Friday, August 12, 2005

Day 63 - Chicago - St.Louis, Missouri, USA

Day 63 – 10th August 2005 -6:00 GMT Total Miles 11412

Checked out of the hotel at 12pm and had a 500 Km Drive (The reason the distances are in Kilometers is that we have a Canadian rental car that does not have miles on it)
The drive took around 5 hours and we stopped at Taco Bell on route. We drove south on the I-55 all the way through Illinois into Missouri. Our hotel The Adam’s Mark is in a very nice location, with views from our room of The Mississippi and of the St. Louis arch.

Our Hotel "Adam's Mark" (viewed from top of arch) Posted by Picasa

We went out and wandered around for a bit then went for dinner at TGI Fridays. Jill and Reece went back to the hotel and I took a short walk to the President Casino which is on a boat floating on the Mississippi. After a couple of hours playing Blackjack I walked away $337 in profit and went back to the hotel for the night.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Day 62 - Chicago, Illinois, USA

Day 62 – 9th August 2005 -6:00 GMT

We decided to split up this morning, so Jill and Reece went to the top of the Sears Tower (I had already done this a few years ago so did not bother). Instead I walked through Grant Park and around to the Adlers Planetarium and Astronomy Museum.

Adlers Planaterium Posted by Picasa

This was built in 1930 and was the first Planetarium in America. It is now the most technologically advanced Planetarium in the world. When you buy your ticket you can select two films from there selection. I started in the sky theatre and watched a film called “Race to the Edge of the Universe”. This was very good and basically covered the last 75 years of Astronomy and space exploration. Then I walked around the museum which was what I expected, big displays on the sun and the planets and the galaxy’s etc. I then went to the 3D theatre and watched a film called “The Stars of the Pharaohs” which was all about the old Egyptian astronomers and how the constellations related to the Egyptian gods. Then they had a talk and slide show on the landing of Discover which had landed this morning. I finished looking around the museum and walked back to the hotel.

Chicago Skyline Posted by Picasa

Jill and Reece got back an hour later and we headed off again, we caught the subway to Belmont and walked along Halstead to a Vegan Restaurant called The Chicago Diner. The food was great and the Banana Chocolate smoothies were fantastic. After we ate we caught the subway back to the hotel for the night.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Day 61 - Chicago, Illinois, USA

Day 61 – 8th August 2005 -6:00 GMT

We walked through Grant park and past the Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain Posted by Picasa

Then along the lake shore up to the Navy Pier.

Marina at Lake Michigan Posted by Picasa

Navy Pier Posted by Picasa

We got some lunch on the pier and walked to the end. We found a Stained Glass Museum which was free, but did not spend long there. We caught a free trolley bus back along the pier and got off at Michigan Avenue, where we wandered along the Magnificent mile and shopped.

Chicago Posted by Picasa

Michigan Avenue Posted by Picasa

Then we walked back to the hotel and rested for an hour. At 5pm we caught the redline subway to Berwyn. Where we walked for about 15 minutes to Clark Street and went to a pub called The Hop Leaf, here they have over 200 different types of beer. We meet out friends JR and Lisa (Friends from the Wildhearts mailing list) in the pub and had a meal with them.

Jill and I with Lisa and JR Posted by Picasa

Then they took us out in their car and showed us there Condominium and area they lived. Then they proceeded on taking us on a full sight seeing tour of Chicago. We passed Wrigley Field (Home of Chicago Cubs) and Soldier Field (Home of Chicago Bears) They showed us all the good Restaurants and the not so good ones (The world’s biggest Grossing McDonalds).
We then visited the United Center which has a large statue of Michael Jordan and his hand and footprints outside it.

Reece with Michael Jordan Statue Posted by Picasa

We saw Oprah Winfrey’s studio and we passed all the main museum’s and had some spectacular views of the city. They dropped us off at out hotel around 10:30pm where we had a drink in the bar before going to sleep

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Day 60 - Chicago, Illinois, USA

Day 60 – 7th August 2005 -6:00 GMT

Spent the morning in the hotel catching up on e-mails. We went out and got some lunch then wandered around the Loop area of Chicago. Mostly walking around the Theatre district, we walked along the Chicago River for a bit

Jill by The Chiacgo River Posted by Picasa

Statue's in Chicago Posted by Picasa

Then past The Sears tower.

Me by the Sears Tower Posted by Picasa

The Sears Tower Posted by Picasa

We then went back to the hotel where I had a beer and played pool with Reece, then had a siesta.

Our Hotel The Congress Plaza Posted by Picasa

We went out again a few hours later and we walked through Grant Park and looked at Lake Michigan,

Buckingham Fountain Posted by Picasa

then walked on towards Millennium Park where we saw the Bean (a giant reflective mirror bean).

The Bean Posted by Picasa

We then walked along the Magnificent miles and stopped at a Thai restaurant, The food was good and we then went back to the hotel for the night.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Day 59 - Detroit - Chicago, Illinois, USA

Day 59 – 6th August 2005 -6:00 GMT Total Miles 11104

We left Detroit just before 12pm and drove across Michigan State, we stopped at a town called Battle Creek, then carried on through the state of Indiana and up to Chicago in Illinois. The drive was around 5 hours and we crossed the time zone again so arrived around 6pm. The hotel check-in line was almost out the door and after a half hour wait we finally got checked into our room. The hotel is in the centre of Chicago on South Michigan Avenue opposite Grant Park so it is in a very good location. We went out to a nearby restaurant on Michigan Avenue for food then Reece and I played pinball for an hour.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Day 58 - Detroit, Michigan, USA

Day 58 – 5th August 2005 -5:00 GMT

Had a long lie in and then spent the morning checking e-mail and on the web. We then decided to walk around Detroit centre, now Detroit is a dump. Most of the buildings are derelict or half falling down. The centre is only about 10 blocks or less. We started walking through the theatre district and passed the Detroit Tigers Stadium (Baseball) so Reece and I decided we would buy tickets for tonight’s game. Now in the USA you can buy game tickets very cheaply, tickets started off at $5 a seat and the view for that is still really good. We sat in the front block so paid $25.

Detroit Tigers Stadium Posted by Picasa

We then walked passed the Detroit Lions Stadium (American Football) and walked down to Greektown. (A 100 yard street with Greek restaurants on it).

Greektown Posted by Picasa

Then we walked down to the waterfront on the other side of GM building. General Motors have they headquarters here and it was the release day of their new car. So they had displays and test drives going on.

GM New Cars Posted by Picasa

The New GM Car Posted by Picasa

The Waterfront is actually really nice and you can see over to Canada quite clearly.

Jill by Detroit Waterfront Posted by Picasa

We then got the people mover back to the hotel and whilst Jill and Reece rested I visited the MGM Grand Casino. I played my usual tactics and played Blackjack and slots and walked away with over $100 profit in less than an hour. Reece and I then headed to the ball game, where we had a fantastic view. It was Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians. The attendance was 38984 and The Indians won 9 – 6 after they scored 9 points in the 6th Innings. At the end of the game they gave away a brand new GM car and then had a huge fireworks display.

Me at the Detroit Tigers game Posted by Picasa

The Detroit Tigers Posted by Picasa

On the way back to the hotel we passed the spot where Henry Ford made the first motor car.

Birthplace of the Ford Motor Car Posted by Picasa
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