Well, we didn't leave Chicago. Rain was in the forecast and we decided to stay put until it passed. Then we decided we should go downtown one more time before we left. So, we stayed through the weekend.
Saturday was sightseeing day. We researched various trains, and buses and planned our trip into town. After a few issues (not all buses run all routes on weekends) we finally made it to The Loop and began our excursions. We did a little window shopping (not Michigan Avenue) and then realized we were hungry. We decided we needed one more Superdawg so we took the Blue Line and looked for the nearest bus transfer. The obvious choice for a bus (bus A) didn't run on Saturdays and our next best choice (bus B) was not a CTA bus (we had an all-you-can-ride pass for CTA buses and trains) and would cost us almost $8 round trip. So we hopped on our third choice (bus C1) and after riding C1 a while we arrived at the intersection of our transfer bus (bus C2), we found out that the transfer bus only ran on weekdays. So we sat and waited for bus C1 to return and went back to the Blue line. Just in case you are thinking we are simpletons and don't know what we are doing, check out the Chicago Transit System here. That map is only Chicago Proper. There were other bus systems not included there (Pace buses) and an entire train system (from the suburbs) that we did not explore.
In all, we rode three different rail lines (orange, pink, and blue), rode six buses, and did a little walking. We only missed one thing (Superdawg) because of mistakes/misinformation on our part. Not bad for two rookies!
This is a view of the city through the train window from somewhere on the Pink Line.
Missing one final Superdawg was a disappointment but Trey found another Hotdog place: Hot Doug's. We decided it was worth a try and it was only one train, one bus, and a short walk away. The wait for this hot dog was 90 minutes and the line stretched outside the building and around the corner. While we've waited in line for food before (twice we waited over 45 minutes at Thelma's in Houston) We had never waited this long. While in line, we learned that they have specialty sausage and on Friday and Saturdays serve fries cooked in duck fat. These things made the wait more bearable. We also met a couple from Seattle, a single girl from Los Angeles, a truck driver from St Louis who parked illegally a few blocks away (he got his 1 1/2 hour hot dog and dashed!) and two guys from the University of Chicago (oh, also another nice man, but we didn't know where he was from.) It is amazing how you can get to know people standing in line with them for so long! Of all those people, only one of them had ever eaten at Hot Doug's before. We took his advice and ordered "The Dog" with chili and cheese. We got in line around 3:00 PM and finally got our food sometime after 4:30 PM.
While it was a good dog, it wasn't great. It didn't make either of our top five list. The fries were good, but we couldn't taste anything unusual about them. We are guessing duck fat must taste a lot like corn oil. Further research of duck fat is required. We did not do a qualitative test by ordering regular fries so we may be forced to return someday to answer that burning question. (But not until we have had a Superdawg)
Backing up a bit... Right before we got in line at Hot Doug's, Susan received a message on her phone. It was Allie. Allie is one of our teens from church. She was ours from seventh - eleventh grades. She has graduated college and is now married and traveling with her husband, Levi, across the country in a truck very similar to ours (only theirs is brand new!) They were passing through Chicago and wanted to know if we could meet them for dinner. (We had contacted Allie on FB the day before when we saw they were in WI).
"Well, of course we could meet! See you at around 7 p.m...." Wow, that hot dog line took forever! "No wait, make that 8:30 p.m.."
We finally got there and after trying two different places, found an open fast food place to sit and visit. We were still full from our hotdogs, so we ate pudding cups for dessert while Levi and Allie ate dinner. We visited for several hours and finally had to call it a night. It was so good getting to see Allie after many years and meeting her new husband Levi. Thanks for taking the time to meet up with us guys!
For those who think we have it tough because we live in 400 sq ft, be assured that Levi and Allie know what tough really is! He is a truck driver and they live in the truck full time. It is a sleeper, but a little smaller than ours. Levi works almost every day with very few days off and drives hours at a time. They don't complain, but have great attitudes about their life together and are enjoying the adventure of it all. Pray for truckers across America. They sacrifice much and work long hours in not great conditions so we can get the goods we want when we want them. When you get irritated on the road because some Truck is blocking your way or going too slow, try to remember to change that irritation to thanks because our country would come to a screeching halt were it not for them and the tough and usually thankless job they do day in and day out.
Levi and Allie, May God guide you safely in your travels and may you encourage each other to grow in Him more each day! We will continue to pray for you!
Well, today was moving day for us too! We are currently at a park in Indiana just west of Cincinnati, OH on the Ohio River. It was a long, but beautiful drive - especially the last hour. The sunset was gorgeous! We arrived after dark ( 6:30 p.m. EST - time change and time zone change all in one day!) and the office was closed. The site they assigned us with our reservation had too many trees for our slides to move out, so we moved in the site next door. We'll find out in the morning if we are in trouble.