4 Days in the US – Day 1 From Chicago to Fitchburg⁩

2017-11-29 at 18:21

Another Long Man mission. Fly to Chicago and deliver some parts – have a few free days to explore – fly back. I like those kind of missions. Got a car for 4 days and booked a few nice hotels. Spring was late this year so it was not as green as I hoped for but it was a free trip so why complain?? First stop ‎⁨Fitchburg⁩, ⁨Wisconsin⁩ via Frankfurt and Chicago.

Stuttgart Airport
Stuttgart Airport – even a decent time of the day. Usually when I do this kind of trips I am on the first plane out of Frankfurt to Chicago which leaves at 07:25. That means get up at 03:00 – drive to Heilbronn – pick up the goods and race to Frankfurt Airport to get the flight.

Stuttgart Airport

Nobody looks really happy today
Nobody looks really happy today

Not a lot of leg room
Not a lot of leg room

Lufthansa A320-200

Loook! An Air Berlin plane!
Loook! An Air Berlin plane!

Off we go - the Albtrauf in the back
Off we go – the Albtrauf in the back

It is blue over the clouds
It is blue over the clouds. I really love it on a rainy day. You have a gray day and go in a plane – it takes off and gets over the clouds – voilà! Sunshine!!!

Look - LEGROOM!!
Look – LEGROOM!!

But it is only the shuttle bus in Frankfurt
But it is only the shuttle bus in Frankfurt

The plane is somewhere - we do a sight-seeing tour of FRA
Usually I do not like it when they ferry you with the bus to the plane. But this time it was different. The plane is somewhere out there – we do a sight-seeing tour of FRA 🙂

Quite interesting
Quite interesting to see the planes from this site

The back turbine
The back turbine

A United plane
A United plane

Finally in my United plane - a bit better than Lufthans on the way to Frankfurt
Finally in my United plane – a bit better than Lufthans on the way to Frankfurt

I want to be able to do that!
I want to be able to do that! Board a plane and fall asleep – how nice would it be. No waiting for the food, no looking for the next movie – only a cruise in dreamland.

Stupid Premium Economy - the exit row in front of me was empty but of course you have to pay for it. And so was most of the Premium Economy part of the plane as well.
Stupid Premium Economy – the exit row in front of me was empty but of course you have to pay for it. And so was most of the Premium Economy part of the plane as well.

Vegetarian lunch
Vegetarian lunch

The wine was not really drinkable - the beer was!
The wine was not really drinkable – the beer was! I had two young Germans in my row. They where on the way to Vegas. And they had a few 1000 to blow. But no clue about beer. Lucky for me they wanted German beer – Warsteiner – one of our TV Beers – so more birds for me 🙂
The flight attendant was German and did look at me like I had a funny hat on – why would you drink American beer? Well she accepted my explanation with the TV beer and handed me a Goose. I told her later that this is a really good beer – much better than Warsteienr if you ask me. Turns out she does not drink beer in the first place.

But they only had a few of the birds so I had one of them as well
But they only had a few of the birds so I had one of them as well

Watched a few movies
Watched a few movies

Snack before touchdown in Chicago
Snack before touchdown in Chicago

Closer to Chicago
Close to Chicago

Close to Chicago
Closer to Chicago

Chicago

Immigration at O’Hare International Airport – the longest I had to stand in line was OVER 3 hours!! That was with the morning flight when a lot of planes come in. Now they have a different system with a lot of machines. Scan the passport, do this do that – do not smile for the picture and whatever. Since I brought some sample I marked the custom form for the goods. After that is was waiting waiting and waiting but not 3 hours more like 45 minutes. Finally it was my turn and I had to explain two times what I bring and after that I had my stamp and was off to customs. They X-Ray the bag and Adios! Good! Germany booked a car for me – at Hertz. So you go out and wait for the shuttle bus to bring you to the rental office.

  • Enterprise 11 times
  • Avis 10 times
  • Thrifty 10 times
  • Alamo 10 times
  • National 9 times
  • Budget 8 times
  • Dollar 8 times
  • Hertz 0 times

WTF??? Somehow I should bring stuff to Fitchburg⁩ in ⁨Wisconsin and not look at the shuttle buses from other rental companies! I see one upstairs – hmm since I waited now more than 30 minutes why not try upstairs at departure? – upstairs I go. Same same – but different! Now more National and Alamo and less Avis buses. I see one coming at arrival again. Running down like a rabbit runs from the fox I got in – let’s go and get the car!
Only 4 more customers in the bus – looks like I do not have to wait today. Ha Ha Hertz had a dirty trick up their sleeve! I dunno how they did it but there where about 25 customers in front of me. Hmmm they might send only one shuttle every 40 minutes or so – this way the line will not be all the way out of their office. Another hour and some minutes pass and finally I get the keys.
The nice thing with renting in the US is that you can choose your car at the parking lot. You rent a class and go and see what parks there. If you have time you even wait a bit if something better comes in. Lets see – I need a nice color and something I fit into. USB etc they all have so no need to check that. In the end I opted for a KIA with 349 miles on the clock. Who does not like the smell of a new car?

Finally in the rental car
Finally in the rental car

My ride for the next few day - a KIA whatever. Lots of plastic but it drives well
My ride for the next few day – a KIA whatever. Lots of plastic but it drives well. I was a bit confused about the toll system here. The last times I paid cash but some of the toll stations do not have an option to pay cash. And I had next to no coins as well so I stopped at a gas station to get something to drink and coins. Just in case. Next both I put my coins a man who worked there told me the car has an I-PASS thing on the windshield. You can open and close it and decide if you want to pay with it or with your credit card or cash. Ok – good to know….
There was not too much traffic and I got into ‎⁨Fitchburg a bit after 18:00.

