Amtrak cross country day 1

Whew! What a way to travel. I’m sitting on the bottom bunk if our Amtrak roomette while the kids watch Marmaduke on my computer. We are on the Lake Shore Limited riding from Boston to Chicago where we switch train for another evening to Glacier NP. We just finished with dinner. It was in the Dining car – 7 cars back down the train; past 2 seating cars, one cafe car and then 4 more seaters. Since we are in a sleeper car we are going first class and all meals are included! I had a delicious steak and the kids had grilled cheese. We ate with a lovely couple from Bloomsburg IL who were returning home from a visit with their daughter. The kids did good. Zoe played with her ponies and Avi his cars while we waited. And there was a wait! Dinner is served in courses- bread, salad, main, and dessert. We were fill by dessert time so I skipped that and came to the room.

We were directed to go down to dinner by our room attendant just after departing Albany. The train stopped there for an hour or so while they hooked up the other train that came from New York. It merged with us and more than doubled the size of the train. I don’t even know how many cars are after the Dining car. There has to be at least one more sleeper from NYC. We got out at Albany briefly to run around and get some fresh air. Before that Avi was playing with his new little tractor while Zoe worked on art projects. We had recently woken from a nice long nap.

The upper bunk is where Zoe decided to sleep. It raises and lowers but we mostly keep it down since she likes to hang out up there. The lower bunk goes together by lounging the two seats until they join and then plopping a thin mattress on top. It’s nice and comfy and made for a great nap. The beds are arranged so that when the train is moving we are traveling feet first which feels nice and also means the window is wide alongside the bed. There is a lower window by the bunk for Avi and me and a window up top for Zoe. Her view is nicer over the trees so they both played up top spying for cows together before dinner.

Beside the beds is about a foot and half of other space before the wall and sliding door. The wall and door have windows, though, so it doesn’t feel claustrophobic. It’s just enough space for a little potty with a fold down sink above it and mirror up top. That is all beside the seat that goes backward. Beside the other seat is a trash can and hanging storage area. There is also some more storage in a cubby that Zoe can get inside of from her bed. Its essentially over the hallway. She likes being a monkey and goes back and forth. We don’t have a ton of junk with us. Just my purse/ laptop bag, a grocery bag with clothes, and the kids each have a small backpack of toys an coloring books. I also have a our Korean stroller folded up in the hanging storage place.

When mom and dad, Bethany, granddad and Tom dropped us off this morning I had one big old suitcase that I dragged behind the stroller. When I checked in a super nice red cap guy helped me take the luggage to weight check and it was 20 pounds overweight! The guys out there were so helpful and gave me an old box to throw 20 pounds worth of books and diapers into. They taped it all up and made it another checked bag for me! After that we were escorted to the first class lounge to hang out for the morning. I didn’t realize we got such treatment when I booked this! There were free snacks and drinks and comfy seats to hang out for the hour before we could board. Our porter even came up to get us when it was time to get on the train and helped me to our room #8. We settled in and the train was off. Super exciting to be on our way. The kids spent a bit of time playing, but soon after we rolled out it was lunchtime. We are highly encouraged to eat when our attendant tells us too since the cafe and dining cars are reserved for first class at certain times and we’d have to compete with the minions in normal class otherwise. So, we go when we are told.

Lunch was in the cafe car since we hadn’t merged with the NYC train that brought the dining car. It was good- a salad or wrap. The kids mostly ate the chips and squealed as we passed lots of other trains heading out of the Boston suburbs. It’s fun to be on the train! So easy for me to sit and play with them, or walk up and down the aisles, or simply nap. Way more relaxing and fun than flying or driving. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds as we transfer in Chicago to a new double decker train. I’m glad my heavy suitcase and newly acquired box are transferred for me.

We are off to bed. Our attendant just checked on us and said breakfast is 6-8 am with the train scheduled to be in Chicago at 945. She will wake us at 7. Now books and sleep time.

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