A number of years ago, when our kids Billy, Krissi and Kenny were much younger, I wrote a series of three children’s stories that starred our 3 kids. The first was called Three Kids and a Bone, and was about them finding a dinosaur bone in our backyard. The second was called Three kids on the Boardwalk, and involved adventures on the Ocean City Boardwalk. The third was called, Three Kids and a Train Ride, and for this, I pulled from my memories of riding the rails as a young kid with my folks.
For over 40 years, my Mom and Dad were members of the Metropolitan Opera Chorus, and every year the Met went on a Spring Tour across the country. In later years, they did it by air, but when I was a kid, trains were still in vogue as a means of transportation, especially for moving a group as large as the Metropolitan Opera. So for Three Kids and a Train Ride, I pulled from my memories of those years and from my experience traveling on the 20th Century from New York to Chicago to visit my Mom’s Mom and Dad.
Unfortunately, the stories were never published, and only got to be enjoyed by the 3 kids they were written about. It was so long ago, that instead of being written on a computer, they were the product of an old Royal portable typewriter, that had belonged to my Mom and Dad, but if you’d like to see how my version of train travel differs from today’s reality, click on the link below and you can read Three Kids on a Train Ride!
So, perhaps because I wrote this story so long ago, or because of the way the allure of rail travel has been portrayed in movies, like Alfred Hitchcocks’ North by Northwest, or the movie Silver Streak, or even the James Bond movie Live and Let Die, Susie has always wanted to take an overnight train. She’s been jealous of the memories I have, and wants her own, and to check off another Bucket List item, we’re going to make it happen.
On this Wednesday morning, we’ll leave Ocean City and drive to the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, after parking the car at the airport lot, we’ll take an Uber to 30th Street Station and at 11:11, board the Northeast Regional, sit in 2 Business Class seats and relax till we get to Washington, DC. Later that day, we’ll board the Capital Limited, for our first overnight in an Amtrak Bedroom, in Car 2900, Room E., and travel through the night and arrive in Chicago, Illinois the next morning at Union Station. That afternoon, we will board the Southwest Chief and travel in Room C of Car 330, where we’ll spend 2 nights as we travel to Los Angeles, California!
The Southwest Chief is the Amtrak successor to the famous Santa Fe Super Chief. It was dubbed the “Train of the Stars” because of the celebrities it carried between Chicago and Los Angeles in the days before air travel. The route takes the train through some of the most beautiful scenery the United States has to offer, and it will be right outside our bedroom window.
Speaking of the bedroom, let me give you an idea of what our accommodations will be between Washington, DC and Chicago, and then between Chicago and Union Station, Los Angeles. Although not huge, our bedrooms will be set in the daytime with a long couch, easy chair, a table by the window, and our own bathroom with a sink, shower, and toilet. At night, the room will be changed into a bedroom with an upper and lower bunk (haven’t worked that out yet), but still with that gorgeous view right out the window!
And what about meals you ask? Why we get three meals a day in the Dining Car included in our fare. Speaking about fare, it’s costing us about $1500 for the trip from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. We think its very reasonable for what we’re getting!
We really can’t wait to experience everything we can on our three days to LA. From our room, to the dining car, to the observation lounge, to the view out the windows…and let’s not forget the “clickity clack” of the rails. We are looking forward to it all.
We’ve had this trip booked for months, and it seems to excite everyone we tell about it. We’re excited of course by the journey, but also about what’s at the end of our trip, Kenny and Christopher’s Wedding in Lake Tahoe, California! Stay tuned for updates along the way!
Talk about New Adventures……
4 thoughts on “All Aboard”
Another excellent narration. I do love reading your stories. You should have published 3 Kids On A Train Ride. May your trip west be enjoyable & exciting.
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WOW! Sue & I have been talking about doing a train trip like this. Can’t wait to read about your new adventure in traveling across America.
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Figured we did it by car, now lets see how it works by train Dick!
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