Friday, April 16, 2010

Chicago Is.......My Kind of Town

We had an opportunity to take a little vacation this past week and we headed to one of our very favorite towns - Chicago.

Instead of taking a plane we took Amtrak.  It is truly so much fun taking a relaxing train trip across parts of the states that are not accessible by car or plane.  I can remember taking the train back to Iowa once our family moved to California.  It was always so much fun.  DH is also a fan of train travel and we have taken many train trips over the years.

This trip we took a more southern route via the Southwest Chief.  Leaving Los Angeles at 6:45 p.m., we traveled through the desert during the nightime hours.  We managed to get a sleeper car and there is nothing quite like being rocked to sleep by the swaying on the tracks.  The fellow travelers we met along the way were such fun.  It is just a great way to journey.

I will make this a two part story so I can show you some of the pictures of our train trip.

Los Angeles Union Station.

The beautiful lobby of the train station in L.A.

The old ticket booths, now vacant, and the gorgeous inlaid marble floors.

Meeting Henry, our porter, for the journey,

First sunrise over the Southwest.

Sunrise in Kansas City on the second morning.

Reflection of the K.C. Union Station in a glass building.

Union Station in K.C.

Along with it's gorgeous ceiling

Arrival at Chicago's Union Station.

Again, the old terminal sits mostly as a work of art of bygone days.

One place that we always enjoy staying when we visit Chicago is The Palmer House.  To us, there is a lot of history.  My mother spent a weekend there in college and my in-laws met up there after the war.  I can just imagine my MIL sitting in the grand and elegant lobby as she awaited the arrival of my FIL after his years in the war.  They had only been married a few weeks before he was shipped off.

The Palmer House entrance.

The famous Tiffany Peacock doors at the entry.

The grand lobby of the Palmer House.

I could sit and stare at the ceiling for hours.  Simply breathtaking.

View of Lake Michigan from our room on the 22nd floor.

The next day we purchased a transit card and decided to go out to see Wriggley Field.  I could almost hear the roar of the crowd as we stepped off the Red Line.  Chicago fans are great baseball fans.

So much so that they actually build bleachers on top of their homes, businesses, etc. to catch a glimpse of what is going on IN the stadium.  Can you imagine the fun that these fans must have???

More to follow..........


  1. Thanks- that was very interesting.

  2. Wonderful pictures...really enjoyed them...but glad you are home.

  3. What a wonderful trip...can't wait for the rest of your photos. Also, I didn't forget about a siggy block...will get around to it when things aren't as hectic. While you were away, did you know that Val's Granny passed away? Many of us were so sad to hear that.....and I'm not sure if you knew about it yet.

  4. The photos are just beautiful Mary. Thank you for sharing. It is like going on the journey with you.

  5. The old train station is so beautiful! So glad they didn't tear it down and put something modern up....but the that's something. I've never been to Chicago, but it looks like maybe I should!

  6. What a fun trip! I haven't been on a train since I was 12 when I took a trip all by myself from Minneapolis to Waterloo, Iowa to care for young cousins while my aunt had her 3rd baby - what a story. But it sounds like so much fun, especially if you have a sleeper! What beautiful old stations - so glad they're still around.

    DC went to college in Chicago, but so far we haven't made it back there except for the airport on the way to somewhere else. Someday!!

  7. I love the train too. Have you ever taken the train that runs across the northern part of the US thru Montana? I have heard it is amazing.

  8. When the Cubs were in the world series, my oldest daughter got to watch from the roof of one of the homes! My middle daughter has a condo. on Michigan Ave, You can see the Sears Tower from her windows. We live about 40 miles west of Chicago, it is a great city.
    I have been on trains, but never a sleeper, how much fun it looks. I am looking forward to part two!

  9. What a beautiful pictures you made !

  10. WOW what grand pictures!! Glad you had a great time! Can't wait to see the rest!

  11. How fun! I have never taken an overland train her in the states, but I did in Russia and you are right, the rocking to sleep on a train is very nice...and what is it about the beautiful train stations? I have never understood why so much tender loving care was put into those...but they are beautiful! Sounds like a great trip!

