At last, at last, I’m on my way. Or, well, I was.
My trip actually started after putting in a full day’s work at the office. You see, my dear readers, I work the evening shift, so when my train was scheduled to arrive at 2 a.m., I wasn’t phased. I decided it’d be easy enough to head down to the station and wait for an hour. No problem, piece of pie.
Of course, life being what it is and Amtrak being what it is, things didn’t work out exactly that smoothly. My train instead arrived a full hour and a half late, well after my caffeine high had worn off.
Surprisingly — or maybe not so surprisingly — I wasn’t the only one left waiting at the station. Along with my lovely coworker, Chad, who had offered to drive me to the station after work — and was willing to stay long enough to see me off as well — there was a couple heading to Indiana. Now, Indiana is a full four hours past my own stop in Chicago. Needless to say, I was not envious of the time they were going to spend traveling.
I never did catch their names, though I spotted them in the crowd later in Chicago when we debarked. How rude of me.
The train itself, while late in arriving, was still preferable to making the long drive myself. I was at least able to catch a few naps (in 20- to 30-minute increments) as we rolled along. However, I was wide-awake as we rolled into Omaha at dawn. Go me. Still, I did manage to sleep a little (or at least avoid waking anyone else).
Did you know there’s a huge swathe of land between Omaha and Des Moines where most cellphones lose service? I didn’t. Now I do, of course. I’ll be ready for the return journey (and likely schedule a nap for those few hours).
I got over it, and was pretty happy that I had, in fact, packed a spiral notebook and a pen. You can just call me a Boy Scout, I’m so prepared. (I forgot to pack snacks, though, so I might lose points for that). But hey, small victories.
My train woes continued when we had to stop for freight trains, travel at 20 mph, and otherwise increase our delay from one hour to two. So I rolled into Union Station two hours later than planned, but thankfully my uncle was patient enough to wait for me, and our dinner plans were late enough they weren’t affected.
Speaking of our dinner plans, Darell got us tickets to dinner and a show at Drury Lane Theatre, where we saw “Death Trap.” The show started off slow, but picked up at the end of Scene 2 that we stayed interested. Plot twist after plot twist ensued, ensuring that once we thought we figured out the plot, we were instantly proved wrong. But it was a good play, and the food was wonderful. (I did discover that Google maps doesn’t like me much in Chicago, either, which should come as no surprise to those poor folks who have suffered me to be their navigator. Oops. We only got turned around a few times.)
After the show, we made it back home with no further navigational mishaps, and stayed up late chatting and catching up with the news since Christmas. I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Long day, y’know.