I'm packing (or procrastinating) before a train trip I'm taking tomorrow. I'm excited to take the train, especially to go to a concert!
The train is delayed by about an hour and 17 minutes, so we’re going at a little more relaxed pace to the station. I’m very excited to take a train trip, though I am a little concerned about coronavirus, as Amtrak doesn’t require much more than a mask and a statement saying you don’t have coronavirus.
The trip was about 8 hours in total, but it wasn’t quite what I expected. The train had to leave a coach car behind in Washington state because of a broken wheel, so we sat in the lounge car the whole way there. While I would have preferred a reclining seat in coach, the lounge car was very pleasant and bright.
Train travel is pretty tiring though, and after the Empire Builder we had to navigate cta trains. It was pretty easy, but we did rush through it.
We had some sushi for dinner (v nice) and went to schleep after a hard cider.
What a day!!
We took a whirlwind tour of Chicago’s Riverwalk and parks, waking about seven miles at about twenty five minutes per mile. We saw the Cloud Gate and walked down Navy Pier. We didn’t have time for any museums or things like that, but I don’t feel like we missed out. My favorite part was seeing a sign on the Brittanica building in Romanian. It said
Mi-e dor de tine
Which means "I miss you". It's in honor of the people who haven't been able to go back to Romania for about 2 years because of coronavirus.
I had a lot of fun, even if my feet hurt after.
After walking through downtown, we took the L back up to our Airbnb. Soon after we were picked up to go to the rock concert. That concert was the whole reason we were there in Chicago.
A friend of ours had upgraded our tickets to VIP tickets, so we had some nice Romanian food and drinks before the show. I had some pretty good cognac and a few chiftele with varză.
We saw the concert in this big auditorium. The band (Vox Maris Band) was excellent. They play a smörgåsbord of rock music with an American sound all in Romanian. We even got up and danced a hora to one of their songs. It was a great time.
Today we took the L and a bus up to one of the northern suburbs to go to church. The church was adorned with beautiful icons from floor to dome. I saw these little roundels that looked like this:
┌──++──┐ │IC++XC│ ++++++++ ++++++++ │NI++KA│ └──++──┘
which were pretty cool.
Preoteasa showed us her huge collection of traditional Romanian embroidery. She has shirts from a hundred years ago and this really amazing hard leather vest. I wore the vest for a while and decided that if I had one, I'd wear it every day. We wound up looking at all of the embroidery for hours!
After church and the tour-de-france of traditional Romanian embroidered clothing, we went to the international grocery store. It was absolutely overwhelming. It's laid out like a regular grocery store, but each aisle has goods from different countries. We found Georgian and Romanian wines, Indian spices, šlivo, palinca, and horinca de Maramureș, Hungarian goulas krem, cașcaval, German rye bread, and so much more. It was so cool, I'd go back to Chicago just to go to the grocery store.
All good trips must end, and check-out of the Airbnb is 11am. So, we packed up our things and made our way back to Union Station. From the international grocery store we bought Romanian and Georgian wines, as well as some lunch for the train and some things for Thanksgiving. It was a little difficult (i.e. awkward, not heavy) moving all that stuff through Chicago to the train station, but we managed quite well.
Originally, we were going to spend a little time sightseeing before we left on the train, but there was a police action at one of the L stations that delayed the L a little, so we thought it better to get where we needed to be sooner than later.
Onboard the Amtrak train, we got actual seats this time, not just a bench in the lounge car. The trip was calm and relaxing. We bought some wine from the café and ate the lunch we packed from the international store. I listened to some podcasts and looked out the window until the sun went down.
We got to our destination about 12 minutes early, and got home safely. The trip was excellent, and I can't wait to go back on the train to Chicago again!
Thanks for reading :)
We, Thine unworthy servants, O Lord, grateful for the blessings which Thou hast given us always praise, bless, and thankfully glorify Thy lovingkindness, crying to Thee with love and humble submissiveness: "O Savior and Benefactor, glory to Thee!"
Мы, незаслужени слуги Твоји, Господу, благодарни дља благословениј, ктори јеси дал Ты нам, всегда хвалимо, благославјајемо, и возвеличивајемо благодарно сустрадање Твојего, кличемо Тобє с љубовју и скромным подањем: "Спаситељу и Добродєју, слава Тобє!"
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