilcox was created from used part of his wife's, father's, and grandfather's uniforms. The camourflage horns are made from combat boots, the browband from military medals and robbons, and the temple buttons are from WWI and WWII collar insignia.

A collection of graphite and other material works all titled War Dance with a roman numeral (from top left to bottom right): III, I, VII, V, IX, VI, VII, II, IV.

There were numerous phrases written on various part of this larger piece of artwork, that mostly described the components that the phrases were written on.



The underlying artwork was "then", and what is on top is "now". Clever.

The stairs between levels.

Some interesting tilework.

There was a large ball room sort of room with a dome ceiling.

Some of the architecture.

This was previously an old library, and there were some apporpriate phrases on the wall.

The floor by one of the enterances.

Some glass work.

There were heritage section and a philanthropy on the second floor. Here are a couple works from there.

After an hour or so, our visit was wrapped up. We were going to eat lunch about a block away.

We looked up where we were eating, and used the phone to navigate to the location. We walked to where the map was telling us to go, and we were on the ground floor of an office tower. The GPS said "zero feet to destination". It wasn't where we were. We started walking around looking for some stairs to see if maybe the restaurant was on the second floor. Then the phone started changing how far we had to go - and where to go (I can only assume we were having issues with location services due to the tall buildings all around). We saw stairs off to the side and went out - and saw the restaurant across the street. The entrance facing us was not open, and we walked around the corner to the right.

I'm sure Chicagoans have their favorite deep dish pizza place - much like Gino's and Tony's cheesesteaks in Philly - but we don't, we chose this location because it was deep dish and near where we were.
The staff of eight were busy toiling away in the kitchen.

It didn't seem to be that busy [yet] and were seated right away, at 12:50.

The menu was digital and one scans a QR code at the table. And we have a copy of one of the four menu pages - the one page here is from the page we ordered from.

We knew we were going to have deep dish - it was just a matter of which. We wound up getting a half plain / half pepperoni.
We were told that the pie was going to take some time to make - up to an hour. Well... OK, then. We had phones and each other to keep ourselves occupied.
We ordered at 1:00, and the pizza arrived at 2:00.

The server asked if we wanted him to do the first cut or not. We said sure. Apparently, the cheese pull is a thing - and I was actually too close to get as good of a shot as I could have - but it was still about three feet.


The pizza was yummy, and cheesy. I'm glad we went but I wouldn't necessarily go far out of my way for it [this is NOT a derogatory comment about Giordano's by any means]. It was good pizza.
We finished eating and got a couple more pictures on the way out.

We passed a line of people waiting to be seated.

Due to our need to be at the National Park before the facility closed, and that we had a lengthy drive to Springfield after the NP, we had to leave Chicago without visiting - or I should say "going into" - the Public Library.

We captured another couple of sites on our way out of the city, including these tulips because they were in bloom and they were at / near the enterance to the subway .

In a bit more than a half hour from Chicago we crossed another state line.

Crossing the Indiana state line also crosses into the Central time zone. But because it was going to be brief, we didn't update the time on the camera. The cell phone automatically syncs, so there was no acction needed.
We arrived at the NP before they closed.

And we got our stamp.

We looked around the visitors center a little - it was small - and then headed out to the dunes (we didn't really just want to get a stamp and leave).
We drove a couple miles down the road, then headed north toward the shore.

Did you know that Indiana has an international seaport? While we aren't going to see that, we WILL see Lake Michigan.

There was a little path down to the water with about three foot breakers.

I got out of the car and took a series of pictures to make this panoramic, though it is wider than it might appear here. I also thought I was closer to the shore when I took these.

And one shot looking down at the surf after taking the above.

"Someone" took a picture of me returning to the car. No, I don't have a disease and am not being attached by anything - those are raindrops on the window.

This WAS the Indaina Dunes NP, after all...

There were some houses within the NP. But this one in particular was special, because this one was deemed "America's First Glass House" - it is being restored. Rather than retype everything, Here's the information board about it too.

Had the weather been better - it was rainy, breezy, and cool, after all - we might have spent a little time at the park, such as even walking along the beach a little. But it wasn't, so we didn't. We were at the park for less than an hour.
Our route took us back toward Chicago, until we turned southwest and headed toward Springfield.
Of course, we had to cross a state line again.

Crossing back over into Illinois puts us back into the Central time zone.
We came across more wind farms - they were all over, and I did eventally stop taking pictures of them, but I like getting shots of the large farms. Keep in mind this is done as safely as possible while driving - pointing the phone in the general direction and taking a couple pictures while keeping the eyes on the road. Usually there was at least one usable shot.
This panoramic is of two shots and between them, there are almost five dozen turbines visible from the road.

What is Wally's? Wally's is a large gas station rest stop chain of large gas station rest stops. For those in the Delaware Valley, think Wawa, but bigger. Not Buckey's big, but still decent sized. There is a food convenience store, food court, and a small "department store" (for lack of a better description). We stopped at our first Wally's in Pontiac, Illinois.
Along the wall in the back of this location was a set of three large drink dispensers. The cup sizes were something like 20 oz for $0.99, 30 oz for $1.09, and 40 oz for $1.19. Everyone should be able to find something to drink as they had colas, un-colas, juices, teas, lemonades, and even plain water. There were sixty different dispensers, though a few were duplicate.

In the restroom, one neat feature was this three-in-one "faucet". The same fixture dispensed soap on the left, water in the middle, and bacon air-drying on the right. Step-up and get all three done in one spot.

We walked around the facility some, and into the department store side. That is when we saw some Route 66 knickknacks for sale, including one that was a sign similar to "Pontiac Historic Route 66 Museum".
Route 66? The old highway that ran from Chicago to California? Yes, that Route 66. While we did not want to necessarily visit the museum - it was after 6:00 PM on a Sunday, after all - it probably wasn't even open at this time.
But we did some internet searching, and discovered Route 66 was right down the road. So much like we took a few step on the Appalachian Trail so we could say we were on it, we wanted to hunt down Route 66 and be on it so we could say we were on it, even if briefly. Google Maps® indicated that when we left Chicago, we may have actually already been on it.
Anyway, we left Wally's and rather than head left / west back toward the interstate, we headed right / east to find Route 66. A little over a mile down the road, we found the roadway.

We got back on the main road and continued our journey to Springfield.
As it was rainy - and not raining - I put on the intermittant wipers. Fun fact: Toyota thingks the wider portion of the bar graph icon means a SHORTER interval, and the narrower portion means a LONGER interval. I tested it more than once to confirm too.

About an hour and a half later - 9:00 - we arrived at the Quality Inn, and checked in. At this point we pretty much relaxed for a little, washed up, and went to sleep.

 

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