Part Two – Read Part One Here!
After leaving Seattle, I began what I thought would be a 42.5 hour journey to Chicago where I will be laying my head for just under 6 months if all goes well.
I had a sweet little nook where I immediately pulled out my Snuggie, laptop and snacks. I spent most of the journey in comfort, with all the amenities I needed. I’m sure the other passengers thought I was nesting a little too much as I spent most of the time climbing over my seats like a elementary school kid with ADHD and watching Really Bad TV. Has anyone seen every single episode of Amanda Bynes’ hit mid-2000’s show “What I Like About You”? I have. And I don’t regret it.
If anyone hasn’t traveled by train, I encourage you to! If time isn’t a factor, you get to meet so many interesting new people. This is just a short-list!
- Mary, the Amish girl who was going to stay with us if she didn’t make her train connection
- Michael, the engineer from Ghana who I accidentally slept on when he sat next to me through the night.
- Gail and Gary, two Chicago natives who gave me all sorts of advice about living in Chicago.
- The most adorable elderly deaf woman who is learning Nepalese sign language.
- A bristly older gentleman who has lived all over the world with the Peace Corps
The one downside to train travel though is time. I was supposed to get into Chicago at 4pm on Thursday. Instead, we rolled into Union Station at 12am on Friday. Which is fine, because I had nothing to do but sleep, nest, and explore for a couple of days. And I had no connecting train, but many others who were with us were shuttled off to a hotel to spend the rest of the evening while Amtrak re-booked a train for them to finish the next leg of their journey.
But there were so many upsides! Ample seat space! Snacks! A viewing deck! Food that wasn’t terrible! I had allowed myself one meal a day on the train, and since I was technically “on the train” for three days, I was able to indulge in all three meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And since our train was so late, we were given a complimentary meal too. It sounds like I’m a walking advertisement for Amtrak, and train travel in general, but it is absolutely something worth doing. Just make sure you have space either way to make your connections, bring snacks, and don’t spend more than 3 days on the train at a time. I think I would have gone bonkers if it was much longer than the 60 or so hours I spent.
But it is so absolutely worth it. Just look at what I got to see across America!
Finally, after far too long, I finally arrived at the place where I get to call my headquarters for the next little while. The cutiest place ever. I call it “home”.