Saturday, January 9, 2016

Chicago: Amtrak layover

The City of New Orleans is just as bumpy and noisy as we remembered it, and suffering from more cutbacks.

There was only one employee assigned to the dining car. He seated us, took our orders (with the paperwork that entails, i.e a separate check for each diner to be signed), prepared and delivered the food, and bused the table.

It's surprising the food, now served on disposable plates with cheap plastic "beer cups" to hold our wine, was at least decent.

Lunch was not included yesterday, although we boarded at 1:00 p.m. and departed at 1:45.

It was announced that, ads notwithstanding, breakfast would be "continental." In fairness, it's noted on the Amtrak site that northbound breakfasts are of the continental variety.

We enjoyed the company of a pleasant couple from Ireland, and before long it was time to return to our bedroom, pack up, and prepare to "detrain," as it was described once or twice.

Before we knew it, we had checked our bags in the Amtrak lounge for sleeping car passengers and were outside Union Station.

It's a quiet Saturday morning around here, which suits us fine, and the tops of the tallest highrises are shrouded in fog. 

We're savoring a good cup of coffee ( the best since we left home) in a Starbucks, prior to heading to Giordano's for some Chicago Deep Dish Pizza before boarding the Empire Builder around 1:30 p.m.

Finally, as players of Scrabble and Words with Friends, we had to snap a photo of the El, one of the most useful two-letter words, which we assume refers to any elevated railway, but is synonymous with Chicago.

Here's to you, worthy wordy opponents!

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