From Wisconsin we moved down into the Chicago area. We made one trip into downtown Chicago and it was to the one thing I really wanted to see – Navy Pier. On previous trips, I had been to the Museum of Science and Industry and to the Aquarium, but I hadn’t been out on Navy Pier.
We endured all the road construction and the tolls to get downtown. I thought Michigan always had a lot of road construction. It was nothing compared with all the orange barrels around Chicago. Interstate 90 is being widened in both directions so there is massive work being done. But it doesn’t stop them from collecting the tolls even during the inconvenience of the construction. At one point a car close to us hit one of the orange barrels and it really popped as it wedged under his front bumper. Because of the sound, we were sure something had blown on our car, but we quickly saw it wasn’t us as the vehicle with the barrel under the bumper cut across our bow only suddenly to eject the barrel off the road and away he went.
The pier is massive. It sticks more than half a mile into Lake Michigan. It is called Navy Pier as during both World Wars it served as a US Navy installation. One of the things we looked forward to seeing on the Pier was the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows. They claim it is the only museum solely dedicated to stained glass windows; many of which were rescued from the wrecking ball from Chicago-area churches and other buildings.
We had a late lunch at the Harry Caray’s restaurant on the Pier. If you don’t know Harry, he was one of the most famous baseball radio and TV announcers of all time. He was on the air for over 50 years with the Cardinals, Athletics, White Sox and Cubs. There are a series of Chicago area eateries that still carry his name more than 15 years after his death.
It was a windy day out on Chicago’s most visited tourist attraction. Storms were predicted and we had put down our awnings and even pulled in our slideouts at the campground before we headed into the city. As the skies were darkening, we left the Pier and made the trek back. We parked in a garage on the Pier. Although we were only there for a very few hours, you still pay the full 24-hour rate of $25. Coupled with the tolls and a “celebrity” restaurant, it made for an expensive short trip but we enjoyed it just the same.