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Bucket List trip May 2020: trains 421, 4 and 50

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Albi

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
26
My trip hasn't yet taken place, but I thought I'll start the thread already to raise your attention. Then, when I do board the Texas Eagle in Austin next Wednesday to Los Angeles, those interested in trip reports will likely have discovered this post and can follow my adventure "LIVE" (so to speak).

Normally I am flying when I travel. But these times are not normal. I am a full time housesitter, pet nanny and occasional farm hand, taking care of (mostly) cats and dogs in their own homes while their owners are away on vacations or business trips.

I am serving all 50 states (US) plus territories, taking care of pets or farm animals, all species except snakes. Yes, I am afraid of snakes. Sleeping with gigantic pitbulls but not handling snakes in a household.

My clients pay for my transportation to their location, so obviously it is usually a flight. I would prefer Amtrak, but nobody would pay those fares outside the NEC.

I did 75 gigs in 27 different states since May 2015, until everything came to a screeching halt in March. Our lives have all been put on halt, yours probably too, so I don't have to tell you. All my previously booked assignments have been canceled, except for one in Austin for a week in May.

I am in Austin right now, with a cat and a small dog in an apartment complex. There are no new jobs, I have no idea when my next gig will come along and where it will be. You can bet that I am kind of depressed, because I really liked my life as it was, and I want it to come back. But almost nobody is traveling now, thus there is no need for house sitters or dog nannies or cat sitters.

I must admit that I am complaining from a high horse, obviously my problems are luxury problems. My husband has not stopped working, his employer has somehow managed to get on the "essential" list, thus his salary has been coming as usual. It isn't much, Small Town Pennsylvania doesn't pay high salaries, but in times like these, we are clearly privileged. His brothers make more money but both are home now. He makes much less but goes to work every Monday to Friday.

So that's our situation, just to give you an idea.

I have discovered Amtrak's long distance trains last summer when I took the Coast Starlight from Seattle to San Francisco. Having just finished a gig with a little dog in Alaska, my client flew me back to the mainland (Seattle) as had been agreed, but I failed to land a follow-up assignment in time, so I had to go home for over 2 weeks.

I couldn't afford the flight out of Seattle that day (who knows what was going on locally), it was almost twice as much as it would normally be. But if I could fly out of San Francisco two days later, it would be a much more reasonable rate. Hmmmm, where would I spend the next 2 days and how would I get south from Seattle?

My husband had changed our electricity provider and was granted a prize for signing up, 12.000 Amtrak points. We still had some points lingering around from previous years, so the Amtrak trip was covered without actual payment.

I boarded the CS 11 on a Sunday morning and I really enjoyed the next 23 hours. Had a very pleasant sleeping car attendant and all was great, the only thing missing was wifi, but you can't have it all, right? I was in roomette #5 and happy.

I had somehow discovered this forum shortly before the trip, so I knew already that some people do these trips on a regular basis. Clearly out of reach for me, since I have no income, and my husband's salary is on the lower side. But I was dreaming that one day I would do another trip on a LD train somewhere through America.

I am from Germany, immigrant of 2003, so this is a foreign country to me, and I have not leant American history in school. I was 40 when I set foot to this country, so traveling through the USA is a big adventure for me. My clients normally provide my trips (airfare and groceries), and I had fabulous 5 years seeing 27 states from within.

Insert Covid-19, all my upcoming assignments have been canceled except for one in May. Thanks to the stimulus bill I actually got free money! I got Trumpbucks and I need to get home from Austin next week. So hmmm, let me think...

I could take the Texas Eagle from Austin and go north to Chicago, then fly home to Pennsylvania. Or....

Or I can go the other direction, taking the southbound TE to Los Angeles, then taking the Chief to Chicago from there, and then take the Cardinal to Philadelphia. And that's what I am doing!

Is that insane? Clearly, it is! For the same money I could stay in my favourite luxury hotel at the Atlantic ocean for over 2 weeks. But you know what, I have spent a few summers in Atlantic City, been there, done that. Now is the time to cross off another item off my Bucket List. When if not now? I was given free money, so there's my chance, and I am grabbing it.

I will be 57 this summer, and I want to do things while I can. My mother in law always wanted to see Lithuania where her grandmother came from as a young child. She could have taken that trip, they are not as poor as we are (lol), but there was always something more important going on at the time. I have known her for 20 years. She could have traveled, and she should have. Now she is over 80 and sick, she won't be traveling anywhere anymore.

That won't be me. I will not make that mistake. I want to see my chances when they come along. I did that 20 years ago when I met this American by chance (called wrong number), married him against all odds, moved across the ocean and in hindsight it was the best decision I ever made in my life. So I saw the window opening and I jumped, so to speak. And now I got the money to take several LD trains through America, and hell yes, I am doing it!

Stay tuned!
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,267
Location
Austin Texas
My trip hasn't yet taken place, but I thought I'll start the thread already to raise your attention. Then, when I do board the Texas Eagle in Austin next Wednesday to Los Angeles, those interested in trip reports will likely have discovered this post and can follow my adventure "LIVE" (so to speak).

Normally I am flying when I travel. But these times are not normal. I am a full time housesitter, pet nanny and occasional farm hand, taking care of (mostly) cats and dogs in their own homes while their owners are away on vacations or business trips.

I am serving all 50 states (US) plus territories, taking care of pets or farm animals, all species except snakes. Yes, I am afraid of snakes. Sleeping with gigantic pitbulls but not handling snakes in a household.

My clients pay for my transportation to their location, so obviously it is usually a flight. I would prefer Amtrak, but nobody would pay those fares outside the NEC.

