Shannon’s mom drove us down to the Union Station in Kansas City. Shannon got us lattes from Parisi and we waited for time to board the train. The lattes were very good. Nearly as good as Friendly Bean. When the time came to board the train, we walked out and there was a long walkway that lead to stairs, which most people took. We and some others took the elevator down to the platform because of our baggage.

We boarded the last car of the train. There was a luggage area to put the bags, and then we selected some seats. Shannon had been worried about the train trip since she had taken the train to Chicago a few years ago and had a poor experience. Thankfully the fears were quickly alleviated, because the train ride was great. The last car must have been fairly new. Everything was clean and well-put-together. There was free wifi on the train, and we were able to work on personal projects during the trip. I spent time reading the DAMA-DMBOK2 in preparation for the test I hope to take when I get back. Shannon also put together some good notes on how we might drive volunteerism at church.

The train ride takes nearly 6 hours compared to the 4 hours driving, because there are numerous stops where the train waits 5-10 minutes. There was a dining car available as well, and Shannon bought us some drinks. The biggest mistake we made for the train was not having our water bottles filled ahead of time, which made for a thirsty ride until she bought a diet Coke and a water bottle for us to share.

My sister picked us up at the Gateway Travel Center in St. Louis. I had designed the trip so we could have ridden the MetroLink from the train station to where our hotel was, the Pear Tree right across from the airport. However, with all our baggage, and bad experiences the last time we rode the MetroLink related to safety, we were glad to have her get us. She drove us to the hotel where we checked in, then we went over to her place.

We visited with her, her husband, and our niece for a couple hours, and eventually walked down the street to a local pizza place. Shannon and I split a medium which had pepperoni, salami, capicola, and possibly other meats. It was salty, but good. A medium was definitely enough, especially with a walk on both ends of the experience.

After dinner, it was getting to be Sunday evening and they had to prepare for the week, so my sister took us back to the hotel, where we relaxed for the remainder of the evening.