Southwest Chief – Last Look

If you read the blog that I posted very early this morning Eastern time, you know that future editions may be spotty due to wedding activities this coming week.  Saw these photos from our last night on the train that I hadn’t published, and thought I’d use them this morning (it’s 6:23 AM in LA) as a last look at the SWC!

These were all taken during the “fresh air break” in Flagstaff, Arizona during our last night on the train.

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The train in the station

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The room with blue “night light” is our Bedroom C 

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This  is Pinky, our Sleeping Car Attendant

In talking to Pinky, we discovered that she has worked on the Southwest Chief for 40 years. She is part of an LA based crew, and she lives just a couple of blocks from Union Station. She is originally from Chicago, where her father still lives.  Because of the overnight nature of the train’s trip from Chicago to LA and back, the crew does an east and a west trip every week, and then is off for a week.  She gets to spend two nights a month in Chicago with her Dad, and only works 26 weeks a year.  I found this out when I mentioned that the job I retired from, I  did so after being there 40 years.  “Ah, but you worked every day Honey.”, she said, “I only work every other week.”  I asked her about retirement and she said she loved her job so why retire.

 

 

Day Four – Saturday October 6, 2018

Welcome to California!!

A little after 8 AM this morning, Amtrak’s Train #3, the Southwest Chief pulled into Los Angeles’ Union Station, and our Sea to Shining Sea trek all aboard the rails was done!  It started Wednesday morning, in Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, and since then has included three different trains, four train stations, three nights in a sleeper bedroom, and six different Amtrak meals!  We traveled from sea level on the Atlantic Coast to sea level on the Pacific Coast, and in between went through the Raton Pass Tunnel at an elevation of 7,588 feet.  Our thoughts?  We loved it!  We both agreed that although we may never go on another sleeper train trip, if the opportunity arose, we wouldn’t hesitate to do it again!  But do it again or not, Susie got something checked off her bucket list, and we didn’t have to walk around an airport shoeless and holding our pants up!  Here are a few views of our last morning on the train.

At Union Station, when we asked our Car Attendant Pinky about baggage claim, she pointed us to a little Red Cap electric transport and said, “Just tell him you need to go to baggage claim and he’ll take you.”  Well he took us all across Union Station (and it’s big) dropping one passenger off at the Red Line, two others at the bus to LAX, and then us, first to Baggage Claim, and then to the Hertz counter.  The Hertz counter was a zoo, and after waiting for 45 minutes, we found out why.  They came in this morning with 7 reservations and 7 cars, except that Hertz corporate’s computer allowed 20 other people to reserve cars that didn’t exist!  Luckily, when they saw we were Hertz Gold members, they took us to the car that had been reserved for us, a Ford Explorer, and we were on our way to Kenny and Chris’ apartment (only after Susie contributed her pen to the effort, as nobody at the Hertz counter had a working pen!).

Kenny met us out front, and we put the Explorer in their garage space, since they no longer have cars, and we went up to their apartment.  What a change from a year ago when we were last there.  It went from a lovely apartment, to a moving staging zone!  In the past couple of weeks, they have sold their couch, their TV stand, and their bed frame.  They are sleeping on their mattress on the floor in front of their big screen TV, and their living room is full of boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape!  What a difference. 

We left in short order to do some errands they needed wheels to do – drop off some donations, mail some boxes at the Post Office, and hit Home Depot to pick up more packing material.  Then it was back to their apartment, and as they packed boxes, I helped Susie bubble wrap some of their art work that wouldn’t fit into boxes.  Tomorrow we’ll pack the two SUVs, and transport as much as we can to Chris’ Dad’s house in Reno.  Speaking about two SUVs, now it was time to get Kenny and Chris to the Hertz office at LAX to pick up the SUV they’d reserved.  We’d both reserved Hyundai Santa Fe sized vehicles, and they hoped they’d get something as big as the Explorer we had.  After they texted us that they’d gotten the car, we left for the Del Taco we’d agreed to meet at for lunch.  Imagine our surprise when the boys showed up in the mother of all SUVs, a huge Ford Expedition!!  They’d been upgraded!  Great luck we all said.  You’ll have absolutely no problem accommodating everything you need to take to Reno with this car!  And it was great, till the other shoe dropped.  

The boys live on North Sycamore, just a half a block from Hollywood Boulevard.  The Grumman Chinese Theater is a block away, and the Roosevelt Hotel is just around the corner.  They are dead center of the Hollywood Tourist area.  Take a look at this map, and you’ll see what we mean. 

