Saturday, April 12, 2008

On the way to Chi-town...

Have you ever looked in the rear view mirror at your child in her car seat? Did you ever think, “Now, that’s the life. Sippy cut in hand, watching out the window without a care in the world!” That’s kind of how I feel on my lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong train ride to meet up with Dawn, Mimi and Manic! I have been looking forward to this trip for some time now. Just a little gift to myself. I am never away from my kidlets for longer than a couple hours at a time. Every now and then I will go to a writer’s conference but the last few have been close enough to home that I don’t even stay over night. I get my mani-pedis every couple weeks but I am back before bedtime. And as hard as it was to kiss them all good-bye yesterday morning at 5am, I knew this was going to be a trip I would never forget. So, I will share with you my excitement so far…keep in mind, I am alone – I have never done THAT before, either!! Ever!! I got to Exton Station at 6am, parked the car and headed to the platform. It took a mere 37 minutes to get to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station where I waited about an hour and a half for my connecting train to Chicago. I knew it was a 27 hour ride to the Windy City and that was actually part of the appeal to me. I have a book I have wanted to get into, I am far behind on the journals I keep for each of the kids, I have a couple of articles to write, some manuscripts to polish, an assignment due for an online writer’s course I am taking and a lot of relaxing to do! Do you know how long that would take on my regular nap time work schedule? HOLY COW! Maybe next Spring I would have it all done! What I didn’t realize is the path that our train would be taking. It doesn’t take a Geographic Scientist to know that Chicago is practically due northeast from PA. Should be a straight shot, right? Um. Not according to the Geographical Scientists who work for Amtrak…we went from Philadelphia, to Baltimore, to Washington DC, to Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and we are now in Indiana headed for Illinois. At about 7:30 last night while we were traveling through a storm in the very wooded hills of West Virginia we stopped. We sat and sat and sat. Apparently a tree had fallen in the storm across the tracks and onto a bridge. Not only did a crew have to come out and clear the tree, a structural crew had to come inspect the bridge to make sure it was safe to cross. So, we are now a mere 6 ½ hours behind schedule. I was looking forward to getting into Chicago by 10:30 so I could maybe get into my room early, shower and get pretty again since I have been in the same clothes for over 24 hours. I thought I might go shopping or go to a museum or something, too. As it looks now, we will get into Chicago around 3:30 or 4pm. It’s all good though. More time to relax…I certainly don’t get enough of that. I have been texting friends and chatting with my dad off and on the whole trip. The train car I am in is not very full, I have had two full seats to myself almost the whole trip. There were a couple hours that I shared with a high-fashion Spanish-speaking traveler who called about 17 people and spoke a language I don’t understand. I pretended to know what she was saying. She had gorgeous shoes on. I am not really a shoe-person but I really loved her shoes! I imagined her telling all her Spanish friends about my plaid Keds with ankle socks…and how I was not the fashion statement she was. That’s a mom for you, though, right? It’s all about comfort!! The lady in front of me is one of those loud cell phone-talkers! You know the ones. Well, she seriously has called about 47 people in the last 24 hours – about 2 every hour and she tells them each the same EXACT story about our trip. I have lived this trip AND re-lived it 47 times! Blah, blah, blah, blah! She talked from between the train cars so her granddaughter could hear the whistle blow. We are pulling into Indianapolis and are to be ready for de-training if we need a smoke... umm, no thanks! The conductor just alerted everyone to stay train-side if we get off so we don’t end up like the girl who apparently got off in Cincinnati and unfortunately didn’t mean to stay there but did. I can see her luggage from where I sit…wonder what she will do. I have been taking pictures and videos out the windows for the kids. I am sure not as FUN as the pictures we will take once we all meet up in Chi-town! Did I tell you all that we will be meeting Manic on Sunday for dinner? Monday is her birthday so Dawn, Mimi and I are gonna take her out on the town – MOMMY-BLOGGER-STYLE! Now, this could be trouble. I will make sure that I get some good shots to share with you all. Make sure you check out all of our blogs as I am sure you will get hysterical variations of the same story – should be so fun! I am so excited!! Oh, geez, now the chatty grandma in front of me is making a date with the Eminem-looking kid across the aisle. She could be his mom. Gross. They just shared a spoon…BLECH!! Chicago, here I come.

3 comments:

Carl & Kathy said...

Your journey sounds like it's getting off to an adventurous start. Can't wait to hear when you get to Chicago!

Sue said...

They shared a spoon????? Bleck, Yuck, Ewwwww!

Other than that your trip is off to a good start (other than the 6 hr delay)! I am so jealous that you all get to meet that I just considered (for a second ) flying out there for Manic's bday dinner. I can't wait to hear all the versions of the same stories! Enjoy!

I am Heather...creator of all things crafty! said...

I cannot wait to see more pics and hear all the adventures. Just wish I could be there with ya'll. I could've crawled in Mimi's suitcase. Heather