Saturday, July 16, 2011

On the Road Again

Chicago is a nice town. The traffic is lousy getting into the city, but once there it's very walkable. The Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown is accessible to everything a tourist might want, and if it's not walkable, rent a bike from the Navy Pier (or where ever else they are) and bike around. Everyone's doing it.

It's roughly 5 hours from Columbus to Chicago via Indianapolis. Guess what they have in Columbus? The Blue Jackets. We stayed longer than planned for a mall store to open at noon so Ian could purchase a Blue Jackets T. Guess what, we also walked around downtown Chicago to purchase a Blackhawks T for Ian. This is what we're reduced to. At least he was easily convinced he did not need jerseys for said teams.

We had a couple other stops on our way out of Columbus too. Ian heard about Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. With a few minutes to wait before it opened, we crossed the street to Java Jan Gourmet Coffee where we chatted with the proprietress Jan who was working alone on Sunday morning, made a wicked good mocha frappucino, and talked about the poor quality of Starbucks' products. It was nice to hear she's doing so well she's opening a second storefront somewhere else in the Columbus area. She sold chocolate covered coffee beans that were also quite tasty.

7/10/11: Coffee stop in Dublin, OH while waiting for the ice cream shop to open.

At 11 a.m. Jeni's opened.

7/10/11: Jeni's awesome ice cream shop, Dublin, Ohio

And splendid they were too. This shop is for those with an adventurous ice cream palate. I'm sure they have a delicious vanilla, I didn't notice. But the chocolate with cayenne? Awesome. And how about the cherry lambic? Better than awesome.

7/10/11: Some of Jeni's flavors

The shop itself is unimposing. White walls, little decoration, just fridge cases with some of the best flavored ice creams you'll ever have. Well worth the stop and the wait, the kids were disappointed we didn't visit again on our return trip. We packed up a pint of Cherry Lambic and a pint of Buckeye for later.

More driving.


7/10/11: Skyline Chili lunch stop in Ohio.

The kids weren't all the impressed. Are all Skylines kind of run down and shabby looking? And the food, well, I think Hard Times comes pretty close to the same. We can say we've been.

Wind farm.

7/10/11: Wind farm north of Indianapolis.

Eventually we made it to the Windy City. We all needed a stretch so the kids swam in the pool then dinner at Rainforest Cafe a block away. All in all a good day. The kids made it through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix before we parked, very little bickering went on over the 14 hour drive though Becca did complain quite a bit how uncomfortable she was. Made me wish we'd kept our Sequoia, though the gas guzzling would have been painful in its own way.

And of course they were happy to be in a hotel again. Little travelers they are, they were ready for a change of scenery from home.

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