Dad's Route 66 Blog

Discovering Normal Rockwell's America

Route 66 — Chicago to Springfield

Written By: trevixan - Jul• 05•11

Finally, this is the day we embark on Route 66. However, before we do, there’s something I said I would do. One of the reasons I (we) are in Chicago this time of year is because of the Taste of Chicago. This is an event that happens every year. Think of our Festival of the Arts, but with food, food, food, and no crafts. There is music and, did I mention, food.

And when at The Taste .. well .. you taste! The nice thing about the Taste of Chicago is you can get half portions. So, that’s what we did. The first one is a Steak Jibarito Sandwich from Sabor Latino Restaurant. It was pretty good.

Next is an Italian Sausage sandwich.

The third taste was from here.

That’s right, it’s Latin Indian fusion. I had the Chicken kabob with potato, tomatillo, and onion. It, too, was good. I didn’t see the tomatillo, I guess Trevor had that on his half. I managed to eat it before I remembered to take a photo, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

There were a lot of other places to eat as well. I won’t show them all, but I will show you this one.

Ok .. so the Taste is located in Grant Park. Do you know what else is located there? 10 points to the first one who can tell me where they’ve seen this before.

Click on the link for an intro into Route 66. If you’re using Internet Explorer it should open up the Media Player. If you’re using Firefox, right mouse click and select Open in a new tab. That way you can continue reading to the music.

Bing Crosby & Andrews Sister — Route 66

So .. if you’re listening the to music, and what I’ve maintained, Route 66 runs from Chicago to LA and NOT the other way around! :O)

We followed turn-by-turn directions from a web site I found. It is surprisingly accurate. So, there’s not much to see in the Chicago area. What’s nice is that the state of Illinois has signs up that show which way to go. Makes things quite a bit easier. But, like I said, not much to see until you get way outside Chicago. That’s when the gems start. Here’s the first one.

This picture is from Joliet, IL. We drove right through Romeoville in order to get to Joliet. Now these two cities weren’t always named Romeoville and Joliet. They used to be Romeo and Juliet. You know .. from Shakespeare fame. As story goes, Juliet changed her name to Joliet and a jilted Romeo then changed to Romeoville. I find it interesting, in a strange way, that Joliet road rips right through the heart of Romeoville. Just like a woman .. huh? :O)

We stopped in Wilmington for a bit to eat at the Launching Pad.

They had really cool tables.

We both had the Italian Beef. It didn’t have the jardiniere, but it was still good. A bit soggy on the bottom and salty, just the way I like it.

In Gardner, IL, I made a wrong turn and ended up at a cool little spot. Here are a couple of pictures.

This is a two-cell jail. Let’s take a look inside.

Oh my! How’d he get in there?!? After I broke him out, we went on our way back to Route 66.

In Dwight I saw this sign that made me turn.

It was attached to …

Behind all of this was another building. Any guesses as to what it is?

A little ways down the road, we came across this.

This place, evidently, has earned praise for its architectural design. Trevor says it looks like a couple of freight cars stacked together. Anyway, it shut down a little over two years ago and is for sale, building and land, for the low price of $149,900. Wonder why it couldn’t make a go of it. Right across the street is an official Route 66 attraction. So, of course, I had to take a few shots.

What was their slogan? “You can trust your car to the man with the star“? Something like that.

Then we enter Odell. There’s another gas station there. Boy, they sure do love restoring old gas stations.

Now, there have been several realignments to Route 66 over the years. Ever wonder what they did with the old roadway? Well, we were traveling right next to an older one. I don’t know how many realignments there have been, but I found it oddly fascinating driving next to an older roadway.

At this point we detoured off Route 66 and went the Clinton, IL. I wanted to eat at Ted’s Garage. But when we got there, it was closed. Too bad, I was looking forward to it. So, we headed straight for Springfield. We arrived a little late, so just checked in.

Next is our trip around Springfield. See you then.

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  1. Retha says:

    Well, now that you two are on the “Mother Road” as it was affectionately called for many decades, your trip really begins. However, “Taste of Chicago” was a worthy stop. The food looked good. Did they also have a stand for “Tums” and “Alka-seltzer” products? Those pictures you took of the food looks like heartburn city to me! Great pics of the architecture along the way, especially of the quaint gas stations. That’s interesting they restore them like that. Also route 66 has been re-routed a few times and realiagned. By the way, Nat King Cole sang a better and more widely popular version of Route 66. I do love the Andrew Sisters, but Nat King Cole’s version was the best. Listen for yourself. I hope you two can visit Abraham Lincoln’s house while you are in Springfield. It’s very nice and modest. I think it could fit in nicely in today’s world. I do believe it is their bicentennial celebration of Lincoln. There should be signs or something up to indicate what gems of history are related to Lincoln around town. Have fun you two! Retha

  2. ingrid says:

    Hi, you two Weltenbummler,

    Loved all your travels so far. Enjoyed the foot tapping
    Route 66-song. Lots of memories, (from more than 50 years

  3. Annette Thorsen says:

    The music was very nice to listen to while looking at the blog! Great addition dear. Is that a new hat I saw Trevor sporting while in jail? Good idea to have one as you travel south and into the heat. I was amazed how quickly nature has begun the process of reclaiming the old route 66 you took a picture of. Asphalt, and already you can see inroads of of grass lines. Finally, thanks for the kefir picture. I hope you and Trevor had one or at least shared it.

  4. Connie Wyatt says:

    Enjoyed this blog entry very much, and especially for your adding a bit of music to the experience! Your camera is doing a great job of capturing the food shots! I’m with Retha, and think all that food in one day is a great case of heartburn coming on! Perhaps not, due to all the walking you two are doing.

    I especially loved the pics of the gas stations…it’s hard to remember what they looked like, so I am glad that they are restored and can serve to jog our memory of times past. I recall that as the kid in the back seat of the car, pulling into these stations and Mom asking the attendant to put a dollar’s worth into the tank! For that dollar, you got your radiator checked, tires checked, and your windows washed! Oh, there were also green or blue chip stamps given to you with your receipt! Anyway, with today’s gas prices, that dollar might only get you to the end of the block! LOL!


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