Monday, November 3, 2014

44.5/52: Girl's Trip to Chicago, Part II

 Over looking Chicago River

After two days of meetings in Chicago, Chick and I walked from our hotel to Chicago's Union Station for our 2:15 departure aboard the Amtrak Empire Builder last Monday.

We found the most perfect place for lunch, Townhouse Wine Bar before the train departed.  

It was so nice to relax, enjoy a Chardonnay and some shrimp tacos and say a proper goodbye to Chicago!

Chicago Union Station is absolutely gorgeous!  I am glad that Chick had time to see the architecture and hang out in the Metropolitan Lounge before boarding.

The Empire Builder is an interesting train and I've taken it from Portland to Chicago, but not even though the route was not new to me, I knew that it would still be enjoyable.

Along the way, we pass through rural America.....Milwaukee, WI....Winona, MI....Fargo, ND....Minot, ND.....Wolf Point, MT....Glacier National Park, MT........Spokane, WA.....White-Salmon, WA and on into Portland, OR.

The funnest thing was Chick's experience on board.  Everything from the introduction to our roomette to our first dinner was good for a laugh!!  We both had a wonderful trip!

We enjoyed a bottle of wine in our room before dinner, and opted for a dinner reservation after sunset.  We passed the suburbs of Chicago and finally over into Wisconsin.  

There isn't much to "do" on the train, but there is a lot to see (and eat).  

Despite not sleeping much that first night, neither one of us wanted to miss the sights of America from the train.  We played cards, drank Bloody Mary's and ate three meals a day!

Before we knew it, we were in Washington and soon to cross the Columbia River into Oregon.

Columbia River Gorge

It took us 50 hours and 23 minutes to go from Chicago to Portland (and we ended up being 4 hours and 4 minutes late).

We were EXHAUSTED, but what a fun adventure!