My daughter and I traveled A LOT this summer! We usually do travel a lot in the summer. This year we tried something new- we took a train for one of our adventures! I’ll tell you about all of our adventures, but this post is about our travels by train!
We decided to take a train when flights were just way too expensive. We were headed to Buffalo to visit my family, and my sister was actually going to be in Chicago the week before we wanted to go, so we picked her up and she spent some time here, before we all got on a train.
So imagine this, me and my daughter, her and her son. On a train. Over night. Sounds crazy, right? Well, the even crazier part, was that we took a train, to the train. Yeah. With all our luggage. And two toddlers. We had a lot of luggage. And our toddlers are VERY active 🙂
So my husband dropped us off at the train station. We walked over, and after he drove away, we realized the elevator was not working to get up to the train platform. So we had to drag all the luggage up the stairs, along with the toddlers. I took up a load, along with my daughter, and then went back for more. We managed to get it all up in a few trips, and got to a bench to sit and wait for the train. And then this person next to us started smoking. Ugh! Gross!
Can you see my sister down there with the rest of the luggage?
The train started to come, so we got up and got ready. And when it stopped, and we saw the gap between the platform and the stairs, we started to panic a bit! How were we going to get all of our luggage, and the kids, and ourselves on before the doors closed and it started moving?? We hustled as fast as we could. I’m pretty sure I threw my kid up the stairs and all the luggage after her, then jumped on and started grabbing bags from my sister.
We got on, and took up a lot of seats, between our bags and our bodies 🙂 The kids were pretty bouncy at this point, but we managed to make it to Chicago to get on the train. My husband had printed me a map of how to get to the train station, but maps and I, we don’t get along. So we managed to get off the train with all of our luggage, thanks to help from a nice man who could see we were a little frazzled. Then we got out on the street and HOLY SMOKES! Chicago is so overwhelming! We saw a guy walking by, and although I knew I would probably have to pay him, I asked him if he knew were Union Station was. He said he was going in that direction, and he took a few bags off my hands and started walking. So we followed along, and held onto the kids.
The man was very nice, talked to us a little bit, and helped us navigate the streets. We saw a big building that said Union Station and he kept going, so we asked and he said there were two of them! What the heck! We needed to get to the one across the street. So we had one more street to cross. And my nephew fell, in the middle of the road! So my sister was then carrying him, and some bags. I had a car seat and some bags, and the nice man had some bags….it was quite a work out! But we made it! And we paid the man what he asked- we could not have done it without him!
We got into the train station, checked our bags and the car seat and headed out to find food. I had packed chicken in my bag because I knew there was a strong chance that I wouldn’t be able to find anything gluten free in a train station, but the kids and my sister needed to eat. We saw a Jamba Juice and that was exciting because I had a gift card, but after we got the kids McDonalds, it was closed 😦 My sister grabbed a sandwich somewhere and we ate, stopped at the restroom and headed to find our train.
It took us awhile to find out train, but once we did, we settled in and sat to wait. We didn’t have to wait long before they asked for families or people who need more time to come forward. We were shuffled into another room where we sat and waited. At this point my daughter and nephew were riding the suitcases around and quite over tired.
We finally got to head to the train. And I’m pretty sure we walked 2 miles next to the train before we were allowed on. It was crazy! We were still dragging quite a bit of carry on luggage, and the tired toddlers!
We sat down, got comfy, and tried to settle our toddlers. Luckily there are outlets on the train so we could plug in our phones while we slept. Well, while the kids slept and I tried to sleep. It was SO COLD! I was freezing! I had pants and a sweatshirt on, and socks and sneakers! But I was so cold I just lay there shivering!
Before I got my daughter to sleep, we had to take a few silly pictures 🙂
My sister had a bigger struggle getting my nephew to sleep. He kept trying to flip over her and get out, lol! He eventually fell asleep and slept for a LONG time! Which is awesome 🙂
I don’t remember how long we were on the train, but I think it seemed longer since I was so cold. Once it was morning, I wasn’t cold anymore, it was just through the night. But it was a rough ride because of the cold for sure!
My daughter was very excited when we were arriving!
The train finally got to Buffalo and my brother in law was there to get us and all of our luggage!
My sister and I were pretty tired by the time we arrived. Her and her son had been gone from home for more than 2 weeks so they headed home to rest up, and I headed to my moms to unpack. About 2 hours after we got there, I felt like her apartment was moving (it is on the second floor, so I think I was thinking it was windy), but it was like a delayed onset motion sickness! It went away after I rested a bit, and it was odd because I’ve been on a cruise before, and many planes, and have never experienced anything like that.
We stayed for a week and half, then got back on a train to go home. I’ll tell you about that trip in another blog post.
Have you ever traveled overnight by train?