Route 66 In An E Type – Day 2
Day 2: Indianapolis to Chicago to Joliet – 228 miles
The sun has reappeared as we start the final leg to the Mother Road. Officially, Route 66 begins in downtown Chicago – and mile zero is at Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant. Route 66 was born in 1926 and the restaurant predates that by three years! The photos on its walls tell of the many celebrities (including several presidents) who have eaten here.
When we enter, it is packed with local diners and our breakfast is incredible – the ideal start to our pilgrimage.
Following breakfast, we follow the Route 66 signs through several Chicago neighborhoods and eventually arrive at Joliet. We check into the brand new Harrah’s Casino and Hotel complex ($70 per night) and set about exploring. We are immediately reminded that Joliet’s most famous alumni are “Joliet Jake” and Elwood Blues – their image is everywhere.
While strolling through the park that now overlooks the abandoned federal prison, we happened upon two Franciscan nuns from Syracuse NY. Turns out they are visiting Joliet because this is the location where a Franciscan order has had a convent for 150 years. Talk about life imitating art – this is the very convent that Jake and Elwood set out to save from foreclosure in the movie.
Like the Blues Brothers, we are now “on a mission from God”