Ben and Marie's American Road Trip
On to Chicago - Start of the Mother Road and Shedd
We woke extra early this morning because we were setting off to find the original start point of Historic Route 66 and to complete the first part of road tripping the entire "Mother Road". So we set off from camp for Lou Mitchell's, the starting point for those who had the same aspirations as us. The drive into Chicago was sketchy at best, lanes were tight and it was ridiculously busy. People said it was rough, but for a city of that size, I prefer the word cultured, they are going to be dangerous areas, but the same can be said for most areas. We had no trouble and everyone we spoke to was lovely. Marie suggested the restaurant, and the breakfast was unbelievably good, the eggs were to die for and the whole thing was well worth the money. I had another filter coffee, which I've become quite partial to, as long as it's with 3 sugars and 2 creamers, so as far from the taste of coffee as I can get. Marie even got herself a souvenir t-shirt, just for good measure, we took photos of the place and left for the aquarium a few miles across town on the coast. The views of the city from the queue into the aquarium were breathtaking, they wanted to be, considering we had just paid £17.50 to park while in the aquarium, which would be around 3 hours, and therefore rendered extortionate. We met a couple of people in the queue as we waited for over an hour, and the man and his son that we met from South America were really good people, and the chat made the time go faster. We even met someone who knew who Leeds United were!! The aquarium itself was brilliant, with themed exhibits, an oceanarium with belugas and touch pools it was the biggest aquarium we had ever been to. We touched starfish, which I was a lot less happy about that Marie was, and saw some Japanese spider crabs, which were probably big enough to pick me up and take me away to eat me. Needless to say, I hope I never see them ever again, they were scarily big. We took so many photos of the belugas and the many different fish, that our batteries nearly ran out, we saw a massive blowfish, sea horses and an octopus, which I also hated. They make my skin crawl. After the aquarium we set about finding the original historic Route 66 start sign, so that we could start our journey properly, and after driving round Chicago for half an hour, we found it and set off for Springfield, following the trail the whole way. Our stay for the night was not far from the Cozy Dog drive in, another stop on Route 66, we drove past Dixies and the Muffler Men on the way, but our real landmark hunting starts tomorrow.