Fitchburg⁩

Had to bring the samples to two technicians waiting for them in the
Wyndham Garden Madison in Fitchburg. They where happy and I was tired. Of course there where no room booked for me but I was too lazy to find something else so I checked in the Wyndham. Nice place next to a small mall. So no need to take the car to get some food. To tired to go to a restaurant that has some vegetarian options anyhow.

Wyndham Garden Madison in Fitchburg⁩, ⁨Wisconsin⁩

My room at the Wyndham Garden Madison in Fitchburg⁩, ⁨Wisconsin⁩
My room at the Wyndham Garden Madison in Fitchburg⁩, ⁨Wisconsin⁩

Mini Bar, Microwave, Coffee Maker and an Ice Cooler
Mini Bar, Microwave, Coffee Maker and a Ice Cooler – looks like I need that little ice cooler later!

Sink opposite of the bathroom
Sink opposite of the bathroom

The bathroom
The bathroom – no space for a sink there.

If you ever go to Fitchburg⁩ use my affiliate link and stay at the: Wyndham Garden Madison in Fitchburg

Went over the street and scouted for some dinner options. Hmm took me the longest time in front of that fridge!
Fuck - which one?
Fuck – which one?

The choice for today. Hummus, Avocados, Bananas and Baguette. And - BEER!
The selection for today. Hummus, Avocados, Bananas and Baguette. And – BEER!

House of Cards in real :-(
House of Cards in real 🙁

Here you find day 2: 4 Days in the US – Day 2 From Fitchburg⁩ to Mukwonago
Here you find day 3: 4 Days in the US – Day 3 From Mukwonago to Libertyville

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Downtown Chicago Part III

2014-12-31 at 12:46

Last two days in the City before it is back to Germany again.

Chicago Chinatown
Guess which part of town that is?

Chicago Chinatown
If you never been to another one – you go. I like the one in New York or San Francisco better.

Chicago Downtown
Must be that season…

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown
The top of the old water tower and the Hankock building

Chicago Downtown
Inside the Fourth Presbyterian Church

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown
Now you know!

Chicago Downtown
Down at the river

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown
The old trading room of the Chicago stock exchange. They killed the old building and saved it. Than they put it into the Art Institute of Chicago.

Chicago Downtown
Nice to visit the originals

Chicago Downtown
That place is so big – you need at last one day if you only want to see the important stuff. Better bring more time!

Chicago Downtown
A real shopping temple!

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown
Last morning – on the way to the airport.

A visit to the old Public Library – Chicago Cultural Center

2014-12-30 at 08:50

The old Public Library opened in 1897 and is one of the Landmark buildings of the City. The central library building was converted in 1977 to an arts and culture center. In 1991 the new library opened across the Loop.

The Chicago Cultural Center is home to the world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass dome and a Healy and Millet stained glass dome. The nation’s first free municipal cultural center is one of the city’s most popular attractions and is considered one of the most comprehensive arts showcases in the United States. Still it was quite empty the two times I was there and on top of it – there is free WiFi.
If you ever make it to Chicago – stop there as well!

For details check out the Wikipedia page or the official City of Chicago site.

Chicago Downtown
View from the Grand Staircase into Preston Bradley Hall with the Tiffany dome.

Chicago Downtown

Old Public Library - Chicago Cultural Center
So many details – everywhere

Old Public Library - Chicago Cultural Center
Preston Bradley Hall with the Tiffany dome

Old Public Library - Chicago Cultural Center
The Tiffany dome with the windows towards the lake in the back.

Old Public Library - Chicago Cultural Center

Old Public Library - Chicago Cultural Center

Old Public Library - Chicago Cultural Center

Old Public Library - Chicago Cultural Center

Old Public Library - Chicago Cultural Center

Old Public Library - Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Downtown
The Crown Fountain is only a few steps away from the cultural centre.

Chicago Downtown
It was designed by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa and opened in 2004

Chicago Downtown
Iconic view down Michigan Avenue.

Chicago Downtown
Only 4:30 in the afternoon but the feeling is more like 8 or 9 in the evening. Time to go back to Oak Park. Downtown Chicago the Subway goes in a loop and is elevated. That way no problems for the rest of the traffic and the Subway does not get stuck in traffic. A bit like in the old Meatpacking District in Manhattan, New York. In fact the green line that comes in from Oak Park is on level up all the time. So they only have to build car tunnels from time to time. Freight trains do run parallel for quite a while towards downtown.

Chicago Downtown

Short Trip to Chicago

2014-12-29 at 04:40

A few days before my winter vacation I had to ship some parts for a friend to Chicago. The last few times I was there in summer. Now it was winter and that did not make it as pleasant as usually. Still lucky the 1st day I was walking downtown – blue sky and some sun.
I had friends from Australia staying at my place and my farewell party the night before the flight. So there where only a few hours of sleep. Herb shipped the Australians to the train station and then we where off to the airport.
Blue sky and sun – great day to fly!

Stuttgart Airport
Stuttgart Airport

Zürich Airport
Somewhere up in the sky

Zürich Airport
Zürich Airport

Chicago Downtown
Hello again!

Chicago Downtown
Old and new and not so new

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown
They build a second ice skating ring. Quite long and in the middle of it a few climbing constructions. I like how the park gets bigger.

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

Chicago Downtown

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