We started day 2 with a cruise along the Chicago River learning about the city and its architecture. Very interesting and a great way to find out a lot in a short space of time. Then walked along the shore-line until we found the Buckingham Fountain, near which is the start of Route 66. Day 3 started with hilarity as we tried to all fit into a taxi to find a CTA station with an elevator. Well, 4 of us, plus 4 suitcases plus a wheelchair DO fit into a taxi, even if John and Les still have the indentations of the wheels on their legs as they had to have the wheelchair with us in the back seat! Got to the car hire depot at the airport with few problems. Thank you to all the people who helped us today – from the guy who told us how to find the elevator for the Blue Line, to the train driver who waited for us to board, the Alamo clerk who served us, the man who stopped to take a photo of the boys by the Muffler Man on Route 66, the mechanic who have us directions when we were horribly lost. A day full of laughs!
Day 4 – Great hotel, great staff at the State House Inn in Springfield. Went for a walk through the Farmers’ Market – so much corn and peaches for sale! Lovely smells! Then a totally unexpected and fantastic event. Took loads of photos outside the Capitol Building and then decided to go inside (thought the State Museum was there). We found ourselves on a tour to see the debating chambers for both the Representatives and Senators. Wow what a building, it was incredible. Very open, we could wander round at our leisure, once we’d been through security. Can’t imagine being allowed to walk round the County Council Chambers like that! Then drove off to our first R66 landmark of the day – Shea’s Gas Station. Disappointedly not open and looking a bit tatty. Out of the city then, back on the road. Went to Litchfield where we were welcomed in the R66 Visitor Centre. Went across the road to the Ariston Cafe for a drink. Ended up with lunch! Very tasty. Back on the road again to try and find Henry’s Rabbit Ranch. Another mild disappointment, but a good laugh. Driving across the Mississippi was not a disappointment though – fantastic and even wider than expected. Another detour meant we lost R66 and had to go the long way round to the hotel. Seems a decent stop for the night, but no breakfast included. On to St Louis tomorrow and then through Missouri