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Because of this, you need a resident permit to park on their street.  Because their apartment came with 2 parking places, they’d never needed one.  But guess what?  That BIG beautiful Ford Expedition SUV was TOO BIG (Kenny might have put a word between those 2 words and it might have begun with an F and ended with an ing) to fit in their garage!  Shit!  What were they going to do now!  Mom and Dad to the rescue….that big Expedition is parked at our hotel, and our Explorer is in their garage!  Loading will be a little more of a pain in the ass, but as I told Kenny, just one little bump in the road, leading to the happiest day of their lives, now just one week away!

After doing their laundry (the laundromat they go to is just across from our hotel), we headed to Ralph’s to buy some supplies for us.  You know, important things like like vodka, wine, iced tea, bathroom spray, and snacks for the road. Then they drove our car to their garage, and packed their bags for Reno, Lake Tahoe, and their WEDDING next Saturday!!  Tonight LA Greek food for four in our hotel room, then tomorrow morning we pack both cars, and head off to Reno!

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Tomorrow will be a road day, as we’ll spend most of the day driving to Reno, so there may not be enough for a full blog post, but hey, you never know!  The next week we will be in Reno doing wedding prep, spending time with our new family, and welcoming our own family as they arrive later in the week!  It’s going to be a wonderful week, and I’ll blog if I can, but please excuse us if there  isn’t time to keep you completely up to date!  Know that we’ll be having fun with people we love, sending our second child into the world of married life!  

Day three – Friday October 5, 2018

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Good Morning!    The alarm went off for us today at 7 AM  Central Time, but shortly after we got out of bed, we crossed into Colorado, and Mountain time!  As the sun started to make its presence known, we were near Granada and the weather app told us it was 47 degrees.  The compass app on my phone says we’re at 3000 plus feet, so we are heading upward.  Here’s a look out our window this morning.

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We went to breakfast about 7:30, and again, a full Dining Car and kitchen made all the difference!  Take a look at our breakfast choices, what I had (sorry…started eating before I took a pic) and it’s all included in our fare!

As we were at breakfast our weather changed from foggy to clear and sunny…it was very nice!  

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The Observation Car

B3DFC104-FA8C-4675-B482-5E90E3AEEADEAfter breakfast, we explored a bit.  We checked out the Observation Car, and both agreed that the view from our bedroom is just as good.  The seating in the Observation Car isn’t as comfortable as in our bedroom, and as we observed yesterday, Coach passengers took up the majority of seats.  Then we went down the stairs to check out the Cafe Lounge, as we keep hearing announcements from the Cafe Attendant Brittany about all she sells there.  The Lounge is an area with about 5 tables, and Brittany sells snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as drinks and things like playing cards.  Looked to us like a “fast food” version of the Dining Car for Coach passengers who don’t want to pay Dining car prices for meals.  On the way back to our room, every seat on the Observation level of the car was full, mainly by Coach folks.  

Shortly after we got back to our bedroom, our Car Attendant Pinky came by to change it back into the day mode.  We planned showers for this morning, and Susie asked her a couple of questions about how it worked.  Pinky suggested we check out the shower on the lower level, which she said was more like home, where our’s in the room version is RV like.  We did, and she was correct, so as I write this, Susie is down using it!  Depending on how it works out for her, I may do the same thing!!  It worked out just fine…don’t we smell and look better!!  Hell, I even shaved!   

The rest of the morning was spent traveling in some beautiful country as Colorado and then New Mexico glided by our picture window.  We’re at much higher elevation now, just passing Raton Tunnel with a sign saying we were at 7,588 feet, the highest point of the Santa Fe!  From what I read just now via Google, BNSF who owns the tracks through the pass, has pretty much abandoned freight service there due to the excessive grade, so it’s mostly AMTRAK’s Trains #3 and #4, the East and Westbound versions of the Southwest Chief, that are its exclusively daily users.  Here’s a picture I found of the Chief exiting the tunnel.

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Susie took some great pictures of the passing scenery, and here are some for your enjoyment!

We’re now moving along at 80 mph (I opened Waze and it told me), relaxing in our bedroom, reading, snoozing, and waiting for our 1 PM lunch reservation. 

LUNCH…first let me admit I forgot to take any pictures. Sorry. Then let me tell you we had the pleasure of sitting with this couple who sat across from us at breakfast.  This morning, both Susie and I thought he was the most obnoxious a-hole we’d heard during our train riding the last couple of days, saying the stupidest things to the couple they were sitting with.  Happy to say, he was not an ass at lunch.  Then we get back and realize he and his wife are in bedroom B…right next to us!  Oh well, they’re getting off in Albuquerque.  Oh, and what did Susie and I have for lunch?  Two very tasty bacon cheese burgers!  

Speaking about our table mates getting off at Albuquerque, they told us they are headed to the Albuquerque International Ballon Festival, which runs from tomorrow to October 14th. I think it’s the 48th year for this festival, and its a pretty big deal.  

