Day One – Wednesday October 3, 2018

 

We started this morning when the alarm went off at 5:30 AM!  Well, Susie started the day then.  I, however, answered the call of nature at about 4;30, so my day started a little earlier!  We showered, dressed, took care of all we had to do, and by 7AM, we were saying goodbye to Ocean City and heading to the Atlantic City Expressway and Philadelphia.  A little after 8:30 we pulled up to Pacifico Airport parking, checked in, and ordered our Uber to 30th Street Station.  Besides a bit of rush hour traffic, combined with some road construction, our trek from the shore to the train station was relatively painless. We had a great Uber driver, got a cheap fare, and then I over tipped, but it was all good in the end!  We were early getting to 30th Street Station, but like when we fly, we like being early!   Besides, this was a whole new experience for us, so we wanted to have enough time to get the lay of the land. Train number 141, the Northeast Regional to Washington, DC’s Union Station was a few minutes late, but when it did arrive, in no time we were situated in our Business Class seats and ready to start our journey.  As I write this, we are just outside of Baltimore, looking forward to changing trains in Washington, and starting our first sleeper leg of the trip.  As I said before, this is all new to us, so it’s more learning as you go along, rather than knowing what you’re doing. 

If WiFi on the Capital Limited from Washington DC to Chicago is as good as this first leg’s WiFi, I’ll continue our tale of Day One this evening.  Hope to see you then!

 

Writing now from the Acela Lounge at Washington’s Union Station.  As sleeper passengers, we are considered “First Class” passengers for the rest of our trip.  After getting off train 141, we walked the entire length of the platform to get into Union Station  and into a madhouse!  Union Station is Amtrak’s headquarters with annual ridership of just under 5 million passengers a year, as well as servicing commuter rail service through the Washington metro area.  We finally found a sign for the Acela Lounge and checked in.  It was quieter, more comfortable, provided a nice bathroom, and complementary snacks and sodas. After getting Susie settled, I struck out to check one of our bags.  As there will be limited room in our bedroom the next 3 nights, Susie packed in such a way that we’d only need one of our two bags for this leg of the trip. Following excellent directions from one of the club attendants, I found the baggage check counter.  I thought I might have to pick up the bag tomorrow in Chicago, but the young lady told me the next time we’d see the blue bag would be a Saturday in LA!   Perfect!

It’s now 3:15, and at about 3:30 they will call our train in the lounge, and we will be off on our next leg, Train #29, the Capital Limited!   See you all there!

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Well, here we are!  In Bedroom E in Car #2900 of the Capital Limited, headed to Chicago.  There’s no WiFi on the train, so this may have to be posted after we get to Chicago in the morning.   The train left right on time, but since we’ve got about 4 hours between trains tomorrow, late isn’t a problem for us.  Car 2900 is a Double Decker Superliner, with 4 Roomettes on the lower level, along with communal showers and bathrooms.  On the upper level, there are an additional 10 Roomettes as well as 5 Bedrooms, one of which is ours.  It’s not huge, but looks like it will be comfortable for our trip.  

Here’s some photos of Bedroom E, and it’s occupants!  

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We’re waiting for our sleeping car attendant Phil to come and take our dinner order, and find out when we’d like him to convert the room from day to night.  We are enjoying it immensely, and loving our picture window on the world!  

So, to update you, Phil just came and spoke to us. Our dinner is at 6:30, and because Amtrak recently took the Dining Car off the Capital Limited, we need to go to the next car, and pick up our meal.  We’re both having Beef Short Ribs and Titos Vodka.  Oh hell, just give us the vodka!

Take a look at our choices…

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We are the second car of the train, and the Cafe Car is one back from us, and the Observation Car is two back.  Susie and I just discussed it, and we will probably not bother with the Observation Car on this leg, and probably use it a limited amount on the next leg.  That’s because we’ve got our own picture window and privacy, while the folks in Coach don’t.  If they are a couple, they’re jammed into two seats, with less room than we had this morning.  If they’re a single, they’re sitting with someone they don’t know, and may be on the aisle. The Observation Car gives them their own seat, and a big private window.  Everything we’ve read about these trains, says that there is great competition with the Coach folks, for the seats in the Observation Car, so let them have them!

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We went down and picked up our meal, came back and set it up in our room, and enjoyed dinner as we watched the countryside go by our window!

A rousing card game of 5000, and now we’re relaxing, listening to the train travel trough little towns, and across farmland.  Phil will be in soon to turn our bedroom into it’s nighttime mode, and hopefully the lullaby of the rails will send us off to dream land!

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Good night…clickity clack…..

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