Pencil Shavings takes a roadtrip: Chicago Edition

One night, Simon and I were watching TV when we happened to catch a show about BMW and their entire brand experience. Not being much of a car person myself, I still found it fascinating. The show featured an American couple who were there for the ultimate BMW brand experience. They had ordered their car bespoke; every detail was done just for them. Then they flew to Germany where they were given a special tour of the factory and design facilities. At the end, they were led out into a futuristic showroom where their car was waiting for them on one of those classic revolving floors like you see in the movies. They literally got to drive their car off the showroom floor and onto the autobahn.

So that’s kinda like what me and Simon did this past weekend. Except it wasn’t a BMW and we drove it out of the used car parking lot onto I-55 in Illinois. And I guarantee you we weren’t driving as fast as those folks did on the autobahn.

Simon’s been carhunting for a few months now. Being the dealseeker that he is, he wasn’t finding anything in the price range that he wanted. We’re cash kind of people; we don’t like having debt for stuff like cars, so he wanted to be sure if we were paying cash that it was THE deal to end all deals.

Which led us to Chicago. He got a sick deal via eBay, and even with us flying up there, spending a few nights, and driving back home to OKC, we were still saving bundles of money. Win win, right?  We flew up Saturday evening, hung out in Chicago all day Sunday, picked the car up Monday, and arrived home in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. It was a delightful little getaway and we had so much fun doing it. Can you believe this was also our first time to Chicago? We can’t wait to go back and take Jude-man with us.

One of our favorite places that we’ve visited in LA is Intelligentsia Coffee. I was happy to discover that they’re based in Chicago.

Our one day in the city was sweltering. The humidity was crazy. The next day? 70 degrees. So not fair.

Oh, and the day we picked up the car? We had cake for lunch at Magnolia Bakery. I love a man who’ll take me out for a cake lunch!

Can I just tell you that I was not totally thrilled at the concept of the road trip? I’ve only been on a handful in my life, and none of them were that great, frankly. But then again, these were all either family trips as a kid or choir tours in high school in a great big uncomfy bus. Also? All pre-iPad era. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much fun I had on this little trip. We had a blast exploring little off-the-beaten-path attractions, like the Twistee Treat below. Isn’t it crazy awesome?   It’s in the parking lot of the Pink Elephant Antique shop, housed in the former Livingston, Illinois high school. I wish it had been open; I have no doubt there were gems to be found in there. Especially considering that they have a legit UFO for sale on their property.

Finally we took a quickie detour to see the famed St Louis Arch before we pulled into Springfield for the night. The next day was a quick jaunt through Tulsa before we hit Oklahoma City.


How about you? Do you love a good roadtrip? What are your favorite routes and destinations?

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