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Thursday, August 21
Day 1 - almost midnight
Howard Johnson
Lansing, Illinois

It's been a long day. The 8 hours of driving to Chicago was easy compared to driving in and around the city. I need to get rest, and I hardly have the interest to explain all the details. We got a room at a low-end, sleazy (but cheap) Howard Johnson. It's pretty filthy, but didn't cost much. After securing the room, technically in Lansing, Illinois, we drove into the city of Chicago proper, right into the heart of it. Eating at the original Uno's was pretty cool - definite bragging rights there - but it's not any better than any other (real) Uno's I've eaten at. It was cool to sit outside at a table in front of the restaurant, as the city of Chicago hustles and bustles around you. We had to wait less than an hour for the table, too. I wanted to order a Chicago Classic, but they didn't have that (!), so I was persuaded to get the Numero Uno, which, minus the mushrooms and onions, was supposed to be similar. Except they forgot to take off the mushrooms - ugh. Getting a pizza was a big deal - you had to order before waiting for a table, just so it would be ready on time, so I had to suck it up. I got a cool chocolatey banana drink for dessert - it was called a Chocolate Monkey, but other than that, I couldn't confirm any more similarities to the Dumb Monkey of past/lore.

Too much details, must sleep now. Entries from now to BM will probably be dull, but I'm glad the road is as simple as following I-80 the rest of the way - no more big city driving madness.

P.S. Being in Chicago made me realize, to my surprise, how many big cities I've actually walked and/or driven through - including New York City, Toronto, San Francisco, and Tokyo! Who knew?