Chicago…From The Freeway

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This morning Tony discovered that one of our trailer tires was completely bald. Luckily, we were able to find the Goodyear people and they were kind enough to replace all four of them for us…for around $700.00. Ouch. But it was either replace them now or wait for one to blow and do it then. We wanted to avoid the latter. And I’m so happy we did, because we arrived in Chicago right in rush hour. Can you imagine if we had blown a tire in  the middle of all of this? We were already the only people pulling a trailer in an ocean of thousands and thousands of cars. Talk about sticking out like a sore thumb!

We would have loved to stay in Chicago and really see the actual city area and eat in as many fantastic restaurants as we could find, but we had to skidaddle through it on our way to Toledo. And by skidaddle, I mean be stuck in traffic for an hour and a half.

I thought it was cool how the trains ran in the middle of the huge freeway.So many people, cars, trains, it was crazy! Compared to where we’re from, I have to admit, it felt a bit claustrophobic. While we were stuck in traffic I couldn’t help but think, “What do these people do if they have a bathroom emergency? Or an emergency of any kind?”

I couldn’t figure out what that thick haze was. I kept waiting to smell smoke, but finally realized…it’s smog! Holy cow! This is what my city looks like when there are fires all over the place in August. Notice how you can barely see the outline of Willis Tower (formerly known as, The Sears Tower)? I think Chicago could give China a run for their money in the smog arena.

I was able to get pictures of a couple of their beautiful churches. Notice all the angels on top of the first one? Wish I could have seen what the inside looked like!

As we got closer to the city we could see a bit of the skyline.

This is one of 8 tolls that we went through today from the time we arrived outside of Chicago until we arrived in Ohio. We paid a total of about $46.00. No wonder people take the train! The nice part was that even though there are so many people and it seems chaotic, things seem to run pretty smoothly. The one mistake I made was not taking a potty break before we got on the turnpike. I didn’t even know what that was until my husband explained it to me when I asked him to exit so I could go to the restroom. “Um, you can’t get off until you’re at your destination.” What?! “Once you’re on, you’re on, you can’t get off and get back on.” Yikes. Again, the bathroom emergency thought crossed my mind. Luckily I still have a relatively young bladder.

We made it out of traffic and even though I was only able to “see” Chicago from the freeway, I’m still glad we didn’t avoid it. It was interesting to see how busy everything was and just the sheer amount of people in such a seemingly small place.

It’s 1:00 AM as I type this in our hotel room in Toledo, Ohio. So far, we’ve only seen it in the dark. I look forward to seeing a bit of it tomorrow. Then, we head to Pennsylvania to a beautiful campground where we’ll stay for the next couple of weeks.

See you tomorrow! ~ April

7 thoughts on “Chicago…From The Freeway

  1. No offense meant, April, but we’ve had fog for a couple days now and right now there’s a fog advisory. It happens this time of year and again in the Spring, when the air and lake temps differ.
    Glad you got that tire fixed before anything happened. Whew!

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    • Oh! Well that certainly explains the “smog” like cloud then. And of course, no offense taken whatsoever. It seemed so odd that there would be that much smog even in a busy city like Chicago. I sure wish we would have had a bit more time to really explore the city itself. So full of life and people! 🙂

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      • Just be glad you weren’t flying through one of our airports. All morning flights have been cancelled or delayed, though the fog is lifting now.
        Next time you come, I’ll show you around. It’s a great city!

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  2. Love your blog about your travel adventures and recipes.Can you give me some advice on how to eat gluten and dairy free while I am traveling.We are going to Japan next year and I am worried about food.Maybe take lots of bekind and Lara bars with me.Also,do you eat spicy food and chillies.Thanks

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    • Thank you! Traveling with food allergies can definitely be stressful. But, being prepared is the key. Whenever we travel I try to bring as many non-allergen snack foods that I can. Nuts, dried fruit, gf granola, and any other little snacks that can be packed easily. Of course, if your’re traveling to Japan, I would try to find out what they will and will not allow (food wise) through customs. I would also make sure that I have a basic knowledge of how to ask for gluten free and dairy free foods in their language. When I’m on the road I try to eat whole foods, the less things that are mixed together, the better off I am. Meat, vegetable, potato, rice, fruit, egg, etc. Make sure you steer clear of soy sauce and ask for tamari which I believe is naturally gluten free. Also, if ordering meat, always ask how they prepare it. In every quality restaurant I’ve ever been to they either top their steaks with butter, use a dry rub with flour, or use some type of grill “seasoning” that is not gluten free or dairy free. Go with some type of oil and vinegar for salads. Sushi, rice, vegetables, and meats, as long as they aren’t prepared with soy, will be your best choices I would think in Japan. Hopefully you’ll also be able to enjoy rice noodles and fresh choices wrapped in rice paper like spring rolls.

      I do eat spicy foods and hot peppers. They don’t seem to bother me. Keep in touch, I would love to see your photos from Japan and hear all about what you were able to eat!

      ~April

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  3. Peak hour in Chicago doesn’t look pleasant. i bet you’re relieved to be on the other side of it. Happy Thanksgiving to you and I’m wondering where you will be for your special day xx

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