I just wanted to thank this entire message board for my last almost year's worth of information!
I've never ridden a train before, and I decided I wanted to do a train trip from Michigan to California for my honeymoon instead of flying. This message board was very helpful in planning everything out. I got information from here that formed every step of the way. I found the information I needed to want to have the solid-walled bedroom instead of the partitions (where you need to bring cardboard and tape to keep them from rattling!) after seeing that yes, you do lose some floor space with that bedroom, and the bathroom faces the other direction, but it seemed the positives outweighed the negatives.
I learned that when we get to Chicago, we get to put our bags in the lounge for sleeper passengers and go explore for a few hours. I also learned that I'd rather take the CZ to Emeryville/San Francisco for the views along the route rather than taking the SW routes that take us right to LA, because the views on the CZ paired with the ride down the coast on the Starlight are probably more to our liking.
I learned that it is helpful to bring both a scanner to listen to any issues/updates during your trip, and also that it is a good idea to bring a GPS so you can keep track of where you're at in the trip!
I also learned that I shouldn't stress out about my bag being 30" tall with wheels instead of the specified 28" tall on the website, because nobody is probably going to care (although I do still worry a little about if the bag may be too big for the Pere Marquette or the shuttle bus I'm taking across the bay to San Francisco).
I found out I'm going to have to arrange for a late check-in with my airbnb host in San Francisco (a sailboat in pier 39!), because the CZ is probably going to be late. Hours late.
I also am going to make sure to try and get a west-side seat in the dining car on the Coast Starlight down the coast to LA for dinner, because I've been told it is one of the best sunsets and visuals you can hope for while eating.
Finally, I used information I found here to figure out that once I do get to LA at nearly midnight, there's a bus I can take to LAX to pick up a rental car and head to our second airbnb instead of having to pay for a place to stay somewhere near union station and waiting for the rental car place there to open the next morning.
This place has been a valuable website for me to use to plan out everything to do with our trip, and I'm looking forward to hopefully having everything go flawlessly beginning the morning after our wedding this weekend! =)