|Tina and Brenda|
I guess we don't do much in the way of "ordinary" any more. Given the fact that we don't have a car or even car insurance any more, we have to get creative when traveling. In order to get from the Carlyle Lake Rendezvous to Madison, we took a unique approach. Steve and Sarah kindly drove us from their house to the Amtrak train station in St. Louis. We stopped at a new brew house for lunch and a final chance to say thank you to our good friends.
We hadn't taken an Amtrak train before and we were really looking forward to it. We boarded the train for our trip and settled into the quite comfortable seats. They offer more leg room and width than either a bus or airplane which Mike really liked. It was fun and relaxing - maybe too relaxing as Mike fell asleep within minutes of leaving St. Louis. The scenery was interesting and the train's ride was quite smooth. The train offers free wi-fi, but it is slower than our sailboat. Cornfields, trees, towns, graffiti and did we say cornfields kept us entertained as the trip quickly rolled by. Oh yeah, there were cornfields.
|St. Louis Arch|
|Tina playing Giant Jenga|
Once we entered Union Station in Chicago we hustled around to make our bus connection to Madison. We were taking the 9:30 p.m. Van Galder bus, so we only had 20 minutes to find the bus stop. We found the unmarked spot only because we remembered where we had picked up this same bus route a couple of years before. Once safely on the bus and crammed into their much smaller seats we relaxed knowing our next stop was back home in Madison, Wisconsin.
|Dan, Michelle, Matt, Kelley, Tina|
Mike's mom stayed up late to pick us up in her car at midnight. It seemed strange to be "visitors" in what has always been home to us. Mom whisked us home and we all slept like dogs.
|Evening on Lake Mendota|
Let the feasting begin! Mom is one of those gifted people that can cook and bake amazing food. Neither of us gets too excited about cooking, so it is fun to watch someone talented in the kitchen have so much fun creating food art. We are considering booking an extra seat on our return flight just to carry all the weight we are gaining while we are here.
We excitedly contacted friends and family to make plans for visits. We visited with Mom, our son Matt and his fiancé Kelley and our daughter Tina. We had great visits with several of our friends including Susan & Phil, Michelle & Dan, Penny & Scott, Kay & Roger, Carol & Dave and Joni & Jim. We will also get to meet up with our friends JoEllen & Lance tomorrow. Finally we will visit with Mike's sisters Lisa and Kim and their husbands Mike and Roy. Whew, we sure are making up for lost time.