Surviving Chicago: Day One

Welcome to another adventure with the Pearons!

Matthew here, and I’ll be your guide for Day One. If you’ve followed along with us before, you know the drill. If you’re new here, I’ll give you a quick rundown.

We love to travel — be it across the country or across the globe, we’re ready to go. As we trek into the wilds of wherever we are, we take a bit of time to record our travels. The daily entries usually consist of a few words, a few photos and a whole lot of Pearon. Don’t worry, it’s mostly painless and what doesn’t heal leaves cool scars.
Now that you have an idea of what to expect, buckle up … because we’re headed to CHICAGO!

That’s right! The Windy City is about to be subjected to the Pearons. It’s supposed to be the city that can’t be broken … but it hasn’t met us yet. :) To gear up for this trip, we’ve been practicing our Chicagoan accents — with a few tips from a gecko and a panel of sports fans

Now I’ll get down to the nitty gritty details of Day One.
For a few different reasons, Valeri and I decided to try out the rail service between Jefferson City and Chicago:

  • The rail is something we hadn’t done before, save for a quick trip between London and Paris.
  • We don’t have to try to drive around in Chicago’s traffic.
    (This is for the benefit of everyone involved. Drivers, passengers, pedestrians that get in my way, etc.)
  • We don’t put mileage on our vehicles, then have to pay for parking.
  • Trains are cool.

If any of our readers have been following the news stories coming out of Jefferson City, Missouri, you’ll know we’ve had a bit of trouble with the weather lately. Namely, a massive amount of water, tornadoes and then more water. Yep … we’re flooded.
Due to Jefferson City’s proximity to the Missouri River and the poisitioning of tracks along the shoreline, Amtrak saw the need to cancel the first leg of our rail journey and run a replacement bus service in its place. Buses are fun, too, but the routes make the trip longer, and the longer it takes us to arrive, the less time we get to spend in Chicago and the less patient I become.


Side Note: If there is something that traveling has taught me about myself, it is that I’m not the most patient of people, and a deviation in the travel plans brings out a bit of anxiety. When I get anxious, I begin muttering terrible things about random people and expressing how much I wish we hadn’t even started the trip at all. Once we’ve actually started the journey, I’m fine again and the trip instantly returns to it’s original “greatest idea ever” status.
I would like to point out that my wife is an absolute saint for putting up with me during my grumpy traveler episodes. I’m sure she’s been tempted several times to just leave me right where I stand and continue the trip witout me.
My dearest Valeri, I am eternally grateful that you haven’t done that … yet.

Back to the trip.
After spending a  million  three hours on the bus, we were finally able to hop on a train for the rest of our journey toward Chicago. As you can imagine, this has been pretty uneventful. We’ve watched a movie; read our books; ate some train food; and silently judged other passengers for subjecting us to their phone conversations or listening to weird music without headphones … you know, all the usual stuff.
We’re currently pulling away from Summit Station, and if Amtrak hasn’t lied to us, we should be arriving in Chicago in about 30 minutes (right around 11 p.m.), which will give us just enough time to figure out how to get to our Airbnb, then pass out from travel fatigue.

Speaking of travel fatigue, sitting in this train seat for this long has caused my legs to get a bit restless, so I’m going to bring this entry to an end and walk around the train for a bit.
Reader, if you have a spare minute, pray for my self-control; I’m worried my walk will lead me right to the snacks carriage … and that just isn’t healthy food.

Check back in with us tomorrow for Valeri’s entry on Chicago Day Two!

“I give you Chicago. It is not London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from snout to tail.”

– H. L. Mencken


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