Route 66 Day Two

June 13, 2009

Heathrow to Chicago

Got up early (too early) 05:40 to be precise. Got ready and then went outside to wait for the hoppa bus to take us back to the airport. We checked into our flight using the new automated check in facility of Virgin’s at terminal three, personally I don’t like them as it does not give me a chance to talk nicely to the person behind the desk in a hope of an upgrade (it worked once!!).

We go through passport control and it is the usual happy bunch who are working behind the desks, we went to a particular cheery fellow who when Sarah presented him with her boarding pass a mere six inches from his hands he said “bring it closer”. On my further inspection of his arms I could see no apparent disability, nor that they resemble that of a T-Rex with the inability to reach further than his chest, I can only put it down to another airport employee who loves his job (please read the sarcasm in that last line).

We head for our usual food haunt in T3, the French bistro in the corner and both had the cheese and ham omelette for breakfast, which was very nice and better than the usual breakfasts you get at airports.

It is not long before our flight is called and we head onto our flight bound for Chicago.

On board there is a guy travelling alone in the seat behind that starts talking to the girl next to him, he sounds like the love child of Ray Romano and Fozzy Bear and when the girl asks him what he did in the UK (he was American) his answer took over one hour and involved a myriad of stories including shooting guns in Wisconsin, is divorce, his messy bedroom, the Warbird airshows he helps out with, becoming friends with a guy that runs a folk lift truck company and drives a Mercedes, it was only after his complete life story he gave the answer of visiting the D-Day landing sites during the 65 anniversary.

After landing we proceeded to immigration where we joined a queue of at least 500 people all trying to enter the country, upon closer inspection there were only two desks open so we waited in line for a few hours before finally getting through, surely they could have more people on duty during busy times?

After we collected our bags we catch the bus to National Rental Cars office where they of course try to get m to upgrade from our midsize to a full size or SUV, which I refuse to do, if I wanted a larger car I would have ordered one!

I spend about ten minutes checking out all the cars that were available to me, making sure I picked the most comfortable as we would be spending a lot of time in it during the next three weeks. I finally decided on the Nissan.

We start off driving towards Chicago and soon hit traffic, it took us over an hour and a half to get to our hotel which was only just over 20 miles away.

Upon arrival at the hotel the self parking is blocked off so I ask a jumped up bell boy with a stupid hat if I can park as I have a reservation, the very rude chap virtually barks at me that it is full and have to use concierge parking, I don’t like concierge parking as not only is it over priced $53 per day in this case, I am not lazy and am able to drive into a car park myself. When I pull up to the concierge I ask if I can do self parking and he says ok, no problem. The jumped up bell boy then shouts at the guy and says it is concierge only and really talks down to him. So I have to hand over my keys and pay the scandalous fee. It was blatant that there was room in self parking and this was just another way of squeezing money out of their customers, as all the reviews on trip advisor states.

Check in was swift and they upgraded my room because I am a Hilton HHonors member. Room was nice with comfortable beds.

We then go into Chicago to have a walk around and get something to eat before heading back and getting an early night.

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