After completing the Chicago rally, our next big planned event is our first Grand National Rally at the Winnebago Factory in Forest City, Iowa, where our motorhome was born. Since that is still several weeks away, we needed to find other places to visit in the interim. As luck would have it, there was an Illinois State Rally scheduled for the weekend after the Chicago event ended. We made a reservation and headed to Crescent City, IL for the big event. This was our first state rally outside of Ohio.
Since our club had hosted an Ohio rally a year or so ago, we were interested in how this was going to be set up. As it turned out, it was a lot like how it is done in Ohio. There was lots of food and camaraderie. It had rained a great deal before the event and there was a forecast for more of the same. The organizers wisely decided to have everyone park on the roads in lieu of the designated parking spots. This proved to be a very good decision.
It looked a bit like the wagon trains in the old western movies. We were heel to toe but on very firm ground.
We even managed to find a roadside America oddity in a nearby small IL town.
It was good to spend time with new found friends and enjoy the entertainment.
From here, we will be moving to the Quad City area on the border with Iowa.
Our tour of Chicago included an architectural cruise and visits to several of the many ethnic neighborhoods of Chicago including Irish, Ukrainian, Greek, Italian, and Chinese. Variously, we visited churches, restaurants, parks and shops in these areas and were guided thru the history and culture of each of the neighborhoods.
Our tour of Chicago took place over five days. Each day focusing on a different facet of the city. One of the best ways of getting an overview of the city was literally getting an overview. The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the Hancock Bldg allows you to scan the entire city from the observation floors and in the case of the Hancock Bldg form the dining room on the 95 floor.
In addition to the spectacular views, both buildings offer exhibits discussing what you see outside with an explanation of the history of the city, as well.
At least one of these buildings is a must on any visit to Chicago.
After completing our tour of the Springfield sights, we moved on to Chicago for a week of exploring the best the city has to offer. As I mentioned, this was our first Winnebago tour and it has turned out to be a big success. The group of fellow travelers/tourists was all very friendly and we had a lot of fun together.
Between the heavy schedule of events and the surprising lack of reception for the air card, I have been unable to post for the week. The exploration of the city was planned to cover many of the special features of the city, including its history, people, landmarks, architecture, and its food. As it turns out, Chicago is well known for its diversity of cultural and innovative foods. We sampled many of these during the week between well planned guided tours of the city.
It was great for us to just show up at the bus at the appointed time and be carried to the tour du jour and listen to a local expert guide us through the day’s events. Usually, when we do this on our own, many hours are spent deciding what to see and what is important about what we are seeing. This time, that was all done for us. Our tour hosts Donna and Dave tended to all the details, while the rest of us just enjoyed the ride. I think we could get used to this.
We enjoyed the tours a great deal, but I think we enjoyed our fellow travelers best of all.
So while we have taken lots of pictures, I think we will start this series with some of our new friends and us enjoying ourselves.