Friday, April 8, 2011

What I Think About Illinois

and there's a lot!  Our Great Wolf Lodge stay at the Wisconsin Dells was amazing!  The trip there and back left a little to be desired!  I'll share all of the great deets about GW once I get the pics loaded on the computer, but tonight...Illinois gets it!

First I have to start with a positive...I always try to start with a positive before I say something really negative!  A year or so ago, Keith and I were talking about visiting Chicago and I was excited because I've never been, so I googled "Chicago Tourism." 

I was saying "oh look, we can do this...we can do that...etc"  Then, I saw it, in big bold letters..."PROUD HOME OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA" eeeeeeerrrrrkkkk (squealing tires in my mind!) 

"We are NOT going to Chicago!  Screw it, if they are his proud home, he can have them!"  And, I haven't looked at their site again, until tonight, as I was doing "research" for this posting.  Good news!  (Shocking too!)  They are no longer the proud owners of the president!  They don't even know the guy now!  He's not mentioned anywhere on their site!  No mention of Rahm Emanual either!  Or  Rod Blagojevich!  That place is a hot bed of strong political leaders!  (oops!  I meant to refrain until at least the next paragraph!)

Since I already started on my negativity (with humor, of course!)  I'll dive right in!  We got lost in Gary, Indiana and maybe got off on the wrong foot with Chicago.  I actually took video and made several comments to the kids about their fabulous refinery vacation!

As we drove farther and longer, I made the comment that I've seen horror flicks start like this...the unassuming suburban family, driving through the industrial ghetto, in their minivan...

Sounds like a scary movie setting, right!  Well, apparently I drove it home because Hadley wrote in her journal about her trip to Chicago and she wrote "I didn't know Chicago was so ghetto."  I may have given the wrong impression!  By the time we got to the sears tower, Hadley was humming Tupac! 
There were no "Welcome to Illinois" signs anywhere, not that I blame them!  They were probably all at the shop getting the "home of Pres. Obama"removed from them!

If all of that wasn't frustrating enough, the toll booths nearly put me over the edge!  OMG!  I have NEVER seen so many toll booths in my life!  argh!  Every few miles we had to cut across six lanes of traffic to get in the far right lane, (while needing to be driving in the far left lane) so we could pay toll!  $1.60 are you kidding me?!? 
Just in case you don't understand the toll booths, they offer help! 
Unfortunately, they didn't offer any info on $4/gallon gas, an air strike on Lybia, or a complete government shutdown, but they can tell you how to give them your first born for the privilege of driving on their 50 year old roads!

As if they are trying to soothe the savage beast a little, they have signs up all over the place that say they are resurfacing a 50 year old road.  Seems to me, they should have started on that mess a long time ago!  Are they also implying that the toll booths are strictly for the contribution to the resurfacing project?  Wouldn't it have been quicker to forgo the toll booth building and get right on the resurfacing project?  Cheaper too, I'd say!  Yes, thank you Chicago, this sign makes me feel all better about your crappy roadways!  Now, explain Obama!

So, something like $30.00 later we finally made it through, south to north and back, Illinois and we were headed home!  This trip was very enlightening and some major life decisions were made, thanks to Illinois!  Keith and I have now both agreed that we MUST retire somewhere southern!  We talked about Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.  Retirement, for us, will take place south of I10!  I know Indiana isn't technically southern, but it's a heck of a lot more southern than Illinois or Wisconsin!  And, they know how to welcome you! 
Hello Illinois and Wisconsin!  THIS is how you welcome people to your state!

One last snarky comment, and this one is for Greg!  As I was making every sarcastic remark I could possibly think of, I said "they don't have any signs up saying 'proud home of Obama in Chicago' wonder why?" and Keith says "they sent them all to Kenya!"  Holla! 


  1. Now, now Lisa, you know I LOVE me some Chicago!! I have a feeling you would love the city as well. You would love the beaches, the museums, the shopping....just the energy of the city is wonderful! So many cultures. I miss the authentic Mexican & Greek cuisine. That refinery I believe is in Indiana. I think it's horrible - they could use that coast line for beaches, beautiful hotels, etc.
    That being said, the tolls are RIDICULOUS! Every few years the news stations in Chicago do a segment on how much money the tolls make. I think it was something like 1 million (yes! 1 million) dollars PER DAY! And that was 7 or 8 years ago.
    Chicago politicians & the police are so corrupt it's insane. Plus, the cost of living is outrageous. I totally agree with the Welcome to Illinois thing. You have to go thru the 80/90 expressway to get a dinky little Welcome to Illinois sign. Nothing like Indiana's. Also, the people in IL continue to shock me when I visit. They are not know for their friendliness.
    If you can get past all that, :) you all should go & stay downtown sometime - take the girls to the American Girl store.

  2. I hate Illinois too! We got caught on one of those ignorant tolls. Cost me $225 for a $4 toll because Norm didn't see the sign that said you have to exit the road to pay the stupid toll and then get back on! How ignorant can they be. It's just a money maker for Illinois...they intend for people to be confused and miss them. Four months after we came home, they sent us a picture of my car and the bill. What a joke! More Chicago politics...could they be any more crooked? Rahm Emmanuel, Obama, Bill Ayers, Blagyovich...the list goes on aand on. They can have them all...I'm NOT going back!

  3. Very funny...and wouldn't you know that Paul is a HUGE Chicago Cubs fan...however, I have only seen them play in the great state of Missourri. :) Paul and his brother went to Wrigley one time, and though Paul remains loyal to his Cubbies...he would just as soon see the Arch again. ;)

    Love it!