I recently took the Silver Meteor (Amtrak) up New York. I took the husband with me because we all know men are great to have on hand for traveling - generally taller, more muscles, etc. Just kidding, I just wanted him with me. We were traveling up to my baby shower!
We made a reservation for a sleeper car - the viewliner roomette -hubs said it was like being in a Japanese hotel. The sink folded up and down and the toilet was right next to the bed. Which being pregnant I rather appreciated. I just rolled out of my bunk and waddled two steps when nature called.
The Viewliner Roomette:
That grab bar helps you climb up to the top bunk. below: the drop down sink and toilet below.
This is the toilet/sink view. There is another seat across from this one, with the door to the car on the left. Also, the toilet seat is only exposed when you want it to be. That little platform drops down and covers it. Then you step on that to get up to your top bunk.
At the Savannah station we were the only two getting into a sleeper car that evening so we were told to walk on ahead and wait at a different spot than everybody else. We boarded at 7:38 and Jimmy, our Porter, helped us with our luggage and familiarized us with the car. You can apparently check alot of bags on Amtrak too. We just checked one, but you can check up to 3 bags per person for free (!!) The seats were nice and roomy with plenty of space. So much nicer than squeezing into coach on a plane with everybody's elbows on their laptop jutting in your face. and you have a sliding door you can close as well as curtains on the window that velcro in place. Unlike hotels, bottled water was complimentary and unlike planes we both got a window seat AND a pillow! We had a lot going on leading up to the trip so we really just crashed when we got on board. Jimmy told us that our reservations for dinner were at 8pm. We made our way down to the dining car and we had our choice of chicken, fish, steak, spare ribs or pasta. I got the steak of course which came with a baked potato and green beans. It was really good! The baby was pleased with the iron and b12 I'm sure. There was a good selection for dessert too, we settled on carrot cake; on my trip back I got Hagen Dasz raspberry sorbet. Yum. Anyways, all meals are included in the price of your ticket. Jimmy came by around ten to set up our bed for the night. The two seats slid together for the bottom bed and the top bunk lowered from the ceiling. I asked for an extra blanket because the lower bunk is obviously a bit cooler than the bottom. I have to say, being pregnant it was nice to be able to lay there while being pleasantly transported to my destination. The motion of the train rocked us both to sleep and I made sure to curl up on my side as the baby is laying on top of a major artery and I can really tell now. I randomly woke up a few times through the night to gaze out the window and look at the random scenery illuminated only by orange streetlights. There is something about traveling on the train that makes you feel like you are in an Edward Hopper painting. It has an element of melancholia to it - this steel snake charging through the night, while its sleepy passengers are rocked like babies.
Hubs in the top bunk, assisted by Miller Lite:
Morning rolled around and we were too comfortable to get out of bed for a proper breakfast, so hubs brought me back some coffee (also complimentary) and I found the New York Times had been slid under our door. It was so nice, laying in bed with coffee, the Times and the last minutes of Newark rolling by. Hubs jumped into the shower down the hall in the morning. It was cute - a little shower pod with a room attached for changing. I am really straddling the line between seahorse and kangeroo at this point so I didn't make the attempt. I just washed my face in our room and fixed myself up there. We arrived at Penn Station, NYC at 11:30 am, where my mom (expert Manhattan driver) managed to find a space right outside the station. Sort of amazing in itself. It was a fun trip. Very simple and easy breezy the whole way. I highly recommend it.
***If you're pregnant its a nice way to travel - the train moves through the night, no annoying security checks, or plane switching, meals are included and made for you, you can lay down the whole way...and the toilet is right there.
Hubs and me at my baby shower -looking much better:
My Mom and I: