The new area in St Louis wasn’t much better, more bars but still no people so we headed back to our hotel, packed our car and left. Now we arrived in Chicago and by that our road trip is officially over. We will however stay here for a couple of days before we head back to Europe and a normal life in Sweden. The trip between St Louis and Chicago went really fast and without any problems or incidents. We saw a lot of warning sign for speed cameras but we never saw a single camera and in Illinois they seem to have pretty hard punishment if you don’t behave in traffic. “Hit a worker and get $10 000 fine and 14 yeas in jail” was a common sign along the road, we never saw any workers though so we couldn’t test if its true.
Right after we checked in at our hotel, which is the most fanciest hotel on this trip we went out to find something to eat. Pretty close to the hotel we found a Japanese restaurant and wow, so good! With our own little barbeque on the table we ordered in a lot of different meat and then grilled it our self. Once again we ate to much and can hardly move right now but it was so good. I guess we just have to relax an hour or two before we head out to see the town, one thing is sure though, its cold here so I will be prepared for the Swedish summer then I get back home.
Woke up in decent time so we headed out to see if we could learn to navigate in this city. It became a quite long walk and still we only been in the area River North which is the area we live in. After been walking around among all the high rising houses we found Millennium park, a big green area next to Lake Michigan. It was really nice to get into the sun and get rid of the concrete for a while. Speaking about the sun, I still think its cold here and I have obvious got used to warmer climate for now its t-shirt, hoodie and a jacket to wear not to freeze. To be honest, I’m thinking of buying myself a winter hat too cause I’m freezing my head off.
After the park we followed the shore and found a nice marina, in true American style the boats were not small and we also found Chicago’s biggest tourist trap, navy pier. Its like a classic pier which you can find everywhere with some beer tents, a Ferris wheel and so on. It might be nice to sit here during a warm summer day but now, not so much. We got a really nice view over the city skyline though and it was really cool so see how the city just continues until the horizon make it impossible to see anymore.
Yesterday we went pretty much all in, it wasn’t planned and our budget is now officially screwed but it was totally worth it. We carefully started at a steak house, I mean you cant visit US without having a really nice steak and once we found a place that looked good we realized that this will be expensive but whatever, we just going to eat. As a starter we ordered some garlic marinated snail since Anton never tried this before and I never seen so big snails before, they must been feed on growing hormones. Second starter was a blue cheese salad and after that I was kind a finished but then our main course arrived, a big steak! Now (with googles help) I know we ordered a 360g steak and it was perfectly cooked. Not a single of garbage (read potatoes) on the side, just an awesome steak and a bourbon sauce which makes me drool just thinking about it. A couple of beer to this and we succeeded to eat everything which even impressed the waitress and we got some inside information where to go if we want to party.
A piano bar later, some ordinary bars where we met a lot of people who finally didn’t thought we were Germans (they thought we were French) and a limo ride later we ended up at Spy bar. A really nice club with really good music and a lot of people dancing all over the place made it the perfect end of a perfect night. Somewhere around 4 we staggered home and today we haven’t done anything, for the first time on this trip we got a hangover from hell.
The last night and the last dollar has been spent and its only a long and boring flight back to Sweden that is left. To summarize it I have seen ocean, mountains, desert and plains, I’ve seen trailer parks and rotten houses to 5-star hotels and enormous villas. I thought I would see more fat people than what I actually have seen, I never thought that the country side would be so hillbilly and I was absolute sure that the Texas cowboy was only a tale but I admit, I was wrong.
Our road trip has taken us 420 miles through 7 or 8 different states, from a sunny California to a right now, rainy Illinois. Next time I sure need to finish the last miles and see what the east coast has to offer.