Today’s post comes Barbara in Rivertown
Our recent train trip to the west coast was lovely and relaxing during the two days we traveled each direction. Here are a few tips to the uninitiated, while the experience is fresh in my mind.
– Have one carry-on bag with everything you’ll need for however long you’re on the train, including a fresh change of clothes. That way you can be free from pawing through your large suitcase – it can just stay in the vestibule with the others.
– Good not only for when you’re trying to sleep. They will not, however, help awakening at the lurching as the train crosses the track-merge connections. Not to worry, the rocking and the clickety-clack will (probably) lull you off to sleep again.
– Earplugs may also be good if you want peace and quiet in the Lounge Car. You could consider creating a “Megaphone Award” prize for each day aboard, to hand out to that one person in the Lounge Car whose conversation can be heard through the entire car. Alternately, you could just chime in with the conversation and yell comments back.
– If you have a roomette (or other sleeping quarters), three meals a day are included in the dining car. Although not a 4-star restaurant, the food is pretty darn good. (However, the same vegetable will be served with all entrees until the train turns around and heads back the other way.) Remember that you are not getting all that much exercise, and consider eating partial portions, or at least split the dessert with your companion.
– Unless you are a party of four and fill up the whole booth, you will be seated with other travelers, and will meet an array of interesting people at these meals. You may want to have a paper and pen available to exchange addresses with the most compatible of these.
– It is amazing how many sore muscle you can get from a lot of sitting! Try and get up to walk around every hour – take a trip to some other part of the train. Beyond the Dining and Observation Cars (located in the center) are the Coach Cars – follow to the end so you can see the track recede as you watch where you’ve just been. Be sure to walk with a wide stance with hands held out to catch you when you fall against the seats, and understand that if this were being filmed, you would look like you have just drunk at least one bottle of wine.
What sort of travel tips do you have to offer from your journeys?