Omaha to Chicago
While we enjoyed our surprisingly fantastic time in Omaha, we were exceedingly excited for our next stop on the road trip: Chicago. Iowa flies by us, a combination of fallow farms, low hills, and red barns darting the landscape. Coulton: "Iowa. The best thing about it: it's not Nebraska."
A small goat farm next to a rest stop in Iowa.
We drive right along through Iowa and find ourselves in Illinois, the land of Lincoln.
As the traffic increases and we see suburban cities, we know we are returning soon to civilization. We see the Chicago city skyline peek up from beyond the horizon.
We grabbed a couple coffees before heading to our airbnb, a lovely apartment in Wicker Park we had booked two nights before. Our hosts were a friendly Swedish couple, Hampus and Maggie. Maggie listed some highlights we should see during our brief stay in Chicago, and as soon as we unloaded the car, we went to explore.
We climbed down into the train station at Wicker Park, hopped on the blue line to Washington station, and snapped some selfies on our way downtown.
We emerged into the bustling and screeching of downtown Chicago and looked around in awe at the brick and steel of the Windy City.
The sun is sinking downward and we make our way to Millennium Park before the daylight escapes us completely.
We walk through the financial district, hugging close to stave off the cold night breeze, and find our way to Willis tower, the tallest building in the U.S. until One World Trade Center.
We purchase tickets and rocket up to the top of the building, our ears popping in the elevator along the way.
We step onto "the ledge," an acrylic box adjoining the building. We peer down through the clear bottom and see the street 103 stories below our feet.
Our next stop is Giordano's for some much anticipated Chicago deep dish pizza. I have a Goose Island beer to accompany my slice. It is delicious!
Our final stop for the night is a bar called The Violet Hour, back in Wicker Park. We walk back and forth in front of the entrance for a good five minutes before realizing that the tall, unmarked, purple-painted wooden door is the opening to the bar. We step inside, and find it unlike any other bar we've been to. We sit clustered around an intimate, candle lit table; there is no standing room in the entire bar, and the beautiful cocktail list offers up well crafted and interesting drinks. We order a couple of them and argue for nearly an hour about how we are not getting ceiling-high, tall-backed conversation piece chairs for our new apartment, although they are a really cool feature of the Violet Hour.
The next morning, we enjoy some bagels on the patio of the apartment before going to our last Chicago stop, Intelligentsia Coffee.
After our coffee, we load up the car and take off for our penultimate stop, Coulton's hometown, Fombell, Pennsylvania. As we drive away from the city, we talk about our experience. We know we'll be back again someday to visit Chicago, and muse about possibly even living here someday.
But for now, we continue our journey across the country along our last driven stretch, from Chicago to Fombell, where we will catch our breath for a couple days before we end at our new home in Brooklyn.