July 18-19, 2021 Around Chicago

After a few days boondocking in Chicago it was time to find a place to dump our sewage and refill our fresh water so we planned to drive to Illinois State Beach Park where they had RV camping spots for $25. First though we went to Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen for lunch.  Manny’s is THE classic Jewish Deli in Chicago, and another Chicago institution having been around for over 75 years.  Featured on TV shows and visited by celebrities such as Guy Fieri and President Obama Manny’s specialty are its huge corned beef or pastrami sandwiches.  We got a Pastrami Rueben, a pot roast plate and a salad.    It was not cheap with the Pastrami sandwich costing $18, the post roast $15 but at least the portions were accordingly large with the sandwich piled high with pastrami and the plate had so much pot roast that we had to get a box to go.  It was all delicious; the pastrami was tender, warm and had just enough fat on a grilled rye bread.  We ended up spending over $60 for lunch but it was worth it.  We even got a pound of pastrami to go.

Manny’s is a great classic Jewish Deli.
The sandwich was overflowing with Pastrami
Manny’s Pastrami sandwich was sooo good!
In addition to sandwiches Manny’s had a full menu and everything came in huge portions.

Satisfied we drove up to Illinois State Park where we were able to get a prime camping spot right next to the beach since it Sunday and all the weekend campers had gone back to the city.  We spent the rest of the day playing at the beach, cleaning up and relaxing after our time in the big city.

The next day we went to the nearby Six Flags Amusement park to take advantage of our Six Flags membership.  Since we have the membership going to Six Flags counts as a cheaper day for us.  With gas running over $3 a gallon a driving day could easily cost us $60-$90 in gas alone and we were spending $60 to over $100 a meal in Chicago.  A visit to Six Flags costs us nothing incrementally from our initial purchase commitment so the more we visit the cheaper each visit averages out, especially since parking, food and drink are free.  We spent the entire day going on the rides and enjoying ourselves. A number of the rides were no open but there were enough to keep us busy.

When we went to get dinner, a young girl named Annabel was in line in front of us and struck up a conversation with Olivia.  She ended up joining us at our table while her mom and two sisters ate nearby.  Later Olivia went to their table and just like that the four girls became fast friends and they decided to go on rides together.  Annabel was 10, her sister Isabel was 9 and the last sister Jenna was 12.  After dinner they all raced to get on a ride and then another one. 

Near the end of the night the girls all ran to get in line for Goliath.  This was quite surprising since Goliath was a large wooden roller coaster and Olivia had said earlier in the day that she did not want to go on the more extreme coasters, preferring to stick with the moderate coasters that did not go upside down.  We asked Olivia if she was sure she wanted to go on Goliath but she said she wanted to and she was tall enough so Holly went with her and the rest of the girls on the ride.  As Olivia got off the ride it was clear that she was a little shaken by the experience but she recovered quickly although she definitely did not want to go again.

We talked to Leora, the girl’s mom and it turned out that they lived in Chicago, were members too and often go to the Six Flags.  As the park closed we mentioned that we were planning to go to the Hurricane Harbor waterpark side of the park the next day and they said they would join us.  Tired out we drove to a Cracker Barrel nearby for the night.





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