Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Riding the Rails to Chicago

A week ago today, I took the Amtrak to Chicago's Union Station to visit my sister Jackie and her husband Scott who live in the Chicagoland 'burbs. I was, of course, soooo excited to be visiting my sister but I was also pretty hyped up about the train ride! It was my first time riding the Amtrak(and traveling any distance alone).

I know what you're thinking and yep, I really am that big of a dork.

Now, I wouldn't go so far as to call the Amtrak ride "exciting" but it was an inexpensive way to get from Point A to Point B and avoid driving alone for nearly 7 hours. And yeah, call me a dork, but it was actually fun to ride the train.  I shelled out an extra 16 bucks for business class and am glad I did. I had plenty of room and the seats were comfortable. The train was clean and there were no creepy/weird people riding with case you worry about that sort of thing. Not that I worried about that all...
The snack bar and dining area was in the back section of my car. I took a break from my seat(it's there in the photo above on the far right...see it?)to head to the dining car to read for a bit.
 I enjoyed watching the scenery which consisted mainly of small towns and farmland as we went by. The side to side rocking motion was sort of expected and didn't bother me at all. It was all very train-like and again, I quite enjoyed it.

Two years ago when I visited Europe, we took a train trip from Wroclaw Poland to Krakow--Vienna--Prague--Dresden Germany--back to Wroclaw. WHY do I not have photos of those trains?

Despite the lack of photos trust me when I say I enjoyed those trains a bit more than the Amtrak. The European trains(with the exception of the train from Germany back to Poland--eeeeew) were newer and nicer than the one I was on last week. Of course the scenery in Europe was much more beautiful that that between Carbondale and Chicago. Among other things we rode by rivers, lakes, fields of sunflowers, quaint little homes with flower-boxes, and at on point a friggin' castle on a hillside!!! It was truly amazing! On the other hand, I don't recall a dining car in the European train experience. I do remember that we packed our lunches and/or breakfast each time. However, those lunches and/or breakfasts consisted of chocolate filled croissants and/or cheese and crusty handmade bread. I ate a Sara Lee banana nut muffin and a Pepsi on the Amtrak. Hmmm. I guess the European trains (run down stinky Germany-Poland train not included) still have a bit of an edge.

BUT STILL...I will absolutely take the Amtrak again. I'd like to take it on a longer trip, actually. Should you ever get the opportunity, I say you should ride the rails too!

I'll be jabbering about my trip more in my next post.


Mare said...

Ohhh Can't wait for more jabbers! I, too, must be a dork, because I want to ride Amtrack some day! I actually want to ride the northwest one that goes to Seattle, and might even take a sub-trip to Forks. Not that I read those silly Twilight books or watched the cheesy movies. Errr, I cannot tell a lie, I'm guilty. Anyway, thanks for sharing pics of the train! Looking forward to hearing (and seeing) more about your trip!

Paige said...

How fun! My son would love a train ride like this!

cindy said...

Hi Kellie,
I hopped to your post from the KY quilters. I'm born and bred in KY but not very savvy at quilts.

I looked thru your blog. It is very interesting. I"m going to follow and hopefully learn about quilting and making a friend along the way.

take care-