Wherefore art thou, Joliet?

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Saturday.  CHICAGO – JOLIET -PONTIAC – ST LOUIS.

 

8:00am wake up in Chicago.  Showered and ship shape we headed over to Lou Mitchell’s restaurant for what had been touted to be a REAL deal restaurant near the start of the Mother Road.  Lou Mitchell’s delivered.  Breakfast was great.  IMG_4012KiKi, Yvette and “the doughnut lady” pulled out all the stops.  Julie’s son, Jordan, and Patty’s friend Jesse (actually the daughter of a childhood friend of Patty’s) met us for breakfast.  We were greeted at the door by The Doughnut Lady who profers doughnuts all day by the tongful.  Milkduds are handed out immediately afterwards…and then you may be seated.  The doughnut lady wears Chicago Cubs earrings. We have deep feelings for her obviously.  The doughnuts were AMAZING.

Yvette and Kiki were our servers, but now are friends.  They loved our story and shared in our enthusiasm.  And trust me, Yvette is a HOOT.  Yvette told us she “just loves ELLEN!”   Her hands were on her hips and her pen was tucked over an ear.  Her body language is sass for miles.  You would love her Ellen.  She wants to go on the your show, and she wants to play a game with you because “I’m a super duper competitive person, but in a nice way!”

IMG_4018

Jane chatted with some folks at a table nearby who asked about our matching shirts.  Matching shirts is, apparently, the biggest icebreaker you can have in this life.  The folks were a couple from Ireland, and of course, became our friends.  They too will be tackling Route 66 but start their trip tomorrow…oh, and they gave us a donation of $50 within minutes of meeting us because they thought we must have a cause…and the wife was a cancer survivor…and that’s just how it’s been.

Next stop.  The Chicago BEAN.  It’s called the Cloud Gate but someone needs to tell the guy who named it that it’s just a beautiful jelly bean.  There should be more sculptures in the world shaped like candy.

Continuing on the topic of candy, for some reason the milkduds we’d had earlier at Lou Mitchell’s struck us later as hilariously funny as we drove our first miles, and now we can’t recycle our funny joke often enough, “DUUUUUUUDE, want a DUD?”  Say that forty or fifty times and I guarantee it’ll become hilarious even to you!

We touched the sign.  We began Route 66 today.  Just 2,448 miles to go.

IMG_4068

We drove first to Joliet, Illinois and stopped at the Joliet Area Historical Museum because Debyjo Ericksen was kind enough to reach out to us on social media, and quite frankly, we couldn’t believe it.  She wanted to meet US.  She wanted to give US a tour.  Later she shared a quote from her father that has stayed with her, “Travel is the only thing you buy in life that makes you richer.”

You may know that Joliet is the home of two prisons.  And famously the Blues Brothers got their “start” here.  Debyjo is awfully nice too.

We clambered back in the car to begin again…with a quick stop at the Gemini Giant who lives in Wilmington, IL.  Stand in line to get a picture with a green guy with a helmet?  Sure.

Next stop Pontiac, Illinois.  This home of the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum is where we met another new friend, Ellie Alexander, the Director of Tourism for Pontiac Illinois, and a fun chick in her own right.

Unfortunately word about the Sixty Sixtahs had reached Pontiac as well…we found some troublesome posters on the walls in the museum…but also some really neat memorabilia

IMG_4136 2.JPG

our reward for good behavior was a photo in front of this gorgeous Route 66 mural…

FullSizeRender 7

Ellie sent us off on our way two hours later having given us gifts, lunch and a lovely time with the town’s mayor.   Mayor Bob joined us and chatted about Route 66 lore, life in Illinois, and about Patty’s health battle with a knowing twinkle in his eye… he has two sisters of his own who are battling cancer.

FullSizeRender 5.jpg

It may be obvious to most, but usually a Mayor is the best behaved person in every photo.  Here Mayor Bob gives Patty two thumbs up.  And we give Pontiac five stars out of five!  We like to think we left a mark in Pontiac…even if only on the chalkboard..

IMG_4130 2

On the road again, and with an embarrassingly low number of miles under our belts, and with those same belts still tight from lunch, we decided a stop at the Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield.  It just made sense.  Food to go.

