The trip begins – August 1st

Our journey began on the 1st of August 2015 when my mother-in-law picked us up to drive us to the Amtrak Station in downtown Springfield, Illinois. We piled 7 bags and the two of us into her little Honda Fit in the morning and off we went.

( stole this picture from The Mrs’ website)

We took the 9:55 am train to Union Station, Chicago. Our journey there was uneventful, other than having WAY TOO MUCH heavy luggage… WHEW! Fortunately, when we got to Union Station (about 2 pm) we were able to stash our bags in the special luggage holding place in the Sleeper Class/Business Class lounge. Because we were taking a sleeper car to Penn Station, New York City. We had time on our hands so we decided to head over to the lake shore area and walk the pathway along Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, the closer we got to the Grant Park area, the more, and more, and more people we encountered… Until we were surrounded by HUGE crowds of mostly young 20-somethings. Seems this was the weekend of a 3 day, 24 hours a day, music-fest called Lollapalooza. One of the headliners was Paul McCartney. TOO MANY PEOPLE! We wandered away from the crowds and found a quiet little area with trees and flowers across the street from an overpriced little bistro. We got a bite to eat and sat at a little table outside relaxing.

Greenspace in Chicago
Greenspace in Chicago

After our break we started back towards Union Station, doing our best to avoid the Lollapalooza crowds…

Chicago buildings
Chicago buildings
River drawbridge
River drawbridge

We walked along the river enjoying the relative lack of people….

Although we didn’t have a mapped out walk this day, we did spend a bit of time stretching our legs for a couple hours since we had little else to do since our train didn’t leave Union Station until 9:52 pm. Our little sleeperette cabin consisted of two seats facing each other (these seats folded down into a single bed), a hidden toilet next to one of the seats, and an upper bunk bed that slid down from the ceiling. The most fun part was we had all our luggage crammed in this tiny space with just about enough room for us to sit… Thus endeth Day 1 of our journey, crammed into a little cubby hole on a train headed to NYC.

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