We're approaching Cleveland!
We're finally on our way! Saturday night was interesting, to say the least. Our group was very excited to be embarking on this unique train trip, as we gathered at Union Station waiting to board the Inauguration Express. We have a very diverse group of folks - some from as far away as San Diego! Many are from the Chicago area and two of our traveling companions you might recognize from City Council...Alderman Dick Mell and Alderman Gene Schulter!
We certainly had enough time to mingle, as our train was almost 2 1/2 hours late departing. We pulled out of Union Station at 9:20 - weather related delays, and boy am I familiar with that, considering the week we just had in Chicago!!
The crew was most gracious, as well as apologetic, but nobody seemed to mind. We were just enjoying each other's company and sharing our stories as to how we all ended up on this train. Sara and I had dinner with Alvin and Debra Harvey, the couple I interviewed for my story last week. Talk about 6 degrees of separation! It turns out one of their grandsons is classmates with Sara - and they are both in the school musical!!
Bedtime was a bit late for me, considering my usual turn down time is 8:00 pm. We got in our bunk beds closer to 11:00 pm! And yes the berths in the sleeper cars are tight - manageable and cozy, but tight! I guess that's because my idea of traveling "light" is not what they had in mind in the 1940s and '50s when these cars were designed! Like I said - it's an adventure!
We're in the Cleveland area right now traveling around 60 mph. We're currently some 3 hours behind schedule; partially due to late departure and partially due to weather related slow zones. No matter though - we're staying in the Royal Street car which is part sleeper and part lounge, so it will give us time to meet more of our traveling companions, relax and enjoy the snowy scenery. I'm told we should hit Pennsylvania in the 9:00 hour as we continue eastward.