On our way

On our way

Our road trip proper won’t begin until the whole gang is here on Wednesday, when Mary arrives.  Till then, my Hero and I are just limbering up, getting into the (time) zone and looking forward to the main event!

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We got off to a flying start last night, when we met Edward for dinner at Launceston Place, where the Gin and Tonics were spectacular.  Sadly, Amy was feeling poorly and decided an early night was the sensible option, bearing in mind that it wasn’t long till Monday morning.  Such a shame she couldn’t enjoy the fun and contribute to the conversation in these politically turbulent times!


As usual, we were spending the night at the Sofitel at Terminal 5, dropping off our car in what always seems to be the windiest spot in the land.  Perched on top of a hill with wide open space all around, I guess it’s ideal for an airport, but for those who work here, it’s always exceptionally breezy.


The travelling companions found the whole experience exhausting!


Fortunately, it wasn’t too early a start and though our flight was a little late as a result of a strong head wind, it was trouble free and comfortable.  We also had the added advantage of our new Global Entry status, so breezed through immigration in no time at all, collected our bags and were on the shuttle to the rental car lot within an hour of landing.


Whilst I sat with the bags, my hero negotiated the challenge of the Avis office, where a new software system was causing a few problems.


“Our” vehicle was waiting for us in space L33, which was fine – except someone else was sitting in it when we got there!  Since we both had the registration document showing the same vehicle, I stood with the luggage a little longer, whilst the Avis staff managed a new challenge - one vehicle, two contracts.

Winking smile

The answer was across the way.  Our Dodge Grand Caravan was in J22 it seemed, so we left the red car with the other driver and familiarised ourselves with the identical grey vehicle in the next row.  Whilst my hero made the necessary adjustments and fitted our own great satnav, I walked around taking photographs of a few small dings and, most important of all, the numberplate


Soon we were in downtown Chicago and already spotting things we’d like to see/do.


Our hotel of choice in Chicago is the Sofitel as well.  This will be our fifth time here and for these couple of days “warm up”, we’d booked a standard room; good enough for the two of us.


A little surprise then, on opening the door fully to find ourselves upgraded to a rather large suite – how nice to find our loyalty recognised!


Someone was very excited indeed.


Chicago and the mid-west generally is enjoying a bit of a heatwave right now, so we lost no time in getting ourselves together and out there in the fresh air.

It’s so good to be back!


Dinner was  bit of a no brainer – it had to be a Giordano’s pizza.


Since we were last here a couple of years ago though, they’ve expanded/remodeled and the place is bigger and better.  We sat straight down – no waiting – with a pitcher of beer and ordered our pizza.


We needed no reminder of how filling these pizzas are and knew we’d struggle to finish even the smallest on offer.  Forty minutes later, the freshly made “small” pizza arrived and the challenge began.


Winking smile

More of a pie than a pizza, there must be at least a pound of mozzarella in there, not to mention all the rest.  We reminisced as we worked our way through it too, for our first encounter with such a pizza was in Florida, with two small boys (Edward and his friend Seb) and my parents on one of our fun birthday jollies.  There was (still is?  I don’t know) a Giordano’s near the house we rented and it was a favourite supper location, involving pizza eating challenges and boys with seemingly hollow legs


No such appetites here sadly and we admitted defeat leaving a pile of crusts behind!  It was definitely rather more of a stagger back to the hotel then, at the end of what’s been quite a long day.

I think we will sleep well tonight, for sure.

Are we having fun yet?

Are we having fun yet?

A creature of habit

A creature of habit