MatchDay Memory-Texas Adventure Day 1

Day one started early, catching the train to Chicago in East Lansing at 8am.  Part of my travelling experience—bus, train, airplane, paddleboat—is that I find the one crying child and sit as close as possible.  The only people closer are the parental units.  Per my custom I had a child screaming in my ear through my headphones as I edited some podcasts and watched a movie.

After a short layover in Chicago, I settled in for the 18 hour ride to Longview, TX, and immediately got to work.  Well watching movies and writing for the blog and playing some solitaire.  Unfortunately the train wasn’t moving.  We were informed that there was an engine problem and this was eventually resolved and we set off about 30 minutes late.  I was super concerned because I had to catch a connecting bus in Longview to Houston and based on my itinerary I only 12 minutes.  I asked one of the conductors and he said not to worry.  Well I was worried when 2 hours later we were delayed again from about 20 minutes due to a highway accident ahead of us.  Sitting in a standstill was not very satisfying even if I did take a nap to pass the time.

The lead conductor was a DJ in training with witty repartee and good humor.  For Cedar Point fans, if you can imagine swapping Thank you for coming to Cedar Point, America’s Roller Coast with Thanks for riding Amtrak, you have the general idea.

Think the favorite part of the trip was pulling into St. Louis.  I’ve been to and driven through the city several times but approaching the city by train I could see the entire downtown area, including the Arch and the Dome (I have no idea who sponsors it these days).  We were also pretty close to Busch Stadium which looked awesome with a red brick façade, windows and lots of arches.  At the St. Louis station the conductor notified us that we were an hour behind.  Made me anxious about my bus transfer and getting to Houston for pre-game tailgates.

Whatever the upcharge for sleeper is, I will seriously consider it for my next train ride because sleeping was not really an option.  Another feature of my life is that I’m a light sleeper.  Well that’s when I sleep.  So the mixture of a strange place, an uncomfortable chair and the constant gyrations of the train were not good.  Add to that a symphony of snoring all around and the hilarity continued.  So I spent most of the night just lying there, hating life. Hooray!!

Overnight saw me get closer to Houston.  Well sort of.  One of the first morning announcements was that we were three hours behind.  I was expecting to get into Houston around 2, head to the hotel for a nap and a shower and then check out the tailgate.  The announcement put that in jeopardy.

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