Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Train Ride That Didn't Happen

Sunday morning, the folks set out to do a test run to Dad's work place.  The folks have been to Chicago a few times, but have never taken the train.  They set the GPS to the train station and off they went.  Maggie (Our Magellan GPS) directed them to a place that did not look like a train station.  They circled around a few times.  Finally, they found a sign that said it was the train station.  They were already too late to catch the train, so they decided to grab some lunch.  The trains only run every two hours on weekends.  They stopped at White Castle.  If you are not familiar with White Castles, they are small, thin burgers that are fried in onions.  They stink up your car.  Mama's Dad used to eat them and she remembers him saying they used to be $.05.  They are now $.89 each.  They spent $13 on 8 burgers (remember they are small), onion rings and one drink.  Mama didn't want to drink much since she was getting on a train.  They still had time, so they decided to look for another train station.  They found one that was in a much nicer neighborhood, but since no on one was working, Dad did not know if it was the right train. (They really need to get a smart phone so they can check things out without having to go home to do so.)  They headed back to the train station in the not good area and parked the car.  Mama kept saying she didn't know if the car would be okay.  Dad didn't tell her that he saw two guys with walkie talkies watching people. She noticed some guys who were just lounging around and that made her nervous, but didn't see they were being look outs.  They walked into the train station and no one was working. The sign said to buy the tickets on the train.  They asked the conductor if they took credit cards and she said they didn't.  Well, that was a total waste of a morning.  They decided to try it again on Monday since if they took the next train, they wouldn't get back home until after 7 p.m.

They came home and Mama printed her Emeals menu out.  She decided to do her grocery shopping since the trip to Chicago was a bust.  They decided to stop at the Old Joliet Prison on the way.  This prison was built in 1850 and it has been in several movies including The Blues Brothers, Derailed, Red Heat, Let's Go To Prison as well as the TV show, Prison Break. 
Old Joliet Prison

Unfortunately, you are not allowed to go into the yard or even see the yard.  You can walk around the parking lot and that is about it.  Mama was disappointed that she couldn't see more.  Some of the windows were open which was a little spooky while others were totally knocked out.  This prison closed in 2002.  Dad was amazed at the amount of work it took to build it especially when you think about it being in the 1850's.  It was built by the prisoners.  There were prisoners as young as 10 when it opened.  They did not have indoor plumbing until 1910.  The women's prison was built across the street.

Decorated Gas Pumps are in several locations in Joliet.  This one is at the prison.  It has the Blues Brothers at the top.
After visiting the prison, the folks set out to find a place to eat.  They ended up going across town to where the nice train station is located.  Mama said that neighborhood is more to her liking, so they ate there.

They ate at El Burrito Loco.  Mama was disappointed when she walked in and found that you order at the counter.  That means that chips and salsa are not served.  Mama ordered a Chimichanga with steak and sides of rice and beans.  Dad ordered a beef burrito.  He thought it would be small so he ordered an order of loaded nachos.  They definitely ordered too much food.
Loaded Nachos

Chimichanga - which is loaded with cheese on the inside and outside

Beef Burrito
Mama said the chimi wasn't loaded with flavor, but it was good.  Dad couldn't believe the size of his burrito.  It took two hands to handle it.  He added hot sauce to his.  They both liked the food and may go back if time allows.  The prices were reasonable.  They ended up bringing home the nachos and half of Mama's meal.
Burrito Loco on Urbanspoon

Will the folks actually take a train into the city? Stop by tomorrow and find out.

The Greyhound Who Is Trying To Create A Cliff Hanger For His Readers (BOL)

Beach Life Is The Best

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