The Mother Road

Getting Our Kick’s On Route 66 Chicago:  Historically Route 66 is thought of as a highway that starts in the east and heads west. Since I already explored the west coast side of Route 66 I needed to see the start of the Mother Road. We only had a few days to explore so we decided to just check out Chicago to St louis this time around.  So first on our must do list go to Lou Malnati’s!  Lou’s is the home of the BEST Chicago-style deep dish pizza in the world.  Since we are from Seattle and did not know what to order we ended up ordering the “Malnati Chicago Classic”.   It is made with Lou’s exclusive blend of lean sausage, some extra cheese, and vine-ripened tomato sauce on their famous Buttercrust.  I normally do not eat the crust but this crust is soooo good… Lou’s also offers a gluten-free “Crustless” Deep Dish Pizza for those people who are gluten-intolerant since one of our party is gluten-intolerant she tried one of the crustless deep dish.  It is basically made the same except they make the crust out of sausage. “A meat lovers pizza” Next on the list a Chicago style hotdog.   A Chicago Style Hot Dog is a steamed all beef Hot Dog topped with yellow mustard, bright green relish, onions, tomato wedges, pickle spear or slice, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt served in the all-important steamed poppy-seed bun. Since we were standing right in front of the place while waiting for a friend we decided to give America’s Dog a try. It is built on the concept of the many regional dogs across the United States.  Their slogan is “Taste the Best From East to West” but since we were in Chicago we had to give it a try. It was good but we all agreed that Costco still had the best deal and we can have it our way. While searching for the Route 66 markers we kind of got sidetracked and stumbled onto Chicago’s Millennium Park.  There were hundreds of people photographing the Cloud Gate or what the locals call  “The Bean”, it is a public sculpture by British artist Anish Kapoor. Cloud Gate weighs in at over 110-tons, and is 66 feet long and 33 feet high. “The Bean” was created using a huge number of individual stainless steel plates. As I waited for the crowds to thin out it seems more people were showing up around sunset.  I asked the security person when was the best times to photograph the Bean with no people.  She said that it will start thinning out around 10pm when the park closed and at 6 am when the park open.  So I was there at 6:10 am and sure enough there were only three other photographers at the site.  By 8AM the early crowds and tours started to arrive. So after exploring Chicago’s sights it was off to St Louis. Travelling south on I-55 we turn off the interstate and head for the town of Joliet IL. Travelling south on I-55 we turn off the interstate and head for the town of Wilmington IL. Travelling south on I-55 we turn off the interstate and head for the town of Dwight IL. Travelling south on I-55 we turn off the interstate and head for the town of Odell IL. Travelling south on I-55 we turn off the interstate and head for the town of Pontiac IL. Travelling south on I-55 we turn off the interstate and head for the town of Bloomington IL. Atlanta IL. Lincoln IL. Springfield IL. Litchfield IL. Staunton IL. Collinsville IL.

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