The countdown to the start of Train Games is down to the hours. Missed yesterday's post to hear where we're headed? Check it out here.
Listen, I've done a good bit of traveling, but I've never planned as much for a trip like I have for this one. It's required multiple meetings with the other two, many lists, lots of reading, lots of social media polls, and lots of well... shopping. I'm pretty sure the shopping is only due to the fact that I'll find any excuse to buy a new shirt.
Planning it all Out
We started by doing a lot of reading and research. And by "we" I mean Katie Richards (who you'll hereby know as just "Richards"). The girl did her fair share of internet-hunting and found out what route we needed to take, what the average price is, and how long she thought the trip should be. We started with the basics.
We then met for brunch (because there also is always a good reason for brunch) at Edgehill Cafe and talked about dates and budget. This was probably the longest conversation we had in all of planning. Finding 10 days where none of us had a wedding, a bachelorette party, a work event, or another trip was near impossible. But we finally did it. June 17-26. (Should I mention we had the trip hashtag before we ever had a trip? I'm not sure whether to be proud or ashamed.)
Making it Happen
The next meeting required computers and credit cards. This is where we sealed the deal and booked our train tickets and flights. Let me tell you: for first time train travelers this was not the simplest task. Maybe it was our lack of train "lingo" knowledge or maybe it was a confusing website, but either way we had to read and re-read all the things.
"Wait, which station?"
"How many can sleep in that sleeper car?"
"Did your reservation just say SOLD OUT?"
There were lots of questions and lots of details. We literally read our itinerary aloud to each other before we allowed anyone to hit "purchase." We're 92.5% sure we're all getting on the same train on Sunday.
You can only imagine the group text conversation around this topic.
"What are you packing in?"
"Do we need a nice outfit?"
"What's in your day pack?"
"DON'T FORGET YOUR SOCKS."
There have been more conversations than I can count about the sleeping situation. Richards is HIGHLY prepared for this. We've got Melatonin, pillows, SOCKS, snuggies, eye masks, and ear plugs. I promise to report in after our first train nap.
Entertainment has also been a huge point of conversation. We've been told our particular train doesn't have WiFi (and also has spotty phone service). We're all really excited to unplug, but it means a little extra prep on the entertainment end. That's how "Train Games" was born. We're bringing magazines, e-readers, music, card games, coloring books, snacks, and cameras. I also have a whole bag dedicated to cords--Kindle cord, laptop cord, phone cord, portable charger (and its cord), Go Pro cord, headphones.
We're packing in backpacks--one to check and one for carry on. As you can imagine, we're trying to be really strategic about what stays with us in the carry on. Snacks. Games. All the cords. Dramamine (me). SOCKS.
I asked the other two this question, so we can make sure and submit our tips to the Travel Channel:
What are the top 3 things you did to prepare for this trip?
1. Very nicely ask my dad for hotel points.
2. Fully loaded my iPad.
3. Checked the baseball schedules in every city.
1. Bought a backpack.
2. Groomed: trimmed bangs, pedi, brow wax.
3. Hourly purchases from Amazon Prime
Maybe we're ready, maybe we're ready not ... at least Richards got her bangs trimmed.
Let the adventure begin.