2013 Wine, Cheese, and Beer LOL Tour
September 20–22, 2013
Most of the Tour participants gathered at the Del Ray Chicken Basket on Route 66 in Willowbrook for dinner Friday night to renew old acquaintances and make new ones. While at dinner, Ralph Arata, channeling Fr. Guido Sarducci and disguised as Elvis, blessed our weekend outing in his unique style. Camaraderie continued at the nearby LaQuinta Inn where the Tour would begin Saturday morning.
The route followed Route 66 through Joliet and into Wilmington
where the group made its first stop next to the Rocket Man statue at the Launching Pad restaurant, allowing participants who had been separated by traffic to reconnect. We had 20 cars on the Tour (M-type, MG-TD, 2-MGAs, 12-MGBs, MGC, TR6, and 2-modern cars). The group continued through Braidwood, Gardner and Dwight before stopping at a restored Standard Oil station/gift shop in O’Dell. Along the way enjoying the vintage roadside Burma Shave signs.
From O’Dell it was on to Pontiac for lunch at the Pontiac Family Kitchen, and a self-guided tour of the Route 66 Museum downtown. We continued on Route 66 through Towanda, Bloomington/Normal (passing the ISU Saturday
football game), and on to Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup where there were many purchases at their small shop.
Next was the town of McLean, then Atlanta where we passed the giant Hot Dog Man statue and the Octagon Library. Our Tour then traveled through Lincoln and Williamsville on Route 66 before reaching Springfield and our lodging at the Comfort Inn on Dirksen Parkway.
Our evening meal was a short drive away at the Chesapeake Seafood House where Ralph lightened the mood by arriving in full Scottish regalia. After a sumptuous repast, there was again an informal social gathering after returning to the motel.
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