2 metras + 4 amtraks = 9 days of family fun
We had quite an evetful trip last year for the holidays, so this Christmas, Chad and I decided not to drive at all. On Saturday, Dec 19 we took the southbound Metra (a block from our house) down to Chicago and walked to Union Station to take an Amtrak to Pontiac, IL. Chad's friends picked us up, we stayed for a few days with his family and then headed back to Chicago via Amtrak to catch a different Amtrak to Jackson, MI. After spending a few days with family/friends in Jackson, it was back on a train to Chicago to catch the Metra northbound to Kenosha on Sunday, Dec 27. We only had a little bit of layover and it ended up being cheaper than driving (and much safer!). It was a little tricky getting all of the gifts we were taking (plus our clothes/items) into small enough suitcases to make for convenient travel: walking & shoving into luggage racks. It was even MORE difficult to get it all back...we were absolutely spoiled this year! We brought back DOUBLE (or more) of what we took with us. Thanks to Chad and his master packing ninja skills and my Uncle Rick's donated suitcase, we made it with all of our booty! I'm sure the two of us were quite comical to watch in the snow covered streets of Chicago.
Down in Illinois, we enjoyed getting together with friends at Buffalo Wild Wings, watching movies at Jeff's, celebrating with the Langhoffs, dinner with the Schleuters, breakfast with grandparents, opening gifts at John & Jeanette's and eating more food than we thought humanly possible. Mexican Train Dominoes, "Fred Claus" and Hearts made our evenings memorable.
In Michigan, we enjoyed getting together with a group of friends from highschool that we haven't seen in ages, Dicecapades marathon with my mom & sisters, a beautiful Christmas Eve service at my home church, marshmallow guns, Mexican Train Dominoes with a star conductor (Charlie), Chistmas morning/all day with my Dad and Jennifer, Pictionary Man tournament, and an extended Bedore family Christmas at my mom's house. It was so amazing to see so many people and to have so many great conversations. Catching up with everyone and hearing what they've been up to was worth every train.