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First Amtrak vacation underway.


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#1 scrollmaster

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 04:10 AM

•Left Longview TX station 21 May on Texas Eagle overnight to Chicago. Had good SCA for our bedroom. Enjoyed first day and night immensely.
•Stayed overnight at The Palmer House, very beautiful and oldest operating hotel in the US but otherwise I considered it a severe waste of my money. Chicago Union Station quite impressive even with the construction. Very large and a bit overwhelming to an old country boy born, raised and still living in the sticks and deer trails of northeast Louisiana but enjoyed wandering around and through it as well as the Metropolitan Lounge.. great place to grab a drink, lite eat and visit. Gotta say the young Red Cap driver from train to Lounge very exciting. Felt more like the rollercoaster ride at the state fair with the fast speed, constant honking of the horn, dodging people and columns. Gave him a few dollars tip.. more for the excitement of the ride than a lift to the Metropolitan.
• 23 May - Empire Builder from Chicago overnight to Havre, MT. Very busy train. Lotsa people but handled well by the staff. I found out what an outstanding SCA can do to enhance your stay on the train. Her name was Suzanne from Seattle and working Amtrak for 5 years. Energetic, conversational, and seemed to be always close at hand. Told me I kept the neatest and tidy bedroom ever. Lots of cudos from the travelers. She should be the study for Amtrak SCA's. Thank you Suzanne!
•24 May - Departed at Havre, MT Station and Tara from Budget Rentals waiting in the lot for me with rental car.. nice service. Drove to great Falls for the night, wonderful meal and live music at the Celtic Cowboy Pub and Restaurant and in bed early before driving to Livingston for week with wife's family and a day at Yellowstone then driving back to Havre to catch Empire builder again to Seattle. Have the exact same car number and bedroom and praying Suzanne the SCA again.
•Gotta say that overall I love the train so far. Surprised the sleeper beds fairly comfortable and the motion of the train seemed like a sleeping pill. Bedrooms fairly small but layed out well for me and I have owned 5th wheels for more than 15 years so my room shower/toilet wasn't a problem to use. Food good.. not great but better than a lot of restaurants I've been to including The Palmer House Hilton.
•And by the way.. Thank You to the many people on this forum that has helped me learn and understand so much about Amtrak and Guest Rewards to make planning and enjoying not only this trip but how to best accumulate and use points for future travel.
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#2 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 07:33 AM

Glad the trip has gone well for you so far, and hope the rest does as well. :)

 

I rode with the same young Red Cap (I'm sure it was him--couldn't possibly be two of them like that!) when I went cross-country by train. That ride with him was the scariest part of the whole trip, and then I got him again on the way back! :help:


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#3 Bob Dylan

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:33 AM

Wonderful trip, thanks for sharing!😊

And I've found the same Thing to be true about some "Classic" Hotels, which tend to have High Prices,shabby and faded Decor, ancient Plumbing and spotty HVAC ( such didn't exist in the olden days).

The current Luxury places such as Four Seasons,Grand Hyatts,W etc. are generally Superior for comparable prices.

When's your next Amtrak adventure?😄

Edited: I see you're still traveling so you've answered this! The trip to Seattle on the Builder has really nice Scenery even if the Sightseer Lounge goes to Portland from Spokane.But you'll have the Diner for Breakfast!😎

Edited by Bob Dylan, 25 May 2018 - 09:57 AM.

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"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#4 scrollmaster

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 09:51 AM

Glad the trip has gone well for you so far, and hope the rest does as well. :)
 
I rode with the same young Red Cap (I'm sure it was him--couldn't possibly be two of them like that!) when I went cross-country by train. That ride with him was the scariest part of the whole trip, and then I got him again on the way back! :help:

We are about a third thru so far. Get back on Empire Builder 31May at Havre MT and continue to Seattle. Cruise to Alaska from there and back for two more days in Seattle then Coast Starlight to LA couple days before Texas Eagle working our way back to Longview Texas mid June.

#5 scrollmaster

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:00 AM

Glad the trip has gone well for you so far, and hope the rest does as well. :)
 
I rode with the same young Red Cap (I'm sure it was him--couldn't possibly be two of them like that!) when I went cross-country by train. That ride with him was the scariest part of the whole trip, and then I got him again on the way back! :help:

You not kidding.. bet my heart rate probably 90 by the time we reached Metro Lounge.

#6 railiner

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 10:44 AM

Sounds like a great trip, thanks for posting!   Curious as to which ship you're sailing on?  :)


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metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#7 cpotisch

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 12:30 PM

Sounds great so far! I’ve gotta say I’m a bit jealous. ;)
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Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

#8 scrollmaster

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 01:28 PM

Sounds like a great trip, thanks for posting!   Curious as to which ship you're sailing on?  :)

Ruby Princess

#9 railiner

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 01:49 PM

 

Sounds like a great trip, thanks for posting!   Curious as to which ship you're sailing on?  :)

Ruby Princess

 

Nice!   Leaving tomorrow?  Bon Voyage!!! :)

A little preview for you.... ;) https://www.princess.com/bridgecams/  click on 'Ruby'...


Edited by railiner, 25 May 2018 - 01:51 PM.

metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#10 scrollmaster

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 02:02 PM

No we will spend a week yet here in Montana driving around and visiting relatives of my wife. Then we will head to Seattle and depart on June 2nd I believe.

#11 Dakota 400

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 03:11 PM

Many years ago, I stayed at The Palmer House and am glad that I have a memory of that classic hotel.  I'd probably choose a different one now, however, if I needed to stay in Chicago.  Some hotel chains do a better job than others in maintaining their "classic properties".

 

Enjoy your cruise!


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