Day 17…Thursday, June 17th, 2021

Well, it’s my last day here in Illinois and I had plans made for the entire time until tonight.  Now, the plan was to hit up the Post Office (sent out some postcards overseas), pick up more postcard stamps, and mail something off to Craig. Then we were going to enjoy some Cracker Barrel, an early breakfast so we could get on the road in a timely manner for Volo, Illinois.  About an hour and a half away, we had it planned to the tee of heading out, tour for an hour or so, drive back, and have time for me to write, pack up, and just enjoy my last night.  Well, there was a long wait at Cracker Barrel, which became a mixed blessing because I found some gifts for friends in the store portion while we waited, but the timing was moved later and later.  So we finally got going out of town at 10:30 a.m. and got to the Volo Museum about Noon.

Have you ever went to a Museum or Attraction and you had read little on it but it sounded interesting? And you think, why not, live your life, try something new?  Well, today was one of those great examples. We THOUGHT it would take an hour to see some cool cars and head back to home base. Nay, nay, nay as the Comedians would say. Oh no, this took us FOUR HOURS to get through!!!!  About $33 for both the Auto Museum and Jurassic Gardens Combo ticket, yes, Gardens not Park, nobody got time to get sued LOL- it was a STEAL for that price!! After such a disappointing day at Six Flags, this was the blind side I needed.  Ever been to “House on the Rock” in Wisconsin? A collection of rooms, with collections of collections, no rhyme or reason why it exists at all but to HOUSE such amazing items in this World? Yeah, this was one of those type places.

Located an hour and half outside of Chicago, this had everything your little nostalgic heart can take. 14 Exhibits to see and tour, some extra money by purchasing tokens or the combo ticket, it will take a good half day to see it all. We didn’t even get to the Military wing or the entire Antique Village they have next to the Museum.  5 Showrooms have classic cars for you to purchase, then jukebox collections, followed by TV and Movie Automobiles- some replicas, and some the real deal, Treasures of the Vault, Transportation Collections, and lots and lots of surprises. Room after room by jaw dropped over and over again. I took TONS of pictures and videos- make sure to follow us on Facebook to see the videos!!

So here are the TV and Movie Automobiles that I LOVED!!! Everything from “Grease” to “Knight Rider.”

Then DISNEY WORLD showed up EVERYWHERE in the fourth room and I was super happy! Parade cars, Disney Parks cars, Disney pieces, and of course, famous Disney cars!

Then lots of fun and quirky collections and stuff that were just so cool…like the REAL “Happy Days” Jukeboxes- BOTH of them!! Or the tons of kiddie ride vehicles and Characters galore- it was picture heaven and Walter had a BLAST.

A full wall of signs from the 50’s and they would NOT stand in society now. I am telling you, my mouth was open the ENTIRE time I was reading each of these….seriously shocking.

Jurassic Gardens was all about that Dino DNA and I freaking loved it! Yes, they were animatronics, and it was basically a room full of Dinos but they were still cool- worth the money if you like the Jurassic period!

And to top off the day….they had show pieces from “Showbiz Pizza” and “Chuck E. Cheese” that they had set up to be like the old pizza places themselves. Hanging from the ceiling were movie pieces like the Gremlins and such. It was seriously amazing. We asked them to play the Barbershop Quartet on stage, and it did NOT disappoint 😊

Great day, so much to show y’all, I hope you enjoy all of the pics and check out the videos I will post over the next couple of days on Facebook. Have a GREAT night, I still need to pack up my car and it’s off to Wisconsin in the early A.M.  See you then!

Moments of Kindness: Tipping BIG at Cracker Barrel and giving away tokens at the Museum.

Thank you for your support!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

Day 16 …Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

My day started off with enjoying my protein shake out on the porch in 55 degree weather. Realizing I hadn’t connected with Mom in a while, we chatted for a long time before heading out to Six Flags Great America for the day. 

Let me start by saying this….living near Disney World for the last 10 years has spoiled me on Theme Parks.  The “Disney” I had growing up in the nearby State was THIS Six Flags. Nothing was more exciting to me than a full day of rides, cotton candy, twisty unicorn suckers, and nachos. My favorite memory was my 16th Birthday celebrated at Great America, and I won a Buffalo with pink hair that stood as tall as me- 5 ft!  Imagine me walking around with this huge buffalo on my back, basically like carrying around a loveseat beanbag with hair. Seriously, it was hilarious.  I loved the spinning rides, the water rides, the IMAX, and running into the characters. Nope, not the rollercoasters, too scared of heights.  Still enough to do, and I made the most of my childhood here.

But now….. maybe it’s Covid, maybe it’s time, maybe it’s the lack of caring. The Six Flags I remember has been replaced with broken down rides, garbage everywhere, paint peeling here and there, and not a team member who seemed to care.  I realize it’s a job, it’s probably not that exciting, but it does count when at Disney, Cast Members are smiling, happy to see you, greeting you with open arms, and more than willing to help you with something.  Now, my ticket was $30- and then $25 for parking.  Still cheaper than a day at Disney, but this is more like a day at the County Fair now. 

My favorite ride as a child was the double-decker Carousel at the entrance…it was always so exciting to see and ride the first thing of my day. I of COURSE rode it today, Walter needed to ride it too, but there was no music. None. It was creepy, and we asked where the music was and of course got it “I don’t know.” Great, thanks for the help. LOL 

We rode some other things, but most of my favorite stuff was closed. Several eateries, stores, and including rides, were shut down.  Yes, like Disney, but for some reason I had hoped coming out of Covid it would be different. Lesson learned, and honestly, it was my last time. You have this moment as an adult when you realize that you’re good, you don’t need to repeat things to keep the memories alive. They happened, they exist, you enjoyed it at one time, and now it’s time to move on. So many wonderful times here with Craig and the girls, my parents, my brother, Kim and her Bachelorette party….and of course my Campus Life group and High School friends. It was time to close that chapter, and I was really ok with it.

Every time I am in this area, I have to hit up Gurnee Mills. For those who don’t know what this is, it’s a large indoor Outlet Mall that has Rainforest Café, the Disney Store, and a HUGE Bass Pro Shop!  It was kind of a thing we would make a weekend of- one day at Six Flags, overnight it at a hotel, and then a day of shopping at Gurnee. We had a great time walking around, finding GREAT gifts at Disney, and then headed out to find dinner closer to home base.

Now lunch was basically a snack, but it was something. Chicken fingers and fries at Great America, so I did eat somewhere new. But dinner was a wonderful indulgence of 2 pounds of crab legs, warm butter, baked potato and seasoned green beans at Red Lobster.  I also treated myself to a Mojito, which was good, but not “Ale House” good. Good enough to get a bit lit before I headed to Target, cleaned my car and packed, addressing postcards, and now watching “The Cave” while blogging.  

One full day here tomorrow yet and then I head off to Wisconsin early Friday morning. My cup runneth over, I am ever so grateful. See you tomorrow.

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Thank you for your kindness!!

I LOVE sharing the joy of Adventure, and Travel! Every dollar you support me with goes right back into my mission for equipment, gas, and essentials. But most importantly, when you support me financially it tells me you BELIEVE in me and MY VALUE, and that means more to me than ANYTHING! So THANK YOU for YOU!!

$1.00

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.