I did 75 gigs in 27 different states since May 2015, until everything came to a screeching halt in March. Our lives have all been put on halt, yours probably too, so I don't have to tell you. All my previously booked assignments have been canceled, except for one in Austin for a week in May.

I am in Austin right now, with a cat and a small dog in an apartment complex. There are no new jobs, I have no idea when my next gig will come along and where it will be. You can bet that I am kind of depressed, because I really liked my life as it was, and I want it to come back. But almost nobody is traveling now, thus there is no need for house sitters or dog nannies or cat sitters.

I must admit that I am complaining from a high horse, obviously my problems are luxury problems. My husband has not stopped working, his employer has somehow managed to get on the "essential" list, thus his salary has been coming as usual. It isn't much, Small Town Pennsylvania doesn't pay high salaries, but in times like these, we are clearly privileged. His brothers make more money but both are home now. He makes much less but goes to work every Monday to Friday.

So that's our situation, just to give you an idea.

I have discovered Amtrak's long distance trains last summer when I took the Coast Starlight from Seattle to San Francisco. Having just finished a gig with a little dog in Alaska, my client flew me back to the mainland (Seattle) as had been agreed, but I failed to land a follow-up assignment in time, so I had to go home for over 2 weeks.

I couldn't afford the flight out of Seattle that day (who knows what was going on locally), it was almost twice as much as it would normally be. But if I could fly out of San Francisco two days later, it would be a much more reasonable rate. Hmmmm, where would I spend the next 2 days and how would I get south from Seattle?

My husband had changed our electricity provider and was granted a prize for signing up, 12.000 Amtrak points. We still had some points lingering around from previous years, so the Amtrak trip was covered without actual payment.

I boarded the CS 11 on a Sunday morning and I really enjoyed the next 23 hours. Had a very pleasant sleeping car attendant and all was great, the only thing missing was wifi, but you can't have it all, right? I was in roomette #5 and happy.

I had somehow discovered this forum shortly before the trip, so I knew already that some people do these trips on a regular basis. Clearly out of reach for me, since I have no income, and my husband's salary is on the lower side. But I was dreaming that one day I would do another trip on a LD train somewhere through America.

I am from Germany, immigrant of 2003, so this is a foreign country to me, and I have not leant American history in school. I was 40 when I set foot to this country, so traveling through the USA is a big adventure for me. My clients normally provide my trips (airfare and groceries), and I had fabulous 5 years seeing 27 states from within.

Insert Covid-19, all my upcoming assignments have been canceled except for one in May. Thanks to the stimulus bill I actually got free money! I got Trumpbucks and I need to get home from Austin next week. So hmmm, let me think...

I could take the Texas Eagle from Austin and go north to Chicago, then fly home to Pennsylvania. Or....

Or I can go the other direction, taking the southbound TE to Los Angeles, then taking the Chief to Chicago from there, and then take the Cardinal to Philadelphia. And that's what I am doing!

Is that insane? Clearly, it is! For the same money I could stay in my favourite luxury hotel at the Atlantic ocean for over 2 weeks. But you know what, I have spent a few summers in Atlantic City, been there, done that. Now is the time to cross off another item off my Bucket List. When if not now? I was given free money, so there's my chance, and I am grabbing it.

I will be 57 this summer, and I want to do things while I can. My mother in law always wanted to see Lithuania where her grandmother came from as a young child. She could have taken that trip, they are not as poor as we are (lol), but there was always something more important going on at the time. I have known her for 20 years. She could have traveled, and she should have. Now she is over 80 and sick, she won't be traveling anywhere anymore.

That won't be me. I will not make that mistake. I want to see my chances when they come along. I did that 20 years ago when I met this American by chance (called wrong number), married him against all odds, moved across the ocean and in hindsight it was the best decision I ever made in my life. So I saw the window opening and I jumped, so to speak. And now I got the money to take several LD trains through America, and hell yes, I am doing it!

Stay tuned!
Please stay Safe, your story is fascinating, hopefully you'll have a great trip, we look forward to your trip reports!

( I live in Austin and the Texas Eagle is my gateway to the USA and Canada!)
 

jiml

Conductor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,510
Location
Toronto area
Texas Eagle is my gateway to the USA and Canada!)
This is an excellent observation. I've often thought it was the most overlooked and underrated train in the Amtrak system. Other than Silver services I've used it more than any other LD train. Being able to get to Chicago anytime with low frequent flier miles, the Eagle is the perfect complement to several destinations.
 

mcropod

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
264
Location
Oz
I'll be happy to come along on the ride with you from my Australian home in western Victoria. I was lucky to spend about a month riding trains in the USA and Canada a couple of years ago and I'd do it again in a heartbeat! Great fun, fab scenery, interesting travel companions, nicely-equipped roomettes, good and plentiful on-board dining, and at a decent all-inclusive cost. Exactly what you want when you visit a strange place :)

I hope you'll have bags of fun and tell others of how fab it is.
 

20th Century Rider

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
701
Location
Oregon Coast
My trip hasn't yet taken place, but I thought I'll start the thread already to raise your attention. Then, when I do board the Texas Eagle in Austin next Wednesday to Los Angeles, those interested in trip reports will likely have discovered this post and can follow my adventure "LIVE" (so to speak).

Normally I am flying when I travel. But these times are not normal. I am a full time housesitter, pet nanny and occasional farm hand, taking care of (mostly) cats and dogs in their own homes while their owners are away on vacations or business trips.

I am serving all 50 states (US) plus territories, taking care of pets or farm animals, all species except snakes. Yes, I am afraid of snakes. Sleeping with gigantic pitbulls but not handling snakes in a household.

My clients pay for my transportation to their location, so obviously it is usually a flight. I would prefer Amtrak, but nobody would pay those fares outside the NEC.

