October 20-22, 2009: A Trip to San Antonio
September 19, 2009: OctoberFest in Addison, TX
Return to Index for 2009

October 1-8, 2009:
A Trip to the Upper Midwest:
St. Louis, Chicago, Green Bay and
Starved Rock SP Illinois



For quite a long time, Fred and I have been talking about taking a trip to the Upper Midwest- specifically, Chicago and Green Bay, Wisconsin, where our friend, Guy Blair, lives. We thought that we might combine a few days in Chicago, where I used to live, with a couple of days in Green Bay. On the way up or back, Fred also wanted to stop at Starved Rock State Park in Illinois; there was supposed to be some nice hikes there and a few waterfalls.

As our planning proceeded, we added St. Louis, and trips to the St. Louis Botanical Garden and the Arch into the mix. By September, our plans had gelled. We'd coordinated with my friend Gerry in Chicago and with Guy in Green Bay, and both would be free for the times when we were in their cities.

So, our plans called for us to leave Dallas on Thursday, October 1st and drive to St. Louis. On Friday, we'd visit the Gardens in the morning and the Arch in the afternoon, and then drive to Chicago that night. On Saturday, Gerry wasn't going to be free until the afternoon and the weather wasn't going to be very good either, so we planned to do a museum or two in the morning, check into our hotel in the afternoon, and then meet Gerry in the evening. On Sunday, when the weather was supposed to be nice, I wanted to take Fred around Chicago to the places I was familiar with, and perhaps work in a trip to the top of either the Hancock Building or the Sears (now Willis) Tower. We hoped to see more of Gerry that day as well.

On Monday, October 5th, we would leave Chicago and drive to Green Bay. There we would stay in the same hotel that I stayed in when I came to visit Guy a few years ago. We hoped to do a trip up to Door County; I had thought when Guy and I made that trip a few years ago that it would be something Fred would like as well. As it turned out, the weather was terrible in Green Bay, and we had to eliminate the trip to Door County altogether. Instead, we just hung out with Guy when he was free. In fact, the weather was so bad, that we cut our visit to Green Bay to just Monday and Tuesday. We had checked the weather, and it looked as if the only nice day to visit Starved Rock State Park, which we had to do on the way home, would be Wednesday, so we reluctantly left Guy on Tuesday afternoon so we could stay near the park on Tuesday night down in central Illinois.

As it turned out, that was an excellent decision, for Wednesday was a beautiful day for visiting and hiking around Starved Rock and another state park nearby. We spent the entire day there, and only began our drive back to Dallas late in the afternoon. The wisdom of our decision was confirmed when, not a couple of hours out on our drive home the weather fell apart and it started to rain, heavily, from Illinois through St. Louis. We stayed the night west of St. Louis, and then completed our drive home on Thursday.

While the weather could have been better, the trip was very enjoyable, with the only real disappointment not being able to take our trip to Door County, one of the most scenic areas of Wisconsin.

While this certainly wasn't one of the longest trips we took, I am going to once again organize the pictures that Fred and I took in the same way I have organized other major vacation trips in this album- by giving you an index into the various segments (days) of the trip.


Using the Master Index

I am going to divide our Midwest trip into six different album pages- one for each day of the trip, beginning with Friday, October 2nd and ending with Wednesday, October 7th. (I'll add our drive TO St. Louis to the first page and our drive from the St. Louis area home to the last page.) In the Master Index, you will find a link that will take you directly to each of these album pages. I expect you'll just want to begin with the first link, but you can start with any of them.

When you get to one of the album pages, you will see the same familiar buttons at the top and bottom of each page that will take you to the next section, the previous section or back to this Master Index. As I said, I have tried to organize things so that all you should want to do is use the "NEXT" button to go from page to page, but I have provided the other buttons should you wish to use them. When we have returned to Dallas and our trip is over, you will want to return to this Master Index so that you can continue on through the photograph album.

Near the top of most album pages, you will also find a set of links that will enable you to jump to a specific activity that occurred on that day, should you wish to do so. Of course, the easiest thing to do is just go through the day in time sequence, activity by activity; you can always scroll by activities that might not interest you. (In case you might want it, there is also a link at the end of each activity section that will take you back to the top of that album page.)

When you are done looking at the pictures from our trip to the Midwest, use one of the "RETURN" buttons that appear at the top and bottom of every trip page to return to the Master Index and then use the link at the top of that index to return to the top of this index page. You can then use the normal buttons to continue forward or backward through this photo album.

We hope you enjoy looking at the pictures. To access the Master Index, please click HERE.

























(To finish with the Midwest trip and return to the top of this page so that you can continue through the photo album, please click HERE.)

Thursday, October 1      Driving to St. Louis
Friday, October 2      St. Louis Botanical Garden
     St. Louis Gateway Arch
Saturday, October 3      Arrival in Chicago
     Chicago's Field Museum
     Settling in At Our Hotel
     Evening in Chicago
Sunday, October 4      Walking to 1660 North LaSalle
     At the Parkview and Old Town
     Meeting Gerry at His Condo
     The John Hancock Building
     An Afternoon Walk in Chicago
     Lake Shore Drive and the North Side
     An Evening Walk
Monday, October 5      Driving to Green Bay
     St. John's Church
     Walking Along the Fox River
Tuesday, October 6      Visiting With Guy
     Driving to Peru, Illinois
Wednesday, October 7      Matthiessen State Park
     Starved Rock State Park
     Driving to St. Louis
Thursday, October 8      Driving Home to Dallas