Road Trip Day 18-19: The End of the Road

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I know this post has been a long time coming. Maybe, subconsciously, I didn't want to write it, as it truly marks the end of my summer travels. Or maybe I've just been too busy with grad school… But, regardless of the reason this post is being written so late, here it is at last — the very last installment in my 19-day road trip series.

Road Trip

From Nebraska, Melissa and I scooted on through Iowa, skirting miles and miles of cornfields and stopping at the “World's Largest Truck Stop” right before the Illinois border. Is it really the world's largest? Who knows. It certainly was interesting, though, in an incredibly random way. Not only did the huge truck stop sell all sorts of flashy lights and leather interiors perfect for “pimping” your semi, but also pillow pets, machetes, and just about everything else in between.

Iowa 80

From Iowa, it was on to Chicago. Both my sister and I have been to Chicago before, so we spent our first night there meeting up with a couple of my friends and gorging ourselves on macaroni and cheese and chicken tortilla soup from Feast. It was delicious.

The next day, being the last one of our trip, we headed down to Millennium Park for a bit since it was nice out and my sister had never been there before.

Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, "The Bean," Chicago

Millennium Park, Chicago

I've only been to Millennium Park in the dead of winter, so it was fun to see it so alive and bustling.

Millennium Park, Chicago

There were so many cute kids in adorable bathing suits screaming and having a blast that I could have easily stayed there all day.

But, after splashing around a bit in the fountains and grabbing lunch with another Chicago friend of mine, it was sadly time for us to bid the Windy City farewell. I really have no clue where the time went on this trip.

Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, "The Bean," Chicago

Unfortunately, no one warned us that “rush hour” in Chicago extends well into the afternoon. We spent two hours traversing about 30 miles on I-90 around the city. Oops. Good thing my car gets decent gas mileage…

Chicago

And now for the very last daily road trip video from this adventure.

If you, too, are considering a summer road trip across the U.S. sometime, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for plenty more road trip coverage, from road trip do's and don'ts to a Grand Canyon “smackdown” between the North and South rims.

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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14 Comments on “Road Trip Day 18-19: The End of the Road

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  1. I love Chicago, particularly the Millennium Park and that awesome bean thing 🙂 Great way to end your road trip!

    Beautiful photos, makes me want to visit Chicago.

      Chicago is a great city. I’m going back for my third visit this weekend!

    At least you have lots of memories! Isn’t the American West awesome? I could go there every year if I didn’t have so many places yet to visit!

    I’m in the process of doing my own daily write up for my California trip- I want to make them last as long as possible, trying to bridge the gap between excursions.

    I should have a pretty good idea if I’m going to New Zealand for all of April by around the first of January.

      The American West is indeed awesome. I already can’t wait to go back sometime! There’s so much to see out there; my sister and I barely even scratched the surface!

    Oh Chicago traffic. One of my fond memories from when the family and I drove into town back in 1995. 15 yrs+ later and I still remember the horror!

    Great ending to what looked like an awesome trip!!

      The traffic was terrible!! And the worst part was that there really wasn’t an alternate route for us to take. Ugh! But we made it.

      And yes, it was a good way to end a great trip! Still plenty to write about, too!

    I enjoyed following all the road trip posts. I can’t wait for more coverage. 🙂

      Thanks, Danielle! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed following along. And yes, I still have plenty more to write about!

    Love Chicago in the summertime! Such a fun place to be. Been stuck in its traffic too though… and that is NOT fun in the least.

      Yeah, traffic = not so fun. But the city itself in the summer? So fun! And the fountains at Millennium Park were a perfect way to beat the August heat, too.

    What a dream vacation you had! I didn’t though I will enjoy watching someone else travel and stuff but here I am, you last road trip. It as great and I want to do it one day! But I’ll start with Chicago, my favorite city of all time, who knows, maybe I’ll love Chicago so much I’ll stay there. lol

      Thanks so much for following along, Cristian. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed traveling vicariously through me and my sister. I really hope you get a chance to do a similar trip someday too!

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