Friday (8th) after saying our goodbyes to NY we boarded the #49 train from Penn Station to Chicago. For our first trip on Amtrak we had a roomette, which is bascically a small room that has 2 seats facing each other by day, at night a bed folds down from the wall and the 2 seats go together to form another. We immediately set ourselves up with music via our ipods and portable speakers, and newly purchased card games, Monopoly Deal and Skip-Bo (introduced to us by Emma) ready for our trip along the Hudson and New York state through to Chicago, a relatively short one at 19 hours.
Our roomette and travelling past the Hudson up New York State
Saturday (9th) after a very enjoyable trip we checked into our centrally located hotel and wandered around Chicago. We stumbled upon a great Cafe nearby where we went for lunch, Grand Cafe Lux. Judging by the lines it seemed to be a bit of a Chicago institution. After some more wandering we went out to dinner to the also close by House of Blues, a blues restaurant, bar and venue started by Blues Brothers star Dan Akroyd. It was fantastic, we feasted on southern delights of Gumbo, Jambalaya and Red Beans and rice, to the great sound of a blues duo on stage.
Grand Cafe Lux
Outside the House of Blues - no photos allowed inside unfortunately
Sunday (10th), keeping with our previous marine tradition, we headed out to the Shedd Aquarium, considered one of the best in the world (and yes for those interested Sydney Aquarium is also considered on that list). Afterwards we walked along the lake and through Chicago before heading out to dinner for some of the deep pan pizza at Pizza Uno for which Chicago is famous for. Pizza Uno also seemed to be a bit of an institution judging by the lines. The pizza was nice, but not really to our tastes, and very filling! Unfortunately that wrapped up our time in Chicago, a place we were immediately impressed with and wished we had more time to spend there. However we were also very excited to be getting ready for the next part of our journey, the train all the way from Chicago to Emeryville, running a similar line to the first trans continental railroad in the world.
The Chicago skyline
The impressive show inside the aquarium - in true American style (in a good way)!
Deep pan pizza