Once upon a time, I came up with this super great plan to take each girl on an overnight trip someplace really cool when they turn 10 years old. Being that we’re only five hours away from someplace really cool, Chicago has been the destination of choice for the first two girls. One trip has happened already; the second is about to.
If you’ve been dropping by for any length of time, you know that we have had a less than stellar experience with Amtrak. Or two. But something happens with Amtrak and you tend to forget about all the bad, particularly when the price of their tickets is less than the Megabus, and you go ahead and do it again.
And you get hosed again: I got a phone call the other day explaining that, due to rail problems between St. Louis and Springfield, they took the liberty of booking us a bus to Springfield, where we will then catch our train to Chicago. A bus. Because apparently I really wanted to ride a bus to Chicago, which is why I booked our trip on AMTRAK. And our bus departure is a full hour earlier than our original train one was supposed to be: 5:40 on Friday morning. Can’t. Wait.
In all honesty, I didn’t really expect Amtrak to get us there on time anyway. This is the primary reason I didn’t schedule anything with tickets for Friday. I’m no dummy. Oh wait. I am giving Amtrak a third try…
But we do have some super fun things planned, and much of it is Groupon-funded. By this I mean that out of my Groupon account, I was able to get us certificates for four different places to eat and one super-fun activity. A friend of mine has another one she meant to use when she last went to Chicago and wasn’t able, so she’s giving it to us, which means we really have two super-fun activities to do this weekend due to the awesomeness that is Groupon.
So, the official agenda is as follows:
- Survive Amtrak
- Check into hotel (Priceline – we’re right in the middle of the city where I like it)
- Museum of Science and Industry OR Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier (free admission to either one with our St. Louis museum memberships)
- Dinner at America’s Dog with Groupon certificates at Navy Pier
- Hopefully get seats on the Tall Ship Windy with my friend’s Groupon
- Hang around Navy Pier
- Shedd Aquarium (my ticket is free courtesy of Bank of America’s free museum pass day)
- NYC Bagel Deli for lunch (Groupon)
- Chicago Film Tour (Groupon)
- The big ear piercing experience (hopefully with better results than daughter #1 had)
- American Girl Place for dinner (*cough* full price *cough*)
- Jamba Juice for breakfast (Groupon)
- Sheffield’s for lunch (Groupon)
- Cubs v. Mets game in the afternoon (my second-born is a big baseball fan)
- Amtrak back to Springfield, where Craig will pick us up and spare us the bus ride back to St. Louis; instead, we will go back to the farm for the night.
So that should just about take care of our time in Chicago. There are plenty of other things I wish we had time and/or money to do, but this should suffice. Chicago will be much more fun in September than in January.
Now if we can just get Amtrak to take us there. On Friday.