Chicago – Heading for snow – beating the blizzard

Chicago Illinois USA 

– Heading for snow – beating the blizzard

We had a bit of a rough time finding accommodation last night. We find nearly all the motels are “Closed for the Season”. We finally find one, but it has no wifi.  This repeats itself! We find another one but it is expensive. The heated pool is not hot, and there is no breakfast included.

I don’t mind paying a bit more if it has extras like breakfast and coffee, though I do carry supplies for the more budget places accommodations we find. We have actually changed states 3 times in an hour. One nice guy tells us where to find chain motels. Grrr – I am so over chain motels in the USA.

Anyway, we end up in New Buffalo. There is a nice motel with a small single story B grade one on the side. They seem to be managing it for the owner. We arrange a cash deal.

The nice lady loads us up with free hot chocolates – much to my son’s delight. She informs us to stay (literally across the car park), and that if we select the room opposite the main motel, WiFi will work perfectly well. Breakfast is not included but she tells us to come and use the coffee etc in the main foyer. For $50 it is actually a lovely warm room (dodgy door lock) and has a kitchenette area and bathroom. Main thing is that it is clean.
It is starting to rain hard. We head across the road to Jimmy’s Bar and Grille where wine is half price on Wednesdays – yeah! There is a lovely fireplace and lounge chairs, where my son promptly parks himself with a soda and gets down to laying his iPod or DS.

I sit up at the bar and have a couple nice conversations with the locals. Everyone tells me I must leave early for Chicago. The snow storm is categorised as a blizzard. Schools and shops are closing for the day – yipes.

So we head off early and I jump on the internet. A myriad of Facebook messages are there from concerned friends in America. I decide to take the hire car back a day early. I actually never book hotels online as I have had such a bad run in the past. However, I find a super special offer at the nick of time. I better get there fast.

Next morning, I am up at 5:30 a.m. I come to realise that we have gained 1 hour since we are sitting on the border. So it is actually 4:30 a.m. The fog and weather is pretty bad by the time we head off.

I have to drive two hours past Chicago to drop off the car. My friends will be picking us up from there the next day. We end up with a fab deal at the Radisson. It is a lovely huge room. As the snow starts to fall, my son lies in bed watching both the snow and TV. He hops up occasionally for a little ‘snow dance’ of excitement.
We sort out the room and are immediately in, managing to unpack before lunch-time. The hotel runs a free shuttle to the airport. So we can drop the car back there, and get a ride. It all works out perfectly. It has a lovely indoor heated pool and whirlpool. It is nice to relax in for the afternoon. The rental car company gives me a free day rental, so I decide we will have a nice dinner.

Tomorrow we are off to spend Christmas with my friends. I was her bridesmaid over 25 years ago in Canada. We have reconnected on Facebook. It is going to be lovely to have a white Christmas there. I am probably going to take a few days off blogging while I am with them.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to all my blog readers. Thanks for your support and encouragements.
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