PrologueWhat we are doing, and why we're doing it!
Chicago has a skeleton of steel. It's visible in the numerous bridges, in the elevated tramways, and in the numerous skyscrapers. Most of it is 'old school' with massive plates and girders held together by hand forged rivets. It's a style of construction rarely seen in the western states.
Chicago is also the first 'East Coast' style city we have visited in our travels. Entire neighborhoods of 4 and 5 story brick buildings stand shoulder to shoulder. Small shops and restaurants line the boulevards. Parking space for cars is precious. Parking space for motor homes is virtually non-existent.
The rivers of people that crowd the downtown core also seem different than folks out west. Waves of suits and business dresses rush from skyscrapers with nary a blue jean in site. Since the temperature hovered in the low 90s the working folk were slightly more casual due to lighter fabrics. Had it been cooler, styles probably would have been even more formal than we saw. Needless to say, the closer you got to the lake and the parks along it the briefer the clothes became.
We took a city bus tour, which was a good way to get an overview of the downtown area. Much of the tour turned out to be a review of the downtown architecture. We saw the Sears Tower (the tallest building in the US) and the tallest un-reinforced brick building. We saw cylindrical skyscrapers, and an office building that had no corner offices (to prevent fist fights among the executives). No, we didn't go see a taping of the Oprah show as it was on summer hiatus. But we did see where Oprah lived in a neat historical area of downtown.
After the bus tour, it was time to explore on foot. We joined the throngs of people to work our way back to the motor home. A mild shower turned into a full rain so (when in Rome, do as the Romans do), we hailed a taxi to take us back to the RV.
The drive out of the city reinforced our feeling that the toll roads all around Chicago are annoying. The conditition of all of the toll roads that we drove on was atrocious. Having to pay to drive on crappy roads adds insult to injury. Where does the toll money go?
Traffic on all of the highways in and out of the city was usually busy, day or night. We took advantage of the slighter lighter evening traffic and headed out of the state toward Detroit.