I did 75 gigs in 27 different states since May 2015, until everything came to a screeching halt in March. Our lives have all been put on halt, yours probably too, so I don't have to tell you. All my previously booked assignments have been canceled, except for one in Austin for a week in May.

I am in Austin right now, with a cat and a small dog in an apartment complex. There are no new jobs, I have no idea when my next gig will come along and where it will be. You can bet that I am kind of depressed, because I really liked my life as it was, and I want it to come back. But almost nobody is traveling now, thus there is no need for house sitters or dog nannies or cat sitters.

I must admit that I am complaining from a high horse, obviously my problems are luxury problems. My husband has not stopped working, his employer has somehow managed to get on the "essential" list, thus his salary has been coming as usual. It isn't much, Small Town Pennsylvania doesn't pay high salaries, but in times like these, we are clearly privileged. His brothers make more money but both are home now. He makes much less but goes to work every Monday to Friday.

So that's our situation, just to give you an idea.

I have discovered Amtrak's long distance trains last summer when I took the Coast Starlight from Seattle to San Francisco. Having just finished a gig with a little dog in Alaska, my client flew me back to the mainland (Seattle) as had been agreed, but I failed to land a follow-up assignment in time, so I had to go home for over 2 weeks.

I couldn't afford the flight out of Seattle that day (who knows what was going on locally), it was almost twice as much as it would normally be. But if I could fly out of San Francisco two days later, it would be a much more reasonable rate. Hmmmm, where would I spend the next 2 days and how would I get south from Seattle?

My husband had changed our electricity provider and was granted a prize for signing up, 12.000 Amtrak points. We still had some points lingering around from previous years, so the Amtrak trip was covered without actual payment.

I boarded the CS 11 on a Sunday morning and I really enjoyed the next 23 hours. Had a very pleasant sleeping car attendant and all was great, the only thing missing was wifi, but you can't have it all, right? I was in roomette #5 and happy.

I had somehow discovered this forum shortly before the trip, so I knew already that some people do these trips on a regular basis. Clearly out of reach for me, since I have no income, and my husband's salary is on the lower side. But I was dreaming that one day I would do another trip on a LD train somewhere through America.

I am from Germany, immigrant of 2003, so this is a foreign country to me, and I have not leant American history in school. I was 40 when I set foot to this country, so traveling through the USA is a big adventure for me. My clients normally provide my trips (airfare and groceries), and I had fabulous 5 years seeing 27 states from within.

Insert Covid-19, all my upcoming assignments have been canceled except for one in May. Thanks to the stimulus bill I actually got free money! I got Trumpbucks and I need to get home from Austin next week. So hmmm, let me think...

I could take the Texas Eagle from Austin and go north to Chicago, then fly home to Pennsylvania. Or....

Or I can go the other direction, taking the southbound TE to Los Angeles, then taking the Chief to Chicago from there, and then take the Cardinal to Philadelphia. And that's what I am doing!

Is that insane? Clearly, it is! For the same money I could stay in my favourite luxury hotel at the Atlantic ocean for over 2 weeks. But you know what, I have spent a few summers in Atlantic City, been there, done that. Now is the time to cross off another item off my Bucket List. When if not now? I was given free money, so there's my chance, and I am grabbing it.

I will be 57 this summer, and I want to do things while I can. My mother in law always wanted to see Lithuania where her grandmother came from as a young child. She could have taken that trip, they are not as poor as we are (lol), but there was always something more important going on at the time. I have known her for 20 years. She could have traveled, and she should have. Now she is over 80 and sick, she won't be traveling anywhere anymore.

That won't be me. I will not make that mistake. I want to see my chances when they come along. I did that 20 years ago when I met this American by chance (called wrong number), married him against all odds, moved across the ocean and in hindsight it was the best decision I ever made in my life. So I saw the window opening and I jumped, so to speak. And now I got the money to take several LD trains through America, and hell yes, I am doing it!

Stay tuned!
Have yourself a really good time! I have found it is possible to backpack here on Amtrak just as in Europe but with an occasional UBER ride if the hotel is far from the rail station and there is no local transit. Going ‘hands free’ lends an incredible amount of freedom and flexibility. You may want to consider the Coast Starlight to PDX and the Empire Builder to CHI… but you will experience great scenery wherever you go. Bon Voyage and keep us posted! 🤠 🚃
 

astroguy

Train Attendant
Joined
Mar 30, 2020
Messages
19
My trip hasn't yet taken place, but I thought I'll start the thread already to raise your attention. Then, when I do board the Texas Eagle in Austin next Wednesday to Los Angeles, those interested in trip reports will likely have discovered this post and can follow my adventure "LIVE" (so to speak).

Normally I am flying when I travel. But these times are not normal. I am a full time housesitter, pet nanny and occasional farm hand, taking care of (mostly) cats and dogs in their own homes while their owners are away on vacations or business trips.

I am serving all 50 states (US) plus territories, taking care of pets or farm animals, all species except snakes. Yes, I am afraid of snakes. Sleeping with gigantic pitbulls but not handling snakes in a household.

My clients pay for my transportation to their location, so obviously it is usually a flight. I would prefer Amtrak, but nobody would pay those fares outside the NEC.

I did 75 gigs in 27 different states since May 2015, until everything came to a screeching halt in March. Our lives have all been put on halt, yours probably too, so I don't have to tell you. All my previously booked assignments have been canceled, except for one in Austin for a week in May.

I am in Austin right now, with a cat and a small dog in an apartment complex. There are no new jobs, I have no idea when my next gig will come along and where it will be. You can bet that I am kind of depressed, because I really liked my life as it was, and I want it to come back. But almost nobody is traveling now, thus there is no need for house sitters or dog nannies or cat sitters.

