We are now on Amtrak's Sunset Limited train from L.A. to New Orleans as I write. As there is no WiFi service on this train I shall have to wait to send this message from our hotel in New Orleans.
Wed. morning we left our Sequim apt. at 6:10, arriving by shuttle van at Tacoma's Amtrak station in plenty of time for our 10:30 train. (There we enjoyed the orange banana bread Carole gave us!) The Coast Starlight train is a premier route and we appreciated the comforts of the parlour car (they are only on this route) with its free wine and cheese tasting, comfy barrel swivel chairs and free movies twice daily downstairs. We even were given small bottles of free champagne just after we boarded!
Our roomette is cozy and comfortable except at night when the bed and upper bunk are made up. Then the space to stand and dress/undress is about 1 foot deep by 3 feet wide. I learned to take my night clothes and a hanger into the nearby lavatory to get ready for bed. The beds are really quite comfortable and the rocking motion does help put us to sleep.
The meals are very good and there are healthy choices along with the delicious chocolate bundt cake and low-sugar cheesecake. We enjoyed nicely seasoned salmon the first night and a fine sirloin steak the 2nd night. (All “free” with the roomette.)
To our delight the train arrived in L.A. A bit ahead of schedule. We were so grateful there was Red Cap shuttle service into Union Station as it was an extremely long distance to have to carry our luggage if we had had to walk! We had thought we'd have to take a taxi to our hotel but we saw the sign from the front of the station and decided to walk. It was further than it appeared but we made it and checked in to find we had a handicapped room.
It was very large; the bathroom was huge! What comfort after small quarters on the train! The shower was great and I was able to washout most of our clothes so they were ready for the next train ride. This morning we walked back to Union Station and rode with Red Cap to get onto the Sunset Limited.
To our disappointment this is the one Amtrak train that does not have WiFi. We have eaten our meals with some interesting folks so far this trip: an older couple from Portland, an interesting fellow from so. CA who has and loves his older camperantractive young biology teacher from Hilo, Hawaii, and a couple our age from LA. returning home from visiting in northern CA. Our time is spent mostly relaxing while we read magazines and a newspaper or two. I also do some tatting and reading a novel on my new Nook. I am still trying to adjust to holding a 'machine' instead of a real book but it is going OK, at least for traveling like this. And, oh yes, we take lots of naps!