Days of Travel, Nights of Waiting

This was written last night in Union Station, where I didn’t have wireless.

Location: Union Station, Downtown Chicago

Time: 7:15

Today has been full, but fantastic.

I’m officially on my way to St. Louis! Got on the bus at 6:30 this morning, bound for Chicago. Tim was wonderful enough to drop me off, which I’m really glad of, because the whole “finding the bus stop” thing was really weird. I was expecting there to be more signage, but there really wasn’t any. The only clue we had that the bus stop existed was the band of travelers sitting/standing outside on a street corner with luggage. I didn’t feel comfortable just joining them, so we drove around the block, and by the time we circled the block again, the bus had pulled up.

Ok, so here’s where I give a plug for the Megabus. If you haven’t considered taking the bus before, I would urge you to do it. The whole trip (four bus rides total, Minneapolis-Chicago and then Chicago to St. Louis, and in reverse) was $65. It was originally $50, but I decided to change one of my bus tickets so I’d have more layover time in Chicago. And I know that you can get tickets for much less.

I'm not kidding about the "adorable" thing.

Anyway, the bus itself is absolutely adorable. It’s this big, dark blue double-decker. Absolutely sweet. For the ride to Chicago, I sat on top in the very front. Prime seats, let me tell you. The view was amazing! Downside: The air conditioning doesn’t quite reach up that far, so I would suggest dressing in layers and/or choosing the seat with the view when you’re driving away from the sun (less transfer of heat through the window).

So all in all, the actual ride was a fairly good experience, if a stiflingly hot one.

Though that hasn’t been a huge pain in the ass. Getting off the bus initially I was super cranky (which I am chalking up to the problem of No Coffee Yet, Dammit). I immediately went in search of a coffeeshop where I could access the internet, get a cup of joe and a cup of water. Of course, because this is downtown Chicago, that ended up being a Starbucks. Meh.

After I checked my email and realized that I didn’t need to spend much time online, I decided to get outside and enjoy the lovely day. It was absolutely GORGEOUS today, even if Chicago was living up to its name of the Windy City. So I sat outside for a couple of hours, alternately people-watching and reading.

Then there was dinner, which was nothing special.

They let me sit here for hours. Love love love.

And now I’m writing from Union Station in Chicago. My bus to St. Louis leaves at 11:55, so I’ve got quite a lot of time to kill before hopping on again.

Chicago is slowly growing on me. The other times I’ve been here haven’t been amazing (not bad, mind you, just not amazing), and so I have kind of had this “meh, Chicago’s alright” attitude.

Clarification: Wicked was pretty sweet. But that wasn’t because of Chicago. That was because of Wicked and having wonderful friends.

Anyway, the time I’ve spent here today has been pretty cool. I think it’s because I really wasn’t expecting anything, so my expectations of the city couldn’t be dampened. I also feel fairly safe here, at least for now. Perhaps that has something to do with living in a city now, rather than living primarily in a rural town. I know how to keep myself safe, basically. I also have much more appreciation now for what a city has to offer, and I have a better understanding of how to kick around in a big city.

In general, being able to be independent in a new place makes me a Very Happy Camper.

I can’t wait to see what St. Louis has to offer! Melissa is adorable, I’m so excited to see her. I’ll probably wander around a lot tomorrow too, since she has class rather a lot on Wednesdays, but hopefully I can shower and yoga it up. As happy as I am right now, I know that I’ve been eating horribly lately and that plus the travel is making my body feel rather toxic.

Ok, getting back to my book now. More updates soon, I promise!

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