Alaskan Trip Journal

Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Starting Location: Oak Park, IL

Destination: Oak Park, IL

Trip Description: Today we got the insider's tour of Chicago and Oak Park (a suburb of Chicago). The tour was given by our gracious host Frances. This morning, we walked through Oak Park to the Frank Lloyd Wright House and Studio. We saw a few of his designs along our route. We returned to Frances' condo after stopping at the hardware store for some supplies.

A bit of explanation is in order here. The RV air conditioner in the front of the vehicle does not work. The only relief we had from the heat was the rear unit. The problem lay in the fact that the cool air did not reach the driver and passenger. Joe got the idea to build a duct system to carry the air from the rear unit to the front of the RV. A piece of sheet metal, a dryer vent tube, and some duct tape was used to construct this marvel of engineering. Tomorrow, we will add a second tube which will divide the air into two streams, one for Joe, one for Laura.

After lunch, we went Geocaching in Austin Park. We did not find the cache, but we enjoyed the scenery. We took the 3:00 tour of the F.L.W. studio. The design of the house and studio is incredible. Laura particularly liked the window location and design. We both marveled at the placement of furniture and the built-in features of the house. A link to the F.L.W. website is below.

We were overheated after the tour, so we walked down the street to a local ice cream parlor. After cooling off a bit, we returned to Frances and Larry's condo. It was time to eat dinner. Larry and Frances took us to this wonderful Mexican restaurant in Oak Park. The food and company was wonderful. After dinner, we took a tour of the area. We saw some truly impressive houses, including a Mafia house ("Big Tuna"). We made a quick stop at the supermarket and then back to settle in for the night.

Laura and I really enjoyed our stay with Frances and Larry. They treated us very well. We probably won't eat as well for the rest of the trip, although we'll try! Tomorrow we will leave here and head for Minnesota. I'm getting sleepy...