Monday, July 27, 2009

All Aboard...We're Heading To Chicago! Part 1

Last week, we took a great summer trip to Chicago!

For many, many years, we have gone to the beach each summer because of Corey's work. It has been a huge blessing, as we have gotten to spend weeks at a time enjoying all that the beach has to offer.

This year however, Corey has changed jobs, and so we took the opportunity to plan a different kind of summer trip. At first, the kids were hesitant because going to the beach has been a major part of our summer for as long as they can remember. After a little bit of coaxing, we had them convinced that we would have fun visiting a new place that we had never had the chance to visit before.

We decided that we would go to Chicago, and all started getting very excited! We planned to drive, allowing a couple of days travel time each way, but a week or so before we were scheduled to head out, we learned that some friends had taken the train to Chicago, and that it was a great experience. After checking into it, we agreed that it looked like a good way to go! We rented two sleeper rooms, one with sleeping space for two (Corey and Christian), and another with sleeping space for three (Caylie, Carson, and myself).

Caylie was in on the planning process, but Christian was away at camp during this time, so we decided to keep the train ride a secret from him, and then surprise him at the last minute!

Our train was scheduled to depart around midnight, so we told Christian that we were going to leave late, and travel all night. When it was time to load up, we intentionally tried to make his "sleeping spot" in the truck very cramped! (I know...mean!)

As we pulled up to the train station, Christian was obviously confused! He didn't know where we were, or what we were doing there! We were all laughing as he slowly put the pieces of the puzzle together! He was sooo excited when he realized what was going on! It was a very fun way to begin our trip!

We boarded the train, and after getting settled in, we all went to bed, and slept (more or less) all nice!

The next morning, we headed down the hall into the dining room for breakfast.
Still looking kind of sleepy, we placed our orders with the waiter, and enjoyed a nice breakfast as we watched the sights go by.

After breakfast, we went to the observation car. It is a car designed for people to relax and visit, while seeing the scenery.

Corey and Caylie sitting at one of the booths in the observation car...

Carson is waiting for his partner to come back and play checkers with him!

Just minutes before we arrived in Chicago, Carson fell asleep again in Corey's arms. He was able to squeeze in a short, little nap, which was nice because when we got off of the train, we hit the ground running, and didn't slow down until bed time!

As we walked through Union Station, we were impressed with what a nice train station it is!

We rented a luggage cart, and piled it high. We had sooo much clubs, a stroller, a pack-n-play, carry on bags that we had in our sleeper cars, and our checked luggage! I think that I counted 13 separate pieces that we had to keep up with!

We headed outside and had to find an SUV taxi so that it could carry five passengers and 13 pieces of...stuff!

And the fun continues...

Writing the Waves,


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