  12. Oh how fun and what great train stations! I took the train with DS once when DH was gone. We didn't have a sleeper but DS got sick, so we had a whole lower level car to ourselves. LOL :-)) I hope I can take another trip sometime. Thanks for taking me along on yours!

  13. The buildings in America are so impressive.Beautiful photos, can't wait to see more.

  14. Loved all of the photos!

  15. What a great trip. Train travel always sounds so romantic. It's fun to see our city (Chicago) through someone else's eyes.

  16. nice looking town indeed!
    Glad you had a nice trip and home safe and sound!

  17. What a wonderful trip! The sleeping compartment must have been heavenly feeling the sway of the train, I would love that! We have never gone anywhere by Amtrack but I would love to if I could get R out of the office long enough!!!!!Sigh........ Oh well, we have lots of trips coming up but I guess I will have to tolerate the airports!!!

    The pictures are spectacular! I would want to stare at that ceiling too. Nice to see the older buildings which had so much more character then the newer ones.

    I see you had a wonderful Easter get together! What fun! Having the inflatables makes it such fun for the kids. The girls did a beautiful job on their Easter dresses, they put me to shame! lol!

    Wwhat are the flowers in the background of the group picture of the children? Is it bougenvilla, I don't know how to spell it but I think you know what I mean. Just gorgeous!

    Well my friend, time marches on and lots to do in the upcoming months. Five trips to think about but they are spread out fairly well. The boys come home next week some time and I will be one happy camper!!!!!!! My heart still breaks when I think that Skippy isn't going to be with them but I have to get a grip and know that this was meant to be. God has a plan in our lives even concerning our dear pets and sometimes we don't understand the 'whys' but we aren't supposed to. Actually I am doing quite well, once the others get home I will be fine.

    My sister is taking me out to lunch today so I must get gussied up a bit. I can't believe I am 59 when did that happen? Where did the years go?!

    Take care and I'm glad you are home!

  18. wow..wish i can visit chicago one day.. wonderful pics.. glad u enjoyed it all...
    by the way, I am Claire from

    Have a nice day!

  19. What fabulous pictures. The lobbies of the train stations are wonderful. Love the old ticket booths. Thanks for sharing your trip. I look forward to more.

  20. Oh enjoy your giveaway! I love going to Chicago! I have never stayed at your hotel , but it looks so pretty!

    Have fun, isn't the food great in Chicago! We had pizza at Giordano's and it was amazing!

    Have a lovely time and say hi to Chicago from me! :)))

  21. I'm imagining falling asleep to the rocking of the train. How peaceful. I rode in a sleeper car on a train up to Cairns in QLD, Australia years ago and loved it.
    What a wonderful trip!
    I love the reflection of the old station in the glass building and all that wonderful architecture.
    The Palmer House is magnificent. I especially love the peacock doors, but the lobby and ceiling are amazing!
    Looking forward to the next installment :) Thanks for sharing your fun.

  22. What a fantastic trip! I love train journeys too and sometimes take one down to Devon to visit our daughter and her family. I love the photo's of the much more attractive than stations in the UK and such a beautiful hotel. I will look forward to seeing more of your trip.

  23. Wow! I've never seen Chicago before. It's where my father grew up. I was born in Indianapolis but we moved to Texas when I was two. Great photos!

  24. What a fun trip. I remember Wrigley and Union station. We took our 8th grade field trip to Chicago by train and it was so much fun.
    My niece and her family take the amtrax from Ne to Ca to visit his brother. She said that by going by train now it has saved her marriage.LOL She said that they would never go that far again with 2 kids in a car.
    Thanks for taking me back to Chicago.

  25. Wow, thanks so much for sharing such wonderful pics of your trip. We took Amtrak train once from NY to Fl with our kids. We had such fun time. Look forward to the next part of your trip - Hugs Nat

  26. I am just now getting around to visiting blogs again since Granny went home. Your pictures are beautiful. I wanted to say thank you for your sweet words of comfort and also for making the Granny Fan button for me. I will never ever forget it. Thank you for loving Granny.

  27. what a great trip! I have never taken a train anywhere....I have always wanted to though....The train station is so pretty......Cant wait to see the rest of the pictures.....