Almost home

Green Bay Travel Blog

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Hinsdale train station
 

I spent the night at my step-sister Carol's. Her husband, Dick, had met me at O'Hare and brought me to their house. I set an alarm for six o'clock but woke at four to lightening, thunder, and rain. I probably looked pretty colorful on the drizzly pre-dawn walk into Hinsdale with my yellow rain coat and daypack which sported a bright orange built-in rain cover. A Starbucks in town and a café at the train station were already open but I patiently held out another forty minutes for Page's Restaurant to open just before six. My first decent breakfast in more than eight months was a real treat: eggs over easy, biscuits and gravy, sausage patties, hash browns, and a bottomless cup of good American coffee.

 

An express Metra commuter train got me into Union Station in downtown Chicago in about twenty minutes.

Amtrak at Milwaukee
The tops of tall buildings disappeared into gray overcast skies. No one-way rental cars were available from O'Hare Airport so I decided to get home on public transport. Amtrak only goes north as far as Milwaukee and the ticket cost $22. The ride was quiet and smooth and took a little over an hour. Seats were roomier than any airliner and electrical outlets enabled me to plug in my laptop.

 

I tried calling TravBuddy Jim in Milwaukee (blenderboy) who I had met at an Arizona meet-up last year. I got no answer so took the fifteen minute connection to a bus north. The Greyhound ticket cost $14 and it was just after 1:00 p.m. when I reached Green Bay - less than two hours from home. However, a bus from there wouldn't leave until after midnight, arriving in Upper Michigan at 4:00 a.

Laundry at the Days Inn
m. That was unacceptable; a very undignified time to end a long winter trip.

 

I sipped a beer at the Olde Main Street Tavern across the street from the Green Bay bus station and pondered my options. The nearest truck stop out on Highway 41 was on the southbound side so hitching a ride was out. The barmaid let me use the phone to make local calls to check on one-way car rentals but they were far too expensive. Even a small U-Haul truck would cost more than $200. A pay phone at the bus station cost $1.35 to call home and cut-off at one minute. (Calling there from Vietnam cost about 12 cents a minute). Someone at the bar let me use their cell phone for a beer and I was able to get word out for a ride home tomorrow.

 

I checked into a Days Inn just down the street. Rain and winds were bitter cold like London, Copenhagen, Chicago, and Milwaukee and I wondered if I would ever be warm again. I cranked up the wall heater which worked nicely for drying my two pairs of socks that I washed in the bathroom sink.

 

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Hinsdale train station
Hinsdale train station
Amtrak at Milwaukee
Amtrak at Milwaukee
Laundry at the Days Inn
Laundry at the Days Inn
Hinsdale morning
Hinsdale morning
Rainy bag and baggage
Rainy bag and baggage
Pages Restaurant
Page's Restaurant
Downtown Chicago
Downtown Chicago
Green Bay
photo by: sweetsummerdaiz