Steaks on a TrainJuly 10, 2017 in the United States
Today we bid farewell to Chicago and embarked on our biggest journey of the adventure on board the California Zephyr train to Emeryville (with a connecting coach to San Francisco). The 2448 mile journey will take just over two days and takes us through 7 states and 3 different time zones. For those of you that are particularly interested you can read the full guide for the California Zephyr and the sights it travels past at the following link:
Before I tell you all about our very own Casey Junior, let me say a fond farewell to Chicago. Chicago is not somewhere I've ever yearned to visit but having spent two nights there, I long to go back. My previous impressions of the 'windy city' had always seemed somewhat cold, 'windy', crime ridden and unwelcoming. Granted I've taken this from various US TV dramas and films over the years. It certainly wasn't a happy place in Sleepless in Seattle! However, this could not be further from the truth. The city seemed so full of light and colour not to mention it's diverse and stunning architecture. The colour of the lake is a beautiful turquoise blue which makes the place all the more exotic. I guess the point I'm making is - Chicago is worth a visit.
We spent the early morning repacking for our big journey... every time we do this I have flashbacks to my recurring nightmare about packing. It's awful. I genuinely have a recurring nightmare where I'm somewhere unfamiliar, running late and struggling to get all the possessions I need into a specific set of limited luggage. Generally just as I think I'm done, several drawers full of more things show up and I have a panic attack. Needless to say, every packing routine is met with a little anxiety! However, so far so good and I still have some space in my suitcase.
Once packed, we ventured outdoors to experience 'the loop' - the elevated subway system in Chicago to take a unique tour of the city. This was easily the best $3 we've spent.
We got back to the hostel to pick up our bags and enjoy our left over pizza from Giordano's for lunch only to find some *** had gone and swiped it from the fridge. Whoever stole our pizza - we hope you choke on it! Chicago pizza theft is taken very seriously in this city and so I'm pleased to say the police department have their finest officers on the case. I've heard they're even going to call in Inspector Nuts from Massachusetts!
Once over our trauma, we made our way to Union Station to pick up the Zephyr.
We are really pleased with our 'roomette'. I wish I could photograph it better for you. Essentially we have two very large comfortable seats opposite one another in our own compartment which at night folds down into two decent sized bunk beds. We also have a large window to watch the world go by from. All of our meals are included so we venture to the dining car for 3 meals a day. This is a 4 carriage wobbly walk via the Observation Car which is also a delight. We enjoyed a short stint in their after dinner to watch the sunset. Dinner was ok - I had the Amtrak Steak Special which actually wasn't half bad. It's a shame everything is served on plastic plates etc I guess you get what you pay for! We were sat with two Physics students from University of Southampton believe it or not and one of which has their PPL so naturally we got talking about aviation rather a lot.
Our beds are very cosy... so cosy I fell asleep before finishing this post!Read more