Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Day 19: I’m going on vacation, I’m going on…

Well, it’s not exactly vacation. I haven’t been on vacation in many, many months, more than a year if you’re measuring in PP time (pre-Penelope). So a day trip to Springfield, Ill., is a big freakin’ deal.

We had hoped to go to Chicago, but yet again, no car squashed that dream.

To fly, which granted was a last minute search out of mere curiosity, put us on a plane from Bloomington to O’Hare in just less than an hour for about $300 a person. While a train takes two hours, we gauged a plane trip, including transit time to the airport and from the massive Chicago airport into the city, would take at least four.

Now let’s talk about Amtrak, shall we. I have a love-hate relationship with Amtrak. I always think it’ll be a great idea to take it and I’m always disappointed when I do. But because it’s a 10-minute bus ride from my house, a half hour walk, it’s really the only viable option with two children.

Round trip to Chicago ran $160 and going for the day wasn’t an option with what was available. Hotels downtown or within the vicinity were running about $200 a night. With food, we were looking at a $400 price tag for one night, in a hotel, with two young children.

Anybody with two young children can tell you that’s just not worth it.

So, we decided to look west. I had never been to Illinois’ state capital, Springfield, which is known for all things Abraham Lincoln. So we’re leaving on Amtrak in the morning and returning evening-ish.

A day trip with little kids is always a little nerve-wracking (please, please let them sleep well tonight). Letting the girls go without their naps, walking in 100-degree weather and being in an unfamiliar place is bound to bring us joy after joy.

If I don’t post tomorrow it’s because I’ve abandoned this project and my family for a life of dark, dank bars and cheap tequila. It’s the vacation that keeps on giving.


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