I must admit that I am complaining from a high horse, obviously my problems are luxury problems. My husband has not stopped working, his employer has somehow managed to get on the "essential" list, thus his salary has been coming as usual. It isn't much, Small Town Pennsylvania doesn't pay high salaries, but in times like these, we are clearly privileged. His brothers make more money but both are home now. He makes much less but goes to work every Monday to Friday.

So that's our situation, just to give you an idea.

I have discovered Amtrak's long distance trains last summer when I took the Coast Starlight from Seattle to San Francisco. Having just finished a gig with a little dog in Alaska, my client flew me back to the mainland (Seattle) as had been agreed, but I failed to land a follow-up assignment in time, so I had to go home for over 2 weeks.

I couldn't afford the flight out of Seattle that day (who knows what was going on locally), it was almost twice as much as it would normally be. But if I could fly out of San Francisco two days later, it would be a much more reasonable rate. Hmmmm, where would I spend the next 2 days and how would I get south from Seattle?

My husband had changed our electricity provider and was granted a prize for signing up, 12.000 Amtrak points. We still had some points lingering around from previous years, so the Amtrak trip was covered without actual payment.

I boarded the CS 11 on a Sunday morning and I really enjoyed the next 23 hours. Had a very pleasant sleeping car attendant and all was great, the only thing missing was wifi, but you can't have it all, right? I was in roomette #5 and happy.

I had somehow discovered this forum shortly before the trip, so I knew already that some people do these trips on a regular basis. Clearly out of reach for me, since I have no income, and my husband's salary is on the lower side. But I was dreaming that one day I would do another trip on a LD train somewhere through America.

I am from Germany, immigrant of 2003, so this is a foreign country to me, and I have not leant American history in school. I was 40 when I set foot to this country, so traveling through the USA is a big adventure for me. My clients normally provide my trips (airfare and groceries), and I had fabulous 5 years seeing 27 states from within.

Insert Covid-19, all my upcoming assignments have been canceled except for one in May. Thanks to the stimulus bill I actually got free money! I got Trumpbucks and I need to get home from Austin next week. So hmmm, let me think...

I could take the Texas Eagle from Austin and go north to Chicago, then fly home to Pennsylvania. Or....

Or I can go the other direction, taking the southbound TE to Los Angeles, then taking the Chief to Chicago from there, and then take the Cardinal to Philadelphia. And that's what I am doing!

Is that insane? Clearly, it is! For the same money I could stay in my favourite luxury hotel at the Atlantic ocean for over 2 weeks. But you know what, I have spent a few summers in Atlantic City, been there, done that. Now is the time to cross off another item off my Bucket List. When if not now? I was given free money, so there's my chance, and I am grabbing it.

I will be 57 this summer, and I want to do things while I can. My mother in law always wanted to see Lithuania where her grandmother came from as a young child. She could have taken that trip, they are not as poor as we are (lol), but there was always something more important going on at the time. I have known her for 20 years. She could have traveled, and she should have. Now she is over 80 and sick, she won't be traveling anywhere anymore.

That won't be me. I will not make that mistake. I want to see my chances when they come along. I did that 20 years ago when I met this American by chance (called wrong number), married him against all odds, moved across the ocean and in hindsight it was the best decision I ever made in my life. So I saw the window opening and I jumped, so to speak. And now I got the money to take several LD trains through America, and hell yes, I am doing it!

Stay tuned!
Enjoyed reading your post... and good luck. I'm also from Austin and am envious... but excited that you can have some train adventures. Some great people on this web site have given me lots of fantastic suggestions for a trip. We will definitely be taking one when we can. After 50 years or so, I'm ready for another trip on a train!
 

Albi

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
26
You may want to consider the Coast Starlight to PDX and the Empire Builder to CHI… but you will experience great scenery wherever you go. Bon Voyage and keep us posted! 🤠 🚃
You won't believe it, I have actually been considering that route! I have been thinking hard, changing routes and itineraries every few days during my planning phase, after realizing that I would qualify for Trumpbucks.

Originally I thought I would fly from Austin to LA, then take the Chief and then the Cardinal. But after combing through the old posts here, with so much good advice from experienced riders, I got the idea of taking the northbound CS and eastbound EB instead.

Could have done it, the price would have been $912 for both CS and EB combined. But then I would have needed to fly home from Chicago, as the Cardinal is $366 from Chicago to Philadelphia. I was really trying to just use my free money, not "borrow" from my husband's funds.

Then I understood from some of the older posts that the EB actually made money last year, while the SWC was in danger to be replaced by busses on long stretches of its route. I also studied carefully which train one should take in which direction. Eastbound, westbound, northbound, southbound... this forum is so full of great advice!

So I thought that the EB will likely be around for another year or more, especially with the North Dakota politicians fighting to keep it running. Considering that I might get only one shot (as in one trip, one stimulus only), I have to make the best decision. So I went back to my original plan with the Chief.

Then Delta Airlines started fiddling with my booked flight. Obviously I cannot risk missing my train in LA, so I want to have a big, long time cushion that day before 6pm (when the SWC leaves LA). They changed my booking to a much later one after canceling my original connection. Uhm, no, not gonna go from Austin to LA via Atlanta! Yep, that was their suggestion, Atlanta, and that is just calling for trouble.

So I canceled that and convinced my husband that going all the way with Amtrak (skipping all flights and taking trains all the way) would be safest. I added the new trip to the original itinerary and it took me 3 hours and 5 different Amtrak agents to get it right.

