My last day on Route 66

Hey Dad,

What a night. I am not impressed. So much for an early night.

I went to bed quite happily, when the room next door put their TV on. I didn’t know a TV volume could go up so high! It was so loud I could hear every word of the film, for the record it was Harry Potter. I would even hazard a guess it was one of the later films. I am not even a huge Harry Potter fan and I knew what it was! 

I kept thinking the film will end in a minute, and it would. But it would then go straight into the next film. Yep, a Harry Potter marathon! Wonderful. 

I found I was sleeping for a bit, but getting woken up everytime there was a fight, or a bang in the film, which seemed to happen more and more as the night went on. 

By 5am I was done! I had hit my limit. I phoned the front desk and explained what was going on. Get this, the woman replied ‘because I booked online I was unable to change anything’ what?! Trying to keep my cool, while exhausted at 5am, I said I didn’t want to change anything I just wanted to get some sleep. The woman on the desk said she would see what she could do.

I was so tired by this point I was freezing cold. The room dudnt come with a duvet, just a thin blanket. After a quick hunt; there were no additional blankets in the room. I ended up folding the blanket on the bed in half. 

Mercifully the TV got turned down 15 minutes later. Not off, but down enough. 

I was then woken up less than three hours later to banging. Like hammer to a wall banging. The pipes to upstairs also seemed to run straight through my bathroom. Clearly I was done with sleep. That’s day three of no quality sleep! 

I went to check out, and was asked if I had paid. I said yes, as that is what I was told when I checked in. Apparently not. The woman on the desk was saying that my card had not been charged. I really tried to keep my cool. She was not the most polite either, which makes it even harder to not fly off the handle. The possibility of being charged twice for a hotel room which was already more expensive than a motel and where I didn’t get any sleep, I was really struggling.

By the time I got in the car I was shaking, my heart was pounding and my head was killing me. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my last day on route 66.

Anyway, I stopped in a small town called Pontiac, which was really cool. The town was small, but beautiful. It had murals and paintings on brick buildings, which were dotted around an old style town centre, it was really lovely.

The main reason for the stop was the route 66 museum. The first floor held memorabilia from route 66 seperated into into all of the different states. There was also an old VW camper which was the inspiration of Filmore, one of the characters in the Pixar film Cars. 

The next floor was a small gift shop. The old man behind the counter was fascinated with my accent, and asked me to pick out on a map exactly where I was from.  I showed him and he marked it with a little dot. There surprisingly not many UK dots. The next floor was more of old route 66, from the roads first origins. Old clothes, and children’s games surrounded bits of old cars. Across the hall was a photo gallery. It was really cool walking through the gallery seeing all these images of things I have now also seen along the way, and some things I missed. 

What was amazing though, was the too floor. The top floor was a war museum. One room was full of mannequins wearing old service uniforms, each with a card around its next with the name and rank, and brief description of the person that wore it. It was amazing seeing these uniforms up close, and the Styrofoam faceless mannequins added a eery quality to them. You could almost feel the presence of the people who wore them; but in a ghost like way. Weird. As I was leaving there was an old man with medals on. Next to him was a box of plastic army men with a sign. The sign said to take an army man home, and place it somewhere to remember those who serve. I took an army man, and know which little boy at home will be looking after him!

After the museums I went for a walk around the town. It’s Sunday, and everywhere is closed.  The town is also empty. No one walking around, or spending time outside, nothing! The pavement had painted footprints on, so I blindly followed them. They lead me to a Pontiac car museum.

The museum was pretty cool, it was filled with old cars, including racecars and old NASCAR cars. It was not very large though, so I was in an out in under 10 minutes. 

Back to the car to head into Chicago. It was pretty plain sailing, with only a little traffic getting into the city. The Chicago skyline is awesome! You can see the Willis Tower for miles in the distance.

Getting a hotel in chicago was not the easiest. Shockingly enough, Chicago is expensive! Finding something cheap, with parking is not easy. I also wanted to be close to the centre so I didn’t have a repeat of St. Louis. Turns out cheap does not exist in Chicago! Oh well. I found the hotel and checked in. I instantly relaxed. This had 3 stars, and a thumbs up. The reception area smelt nice, and had mellow piano music playing very quietly in the background. I checked in, parked up the car in their secure car park and headed to the 4th floor. Finally a room that’s not at ground level. The hotel room was like walking into a palace! The room is lovely, and so very very quiet! 

After an hour of laying down in a dark room trying to get my headache to go away I decided I needed to eat to take some tablets. I asked at reception if there was any food in walking distance.  She said no, and then handed me some leaflets of places that deliver to the hotel. Result! I ordered online and they delivered it straight to the hotel reception. 

A seriously good nights sleep is needed. One very early night for me! I want to see as much of Chicago as possible tomorrow!

Night dad x


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