We boarded our Superliner carriage which would carry us all the way from Denver to Chicago, the windy city. We got on the train at around seven at night and proceeded to go to our shared cabin. It was more spacious than expected and we both got two full beds.
Our cabin on the ride across the mid-west
We had a bit of a wait in Denver before we left the station. After about thirty minutes we were called to the Dining Car to have a spot of dinner. Since the train was packed we had to share a table. We were sat with an older married couple who were from Nebraska. They usually take this train whenever they come to visit their kids and grandkids. They find it is a much more relaxing way to travel compared to air travel. They’re able to get two proper meals and a decent night’s sleep in both directions. They were also quite curious as to what two young adults from Singapore were doing on a cross-country train in the United States. We told them about our travels and it made for some great conversation. We told them about what we do and I also talked about some of my South America travels. It is important to note that while all food and drink is included the tip isn’t. This meant that Nalin and I had to purchase alcoholic drinks in order to tip. This then resulted in what looked like a hilarious receipt.
After dinner, I headed towards the observation car with my laptop to do some blogging. While I couldn’t see anything as it was the middle of the night, the lounge seats made it exceptionally comfortable to blog on. Soon it was time to rest and we had asked our friendly attendant to make the beds. We were each given a plush mattress, soft pillows and a woolen blanket. Nalin took this opportunity to use the wool blanket to shock me using static electricity. To say the least, it made for quite the shocking conclusion to the night.
We woke up the following morning to a bleak and cold winter landscape.
The landscape from our train
We were currently in either Nebraska or Iowa and we decided to have a shower. While our cabin did have a shower it was fantastically small. I decided that I would go use the bigger shower on the lower level while my brother would have to squeeze into the tiny box. After the refreshing and shaky shower, we decided to have a late breakfast. Just like dinner, our meal was already covered with breakfast. We spent the time admiring the scenery outside the window before heading back to our cabin to relax. We spent the rest of the time writing on our laptops before our early afternoon arrival into Chicago.
We arrived at Chicago Union Station at around two in the afternoon. From there we headed straight for the hotel on Magnificent Mile. As we took our Uber to the hotel we passed by some famous landmarks. This included the Willis Tower, the Hancock tower, the Tribune building and the many bridges that cross the lake. After checking in to our service apartment we headed to Citibank where Nalin wanted to get himself a new American credit card. I also started the process of opening an American bank account for when I enter university. The friendly lady at Citibank gave me a list of the documents I needed to bring in order to open an account. After spending some time there we headed back to our service apartment to get some rest before some of Nalin’s friends for dinner.
It was soon night time and Nalin and I got ready for dinner but first, we had to drop some of our clothes off at a nearby laundromat. She had recognised us from our previous visit several years ago when we came for Nalins graduation. After dropping the clothes for laundry, we headed to dinner with two of Nalin’s friends from his university. His friends were both called Sunny and both were lovely and fun to hang out with. They mostly spent the time catching up with my brother and reminiscing about their years at Northwestern. They were also curious about my little adventure through South America. The restaurant specialised in something called a pizza pot pie. This is where the sauce with all the vegetables is cooked in a bowl then it is baked with a thick crust on top. It is only available here and it is worth going to.
The Pizza Pot Pie
The restaurant is called the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co. After some wine and pizza, we headed back to our hotel to grab an early night. Both of the Sunny’s had to rest for work the next day. I had a lot of fun meeting them and I hope to meet them again soon.
The next few days in Chicago would mostly be spent meeting up with old friends and getting some rest before the final two parts of the journey. New Orleans and New York City.