This is the day I was dreading because it was my last day and the day I was heading home. I checked out of the hotel and headed over to Tim’s apartment. After breakfast we drove up to Milwaukee to have lunch with my brother. Since Milwaukee is about 90 miles from Chicago, we didn’t have a lot of time before meeting Rick for lunch so we headed to the Milwaukee Art Museum. The architecture of the building is itself art work. The museum is one of the largest museums in the country. Since we only had about 20 minutes, we took photos of the architecture and the shadows.
We had lunch at Hooligan’s. It was great seeing my brother and Tim had a front row seat to our relationship. Rick and I have a very unique relationship, we are very sarcastic with each other. It drives our parents nuts.
All to soon, we were heading back to Chicago. Tim and I said goodbye and I headed on my way home around 3pm local time. Not really looking forward to the long drive. Nor surprisingly I hit heavy traffic leaving Chicago. It took me over an hour to get out of the city. The drive went pretty smoothly after that until I hit Louisville and had to take a detour around the western part of the city. I ended up stopping in Tennessee at Hampton Inn around 12:30 EDT. I didn’t set my alarm, deciding to let my body decide when to get up.
The next morning I was on the road a little after 8am. I saw an exit for Great Smoky Mountains National Park so I decided to head there to get a stamp in my passport and maybe hike to a waterfall if it wasn’t too far. After driving for 20 minutes and not seeing any more signs, I quickly brought it up on my phone GPS and was shocked to see that the entrance to the park was too far away so I turned around and headed back to Interstate 40. I did stop by a roadside store and pick up some fudge before getting back on the interstate.
Drove into a thunderstorm in Columbia. The weather cleared once I passed Columbia until I hit Conway. It was getting darker as I got closer to home and then as I passed the turn off to Highway 544, the skies opened up and torrential downpour. Thanks for the welcome home Mother Nature. It was a great trip but one I will not make again. I will fly next time I take a vacation in Chicago.