Monday, August 22, 2016

Amtrak Adventure

Wow.  It has been a very full summer.  We've been on both coasts, and see a lot of country in between.  But not on a road trip.  I traveled by train, for my first time.  My husband came up with the idea, and found a few extra days in his schedule.  So we took the rails from Pittsburgh, PA to Sacramento, CA.  

Our trip began on a Thursday night at midnight, when we boarded the Capitol Limited, and our excitement kept us awake to see our city's lights slide past us.  We had a little adjusting to do, getting used to the motion of the train and getting our little one to sleep (it was just SO exciting).  But our beds were already turned down and eventually we all drifted off to dreamland.

The next morning, we went upstairs to the dining car for breakfast, and I was delighted by a superb omelette.  Soon after, we got off at Chicago.  We had a few hours before our next train was boarding, so we spent some time at The Field Museum.  The adults were excited to see the terracotta warriors from China, and our child was thrilled by the education/play room for kids.  

After lunch, we headed back to the station, retrieved our bags from the storage locker, and boarded the California Zephyr, which we stayed on until Sacramento.  

Our total trip was three nights and two and a half days.  Does that sound like it could get a little monotonous?  I didn't find that to be the case at all.  Even my four-year-old was happy the entire trip, though having a family car to ourselves made all the difference, I am sure.  

The first day my daughter spent a lot of time simply going through all the things I had packed.  But really, she only played with about half the things I brought.  The winner?  Silly Putty.  

It was nice to be able to stow our suitcases in the hallway luggage rack, so that our room was not so tight.  In fact, I thought it was really spacious.  

My husband had loaded some of our favorite board games - Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride - onto his tablet, and Wyle was old enough to play.  That was really a nice way to pass the time.

And of course, there was a lot of looking out the window.  That's how the adults spent most of their time, with some video games and book reading thrown in.  It was a delight to see cities gradually turn into corn fields, to wake up to mountain and desert landscapes.  And it was a delight to feel refreshed at the end of our journey instead of wiped out.  It was so nice to disconnect (cell reception is a little spotty), relax, and just enjoy the journey.


  1. Beautiful! You just convinced me this is how we're traveling back to Pittsburgh at some point!

    1. Abby, it was wonderful! I highly recommend it!