After we left our friends behind, we waited in boarder traffic for about 2 hours. Then we had the misfortune to drive on that toll road around Chicago. Bumpy, trafficy and expensive, we were not happy campers at all. We’d hoped to see more farms and barns or even actually see the city. Instead it was just a long line of cars.
We ended up driving longer than we meant too, and it got dark. We were hungry, tired and grouchy. Now, everyone knows that I am probably one of the world’s stingiest people. While I don’t enjoy sleeping in nature, the idea that it could be free or cheap, and especially the idea of walmart camping (which is totally a thing) appealed to my cheapness. Not so much to Chris. He wanted a motel, but a cheap one. You can see where this is headed.
We spent the night in one of the nastiest places I’ve ever seen. There was this STI ridden chair in the corner, the air con was pumping tobacco smell inside and there wasn’t a single bit of a carpet that wasn’t stained. I wish I had taken photos, but I was too angry. I made a few jokes about us getting raped in the middle of the night, but that didn’t go down well. We ate pitas that I made in a sort of grouchy silence. I was worried about bed bugs, lice and every other nasty thing I could contract, but I have yet to notice anything…but who knows? When we woke up the next day, we both reeked of cigarettes. (Not that I mind smoking THAT much, but its the nasty stale smell…you know the one I mean)
We got up very early and left. But not before the hotel manager hit on me while I was returning the key. Also…apparently I have a cute accent.
More and more driving, and we went off the highway this time telling the navi to take us on funky smaller roads even though it took a bit longer. Maybe because it was such a big contrast to the previous day, I fell in love with Wisconsin. It was so cool. Little old towns that looked full of vibrant communities, boutiques (sure there was only like 3 boutiques per tiny town, but I loved it).
And then, I couldn’t believe our luck. We were passing a little pilgrimage site!
We stopped and walked around, stretching our legs. It was beautiful there.
Also….CORN was becoming an ever present theme of the drive.
We stopped nearby, and got a super discount deal hotel with those vouchers from the high way rest stops (Yes, we would dip onto the high way every time we changed states so that we could grab a map and a voucher–I told you we are cheap).
Hands down the best hotel ever, and amazing local beer to keep Chris happy.