Luckily it is all free to change now. Had to change the dates of my previously booked trains, as my ride to LA from Austin adds two days to the trip (originally I would have flown to LA in a few hours on the same day). So I had to move the Chief by two days, luckily it goes daily, so no problem there. Moving the Cardinal was more complicated as it only runs on 3 days per week. So now I'll have two nights in Chicago instead of one.

I have learnt (again from the forum's posts) that I won't have a guaranteed connection in LA because the Amtrak reservation system is not coming up with my connection by itself. The guaranteed connection to Chicago would have been going north from Austin, not south via Los Angeles. But I really hope the time cushion of 12 hours between the Texas Eagle arriving and the Southwest Chief departing will be enough! I am already watching the trains online now every day, probably to keep my nerves calm. I cannot miss the train in LA!

So in the end I had to "borrow" some extra funds from my husband, as the trip on the southbound TE from Austin to LA costs about 3x the airfare (not kidding!), and that will burst my budget. Luckily I have the best hubby in the world, so I am all set.

So I'll see how many Amtrak points I'll get from this trip, maybe I'll have some good starting point for another trip later this year, or next year? I definitely do want to take the Empire Builder all the way one day! Have been riding between Seattle and Ephrata 4 or 5 times in both directions (had a client in Ephrata), and I will see the rest of that route in another trip!

Of course I also want to go westbound on the Zephyr, but I thought that one can wait, considering how popular that route is. Again the forum is so helpful to get advice. I read here that tourists are flying in from Europe and East Asia to take that train, so I think it is safe to assume that it will be around for another while. Amtrak will not cancel a moneymaking route, or would they?

So if there comes a second stimulus payment (unclear as of now), I might take a second trip, maybe I can combine the Zephyr with the eastbound Empire Builder somehow. But that is in the future.

Right now (I mean, this upcoming week) it is my triple whopper of Texas Eagle, SWC and Cardinal.

Btw, I found a decent hotel in Chicago in walking distance to the Union Station, booked two nights for $69 each! That's $30 off from the original rate, maybe because they don't serve breakfast despite their ads promising "breakfast included".

I called to ask about the breakfast buffet and they said there is none due to the current situation. But with the new lower rate I am fine, have already figured out where I will keep myself fed while in Chicago. But that is for later chapters in this thread.
 

v v

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
1,285
Location
UK / France
My trip hasn't yet taken place, but I thought I'll start the thread already to raise your attention. Then, when I do board the Texas Eagle in Austin next Wednesday to Los Angeles, those interested in trip reports will likely have discovered this post and can follow my adventure "LIVE" (so to speak).

Normally I am flying when I travel. But these times are not normal. I am a full time housesitter, pet nanny and occasional farm hand, taking care of (mostly) cats and dogs in their own homes while their owners are away on vacations or business trips.

I am serving all 50 states (US) plus territories, taking care of pets or farm animals, all species except snakes. Yes, I am afraid of snakes. Sleeping with gigantic pitbulls but not handling snakes in a household.

My clients pay for my transportation to their location, so obviously it is usually a flight. I would prefer Amtrak, but nobody would pay those fares outside the NEC.

I did 75 gigs in 27 different states since May 2015, until everything came to a screeching halt in March. Our lives have all been put on halt, yours probably too, so I don't have to tell you. All my previously booked assignments have been canceled, except for one in Austin for a week in May.

I am in Austin right now, with a cat and a small dog in an apartment complex. There are no new jobs, I have no idea when my next gig will come along and where it will be. You can bet that I am kind of depressed, because I really liked my life as it was, and I want it to come back. But almost nobody is traveling now, thus there is no need for house sitters or dog nannies or cat sitters.

I must admit that I am complaining from a high horse, obviously my problems are luxury problems. My husband has not stopped working, his employer has somehow managed to get on the "essential" list, thus his salary has been coming as usual. It isn't much, Small Town Pennsylvania doesn't pay high salaries, but in times like these, we are clearly privileged. His brothers make more money but both are home now. He makes much less but goes to work every Monday to Friday.

So that's our situation, just to give you an idea.

I have discovered Amtrak's long distance trains last summer when I took the Coast Starlight from Seattle to San Francisco. Having just finished a gig with a little dog in Alaska, my client flew me back to the mainland (Seattle) as had been agreed, but I failed to land a follow-up assignment in time, so I had to go home for over 2 weeks.

I couldn't afford the flight out of Seattle that day (who knows what was going on locally), it was almost twice as much as it would normally be. But if I could fly out of San Francisco two days later, it would be a much more reasonable rate. Hmmmm, where would I spend the next 2 days and how would I get south from Seattle?

My husband had changed our electricity provider and was granted a prize for signing up, 12.000 Amtrak points. We still had some points lingering around from previous years, so the Amtrak trip was covered without actual payment.

I boarded the CS 11 on a Sunday morning and I really enjoyed the next 23 hours. Had a very pleasant sleeping car attendant and all was great, the only thing missing was wifi, but you can't have it all, right? I was in roomette #5 and happy.

I had somehow discovered this forum shortly before the trip, so I knew already that some people do these trips on a regular basis. Clearly out of reach for me, since I have no income, and my husband's salary is on the lower side. But I was dreaming that one day I would do another trip on a LD train somewhere through America.

I am from Germany, immigrant of 2003, so this is a foreign country to me, and I have not leant American history in school. I was 40 when I set foot to this country, so traveling through the USA is a big adventure for me. My clients normally provide my trips (airfare and groceries), and I had fabulous 5 years seeing 27 states from within.

Insert Covid-19, all my upcoming assignments have been canceled except for one in May. Thanks to the stimulus bill I actually got free money! I got Trumpbucks and I need to get home from Austin next week. So hmmm, let me think...

I could take the Texas Eagle from Austin and go north to Chicago, then fly home to Pennsylvania. Or....

