Off on our latest adventure. This one will take us to Washington, New York, Boston, Maine and Philadelphia. Since I am a big chicken about flying, I am really creative about getting to wherever I plan to go. This time, it’s Amtrak. There are four of us; my husband, myself and our two sons, ages 8 and 10. My husband and I have been on Amtrak several other times, in my successful bid to avoid flying. This probably wouldn’t work as well if I hadn’t married an artist. Lucky for me, we have no work schedule. So, we arrived at the Amtrak station in Atlanta with four carryons each. Its kind of like going on a diet. We said we were going to travel “light” this time, one backpack each, so we overpacked. I have four caryons, my husband has three. And the kids have a backpack each. And each one weighs 37 pounds.
We booked two “roomettes”. That means they are the smaller rooms. The seats by day are converted to bunkbeds at night. There’s a fold-down sink, and a toilet cleverly hidden under something that looks like a ladder to the luggage rack. There are lots of buttons and a sliding glass door with privacy drapes. But the best things are the big picture windows, on the bottom and the top of our sleeper, (so the person on the top bunk can pull the drapes back and have a great view from his bed). This trip, the dining car grill was out of commission so we were unable to have dinner onboard. This is actually one of my favorite parts of train travel. They actually give you a menu and you choose your dinner, wine, etc. This time, we settled for a split of red wine from the lounge car, while the kids had Doritos and root beer. By the time we returned, our seats were converted to beds for the night. My youngest child and I were in one roomette and my oldest child and husband were in the adjacent one. The kids got the top bunks, (they even have seat belts for the top bunks). After bragging that I slept great the last time on the train, we went to sleep. Well, I didn’t I couldn’t sleep at all. I awoke every hour and when we were officially supposed to get up, I was miserable. The grill still wasn’t working, so we were given a continental breakfast, with yummy warm croissant, cereal and yogurt. That part was great. The only thing I would suggest to make this trip better would be that Amtrak work on their service. While our porter was friendly enough, I mostly felt like I was being served by government workers; slow to non-existent. But it’s just such a cool way to travel, you have to do it at least once with your kids. Just don’t expect four diamond service. Think of it as mobile camping with a great view, versus a luxury trip. Oh, and pack light!