Monday, September 19, 2011

Union Station, Chicago

Continuing our rail journey out of Albuquerque: On our second day on the train we came into Chicago's Union Station for a bit of a layover and a change of trains. What an amazing place this is! On our first stop there on the way back east, we pretty much grabbed something to eat, pawed through our suitcases for a change of clothes, and hopped onto the Internet to catch up with the world. On the way back, we took more pictures, shown here. 

From the Union Station website: ... completed in 1925 by the Graham, Anderson, Probst and White Firm, the Great Hall is considered to be one of the greatest indoor spaces in the United States.

Guests are awed as they enter this 20,000 foot classic Beaux Arts style room which boasts 18 soaring Corinthian columns, terracotta walls, a pink Tennessee marble floor and is crowned with a spectacular five-story, barrel-vaulted, atrium ceiling.

While waiting for the train the second time through Union Station (on our way back home) we found the Metro Deli, where I had the best salad ever--Grilled Shrimp and Roasted Pear. I have posted a version of it here on my recipe blog. You can drool over the rest of the Deli's menu here

On this leg of our journey, traveling from Chicago to Boston, we had a different type of roomette. I was so looking forward to having my own private bathroom, but once again we were reduced to giggles at the sight of it. If you look carefully to the left of Beez, that is the whole thing. There is a toilet (with a pillow stored on top of it in this photo), sitting right there next to the seat, with a little pull-down sink above it. 

I'm telling you, we broke some new ground on this journey! At least there was a nice view from the toilet, and a nice view of the toilet, as well. When you are traveling by rail in the eastern part of the country, only single level trains are allowed, because bridges and overpasses are lower than in the wide-open west, where our double decker train traveled with no restrictions. So our little in-room bathroom was in full view on ground level. 

I was so desperate to wash my hair that this is where I used a rinsed-out wine bottle to pour water over my head and into the tiny sink, while waving merrily to the porters just outside the window in the station as we waited that night for the train to leave on the final leg to Boston.


Jean (aka Auntie Bucksnort) said...

Sounds a lot like camping!

Margie's Musings said...

Sure does! Really roughing it!

JC said...

And they always advertise that traveling by train is fabulous. I'm sure it was an adventure though. The Chicago station looks interesting. I used to love the old train station in Tacoma where I grew up.

Sylvia K said...

I love to travel by train, but have to admit, this does look more like camping!! Have a great week, Clairz!


clairz said...

Don't let me discourage you from traveling by train--stay tuned for the part where we get a whole bedroom with an enclosed toilet and shower! A more luxurious ride is on the way.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That's so funny! I can see that shampoo scene.

I'm so glad that some of those wonderful old architectural marvels still survive -- that station looks beautiful. Our train trip took us through there but I think my mind was so boggled by getting off the train, finding a cab to our hotel etc, that I didn't have time or energy to appreciate it.

Joyful said...

Looks like you've had some interesting experiences on the train :-)

Linda said...

And I thought everything in America was bigger! Still, the station in Chicago is like a cathedral. I love travelling by train - I'd chose it over flying or driving every time.
How strange about the open view toilet. I once flew from Oslo to London with SAS, and the toilet had a normal window, just like a seat in the cabin. It was rather a lovely view from the loo at 36,000 feet.

becky said...

Well, the toilet arrangement cracks me up. What's Beez doing, texting?

clairz said...

Becky, I'm still laughing at your comment on the previous post about train travel being "romantic." That toilet sitting there like a third wheel was anything but romantic, but we sure had fun.

Beez and that 'droid of his--he was probably programming in stuff for his gps to tell us to do, or making reservations somewhere, or--yes, texting. That thing almost gives me a heart attack when it goes "DROID" in the middle of the night.

Ms. Becky said...

it sure isn't the Orient Express, huh? thanks for the laughs!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

lol! Roughin' it on a train. Love it!

I took the train from ABQ to Chicago's Union Station, then continued on to Wash. D.C's Union Station, 15 years ago when I was pregnant with my twins. I was going back to visit everyone before the twins were born and have my baby shower. I didn't get a room, though, since it was just me traveling. But I slept in the seat and was rather comfie. Met some wonderful people along the way, though.
Train travel is wonderful.