It’s always easier to stay overnight offside the road in the van, if you are away from the big cities. You just drive to a rest area at the highway or to a national forest, park your van, climb in the back and you just sleep. With our queen size mattress and a cozy blanket we always sleep until 9 or 10 a.m. But to stay in a city is different: lots of “no camping” “no overnight parking” or “loading zone” signs. So we asked again some couchsurfers very short-dated. But Will (Phil ;-)) answered immediately. Although he had another request, he offered us a place to stay. He was one of the really friendly hosts. He helped us to find a free parking lot in Chicago and we went out for dinner after we watched the world cup game Mexico vs Argentina. The next day he had to get up pretty early for work but during his lunch break he guided us through half of Chicago.  We went up the Hancock Tower to get a stunning view over Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyscrapers.
We needed some maps for our way from Chicago to New York, so Will went to the AAA to get  them. But the lady behind the counter could not find his name in the member-database. But she found a Phil. “I can be Phil – for five minutes!” Will said with a big smile on his face and got the maps for us. Will went back to work and we made the rest of downtown. This night we wanted to check out one of the local delicacies: Chicago Pizza – a pizza with a thick dough – very tasty. But how to get there? The bus was just gone and in this neighborhood taxis were very rare. We started to walk until Jan slapt himself on his forehead. “We are so stupid – we have the van!!” he laughed. After two days in the middle of Chicago we totally forgot the van.
The next day we had to leave, because Verenas sister will arrive at JFK airport and before she takes all the money to a five star hotel, we’ll pick her up 😉
Some pics of Chicago are in “See Us!”