Saturday, July 5, 2014

The land of the Bears, Chicago Bears that is

After leaving the Black Hills, we of course had to stop at Wall Drug and get a milkshake.  Wall Drug has entertaining signs for hundreds of miles proclaiming "Free Ice Water" and hawking all their attractions.   After seeing all the signs you're brainwashed so it's really impossible to NOT stop at Wall Drugs.   The store went on for many city blocks and was packed.  I even counted 4 tour buses emptying people into the store.

After we continued our drive East.  Over the next couple days we drove through Minnesota and Wisconsin stopping to camp along the way.  In Wisconsin with the long 4th of July weekend upon us we decided to try to get campground reservations in the Mackinac Island area of Michigan.  It seemed like the entire State of Michigan was booked when we accessed our online campground reservation system.  Plus both Yvonne and I kept getting a nagging feeling to not go to Mackinac Island.  It just didn't feel right for each of us so we changed plans and headed for Chicago instead.  It's good to listen to intuition.

Our campsite at the Chicago KOA

We got the last campsite at one of the best KOA's we've ever been to.  It's just outside Chicago so we booked 3 days to get through the busy holiday weekend.  Going into Chicago was a lot of fun and we were able to stop at one of our favorite Vegetarian restaurant's affiliate in Chicago.  We've actually have been doing this the entire trip.  They have restaurants in San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, NY and Tampa.  We stopped at all of them on this trip except for NY and San Francisco.  So on the 4th of July we went into a beautiful section of Chicago to visit the restaurant and there was about a 45 minute wait to get in.  The nice part of the wait was we met several people and had some good conversation. And then we were seated next to a lady who was a delight to spend time with.

Beautiful Chicago street and beautiful wife

After lunch we drove into the city via Lakeshore drive and it was magnificent.  Lake Michigan was filled with sailboats and yachts enjoying the perfect weather.  The parks were packed and this city was humbling with it's massive buildings and brilliant architecture.  It is quite a city.

One stop was Wrigley field where we parked and walked the area.  We found a nice sports pub in the area and sat at the bar.  We then called our son Jeff and his girlfriend Pam to toast to our son Paul who passed on July 4th several years ago.

After getting back to the campground we had dinner and built a large campfire.  By luck, our chairs faced a gap in the trees which displayed a large beautiful fireworks display just beyond the campground.  It was a perfect night to go with a perfect day.  And the first time we've actually enjoyed a 4th of July in years.

So tomorrow it's homeward bound through the south.  And this will probably be the last blog entry for the trip.   Thanks for following along.