Author Topic: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread  (Read 84368 times)

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Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #2700: September 21, 2020, 07:52:46 PM »
I really like these dispatches from places I've driven by on the Interstate and never bothered to stop at.  Makes me want to take like a year-long road trip. 
Well I've wrapped up my two-week "vacation" at my parents house in Chicago. Some highlights of things that I saw include:

  • Starved Rock State Park: about 90 mins outside of Chicago to the southwest, it's a bunch of cool rock formations along the Illinois river with trails that go through or over them.
  • Naperville, IL: Like 45 mins outside of Chicago, to the southwest. Growing up within the actual city of Chicago, I assumed all of Chicago's far western suburbs were just soulless bedroom communities filled with eerily similar McMansions and nothing else. This is true of most of them, but Naperville is different. It wasn't founded in the 1950's, it was founded in the 19th century. They have a historic village with old buildings from 19th century Illinois small towns, a beautiful downtown park system, etc. Worth a day trip from Chicago.
  • Woodstock, IL: Like an hour outside of Chicago, to the north and west. This is where the movie Groundhog Day was filmed and it looks just like the movie. We happened to go there on the day they had their farmers market. It is far enough from Chicago to be surrounded by farms, and we went berry picking afterwards which is much more fun than apple picking.
  • Joliet Prison: You know the prison from the Blues Brothers? It was closed in 2002 and can now be toured. Most of the tour is outdoors so it is COVID-safe. About 45 mins southwest of Chicago
  • Arboretums: Before COVID-19, I would never have been caught dead in an arboretum. A bunch of trees? Sounds BOOOOORING! But because we're not comfortable doing indoor things, I visited not one but TWO arboretums in the last two weeks. We went to Chicago's arboretum, which is actually about 45 mins southwest of Chicago, and then we also went to the arboretum in Rockford, IL about 90 mins west of Chicago. And...we actually had a good time at both! Arboretums can be appreciated on two levels. One, a place to learn about trees. Two, beautifully landscaped parks where admission fees keep out the riff-raff. IME #2 is actually where you get more mileage, in part because it is hard to put an educational sign on each and every tree. Now I'll have to visit the National Arboretum.

I'm staying at my parents house an extra week but I'm not classifying it as vacation since I will be working. I'm currently in my childhood bedroom, laying on the bed, with my work laptop open. I will take a conference call from here in about half an hour.

When will I take my next trip? Who the hell knows. I won't be traveling again until there is a vaccine. At that point I'm going to have a metric crap ton of Chase points and take one of the great vacations of all time.