Chicago to Springfield

Our hire car pick up went fairly seamlessly and Alamo were surprisingly easy to deal with. No hard sell on the ‘lost keys insurance’ and no major pushing to upgrade. We always thought that we would want to negotiate a wee upgrade but in the end had to settle for something fairly simple.


Sadly our cases wouldn’t fit into the boot and it didn’t even have a roof!

As it turned out the ride that would take us across America was secured after some deliberation over the difference between a $17 a day extra cost or a $5 dollar one. A Ford Fusion.


And I would even let herself have a shot if she could prove she knew the difference between left and right.


Don’t be fooled – she had to shuffle over to the driver’s side after getting it wrong.

So we set off and played dodge the tolls for a while until we could get a lock on to Route 66 and make our way to a suitable food outlet for a long overdue breakfast.

In actual fact we were still a bit tender from yesterday’s efforts so we decided to settle for a trip to a food market where yet again we were astounded at how much bigger and better everything is here.


These pastries were a good double the size of the equivalent back home. The picture doesn’t do them justice. We also stocked up on bottles of water at the market just to keep ourselves hydrated along the road.

Next stop, that famous giant they refer to as Gemini.


I know what you are thinking but that photo doesn’t do HIM justice either. He’s massive!


The little restaurant this big loon advertises, the Launching Pad, was closed so that mean’t lunch had to wait.

We spent some time in Joliet where there is a little gift shop and advice centre for Route 66 travellers and the staff there were amazingly knowledgeable and pleasant. We really started to get a feel for the friendliness of Route 66. It lasted all day.

What didn’t last all day was our resistance to the growing pangs of hunger. So our trail took us to a wonderful little themed diner on the advice of a new friend from Joliet. She was bang on about the quality of the grub.


Here was the lunch.


That’s a ten ounce Ribeye on that bun and the cheese steak must have been a smiliar sized steak sliced up. Sides were coleslaw, potato salad, fries and pickles. With unlimited top up Cola the whole lot was $30. That’s just over 20 quid.

Back on the road to which is about twenty miles further in in a small town called Pontiac. This is absolutely essential for Route 66 because it tells you so much of the history and you also get to see the VW Camper that they turned into Fillmore in Disney’s Cars.

Here he is… 😀


It’s a terrific free museum and to give you a flavour here’s the back lot where there are several murals by the ‘Walldog’ artists.

Youtube link –

We were running out of time by now and Springfield was still 100 miles away. We made tracks and got in just after sunset. Sadly, after unpacking and parking the car, just about everything in this place was closed and there was nothing worth looking at for dinner. Heaven knows how we will survive until breakfast.

Anyway – we are on the 26th floor, stunning view over the city and tomorrow is another day. We will drink water and eat mixed nuts from the mini market. Maybe the rest will do us good.


One thought on “Chicago to Springfield

  1. Sounds like a very interesting day. Pity about the few hours with no food!!! I was hungry when I started to read this post but not now.

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