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Tuesday, April 2nd, 2002
The funny thing about this travelogue is that I am having a pretty good time, and thus, in contrast to the Bulgaria story, I don't really feel like making time to type up a long narrative.
Besides that, I've spend hours and hours of the last few days reading email about the Herbalife report. It has all been great!
Nebraska was the next state, and it was filled with wind, blowing south across our path. We were getting nailed by tumbleweeds on the highway.
In Nebraska, we tuned to a radio show called "The party line". It was a simple call-in show that allowed people to announce stuff that they had for sale on the air. For instance, one person had a baby changing table for sale for $40. You can reach her at 463-4294 (Nebraska area code). Another person had a humidifier for $10, and queen size bedding for $40. She can be reached at 463-7423. One person called in just to report the loss of a tent in the high wind. It was fun to evesdrop on this community for an hour or so until their radio signal faded.
We stopped in Lincoln Nebraska to check out their giant Capitol building and peek around a bit. They had internet access near the tourist center at a little cafe in the Mill building.
This cafe controlled access from their computers by keeping two wireless keyboards behind the counter, handing them out to people who wanted to go online. It was $3 an hour.
The cafe had all the comforts of a Berkeley Cafe, but with the conspicuous absence of a tip jar.
We blew an hour online, and then got back on the road.
Iowa was the next state, and the radio advertised a big cattle auction with 450 heifers weighing 500 to 650 pounds.
Iowa had more than a few casinos and strange gasoline prices due to the addition of ethanol to some of their fuel blends.
We stopped at a Target store near Illinois and Jen bought a CD player for her car. The radio had grown intolerable.
It was Jennifer who spotted the wide variety of ephedrine tablets behind the counter at the Illinois gas station. The cashier told her that she could only sell her two packages of Mini-thins, but sales of the generic "100% Ephedrine" tablets were not controlled.
Great arch monument in Iowa
Inedible fat, not intended for human food
Third day, eyes glazed over
Tank manouvers, undisclosed location
Capitol building in Lincoln, Nebraska
Giant transparent dome in Omaha, Nebraska
The open road of Iowa
getting blown around near Brooklyn Iowa
Wednesday April 3rd, 2002
We spent the night at a Microtel in Joliet, Illinois and decided to spend the day in Chicago.
We found the inter-city train into downtown called the "Metra", and climbed on board. A slight snowfall followed the 90 minute trip into downtown Chicago.
We went immediately to the Sears tower and got in line for tickets.
There was a little sign near the ticket line stating there was a one-hour wait to get to the observation deck. This was wrong. It took two hours, and by the end, I was really annoyed. Two hours and $9.50 to see the view from the top of a tall building. What a joke.
If you ever go to the Sears tower, ask the guy at the ticket window, "does this actually take TWO hours?". Do it for me.
Hungry and tired by the end of this ordeal, we got chinese food and tried our luck navigating on the L train. I prefered to study the subway maps and diagrams, and Jen prefered asking for help. We did it her way, and it worked out great.
We made it to the United Center, and visited Malcolm X college next door. We did a little more wandering through downtown & decided to head back to Joliet around 4pm
Back on the Metra, we ended up in the fun & unruly bar car. We met some real Chicago natives and they showed us their techniques for eating salted peanuts whole in the shell.
Off the train, we found our parking garage & headed east to Ohio.
Wells & Van Buren in Chicago
The red, white and blue barriers at the Sears Tower
The view from the Sears Tower
More Chicago view, with snow
Michael Jordan Statue at United Center
Flashing colored building in downtown Chicago
Cool adjustable seats on Metra inter-city rail
The seats in mid-swing
Knee spacing isn't perfect, but I love this idea