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 on the highway or to a national forest, park your van, climb in the back and just sleep. With my queen size mattress and a cozy blanket I always slept until 9 or 10 a.m. But staying in a city is different: Lots of “no camping” “no overnight parking” or “loading zone” signs. So I asked some couchsurfers very last minute.

Luckily, Will (Phil ;-)) answered immediately. Although he had another request, he offered me a place to stay. He was one of the really friendly hosts. He helped me to find a free parking lot in Chicago and we went out for dinner after watching 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 me through half of Chicago. I went up the Hancock Tower to get a stunning view over Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyscrapers.

I needed some maps for my 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 me. Will went back to work and I made it through the rest of downtown. This night I 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. I started to walk until I slapt himself on his forehead. “I am so stupid – I have the van!!” I laughed. After two days in the middle of Chicago I totally forgot the van.

Some pics of Chicago are in “Watch Me!”