Training to Chicago

We’ve been home from our trip to Chicago for a few days and things are settling back in — laundry is finished, fridge is restocked, yard is mowed — and we’ve enjoyed a couple of lazy days to make up for late nights playing cards (the adults) and whispering/giggling with friends (the girls).

Chicago is one of my very favorite cities.  I love being downtown to explore, shop, and visit museums and I love visiting some of my favorite people there.  This trip was spent mostly in the suburbs with our dear friends the Paunans.  We met John and Susie 17 years ago when we first moved to Milwaukee and John and I were in the master’s program at Marquette.  Since then we’ve continued to grow closer (despite living in different cities for the past 15 years).  While Bill was working on his PhD, we made several trips back to Milwaukee and stayed with the Paunans, but for the past 8 years or so, we’ve been alternating summer visits to each others’ houses.  (I think we definitely get the best end of that deal!  It takes a good friend to want to spend part of their summer vacation in Abilene!)

Despite some unusually hot weather in Chicago (and, of course, it was unseasonably cool in Abilene), we had a wonderful trip.  I didn’t want to leave, which for a home body like me, says a lot.  I love to travel, but I also love to go home.  I’ll tell you more about what we did in Chicago in my next post, but first the adventure of getting there–

On a whim, Bill and I decided it would be fun to take the train this time.  In the past, we’ve always driven or flown.  Since we had a long drive to Yellowstone already on the calendar, we didn’t really want to drive again and thought taking the train might provide some of the adventure of a road trip without anyone being behind the wheel for a long time.  So we bought train tickets and a sleeping berth (about the same price as a flight, if you wondered), and headed to Fort Worth to catch the 24-hour ride to Chicago.    I’m really glad we took the train: it was a fun adventure and provided lots of family time, but I don’t really want to hang out on a train for an extended period of time for a while.

The train was delayed — signal problems along the route — so we spent a couple of extra hours in the Fort Wort Station.



Finally on the train and in our family sleeper




In the dining car for dinner — all meals are included with the sleeper




Ready for bed




Hanging out in the observation car — definitely my favorite part.  It was very sunny and roomy and a great place to read, play games, or just watch the world go by.






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