We woke up early Monday morning to get to the train station in Grand Rapids and make our way to Chicago, although that isn't exactly how things worked out. We arrived at the train station a little late and found that we had missed our train so we ended up driving to Chicago that morning. We arrived a little after ten, and explored the streets and spent some time shopping. Of course, I spent too much money, but I am quite alright with that. We went back to the train station around 4 and got on our train to St. Louis shortly after. The five hour train ride went by really fast, but the last hour seemed to drag on forever. Finally, around 10:30 we were off of the train in St. Louis.
A really sweet old man named Rick owned the bed and breakfast we were staying at, when we arrived he helped to get us set up in our room, and showed us around his house a bit. It was lovely, I would love to live in a place like that some day. We spent the remainder of the night out in the hot tub. There was a patio in the yard that you could see the lights of the city from, it was beautiful. A late night conversation with a stranger helped me to realize what I had gone on this trip for, it was comforting letting go of some secrets in a dimly lit room.
The next morning we woke up and Rick had made us a lovely breakfast. We ate with him before he left for work, and then we got ready for the day. We went to a place called The Loop, which was filled with cute little thrift shops, record stores, and restaurants. The weather was a little chilly, but it felt nice with the cool breeze pushing our hair back as we walked through the town. We stopped for lunch at Panera before heading back to our bed and breakfast to get ready for dinner.
We ended up standing at a bus station for well over half an hour before deciding to get dinner at a Chinese place down the street. As soon as we walked away from the bus stop, the bus drove by us. But that was alright with us, it was quite nice eating in. We sat out in the hot tub again, and it began to rain. The rain fell down on us and got our hair wet and it was really nice. Shortly after we had to close up the hot tub and goodbyes were in order to a sweet stranger we had met along the way. We went to bed early that night, and our train left shortly after 6am the next morning.
I think I have stumbled upon a lot more than what I was looking to find on this trip. I learned a lot in those 2 short days and came home only longing to be back in an unfamiliar place. Perhaps Michigan isn't what I need right now, I think that some pieces of it reside in Missouri and I'd like to be back there soon. Others I know are scattered around elsewhere and I'll have to go on another spur of the moment trip like this one to find them. But I think that now I have some sense of direction, and I'm ready to hit the ground running.
All photos in this post were taken by Amanda Vanvels