Hit the road jack

So yesterday was met our temporary home for the next two weeks on the 31 foot Fourwinds Freedom Elite. I think our mobile hotel needs a proper nickname. Suggestions are welcome.

DSC_1227DSC_1224

We first loaded up on groceries at the local Jewel Osco supermarket in Waucunda, Il. Bruce you can be comforted that we made our proper purchase of teddy grahams and baby wipes.

DSC_1211DSC_1214

Then we hit the road and headed to Rt 66 raceway in Joliet, Il. I was at the helm with co-pilot Ryan helping me navigate. Please note the officer hats.

DSC_1295DSC_1336

 Rt 66 signs and landmarks were easy to spot.

DSC_1237DSC_1239

Mother nature has not been our friend lately and that was no different as we arrived at the Rt 66 raceway

DSC_1252

Our visit to the track was short but we did get to see a few races, got down to pit row, and even got close to the track

DSC_1264DSC_1281DSC_1253DSC_1276

Don’t I look good on a Harley?

So after Joliet we tried to stick to the historic Rt 66 route making it through some small towns including Wilmington, Pontiac, Dwight, Lincoln, Springfield and then to our final destination in Chatham. Our stop in Pontiac we got some good shots of some Rt 66 landmarks

DSC_1353DSC_1419DSC_1415DSC_1430

A Rt 66 trip would not be complete without some “Giant” encounters

DSC_1302DSC_1479

Well at this point we were wiped and ready to hit the sack. Not before we hot the Wallmart to acquire some more supplies. Finally we found our campsite, hooked up, unpacked and then lights out. Actually not too bad for the first night. Everyone seemed to sleep well.

Today we will check out some of the famous Lincoln sites and then off to St Louis. Stay tuned……

 

 

 

More Chitown Sites

Team Gerbman got started today with breakfast at the famous Lou Mitchells.

6-27-3

Rt 66 clock at Lou Mitchells

Rt 66 clock at Lou Mitchells

After breakfast it was a short walk down the block to visit the Willis Tower.

6-27-4

Up to the 103 floor skydeck we enjoyed the view from the 6th tallest building in the world.

DSC_1064

View of our hotel

View of our hotel

DSC_1107

From there we boarded the subway and off to the Wrigley Field tour that we missed yesterday.

DSC_1125

We learned much about the history of Wrigley. The Cubs were called the Chicago Whales before they were the Cubs. Also the original stadium was not built with the outfield wall. In fact a rope was held in the outfield and was adjusted by the home team closer and farther depending if the home team or away team was at the plate. MLB eventually had Chicago install something more permanent and the first wall was made of wood. Eventually the brick wall we know was installed and the famous ivy was installed in 1937.

The team locker room is not very current by today’s standards but it is the third version of the clubhouse since the stadium was built.

DSC_1172

We made it down on the field and into the dugout which also did not seem very glamorous

DSC_1182 DSC_1181

Had lunch at DMK burger on the Diners Drive ins and Dives tour. Then back on the subway and back to the navy pier. We were hoping to rent bikes and cruise by the lake but mother nature had other ideas so we tried on some funny hats and then headed back to the hotel pool for some relaxing.

DSC_1198DSC_1202DSC_1208

Notice who was smart enough to not get caught in one of those hats!

Well tomorrow we begin our RV adventure. Since tomorrow the Blackhawks parade right near our hotel we are getting out of here early so we don’t get stuck. Hope to post again tomorrow night with some more great pictures and stories.

Good night!

 

Wasn’t easy but we got there….

So after the last post we found out that weather in Chicago was going to slow us down. Flash flooding affected the rails and the roads and our arrival was 5 hours later than expected.

DSC_0791

However that didn’t discourage us as Deb whipped out her trusty binder and simply reorganized our day.  After we unloaded our many bags at the hotel we strolled through Grant Park and Millenium Park. Below is a photo op of me and the boys at Buckingham Fountain:

buckingham fountain

We met my cousin Robin at “the bean” in Milleniun Park. This can only be described as a shiny metal structure with very cool reflective properties. Below I share a couple of shots:

DSC_0841DSC_0843

jacob bean ryan bean

Starving at this point we head to Giordano’s pizza for some famous Chicago stuffed deep dish pizza.

DSC_0867

A special shout out to my cousin Robin for showing us around and of course introducing us to Giordano’s (I am going to the gym when I am done with this post).

After dinner we walked off our meal and headed to the Navy Pier which was hopping on a Wed night:

DSC_0908 DSC_0933

Funny enough we met Bob Newhart sitting very still near a metal couch……

DSC_0911

Bob wasn’t very talkative so we continues on and checked out the stain glass museum:

DSC_0970

And then our night at the navy pier ended with an exciting display of fireworks;

DSC_0995

Well we were hoping to take a taxi home but the boys talked me into taking a bicycle taxi. Now I told the driver of this bike that our hotel was about 1.5 miles from the pier. However I do not think he properly evaluated the total weight of his passengers. At one point I thought we were going to have to get out and push this thing that was pulling all four of us. Nonetheless we made it but not quite yet to our hotel. As you know this trip is about travelling Rt 66. Well the official start of Rt 66 is only a few blocks from our hotel on Adams St just off of Michigan Ave so we thought it was appropriate that on the first day of our trip to get a pic in front of the official beginning of the famous road…

Rt 66 sign

At this point everyone was exhausted and it was time to hit the sack. Thursday will be another fun filled day so stay tuned for more stories. Everyone is still sleeping so its off to the gym for me…..

