Driving Over Flyover Country

We said goodbye to Niagara Falls and headed out through Buffalo and points westward. Today is a driving day but we didn’t realize how much driving! 14 hours worth – whew! But first Buffalo. When Lisa things of Buffalo, she thinks of blizzards and the Bills. This town is definitely prepared for cold, frigid weather. The downtown area is also old, rusted and beat up. The brick homes are dilapidated and the old factories are empty. Those factories and power plants that are still working spew out steam and smoke for rusted chimneys, reminded us of those old 1970’s ecology films we saw in school.

Once we were out of the downtown section of Buffalo, we headed into farm country. We got breakfast at a great family-run place in Hamburg, NY called Savory’s. The menu was huge and the specials written all over the walls would have us eating something new every day for a year! We were powered up for a day of driving.

We flew through the rest of New York, a small section of Pennsylvania, the tops of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois where we came to a complete stop in Chicago rush hour and construction traffic. Since Jim loves big cities and traffic, it was a good thing Lisa was driving!

Once we finally got through Chicago, we were hungry and in dire need of a restroom! Remembering her trip here with Katie, Lisa wanted deep dish Chicago pizza. We found Nick’s Pizza and Pub in the western suburb of Elgin. Great place, great people, great pizza, though it wasn’t deep dish. They say their thin crust is the TRUE Chicago style. Hmmmm, sounds like a story to us!

Can we take a moment to talk about tolls? OMG! The northeast will nickle-and-dime you to death around here. You’ll slowly bleed until you go into shock. Bridges, tollways, even the Interstates, like I-90. It all adds up. For example, it cost $12.85 to cross Ohio, another $8 to cross a sliver of Pennsylvania, $5 for the Chicago Skyway bridge. All cash. Be prepared with cash if you drive through here.

We made it to Madison, WI, and upon researching, we found that there is a baseball game in Milwaukee tomorrow night (Cubs vs. Brewers). So we got tickets and what is there to do during the day? Why, go on a brewery tour (or two!). It feels good to stay put for a bit, get some rest, do some laundry. Then we’ll start heading west again.

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