Because how can you pass up the ACTUAL place where corndogs originated…well, they call ’em cozy dogs…but here is the poster that gives definitive evidence that the first corn dog was birthed in Springfield, Illinois

Off to THE ARCH in St. Louis.  And somehow now we thought we were going to be late!  We had an 8:30 tour, all went well, and we were soon looking from the windows at the top of the arch!  IMG_4175

Some kind friends of Patty’s met us at the arch and walked and talked and shared time with us…

And we dragged ourselves to our hotel after a long long day…only to find some more trail magic.  Somehow the Hyatt in St. Louis had heard about us…

The staff of the entire hotel signed a “Welcome to Missouri” Banner and left us treats to help us dream of sugar plums and gum drops…

IMG_4192

All we can do is raise a glass and thank you each and every one.  Patty called the front desk to thank everyone, and the staff finally connected her with someone who may have been instrumental.  His life was touched by cancer recently too…

We had a lovely party in Patty’s room with red wine and chocolate, and got to know her friend Cathy Finch who drove in from Evansville, Indiana to spend some time with us…and brought her darling parents who will be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this year.

Tomorrow we leave Missouri and hit part of Kansas on our way to Oklahoma.

 

Corn Dog Shenannigans (Outtakes from Cozy Dog)

And an update on Sparky:  Patty T has made some additions, and she’s turning into a SWEET RIDE!

 

We sang along to KC and the Sunshine Band KC today…

“Girl, to be with you is my favorite thing, yeah
And I can’t wait ’til I see you again, yeah, yeah

I wanna put on my, my, my, my, my
Boogie shoes, just to boogie with you, yeah
I wanna put on my, my, my, my, my
Boogie shoes just to boogie with you!

 

Patty said today:  “I just tell everyone at the hospital that they must have the wrong patient chart.  I’m not the girl that has that disease.  I’m happy to have the treatments, but some old man is walking around, and he’s the guy that has the disease.”

 

 

22 Comments Add yours

  1. rah1129 says:

    Good morning! It looks like all of you are having a fabulous time! I knew you were someone pretty special from the first day I met you Patty! It looks like you’re touching so many lives on your journey and I’m so glad I’m on this journey with you! May God continue to bless all of you with safe travels!

    Much love & prayers,

    Rachel 💜

    Liked by 3 people

    1. She sure is someone special! Thanks for following along!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It was my great pleasure to meet all of the wonderful Sixty Sixtahs!!! You gals are going to have so much fun together and make this a memorable Route 66 adventure by sharing with each other! Patty enjoy all of the sites along the Mother Road and make lots of awesome memories!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. vickimary says:

    🌟🌟❤️🌟🌟🌟 I loved every minute of your day!!! Sooo exciting! You sure saw/experienced a lot so far, too! I am honored to be following your trip vicariously! I want to travel Route 66 now, too! And, a real cure for cancer for all is in our prayers!!! ❤️🌹❤️😘😘😘

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So with ya on the CURE FOR CANCER thing! Thanks so much VM!

      Like

  4. Nanette Wendel says:

    Glad to see St Louis treated you right with some gooey butter cake! Very St Louis! Route 66 is right in my backyard. Enjoy the journey! (Moved to St Louis 2 years ago from Bradenton where I lived for 18 years)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nanette! So great to hear from you! The Ooey Gooey butter cake was FABULOUS! Thanks for following along!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Momma Betty says:

    Your memories are going to be so full of fabulous images and new friends. Take lots of pictures (you are). It’s exciting to be traveling with you and we’re still in Bradenton😉😘😘😘😘😘😘

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We love you Momma B! Hope your birthday was fabulous!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. we look forward to your comments momma B and especially the SIX kisses!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sal Santoro says:

    So glad to see you are having a great time on The Mother Road — not that there was ever a doubt you would! It was such a pleasure meeting you all at the Shake Pit back in good ‘ol Bradenton. Your photos and stories bring back wonderful memories of the blast Bob Walton and I had on our “trip of a lifetime’ on Route 66 seven years ago. I hope “Route 66, The People-The Places-The Dream” has helped guide you along the way while giving you a glimpse of the joy we experienced on our journey, just as you six are on your adventure. Continue to enjoy a safe and FUN trip!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sal! great meeting you too! Thanks for following along!

      Like

  7. Rosanne Jones says:

    I LOVE reading your blogs and all about the fun you girls are having. I’m so happy for all of you. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers several times daily. Love to you all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much Roxie! You’re the best.

      Like

  8. Gwen Kedzierski says:

    I’m exhausted just reading your blog! I hope this trip is all you could dream it could be. Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Julie says:

    Good luck on your trip Ladies! We enjoyed having you stay with us at The Hyatt Regency St. Louis!

    P.S. I made your Route 66 Arch Amenity! Hope you enjoyed your Gooey Butter Cake!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We really heart you! You are the best! Thank you!!!

      Like

  10. jodynaeher says:

    Looks like u ladies are having a blast and it’s just begun… Safe travels!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hanks for tagging along!

      Like

  11. Lori Diamant says:

    Oh, my goodness! I’m having a blast just watching you guys! The stories are amazing! : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much, Lori…the people we have met have MADE this trip just AMAZINGLY SPECIAL.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s