Monday, November 12, 2012

Riding on the City of New Orleans and Bob Dylan

I liked Chicago. I don't think I was prepared to like it, or even thought very much about if I would like it as I planned our trip, but it was nice. My husband and I took an Amtrak train from New Orleans to Chicago to see Bob Dylan with Mark Knopfler in concert, the City of New Orleans train. My purpose was to have a short get away trip for us with low stress - (husband NOT driving) - and to see Bob Dylan. Dylan is 71 and you know, how long will he tour? Anyway, I really liked Chicago, as did hubby.

We left New Orleans on a Thursday afternoon, 1:35 PM. New Orleans is a 2.5 hour drive from our house in Gulf Breeze, Florida and so we made sure we arrived in New Orleans with enough time to eat at Mother's before we boarded. That place is great! Had gumbo and oyster/shrimp Po'Boy with coffee, a creamy blend of coffee that is different than regular brewed coffee, but I haven't figured out how they do that. We made reservations on Amtrak in a Roomette - a private sleeper car that allows you to sit and sleep in privacy while you test the strength of your marriage. It is the smallest of the Amtrak sleeper cars. It has wonderful windows to gaze out of but when it comes time to sleep, a prescription sleeping pill is a must in trip planning.

Riding Amtrak gives you the opportunity to see the back side of lots of towns, some of that is interesting. Going north out of New Orleans I heard the comment a few doors down, "I saw an alligator"! I did not see an alligator this trip but I did see lots and lots of crab trap buoys stuck in bushes from previous high water.

And I saw the following:

I don't know where this was but is was interesting for a few minutes.

You can also see lots of older train cars along the way. If you really like trains, and I'm starting to, it is almost like a museum!
Arrival in Chicago  - 9:00 AM the next day - breakfast and lunch with total strangers along the way who are not so strange after the meal.

On Friday we went to the Art Institute of Chicago which was absolutely fabulous -
Lion in front of Art Institute

I will do another blog post on that museum as there was so much I enjoyed there, then we went on to United Center for the concert. Took a taxi to United Center, public bus on way back to the Palmer House where we were staying.

 Here is a photo from the room at the hotel, when we arrived from Amtrak.
Really nice place, the Palmer House - we saw Geraldo Rivera that night in the lobby. He was so happy to see us. :-)

The trip was great. We went to the Museum of Science and Industry the next day where there are more exhibits than you can see in a day...

and boarded the Amtrak at 8:00 PM that night, Saturday, to head back south. I'm glad I went. If you haven't tried Amtrak sleepers cars yet for a trip, give it a try. It's a unique experience.

Below is the link to the review of the concert from the Chicago Tribune if you care to read it - it was truly a great night with the artists. They were happy to see us too.,0,817318.column

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