This Christmas, We Will Be On The Road Track Again…

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So, we just finalized our plans for holiday travel this year and once again we are hitting the rails with Amtrak! With the price of flying heading ever skyward and passengers being nickel and dimed to bring even a single bag, combined with the fact that my wife is a teacher and has a few weeks off, we have decided to once again take advantage our situation and take the slow ride back east. We took the train last year from Los Angeles to Chicago and had a wonderful experience, so hopefully this year will be just as fun. However, this year we are going even further – from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Boston, Massachusetts to visit my family!

 
In reality, there are several reasons we are taking the train again – it’s not all because it was fun last time. For starters, flying when you don’t have to is incredibly wasteful – why not take the time to travel in a less polluting and more efficient manner? We don’t need to fly back east, we have plenty of time to make the trip in both directions and spend time with the family, so we are going to take advantage of it. Secondly, I hate to fly – let’s be honest. I will do it if I need to, but I hate it. And lastly, it becomes part of the journey, unlike getting the airport hours early, getting delayed, multiple stopovers, and not seeing much of anything on the way. When we took the train last year, the scenery was amazing and we saw parts of the country that we otherwise would never have seen. And this year we will see even more, as we are going a lot further than Chicago. Plus, you get 3 meals a day, a comfortable bunk bed to sleep in, and the camaraderie of meeting other “train” people throughout the trip. Here is what the route looks like:

 

 

The route from here to Chicago is called the Southwest Chief, and the car is the Superliner where we will have our own bedroom but have showers and the bathroom down the hall:

 
The route from Chicago to Albany, NY is called the Lake Shore Limited, and we will have our own sink and toilet but showers are down the hall:

 

 

The last leg of the trip is from Albany, NY to Boston, MA, and we will have business class seats as it is only about half a day’s ride:

 
We are pretty excited about riding the rails again. I know some people think we are nuts for taking the time to travel by Amtrak instead of flying, but we truly enjoy it. Amtrak ridership has been steadily going up for quite some time now, and I think it is only a matter of time before we start investing in high-speed rail in this country. With fuel prices going up and environmental concerns, train travel is making a comeback and we are glad we might be doing our part to help it out!
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