Day 15 …Tuesday, June 15th, 2021

Waking up in Chicago this morning, the city was clearly awake and alive before I was.  Excited for that today held, I got ready and we were out the door and out and HEY BONUS- the car was STILL in the parking garage and still IN TACT.  Where we had parked was a bit on the questionable side, so you just hope for the best.  We did, it was still there, all was well in the World.

We headed to Chinatown, just about 10 minutes from where we were in the City, and stopped at Walgreens for essentials.   I checked out with my Advil, and she didn’t give me a bag nor ask me for one. I thought she was just forgetful or busy, so as my friend checked out, I tossed my meds in the bag and grabbed it for myself. She flipped!!  “This is the city…those are 7 cents each!” My face, was I am sure, priceless.  I said “Clearly I am not from the City…I always got my items with the bag.” I gave it back to her and she said “No, no, you take it, it’s ok” – I just felt stupid and embarrassed.  Why not just add the 7 cents to everyone’s purchases or ask them if they want a bag? Me think she saw my “Spread Kindness” shirt and didn’t want to make me feel any more embarrassed than I was. So that was my introduction to Chinatown…lol.

I remembered this area a lot differently then when I was here as a kid on field trips to Chicago.  Maybe it was because it was morning, a week day, but it was just ok.  Fearing I would get yelled at for anything in the area now, I just decided to spend a little time looking at Zodiac signs with Walter and then leave. I am born from the year of the Tiger….makes sense since I follow Tiger King on FB LOL.  It was pretty spot on, let me know if you think so too.

After a brief visit, we headed to Bohemian Cemetery. A very old, 1800’s type one, we had a good time driving around and looking at all of the neat stones.  But apparently there was a pervy ghost because I got the EVP “Strip” to me…..I laughed….yah sick perv ghost.

Next we went to find more movie and tv locations around the Chicago area. I of course got Walter in front of the Art Institute in Chicago where Ferris Bueller was filmed, and then we added another piece to our John Hughes Collection with Samantha’s house in Evanston, IL where “Sixteen Candles” was filmed. Oh and you bet your sweet butt I took pics of where Long Duck Dong was drunk on the front lawn and says “Automobile?” Cracks me up because you KNOW you just heard me say that in his voice! LOL We also drove through Skokie, IL where “Contagion” was filmed…you know, the one BEFORE Covid was a real thing in our lives? Anyways the Science Institute there is where some of the scenes were filmed. I highly encourage you to google your own area to see if anything has been filmed by you, it’s always a fun and FREE activity to do with the family!

Lunch was found in a quiet strip Mall in Skokie, “Flame On Peri-Peri” – a great chicken joint with different types of sauces, and I was more than happy to get some protein and veggies in me.  My poor digestive system, but I am on top of my vitamins and protein shakes, so I think I am keeping things even right now.  I will be adding my own exercise program for the road soon so I can lose while I travel and still feel really, really good eating the fun stuff around the Country.

Last but not least, I haven’t gotten to the real one yet in Italy, so I will take the next best thing. For some reason, IL wanted to make their own “Leaning Tower of Niles” in downtown Niles, IL.  It is located right in front of the YMCA, and there is ample parking to get out and take pictures. Another fun and free activity to do, and we had a good time trying to pose Walter with the infamous tower.  It was actually a lot bigger than I thought it would be! If you have ever been to Paris, TN, you may have seen their version of the Eiffel Tower, or the one at Epcot in Disney World, but this one was shocking to see as it came in to view. A great road trip stop. 94 feet tall, 28 feet in diameter, leans 7.4 feet, built in 1931 and completed in 1934, including 5 active bells in the tower. Compared to the real Pisa, the original in Italy is 177 feet tall, 56 feet wide, leans 15.2 feet, and built in the year 1171 and not completed until 1334. It’s a sight to see!

The rest of the day was spent getting back to home base, unpacking just to pack again for leaving Friday.  Taking some much needed rest and relaxation, and enjoying my host’s famous jambalaya and nice crisp, cold watermelon for dessert.  The windows are all open, it’s a cool breeze, YouTube is playing, life is good. See you tomorrow!

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