November 3, 2012
Day 4 of the road trip was mostly uneventful. We checked out slightly after noon, I cleaned the car windows again, and we gassed up the car before hitting the road. Spent the majority of the drive on I-94 in Michigan heading into Indiana, then spent some time on I-90 again (last time was in New York) before crossing into Illinois. In Indiana, we encountered Interstate 80, which of course is familiar to us San Francisco/Oakland folks. I don’t know what was more exciting, seeing I-80 all the way out here or traveling through three states in a single afternoon.
Something that was a little unfamiliar was paying tolls for regular, plain-old highways (in the Bay Area, we’re used to paying tolls for bridges). On this day we paid a couple of tolls to use the Indiana Toll Road, and one toll for the Chicago Skyway. The receipts stated “All time Central”, reminding us that we had crossed from the Eastern Time Zone into the Central Time Zone, gaining an extra hour to our day.
For the record, we stopped at the Marshall Rest Area 702 in Michigan and the Michigan City Welcome Center in Indiana. Note that the aerial photo in the latter link is wrong (it’s a photo of the airport in Michigan City). Here’s the photo we took of the center:
The area just outside of Chicago felt a bit industrial and reminded me of driving down 880 in the East Bay a little bit (or maybe we were already in Chicago, the South Side to be exact). We arrived in the city in the early evening, passing by places that I had heard of such as U.S. Cellular Field and Soldier Field. Sears Tower (or I guess Willis Tower) was easily identifiable. Identifying the route once we neared the hotel’s vicinity, however, was another matter. Google Maps did not indicate that there were two levels of streets, and I think we ended up on the bottom when we should have been on top. Either way, it took some time to sort out how we could actually get to the hotel entrance.
After an afternoon of driving (and a small peanut butter sandwich for lunch), I was ready for one of those world famous Chicago pizzas. I did some digging around online and found a place that had good reviews, then put in the order. When I gave them the hotel’s address, they said that we were just outside their delivery area. Darn. We ordered from a different place, and as luck would have it, this was the place that originated the stuffed crust pizza!
We gorged ourselves with pizza and wings and enjoyed some of the night view before winding down the evening. I had discovered that the car had a USB port, so I partook in my new nightly ritual, loading podcasts and MP3s onto a thumb drive.