Back to Texas via Madison Milwaukee and Chicago

After visiting the family in Wisconsin for Christmas, it was time to head back down to Texas. The nice thing about having the car is it allowed me to show Victoria a good part of the country she hasn’t seen. We decided we would drive through Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago and then the rest of the way down.

Our first stop was Madison. I decided to show Victoria where I went to college. I gave her the full 5 minute tour of the campus.

Our next stop was Woodman’s, the massive grocery store. We got to see how the store may have been massive, but the beer prices weren’t.

One of my favorite sub shops is Cousins. This is what we had for supper. Victoria wanted cheese curds and, lo and behold, you could get a side of cheese curds. After eating, we drove around a little more and I rolled over a quarter million miles in my Focus.

I decided to redeem some more La Quinta points. There is one La Quinta in Madison and it is right across the road from Herzing. We actually got upgraded to a one bedroom suite and also got the choose our Elite snacks instead of getting a bag. It was definitely the best room I’ve had so far and the best Elite snack.

The next morning, you could definitely see the snow on the ground.

The breakfast didn’t have bacon and eggs like a lot of La Quintas, but they did have a huge milk machine and a bunch of cottage cheese to add to the regional variety.

After breakfast, we drove around a bit to see the lakes and get close to the capitol.

We parked downtown and walked over to the capitol building for a quick tour (like I did last time). You could tell some people weren’t too fond of the governor.

We made our way into the capitol building and did a little tour. The observatory was closed, but we were able to see a lot of stuff.

After the capitol building, we continued our walk downtown and checked out historical Madison, and also the lakes.

Soon, we were back in the car and off to Milwaukee. We only got out to view Lake Michigan.

After Milwaukee, we headed in the direction of Chicago. We passed by the Cheese Castle.

We stopped in Kenosha to get some dinner. I didn’t see the Happy Day’s gang there though.

After eating, we were on our way to Chicago. We wanted to go to Millennium Park and Navy Pier, but it was absolute chaos. I swear it was utter chaos with not so well-marked lanes and people all over the place. There were people constantly cutting each other off and constantly honking horns.

We had to wait through multiple lights of not moving at all, because the traffic was that bad. There were busses stopped in the middle of the intersection waiting for the lane they were turning into the clear enough so they could get out of the intersection. With this amount of chaos, we decided to keep driving, since it would have probably taken an hour to circle around the block and maybe find an open parking garage.

We made it out of Chicago and then decided to settle for the night in Springfield, Illinois. I guess we stayed in 2 capital cities in a row.

This La Quinta was the first one that had fried eggs. It was a good change compared to what I have been eating at other La Quintas.

After breakfast, we were on the road again through the flat lands of Illinois. We passed up Country Classic Cars and eventually made it to St. Louis. We decided to keep driving through St. Louis and right by The Arch.

We drove through the scenic Ozarks region and made it to Marshfield, Missouri. We stopped for some Taco Bell for lunch.

After even more driving, the sun started setting. We made it to McAlester, Oklahoma, where we spent New Years Eve. We got a 6 pack of Smirnoff and had a quiet night. It definitely was much different than last year, when I ended up in the emergency room. On a positive note, I didn’t have any injuries that would hamper my travels.

The next morning, we hit the road again. On the way back, it was foggy and the clouds looked threatening at times.

Eventually, we made it to Texas and everything started to clear up.

One thing that didn’t seem to clear up was the other side of traffic in the same spot we got caught up in on the way up. Lucky it wasn’t too bad heading southbound.

We made it back in one piece and had a day and a half to rest. We watched the Packer game and I also got all the salt off my car…

…as well as shaved most of the hair from my head.

The final morning of our vacation, we kicked it off with some breakfast Taco’s at Torchy’s.

It was definitely good to be off the road, but it sucked knowing we’d be returning to the daily grind soon enough. I think I might take it easy a while and explore Austin a little more, as well as work on a few things I want to work on. I know I have a few more travels for work coming up, so it won’t be like I’m not doing any traveling in the near future. Stay tuned for more adventures!

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