Since there was six of us we took two vehicles into the city of Chicago. The drive wasn't too difficult, we're sure glad we had the family to follow, whew! So the Navy Pier is one the, if not the most iconic places to visit in Chicago. You've seen the pictures of the half mile long pier going straight out from the center of the city! Yep, that one. Beside eating a great lunch at one of the bistro's we walked and talked while watching the boats and other tourists. Later in the afternoon, 5 of the 6 of us went for a ride on the biggest Ferris wheel we've ever ridden. Rebecca and Dave couldn't reach the water from the pier area so they took us over to the North Ave beach area so we could dip our toes into Lake Michigan. NOW! we can say we have been in all 5 of the Great Lakes, both oceans, Gulf of Mexico and the Columbia and the Mississippi rivers! Bucket List, CHECK Please !
Next day, in the evening all the extended family gathered at one house for pizza. They had Giardano's pizza, enough for about 12 people. The hit with us was the Chicago style deep dish sausage and pepperoni pizza's and some others. But wow, those deep dish C. style were awesome.
The next day, we took the short drive north to the town of Dixon. Where our 40th US President Ronald W. Reagan spent his formative years, 9 to adulthood. One of the homes the family lived in is a family museum, with signs on the highway leading you to it. It's free to go into the visitors center, but $7 @ for a guided tour of the home. Well worth it. We learned quickly that this town loves it's native son, Ronald Reagan. Some of the things we learned were; Reagans nick name was "Dutch", as a teenager and lifeguard at the local river swimming hole he saved 77 people from drownings over the period of 6 summers, he played football for his high school, he and his brother raised rabbits and pigeons for food and sale, he hid pennies under a fireplace tile til he got 5 for a movie show, his mother taught him enunciation for his speech! When we were done with the boyhood home we traveled about three blocks to his school, which is now a museum for the town for more information. Then after a quick lunch at a local eaterie we went to the Lowell Park, where Reagan was a lifeguard. Most people got into swimming trouble due to the swift current.