Or I can go the other direction, taking the southbound TE to Los Angeles, then taking the Chief to Chicago from there, and then take the Cardinal to Philadelphia. And that's what I am doing!

Is that insane? Clearly, it is! For the same money I could stay in my favourite luxury hotel at the Atlantic ocean for over 2 weeks. But you know what, I have spent a few summers in Atlantic City, been there, done that. Now is the time to cross off another item off my Bucket List. When if not now? I was given free money, so there's my chance, and I am grabbing it.

I will be 57 this summer, and I want to do things while I can. My mother in law always wanted to see Lithuania where her grandmother came from as a young child. She could have taken that trip, they are not as poor as we are (lol), but there was always something more important going on at the time. I have known her for 20 years. She could have traveled, and she should have. Now she is over 80 and sick, she won't be traveling anywhere anymore.

That won't be me. I will not make that mistake. I want to see my chances when they come along. I did that 20 years ago when I met this American by chance (called wrong number), married him against all odds, moved across the ocean and in hindsight it was the best decision I ever made in my life. So I saw the window opening and I jumped, so to speak. And now I got the money to take several LD trains through America, and hell yes, I am doing it!

Stay tuned!
Great outlook on life, do it while you can, you're my kind of person.

Personal view on the journey you've booked. You'll be travelling through the best the US has to offer, although for a single journey the California Zephyr westbound in winter is hard to beat.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,061
the California Zephyr westbound in winter is hard to beat.
I agree. My Winter trip on the Empire Builder from Seattle to Chicago was another extraordinarily one that was scenic. I was lucky. Rain, as the train left Seattle that changed to new falling snow when the EB headed East into the Cascades. That snow continued throughout the night with visions of a Glacier Park enveloped with this new snowfall. The entire trip was scenic.
 

NEPATrainTraveler

Train Attendant
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
68
My trip hasn't yet taken place, but I thought I'll start the thread already to raise your attention. Then, when I do board the Texas Eagle in Austin next Wednesday to Los Angeles, those interested in trip reports will likely have discovered this post and can follow my adventure "LIVE" (so to speak).

Normally I am flying when I travel. But these times are not normal. I am a full time housesitter, pet nanny and occasional farm hand, taking care of (mostly) cats and dogs in their own homes while their owners are away on vacations or business trips.

I am serving all 50 states (US) plus territories, taking care of pets or farm animals, all species except snakes. Yes, I am afraid of snakes. Sleeping with gigantic pitbulls but not handling snakes in a household.

My clients pay for my transportation to their location, so obviously it is usually a flight. I would prefer Amtrak, but nobody would pay those fares outside the NEC.

I did 75 gigs in 27 different states since May 2015, until everything came to a screeching halt in March. Our lives have all been put on halt, yours probably too, so I don't have to tell you. All my previously booked assignments have been canceled, except for one in Austin for a week in May.

I am in Austin right now, with a cat and a small dog in an apartment complex. There are no new jobs, I have no idea when my next gig will come along and where it will be. You can bet that I am kind of depressed, because I really liked my life as it was, and I want it to come back. But almost nobody is traveling now, thus there is no need for house sitters or dog nannies or cat sitters.

I must admit that I am complaining from a high horse, obviously my problems are luxury problems. My husband has not stopped working, his employer has somehow managed to get on the "essential" list, thus his salary has been coming as usual. It isn't much, Small Town Pennsylvania doesn't pay high salaries, but in times like these, we are clearly privileged. His brothers make more money but both are home now. He makes much less but goes to work every Monday to Friday.

So that's our situation, just to give you an idea.

I have discovered Amtrak's long distance trains last summer when I took the Coast Starlight from Seattle to San Francisco. Having just finished a gig with a little dog in Alaska, my client flew me back to the mainland (Seattle) as had been agreed, but I failed to land a follow-up assignment in time, so I had to go home for over 2 weeks.

I couldn't afford the flight out of Seattle that day (who knows what was going on locally), it was almost twice as much as it would normally be. But if I could fly out of San Francisco two days later, it would be a much more reasonable rate. Hmmmm, where would I spend the next 2 days and how would I get south from Seattle?

My husband had changed our electricity provider and was granted a prize for signing up, 12.000 Amtrak points. We still had some points lingering around from previous years, so the Amtrak trip was covered without actual payment.

I boarded the CS 11 on a Sunday morning and I really enjoyed the next 23 hours. Had a very pleasant sleeping car attendant and all was great, the only thing missing was wifi, but you can't have it all, right? I was in roomette #5 and happy.

I had somehow discovered this forum shortly before the trip, so I knew already that some people do these trips on a regular basis. Clearly out of reach for me, since I have no income, and my husband's salary is on the lower side. But I was dreaming that one day I would do another trip on a LD train somewhere through America.

I am from Germany, immigrant of 2003, so this is a foreign country to me, and I have not leant American history in school. I was 40 when I set foot to this country, so traveling through the USA is a big adventure for me. My clients normally provide my trips (airfare and groceries), and I had fabulous 5 years seeing 27 states from within.

Insert Covid-19, all my upcoming assignments have been canceled except for one in May. Thanks to the stimulus bill I actually got free money! I got Trumpbucks and I need to get home from Austin next week. So hmmm, let me think...

I could take the Texas Eagle from Austin and go north to Chicago, then fly home to Pennsylvania. Or....

Or I can go the other direction, taking the southbound TE to Los Angeles, then taking the Chief to Chicago from there, and then take the Cardinal to Philadelphia. And that's what I am doing!

Is that insane? Clearly, it is! For the same money I could stay in my favourite luxury hotel at the Atlantic ocean for over 2 weeks. But you know what, I have spent a few summers in Atlantic City, been there, done that. Now is the time to cross off another item off my Bucket List. When if not now? I was given free money, so there's my chance, and I am grabbing it.