Perhaps because of that, our train is full to capacity, and everybody we talk to, or overhear  talking to their table mates at a meal, seems to be heading to Albuquerque!   We get there later this afternoon, and perhaps it will be just the two of us from Albuquerque to Los Angeles!  I also think it’s fun to spell Albuquerque! (And think about the song”Albuquerque, is a Turkey,” which our kids learned from their elementary school music teacher, Marianne Craven….a wonderful teacher and friend!)

We enjoyed the afternoon, played a game of 5000, had some vodka, and even visited Brittany in the Cafe Car, because we used up all our brought vodka. It was a nice afternoon and early evening.  Through it all, we  enjoyed the beauty of America, just outside our picture window.  Enjoy what we saw!

Dinner tonight was wonderful!  The train is empty, so it really was nice in the Dining Car.  Tables for two all over the place, not crazy busy and much quieter, and we got to interact with the staff. So nice!  Susie and I had a garden salad with ranch dressing, butternut squash risotto with chicken, a Creme brûlée’s parfait, and a nice bottle of Chardonnay.  Here are our dinner pics from today….okay, so we ate almost everything before I remembered pics.  Sorry!

 

 

After dinner, we came back to the bedroom, had the rest of our Brittany Vodka, and played another game of 5000.  Susie won tonight and I won this afternoon!   We’re tied 2 games each on the train!  

As the train made a “smoke stop” in Flagstaff, Arizona, Susie and I decided to take in a little air, and saw several familiar folks getting off the train.

A quiet and early night, as we’ll be up early to prepare for our arrival in Union Station, Los Angeles, having completed the first leg in our trek to the Kenny and Christopher Wedding Festivities!  Looking forward to seeing our boys tomorrow!

PS…Happy Birthday Dad!  He would have been 108 today and has been gone for close to 35 years.  

Day Two – Thursday October 4, 2018

SORRY FOR THE LATE POSTING DUE TO LIMITED SERVICE

D4648BFB-94A7-4090-BE74-EBF9318BC863Good morning from the Capital Limited!  It’s 8:45 AM, Eastern Time as I write this from the couch in Room E in car 2900, as our room has been turned back into its daytime version.  According to the schedule, we should be about an hour from Chicago, with scheduled arrival there at 8:45 Central Time. Phil our car attendant, however, just announced that our arrival time will be more like 11 to 11:30 due to delays during the night.  Frankly, this is a good situation for us, as we probably won’t be able to board the Southwest Chief till about 2:15, and we’d much rather be sitting on the train, than in a station waiting room.  The view is much better from here!!  

Before I continue with today, let’s give you an idea of our sleeping arrangements last night.

Thanks Babe…as always, I owe you!  

An update…we just stopped at Waterloo, Indiana, where the schedule had us at 6:36 AM.  We stopped at 9:26, fully 2 hours and 50 minutes behind schedule. It’s scheduled to be about 3 hours and 10 minutes from Waterloo to Chicago, so if we don’t lose anymore time, we should make Chicago just before noon Central time. 

A brief look at the reason for these delays as I understand them.  Once you leave the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak doesn’t own the tracks the trains ride on.  Back when America was giving up on rail travel, and Amtrak was formed, most of America’s rail roads kept their freight operations going, because that was still profitable.  Fully 97% of the tracks Amtrak trains run on ARE NOT owned by Amtrak, because those tracks, and the freight trains running on them, are owned  by the lines or their heirs that gave up passenger service in the 20th Century.  So, the freight running on these lines, takes precedence over Amtrak and it’s schedules, which may necessitate an Amtrak train pulling onto a siding and waiting while a freight train rumbles past. This happened to us several times last night, and you know how long freight trains can be!  

Because the Capital Limited lacks a Dining Car, the included breakfast this morning was a box breakfast in the Sleeper Lounge. A yogurt parfait, a muffin, some fresh fruit, and a hot tea.  We heard some grumbling, but we didn’t have a problem with it, but we are looking forward to the Southwest Chief having a Dining Car AND kitchen!  Stay tuned for real meals!  Oh, another item…some folks are just so cheap!  There was a couple across from us this morning who apparently didn’t like the breakfast, and who did they take it out on?  Why the young lady working the lounge!  “Tip for that breakfast?  No way”.  Glad we’re not “those people” and never have been!  

An update….we just arrived at Chicago’s Union Station!   It’s 12 Noon Central time,  and we were scheduled to be here at 8:45 AM.    Here’s some views as we headed into the station.

We’re now in the Amtrak’s Metropolitan Club in Union Station, and it was a zoo, till they just announced two trains!  Folks are crazy.  When they put out some snacks (cheese and some veggies), you’d have thought most folks hadn’t eaten in months!!  It’s much quieter now!  This place is brand new and beautiful.  Here’s what we’ve got now. 

Talk to you next from Train 3…the Southwest Chief!

