Thank you everyone for your kind wishes after my last post.
(Gosh it is another day! I started this post on the 13th I thought but now it is well and truly the 14th.)
DH is chucking wobblies left right and centre. I am trying to figure out how on earth we can schedule in the people we want to see on our train trip. We need a laptop - DH won't survive a week without a computer and since we are going to be travelling for the next six or so weeks.... Plus his PhD is not finished and he is extremely unhappy about that cos he wanted to finish it this week before we left. If it is not finished we realllly need a laptop. The cheapest we've found locally is $380 for a secondhand laptop of unknown provenance. Seems awful dear considering we can get a bottom of the range brand new Dell for $500 (plus tax).
Anyways, I think I have developed a plan, to be ratified by he who must be gruntled. We go to Chicago and arrive Sunday 18th November. Then we go to Niagara Falls, arriving Monday 20th and stay for a night. Why? Cos I've never been there and we may well go whilst we are in TO and see them from the Other Side. Anyone know of any good but cheap places to stay in Niagara Falls or Buffalo? Or anything else to do there? Then we come back to Chicago, arriving at 9:45am on Tuesday 20th and immediately (ok at 2pm) go to Minneapolis and places yon. Then we come back to Chicago on Saturday 25th November. Then we go to either Philadelphia or Washington. I favour Washington first arriving on Sunday at 1:30pm. Then we go to Philadelphia. Then we come back to Chicago. Then we go home via Denver. I am still trying to wedge Omaha into the trip but I am not sure if I can. Since we are on an extreme budget (see no job, need for laptop, train trip involving about a gazillion meals on the train, 3 weeks in Canada coming up - lovely place but our budget didn't include paying both rent for next month and accommodation...) I have managed to get us six nights sleeping on the train. Uncomfortable? Yep! But it won't cost more than the train fare....
My poor brain is so done in by this that I can't sleep. I lay in bed for an hour vaguely dozing on occasion but at 1:30am crawled out again to work on the schedule and fix up some of my stash - I have SOOOO much sock yarn! OMG, it is small, portable and cheap compared to a sweater's worth of yarn, so I buy it. And I still need more! Christmas presents - I don't have the right colours of everything, but I am most of the way there.
It will be a whirlwind trip but as long as we get a couple of days here and there to recover I think we'll be ok.