I will be 57 this summer, and I want to do things while I can. My mother in law always wanted to see Lithuania where her grandmother came from as a young child. She could have taken that trip, they are not as poor as we are (lol), but there was always something more important going on at the time. I have known her for 20 years. She could have traveled, and she should have. Now she is over 80 and sick, she won't be traveling anywhere anymore.

That won't be me. I will not make that mistake. I want to see my chances when they come along. I did that 20 years ago when I met this American by chance (called wrong number), married him against all odds, moved across the ocean and in hindsight it was the best decision I ever made in my life. So I saw the window opening and I jumped, so to speak. And now I got the money to take several LD trains through America, and hell yes, I am doing it!

Stay tuned!
I look forward to reading your trip report.
 

Albi

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
26
I have figured out how to use my phone for updates, so I can actually report LIVE.

Problem is, I am about to lose battery power. I am on the Texas Eagle and there is no power, no dinner and no air conditioning.

Go to Albgardis Tausendschoen (@albgardis) • Instagram photos and videos for details

I am afraid I have not enough battery left to tell you the whole story here, as I can't charge my phone or my tablet. No power.

This is bad.

Oh, and they give out snackpacks similar to what you get on planes. Everybody just one, of course! Go over to Instagram and have a look!

I don't think I can sleep in the heat, I am not used to temperatures like this.
 

v v

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
1,285
Location
UK / France
I have figured out how to use my phone for updates, so I can actually report LIVE.

Problem is, I am about to lose battery power. I am on the Texas Eagle and there is no power, no dinner and no air conditioning.

Go to Albgardis Tausendschoen (@albgardis) • Instagram photos and videos for details

I am afraid I have not enough battery left to tell you the whole story here, as I can't charge my phone or my tablet. No power.

This is bad.

Oh, and they give out snackpacks similar to what you get on planes. Everybody just one, of course! Go over to Instagram and have a look!

I don't think I can sleep in the heat, I am not used to temperatures like this.
Oh what a shame for you.

Question. Are there working power points in other parts of the train, for example the sight seeing lounge?
 

Albi

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
26
Oh what a shame for you.

Question. Are there working power points in other parts of the train, for example the sight seeing lounge?
No, the train had only emergency lights, nothing else, no dinners, no showers, no electricity in the outlets, and no air conditioning.

It was really bad, and I see myself already getting a big fat refund for this part of my trip.

I just got service back (cell phone) so I will post a catch-up report shortly. Stay tuned!
 

Albi

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
26
Just stopped in Alpine TX so I got cell service again. Better hurry to get an update report in here while I can.

So, the power never came on last night. We left the train in San Antonio to get some fresh air and food.

Surprise, surprise, the Amtrak station in San Antonio is about the size of my cats' room in my house, so no food there. A makeshift outlet suspender in a corner, someone had plugged in an extension cord with multiple outlets, so I could plug in and call my husband.

He wasn't enthusiastic anyway about this trip and when he heard about the utter lack of service, he got angry.

I was soaked in sweat, likely ruined my garment, and had it not been for a kind lady sharing her pizza with me, I would have gone hungry.

It started raining and thundering and around midnight I went back to the train to get back in my room, but doors were closed. The Sunset LTD had arriven and they were taking their good ole Time with the connecting of the trains.

Around 2am we could go back on board, and despite being connected to a new engine now, we still had no power.

I was so tired, even considered to go to sleep unshowered, but I couldn't get my bed folded out. It said push for bed on some metal handle but nothing worked, and I didn't want to risk losing my fingers in the metal there. So I waited for the new attendant.

Oh well...
Catherine on the TE had been very helpful and forthcoming, did everything she could and offered help all the time. But she left in San Antonio.

Brian is now my Porter and he is so not keen to get a tip. I was waiting in my roomette for him but he chatted away with a couple first-timers who just boarded and were so thrilled to be on a train for the first time.

It was way after 3am that Brian asked if I wanted my bed down. I thought "duh" but said "yes, please!!!!!" with audible interrogation marks.

Then I had a lukewarm shower, I really needed that badly and I didn't even mind that the water wasn't warm yet.

Slept for about 4 hours between 4 and 8 this morning. We left San Antonio at 3.51am, I checked the time when we started moving. Fell asleep soon after and slept well, the bedding is comfortable and with my 5'4" I can stretch out.

The power came back on and eventually the temperature on the train got colder. At some point during sleep I grabbed my blanket to get covered.

Got up for breakfast around 8.30am and Sandy in the dining car got me fed. Nothing great, nothing fresh, but she got me fed. Shout out to Sandy who was kind and caring despite me being grumpy from the lack of service from before.

It is hard for me to put in pictures here, since I use my phone instead of my tablet now. I have been putting up posts on Albgardis Tausendschoen (@albgardis) • Instagram photos and videos because that's uploading even when offline, so it isn't wasted. If I lose service while posting here all might be lost.

I will spend all day tomorrow in the LA Union station so I will upload files then, assuming they have wifi.

Until then please see my pics and videos on Instagram. Will try to put in pics here when I have service.

Oh, back to Brian. When I returned from breakfast around 9.30am my bed was still down! I was stunned. Eventually he came strolling by and asked me if I wanted my bed up. Another DUH moment, I said "yes, Brian, please".

I noticed he didn't make any coffee, and while I don't drink coffee, I wondered about the other passengers. In my CS ride last year the attendant had put out coffee, water and juice, even hard candy. She was always offering service and was very nice.

So I was looking for bottled water and there was none. Brian came by and I asked about it. He seemed surprised, "oh, you want some?" Yes, Brian, please!

