Well well. Nary a day after I was well-praised for my organizational skills, my ego has been appropriately and suitably bruised. For you see, we made a right mess of our trip from Niagara to Chicago.
Our plan all along was to take the train from Buffalo (just 30 minutes from Niagara Falls) to Chicago. There is only one such train per day, and it leaves at 11:59pm – one minute before midnight. So on Saturday night we left Niagara Falls at 10pm and got to the train station (via a typical white-knuckle cab ride). The train was running about 90 minutes late, so we had to wait at the station until about 1:30am when it arrived.
This was a challenge, to be sure. But at least we had stumped up a bit extra for a sleeper car so that we would eventually be all tucked in our nice, narrow, sleeper-train beds. The train arrived and we boarded, looking for car 4911, which was not to be found. We asked the attendant who went off for a bit of a chat with his colleague, and returned with the news: we were on the right train on the wrong day.
Our tickets were for the train that was to depart on Sunday night and arrive in Chicago on Monday morning — we were a day early. By now the train had already left Buffalo and was on its way.; I was somewhat surprised the conductor who checked our tickets prior to boarding didn’t notice. To make matters worse, this train was completely full – no available sleeper compartments; not even any regular seats were available.
Poor Heidi was distraught – she had done so well to stay up but now she just wanted to sleep. There was one glimmer of hope – the people in one of the larger sleeper bedrooms were getting of in Cleveland; we would be able to have their room after that. In the meantime, the only place we could go was the dining car, closed as it was for the night – we would have to wait there another 3 1/2 hours before Cleveland.
At 5am the train pulled into Cleveland and shortly thereafter we had a room. It wasn’t normally meant to sleep four people, but at this point we didn’t care. We managed to sleep for about four hours and the train eventually arrived in Chicago at around 10:30am.
Having this kind of a night pretty much wipes out the next day. We were able to check into our hotel here early and get some more rest, so that was good. I’ll cover our time in Chicago in the next post, but suffice it to say that we have suitably recovered although now more humble.