Monday, April 10, 2006

Trip to Chicago - Full Day One - Monday

Well, getting to some places in one piece can be enough, but not so Chicago! Today we took advantage of a well rounded and cheap breakfast in the hotel itself. Eggs, meat, hash browns, and gravy. Along with milk, water and juice this provided plenty of fuel for our day out on the town.

Our first, and our car's only, was the Forest Park Metra stop. This is the termination point for the Blue Line. Paying to park was new to us, as you must pay before you locate a spot. However the upside is that parking was the cheapest I've seen anywhere. The day rate, or actually the 15hr rate was $3, payable in bills and/or coins. You simply place the recipt on your dash and proceed with your day.

Inside the station itself, we purchase enough on a transit card to allow the three of us to take the train to downtown and for a bus transfer. The train ride was interesting. Having not had the please of riding on Chicago's famous local rail, my son and wife were both surprised a bit at the speed, and sadly the bumpiness. We found the seats were about on par with those on the St. Louis metro both in size and comfort. :(

The train wasn't overly crowded to start but as we neared downtown Chicago, many more passengers boarded. That portion of the trip, though with many stops, progressed quickly and painlessly.

Getting off at Grand, we were able to climb a couple flights of stairs up to the street, where on the opposite side was the bus stop. I want to add at this point that we asked several very polite and helpful people for verification of directions and actual directions along the way and back to the hotel. :)

The bus arrived shortly to pick us up and we were quickly on our way to the pier. Passengers and driver alike were friendly and helpful. The driver made sure we got off at the correct stop along with a couple of other tourists.

And so we landed outside Navy Pier. This place really deserves it's own post, so it will be next.

Over and out for now...

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