My day began with me going through three alarms: I turned the first one off because I didn't want to swim on 5.5 hours of sleep, the second because I couldn't stomach the thought of going to my marketing class, and I finally rolled out for the third one.
|Sleep is my favorite.|
I finally got on and tried to enjoy the ride to Battle Creek. Nothing untoward happened, and I settled in to wait 2.5 hours for my connecting train. I read through my new strength-training book, which I found really interesting, but I felt really awkward because I was surrounded by very overweight people giving me judging looks. Of course, Amtrak kept pushing our departure time back, to the point where the conductor checked us in inside the station. I felt really bad when she told us she didn't get overtime when the train was delayed (she was boarding with us in Battle Creek to work). Just when the train was supposed to get there, the slowest freight train in the world had to go through, so we had another 20 minutes of delay added just for that.
At last, we boarded. Michael had texted me where he was sitting, but I had to run over a passenger to get there. She apparently didn't realize we could walk between cars and got all upset because the car we boarded on was completely full. Meanwhile, I could see lots of empty seats in the next car through the window. I bulled my way through and got seated.
This is when I met the people I would be spending the next several hours with. Hint: they were hilariously smashed. Seriously, there were two groups of highly-prepared drinkers. (I mean, would you ever think to make jello shots for your train ride? Me neither.)
|No, I don't know why you couldn't dance to your music in the dining car.|
|None of my surreptitious train pictures came out. This lady in purple was the only one sober enough to remember there was a time change.|
|It was no Portillo's, but still pretty tasty.|
|It looks innocent but practically made me suicidal.|
The next morning was taken up by the race. As we were leaving to go shower at our hotel, we noticed there was almost no line at the Shedd. After we cleaned up and went back, there was a huge line, of course. Our plan for next year is to gear check some clean shirts and just go straight there. After a quick debate, we decided to try for pizza again. There was a 45 minute wait, but we were allowed to order while we waited, plus we had had our mid-morning sausage, so it worked out well. We used the time to become Draw Something masters. (Aka Michael kept asking me what I had tried to draw. Apparently my hamster looked like a mutant monster.)
|I texted this to Eager Feet Dad, who responded with a picture of his deep-fried pretzels. Well played, sir.|
Afterwards we walked to Millenium Park to do touristy things.
|Props to Michael for this idea: I counted one bean.|
|These flowers were pretty until we were trapped on the boardwalk by a passing entourage.|
At this point we headed back to the hotel, got our bags from the bellhop, and went back to the train station. We made a quick stop along the way to get sandwiches. Then started the awful process of getting on a train at Union Station. I don't understand why there aren't more seats or a bigger area to line up for boarding. Amtrak makes me miss the good old DB, even if it has its own issues. At least they assume we're all adults who can get on the trains without assistance.
|More like Point A to Point Frustration.|