Another Long Man mission. Fly to Chicago and deliver some parts – have a few free days to explore – fly back. I like those kinds 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 – even a decent time of the day. Usually, when I do this kind of trip 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.
Nobody looks really happy today
Not a lot of leg room
Loook! An Air Berlin plane!
Off we go – the Albtrauf in the back
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!!
But it is only the shuttle bus in Frankfurt
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 to see the planes from this site
The back turbine
A United plane
Finally in my United plane – a bit better than Lufthans on the way to Frankfurt
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.
The wine was not really drinkable – the beer was! I had two young Germans in my row. They were 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
Watched a few movies
Snack before touchdown in Chicago
Close to Chicago
Closer to 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 samples I marked the custom form for the goods. After that, it was waiting waiting and waiting but this time, 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 as a rabbit runs from the fox I got in – let’s go and get the car!
Only 4 more customers on 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 were 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 about renting in the US is that you can choose your car in 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. Let’s 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
My ride for the next few days – a KIA whatever. Lots of plastic but it drives well. I was a bit confused about the toll system here. The last time 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.
Had to bring the samples to two technicians waiting for them in the
Wyndham Garden Madison in Fitchburg. They were 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. Too 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
Mini Bar, Microwave, Coffee Maker, and an Ice Cooler – looks like I need that little ice cooler later!
Sink opposite of 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?
The selection for today. Hummus, Avocados, Bananas and Baguette. And – BEER!
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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