As I reported in my first blog post (the one that I so publicly announced I would post from the train, but turned into a dismal failure!), we left Seattle around 9:30 on Friday morning.
|The clock tower at the King Street Station in Seattle|
|The waiting area at the station|
We arrived in Burbank, CA, outside the Bob Hope Airport, at a little past 8:00 Saturday night. What a lonely feeling to see your train fading into the distance as you stand beside the tracks!
I wanted to show you some pictures from inside the train. I just had to laugh when we first got on the train and saw how tiny our "roomette" was! When we sat down, we were straight across from each other.
|I was sitting straight across from Wes as he talked to our attendant, Lorna|
|This was comfy!|
|This was my seat - I was standing in the hall|
|Another view of our roomette from the hall|
The two seats fold down to make the bottom bunk, and the top bunk swings down from the ceiling. There's just enough room to stand between the bottom bunk and the door to change your clothes - but you have to be careful not to bump into the privacy curtains, which are closed with velcro, because you might not be so private anymore! LOL My 6'4" husband had just enough room to lie down comfortably in the bottom bunk, and I had plenty of room up top, except for being so close to the ceiling and having no window. If I had let myself really think about it, I could have gotten a little claustrophobic. I wanted to take pictures of the beds laid down, but found no convenient or easy time to do that.
|The Parlour Car: large windows, swivel barrel seats - very comfy|
|The dining area of the Parlour Car, just behind the sitting area|
Our meals were included with the fare for the sleeper car, so we never had to worry about getting something to eat. We had the choice of eating in the Parlour Car or Dining Car, and we could have had our meals delivered to our roomette. We chose the Dining Car most often, because we had more choices from the menu - the Parlour Car had only two choices per meal - and because the tables had more room in the Dining Car. There was community seating in the Dining Car, which meant four to a table. So we sat with a different set of people for each meal. It was interesting to meet people and find out where they were from and where they were going!
|The Dining Car|
Between two trips, I never did learn to walk with almost falling on people when the train swayed! One time I almost fell right into the lap of a man sitting in the Parlour Car, but thankfully I was able to remain upright. I apologized for scaring him, but he said there was no problem! ;)
Each sleeper car had several restrooms, which were the same size and configuration of airplane restrooms. Each sleeper also had a shower room. This was a little larger than the restroom, with a place to sit both in and out of the shower, and a larger mirror for grooming. The shower was a decent size, about the same as the one in my bathroom at home. I had plenty of hot water, and both times I went down for a shower it was empty, so I didn't have to wait.
|We followed the coast for a couple of hours - this was one of our first glimpses of the ocean|
I have to mention our attendants! On the trip down, our sleeper car attendant was Lorna, and she was wonderful! She was very friendly, stopping by just to chat a few times along the way. She also put our beds down for us, made them up in the morning, and made sure we had something to drink or knew where to find it ourselves. She kept a styrofoam chest filled with ice, and there was juice, coffee, water, and sparkling cider available whenever we wanted it. On the way back, our attendant was Miriam. She was friendly and helpful, but not quite as efficient as Lorna. She didn't even ask if we needed help with our beds, and when Wes asked for sparkling cider, she said she'd be right back with it but never showed up. Little things, but not the service we had received previously.
|I just loved these houses on a point of land all alone|
|Getting close to Santa Barbara - the sun was shining and the sky was clear down here|
Overall, our trip was a good experience, but taking the train does take quite a bit more time. When we need (or just want!) to get where we're going quickly, we'll fly. I don't think we'd enjoy more than one night on the train, either. The food gets boring quickly after two full days, and even though you can move around the train freely, you're still pretty much sitting the entire time. It's great if you have a book to read or work to get done, or if you want to sleep a lot (you can put your bed down anytime you want to). The advertised free wifi was sporadic, so that might be a problem if you needed an internet connection and were counting on it to get some work done. We both enjoyed traveling without having to worry about finding hotels, restaurants, and rest areas, and without having to deal with traffic.
I hope that answered your questions about riding the train, but if you have more, just ask! Thanks for being so patient, too!