I decided to take Amtrak this Thanksgiving rather than fly. Glad I did.
Typically, I would drive from Columbia, MO to St. Louis. Then I’d take Southwest Airlines to Midway Airport in Chicago.
Then I’d get a shuttle to Union Station. Finally, I would take the Metra from Union Station to Grayslake, IL where my 84-year-old mother would pick me up. Even though the flight would only be about an hour, the whole trip would take about 8 hours, what with waiting and connections and all.
One can make the drive in 8 hours…but I’m done doing that as a one-day solo trip.
Instead, yesterday I drove from Columbia, MO to LaPlata, MO where there’s an Amtrak station. As luck would have it, the train was on time. The seat was roomy, the staff were friendly, and it was only about a 5 hour ride … smooth as silk. I totally relaxed…something I would not be able to do driving or flying. I even napped a bit – a rarity for me when in a moving vehicle of any kind. We arrived at Union Station, I obtained my Metra ticket, and before I knew it, I was on the 4:40 p.m. Metra train. I arrived in Grayslake at 5:43 p.m., just in time for a pot roast dinner.
I know Amtrak experiences delays, some passengers can be annoying or neglect to manage noisy/annoying children, sometimes staff have reached their limits with rude customers, and acts of nature can create havoc. All I know is that this trip to my folks’ place was totally stress free and easy.
If anyone needs to travel not too terribly far – 500 miles or less – and isn’t in a hurry, then get on board Amtrak and relax.
Kudos to Amtrak for a great Thanksgiving travel experience to my folks’ place. I’m hoping the trip back to Missouri Monday will be just as pleasant.