 

 

Training It….

image

So we boarded the train first from Red Bank to NY Penn Station and then onto Amtrak train 49 from NYC  headed to Chicago. Our first adventure in a sleeper car can be described as “cozy”. Not the Four Seasons but it was functional. Here are a few pictures of the room.

image

 

 

image

Believe it or not the above is also our toilet and sink (see if you can figure it out).

Our porter Melanie (aka Mrs. Happy) took care of our stay in the sleep car. At our stop in Albany got a optic with the boys:

image

 

After Albany was dinner which wasn’t five star but not one star either.

image

After dinner we played a few card games then off to bed. Everyone slept ok if waking up at 3 then 4 then 5 and finally 6 is considered “ok”.. However woke up just after Sandusky, OH and got a nice view of Lake Erie.

image

Just finished breakfast and stopped in Toledo. Will be in Chicago in a few hours and then off to the races. Will post tonight again after our our first day in Chi-town.

The Journey Begins

So today we begin the adventure. Our bags are packed and we are ready to go:

DSC_0724

That’s just about everything. Should be interesting getting through Penn Station with all of this “stuff”.

Since we are travelling coast to coast we thought it would be appropriate to start this day in the Atlantic.

Atlantic Ocean Day 1

The above photo was just taken at the Sea Bright public beach. Beach looks like it has recovered from Sandy and the work continues to refresh the structures that were damaged. Nice way to start our day.

Headed to the train soon. New posts will be coming later today or tomorrow.

Follow our journey

family pic

Ever since the boys were little and watched the movie Cars, they talked of experiencing Rt 66. Well after much planning we are about to embark on a journey that we hope is filled with forever lasting memories. Our trip won’t be animated by Pixar but I am sure we will have our own animated moments. This blog is a way to share our stories with friends and family. We start with our itinerary which is planned almost to the minute thanks to Debbie. Keep in mind this trip would not have happened without her. Nonetheless here is the plan:

General Itinerary

Tuesday June 25th:

–        3:40pm: leave Penn Station

Wednesday June 26th:

–        9:45am: Arrive in Chicago

–        Willis Tower/Skydeck and other attractions

–        Wrigley Field Tour

–        Navy Pier

–        9:30: Fireworks- view from pier or the John Hancock Observatory

Thursday June 27th:

–        Explore other attractions in Chicago

–        Meet family for dinner

Friday June 28th:

–        8am: transport to RV rental Facility

–        NRHA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, IL

–        Cover towns between Joliet and Springfield, IL (164 miles/ 2hrs 45 min)

Saturday June 29th:

–        See Lincoln Attractions

–        Cover towns between Springfield, IL and St. Louis (98 miles/1hr 45 min)

–        Reach St.   Louis by dark

Sunday June 30th:

–        Explore St.   Louis

–        Travel to Springfield, MO

Monday July 1st:

–        Travel from Springfield, MO to Oklahoma City (OKC) (486 mi/4.5 hrs)

–        See Minor League Baseball Game

Tuesday July 2nd:

–        Travel from OKC to PaloDuroCanyonState Park (280 mi/ 4.5 hrs)

–        Jeep Tour of Canyon

–        Musical Drama in the Canyon

Wednesday July 3rd:

–        Travel from Palo Duro to Albuquerque, NM (310 mi/ 4 hrs)

–        Take Sandia Peak Tramway to the top of the mountain for dinner at High Finance

Thursday July 4th:

–        Sunrise hot air balloon ride

–        Other sites in Albuquerque

–        Travel to the Petrified ForestNational   Park (209 mi/ 3 hrs)

–        Stay in HolbrookAZ (26mi/24 min)

Friday July 5th:

–        Travel to The Grand CanyonVillage (178 mi/3 hrs)

–        Stop at Meteor Crater along the way in Winslow, AZ (59 mi/56 min from Holbrook)

–        Explore hotel and Rim

Saturday July 6th:

–        Excursion(s) at the Grand Canyon

–        Fun with Uncle and Surreina!

Sunday July 7th:

–        Happy Birthday Surreina!

–        Travel to Las   Vegas, NV (277 mi/4.5 hrs)

–        Stop at Hoover Dam along the way. (33mi/42 min from Las Vegas)

–        9:30 show of Love in Vegas

Monday July 8th:

–        Explore Las   Vegas

Tuesday July 9th:

–        Travel to Anaheim, CA (264 mi/4 hrs)

–        Explore Downtown Disney

Wednesday July 10th:

–        Disneyland!

Thursday July 11th:

–        California Adventure

Friday July 12th:

–        Pick up the rental car (Anaheim) and drop off the RV (LA)

–        Check in at Hotel in Santa Monica

–        Warner Brothers Studios tour

Saturday and Sunday July 13th and 14th:

–        explore Hollywood, LA, Santa Monica

Monday July 15th:

–        Travel to San   Diego (134 mi/2.5 hrs)

–        Visit La Jolla  on the way

Tuesday July 16th;

–        San   Diego Zoo

–        OldTown

Wednesday July 17th:

–        relax at the hotel

Thursday July 18th:

– Fly Home!

So this is our first official post. I am new to the blog thing so I hope this gets better as we traverse the country.  We look forward to your comments and hope that you get a taste of our experience through this internet journal.