Tuesday, June 26, 2012

day 14: chicago is my kinda town

last day of route 66! 
we spent part of the morning trying to find the memorials to President Lincoln including his tomb. but we didn't have good maps or even an idea where things were so we found a couple and then got out of town. we drove for awhile until we came to McLean the home of the Pig Hip Restaurant. unfortunately it burned down in 2009 so we took a photo of the house that was right next to the restaurant that the owners have lived in for years and years and years. 
the E is on the chimney because the owners name was  Ernie Edwards
after we saw the empty lot of what we wanted to see we drove past the Dixie Truck Stop that has been a stop for motorists since the early days of the route and we found this truck! 

this was our favorite gum as kids so we were pretty excited to see a whole semi truck of it! 
after a quick stop here we continued down the orignal route to Funks Grove where they make real maple sirup. in this case sirup is spelled with an i because it is made from pure sap from the tree rather than juice with added flavors like syrup. 
when we pulled into this farm we were snapping a photo with this barn when a group of people came out and offered to take our photo. they were doing route 66 just from chicago to springfield. it was a whole group of adults taking their parents on this trip for a christmas gift. we enjoyed talking with them and they loved our shirts :) brooke did such a great job with them! 
after talking with them we went into the shop and sampled some pure maple sirup. it was delicious! so we got some and then hit the road again. 

we continued past Normal and Bloomington into Pontiac which the group we just met told us had a great museum. it was a two story museum with the bottom floor dedicated to the route 66 hall of fame which included many of the key places along the route. it also included a whole section of Bob Waldmire complete with his vw van and his remodeled bus. the second floor had a war museum and a whole section with actual items from the 1940's. 

a small car covered in drawings from all over the route

Bob Waldmire's van he took on the route for years

his remodeled school bus - it was a cute little home complete with kitchen and sauna
after spending time in the museum we continued to O'Dell where we found an old underpass that had to be made because the road was too busy to cross. 

just down the road was a restored gas station. we stopped by but there wasn't much there and so we figured we just had a little bit left to go so lets get it done! 

we had to stop by Wilmington to see the Gemini Giant. we weren't hungry so we didn't eat at the Launching Pad Drive-In and left to head the last few miles to Chicago. 

we tried to stop in Joliet but we took a wrong exit and ended up in the wrong part of the town. we finally figured out how to get out of there and ended up at a gas station a little further east. dad talked to some guys and they gave him good directions to get back on route 66. with those good directions we got on the right roads and we quickly passed through the right roads of Joliet and then into Chicago! we had a good map of Chicago that pointed out where the route was. we passed the bakery restaurant 
 Lou Mitchell's where a lot of people would eat before leaving to travel the route but they were closed for the day so we kept going to find the begin route 66 sign. 

we couldn't be on the road that was indicated on the map because it was a one way street going to the opposite way we needed to. but there were signs that indicated the route on the next street over so we kept following those and surprise surprise we found an end route sign! we stopped at the stop light and put on our hazards while the kids and mom jumped out and snapped a photo before the light turned green. 

there were no places to stop out that were talked about in the book or in the map so we thought we might just head over to Iowa but we thought we would just turn down the street that was originally marked on our map. and *ta da* we found the begin sign! once again there was no where to stop so we just pulled over and all jumped out. there were a bunch of people trying to take their photo with the sign and it was finally our turn. surprisingly we didn't even get in trouble for stopping in the street!

we finished route 66

from there it was time to start driving across illinois to get to iowa. we kept ourselves entertained in the back with chips. 

when we finally stopped for the night about an hour from the border of Iowa the kids played settlers of catan {i bet tonka} and then we thought we would take some funny photos. here's just one good one :) 

a cute normal family right?
still loving each other after two weeks stuck together in the box!

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