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So welcome to Room C of Car 330, on the Southwest Chief.  The room is exactly like what we had last night, but Susie and I think this train is newer.  Life will be easier today as we know what to expect, but we may miss Phil, last night’s Sleeping Car Attendant. We had not an auspicious start, as the door to our car was closed, and we had to stand and wait for somebody to show up!   We’ll see how things go, but we already asked her about wash cloths and hand towels and she said, “they’re there”…they’re not!  Fingers crossed for the next 2 nights on the train!  

At 2:47 they announced, “close all access doors” and just after 2:50 we chugged out of Union Station.  We’ve already made our first stop at Naperville, Illinois.  Quick, extra credit if you can name one of the movies, Naperville and an Amtrak train played a supporting part in?  I can think of two off hand.  Leave it in the comment section below for a grand prize!  (FYI…the “Grand Prize” is just my gratitude for reading this far!)

The Dining Car Steward has already come around and we have a dinner reservation tonight at 6:30, and we’re looking forward to see what kind of meals an Amtrak Dining Car can dish out.  Here a layout of the Dining Car if you’re interested.  

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Susie has already found the ice (and the wash cloths) but we’ve yet to “officially” meet our Sleeping Car Attendant, but we are ready to enjoy the next 40+ hours on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief!  Cheers!!!

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Now it’s just time to relax, and watch America pass by our picture window!  

Okay..I just went and got more ice, and had a very nice conversation with our Car Attendant.  Her name is Pinky, and she’s worked for Amtrak for 40 years. She lives in LA 2 blocks from the station, and her Dad lives in Chicago.  She works one week on and one week off, so twice a month she’s with her Dad overnight.  I think everything’s going to be fine, different, but fine!  

Right around 6:30, we crossed the Mississippi River, leaving Illinois and entering Iowa.  The sun was just going down, and I don’t think beautiful is an adequate description!

Shortly after that, we got called to the Dining Car for our 6:30 reservation!  We’d been looking forward to this, and if tonight’s meal was any indication, we won’t be disappointed!  Amazing what you can do with a real kitchen and a real Dining Car.  Last night’s meal was ok, but nowhere near tonight’s standard!  I said to Susie, that back in January when I booked this trip, the Capital Limited had a Dining Car.  They took the car away in the Spring to save money, but never sent me any money back!  I don’t think we got what we paid for!

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And as to dinner?  We started with a glass of nicely chilled Pino Grigio, and both chose for our entree the Land and Sea.  A perfectly cooked NY Strip Steak, accompanied by a Crab, Shrimp, and Scallop Cake, with string beans and a baked potato!  It was very good!  And then to top it off, a taste of Greek Yogurt Cheesecake.  Take a look!

Then it was back to our bedroom for a round of 5000 and a perfectly chilled glass of Titos Vodka.  Pretty soon Pinky will turn our day room into a night room, and our second night on the road (the RAIL road) will begin!   

Here’s Susie in the hall outside Bedroom C.

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So far, we are having a great time!  Since leaving Chicago, the views have been great. When the sun comes up tomorrow morning, we should be in Colorado (At least that’s where we’re scheduled to be)  and the view should be getting even better!  We know train travel isn’t for everybody, but so far, we’re really enjoying our trip!  We should see some spectacular sights tomorrow and can’t wait to share them!

See you on day 3!

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…..

All Aboard

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!

3 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!

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img_0878The 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.  

img_0877Speaking 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!

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img_0884We 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……

 

9/29/79

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On the afternoon of September 29th, 1979, at the Interfaith Chapel on the C.W. Post College campus, Susie and I started what has truly been the Great Adventure of our lives, as we said our vows in front of friends and family, and became a married couple.  Thirty Nine years ago today, at a place where I graduated from and where Susie, at the same time I was going there, (although we never met), took academic classes while a student at Pilgrim State School of Nursing, she agreed to spend her life with me, and for that I have always been eternally grateful!  

I’ve always believed that our union was destined to be, and it was no accident that we were brought together by friends two years earlier.  There was a plan for our lives, and today we are still living out that script that was written in the stars!  She’s still my best friend, the one I want to be with when I’m down, the one I want to celebrate with when I’m up, the one who kicks me in the ass when I need it, and the single most important person in my life.  We don’t live our lives like others do, and that’s all right with us.  It’s our life, and we love it!

Lets face it, we’re dreamers and so far, they’ve all come true!  as of today, we have been married for 14,235 days or 341,640 hours or 20,498,400 minutes, but I can still remember that scared girl walking down the aisle of the Interfaith Chapel with her Dad  like it was yesterday.  My life has been a dream, because of the lady I’ve spent it with!  I love you now and forever Susie, and I thank God for bringing us together, and for giving us a wonderful life, filled with wonderful kids and grandkids, and friends that are like family!  

Have I been blessed??  You bet you ass I have!