He handed me one half liter bottle. I asked why the water was not put up next to the cold, unused coffee maker, and he found it strange (I am guessing that from his face). No, I didn't mention the coffee maker, I just pointed to the coffee station where I thought the water would be.

Then I finally asked the question: Brian, are you new here? He said no, he came on last night. I clarified, no Brian, are you new on this job? Is this a new job for you?

I said it as kindly as possible. He said no, he's been on the job for 10 years.

He finally got a hunch and said "yeah, everybody is doing things differently". I laughed and said "yes, I noticed".

Stay tuned.
 
Last edited:

Albi

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
26
Albi,

Brian needs to be reported to Amtrak by you and he should be fired. There's no excuse for his "service".
You don't want to see the current status of our restroom. How do I say it?

Uhm, let's say it's the opposite of spotless. Crusty even. Hope that's not too graphic in your imagination. Definitely not sharing a picture of that.

Should I TAKE a photo though, for later? I think I will...
 

daybeers

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
726
Location
HFD
You don't want to see the current status of our restroom. How do I say it?

Uhm, let's say it's the opposite of spotless. Crusty even. Hope that's not too graphic in your imagination. Definitely not sharing a picture of that.

Should I TAKE a photo though, for later? I think I will...
Call Amtrak at 1-800-872-7245 and ask for "Customer Relations" (not Customer Service) and tell them what's happening. They'll be able to do something about it and give you compensation. I am so sorry about how you've been treated, this is not the way Amtrak usually is!
 

Albi

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
26
Call Amtrak at 1-800-872-7245 and ask for "Customer Relations" (not Customer Service) and tell them what's happening. They'll be able to do something about it and give you compensation. I am so sorry about how you've been treated, this is not the way Amtrak usually is!
I will!
Brian really hates his job!

Last night I had to ask him again to prepare my bed. It didn't occur to him that I might want to sleep a bit before we arrive so early in LA, especially after we had such a late night yesterday.

Every time I have to ask for something that should be offered I feel awkward. Like I have to apologise for bothering him.

I went to bed around 10 and fell asleep right away. We were an hour late, the stop was Mariposa if I remember correctly. Then I zonked out and slept until 4.

Luckily I packed up last night before going to bed. I am not a morning person and would hate to get up early for that.

It is a bit after 5 now, I am still laying in bed, watching a station going by outside. Either Ontario or Pomona, the stops are shorter to each other now.

We are about an hour late so I think I will get up in half an hour. Will have to find breakfast and lunch near the Union Station. Does anyone know what is open?

A web search didn't find any hints about who is actually open now. Not right now at 5am, I mean now in May 2020.

If I understand it correctly, the Metropolitan Lounge will only provide snacks, not meals.

I have about 12 hours to spend in LA, don't want to wander off too far, but I need to eat.

Any tips welcome from locals or those in the know !
 
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
6
My trip hasn't yet taken place, but I thought I'll start the thread already to raise your attention. Then, when I do board the Texas Eagle in Austin next Wednesday to Los Angeles, those interested in trip reports will likely have discovered this post and can follow my adventure "LIVE" (so to speak).

Normally I am flying when I travel. But these times are not normal. I am a full time housesitter, pet nanny and occasional farm hand, taking care of (mostly) cats and dogs in their own homes while their owners are away on vacations or business trips.

I am serving all 50 states (US) plus territories, taking care of pets or farm animals, all species except snakes. Yes, I am afraid of snakes. Sleeping with gigantic pitbulls but not handling snakes in a household.

My clients pay for my transportation to their location, so obviously it is usually a flight. I would prefer Amtrak, but nobody would pay those fares outside the NEC.

I did 75 gigs in 27 different states since May 2015, until everything came to a screeching halt in March. Our lives have all been put on halt, yours probably too, so I don't have to tell you. All my previously booked assignments have been canceled, except for one in Austin for a week in May.

I am in Austin right now, with a cat and a small dog in an apartment complex. There are no new jobs, I have no idea when my next gig will come along and where it will be. You can bet that I am kind of depressed, because I really liked my life as it was, and I want it to come back. But almost nobody is traveling now, thus there is no need for house sitters or dog nannies or cat sitters.

I must admit that I am complaining from a high horse, obviously my problems are luxury problems. My husband has not stopped working, his employer has somehow managed to get on the "essential" list, thus his salary has been coming as usual. It isn't much, Small Town Pennsylvania doesn't pay high salaries, but in times like these, we are clearly privileged. His brothers make more money but both are home now. He makes much less but goes to work every Monday to Friday.

So that's our situation, just to give you an idea.

I have discovered Amtrak's long distance trains last summer when I took the Coast Starlight from Seattle to San Francisco. Having just finished a gig with a little dog in Alaska, my client flew me back to the mainland (Seattle) as had been agreed, but I failed to land a follow-up assignment in time, so I had to go home for over 2 weeks.

I couldn't afford the flight out of Seattle that day (who knows what was going on locally), it was almost twice as much as it would normally be. But if I could fly out of San Francisco two days later, it would be a much more reasonable rate. Hmmmm, where would I spend the next 2 days and how would I get south from Seattle?

My husband had changed our electricity provider and was granted a prize for signing up, 12.000 Amtrak points. We still had some points lingering around from previous years, so the Amtrak trip was covered without actual payment.

I boarded the CS 11 on a Sunday morning and I really enjoyed the next 23 hours. Had a very pleasant sleeping car attendant and all was great, the only thing missing was wifi, but you can't have it all, right? I was in roomette #5 and happy.

I had somehow discovered this forum shortly before the trip, so I knew already that some people do these trips on a regular basis. Clearly out of reach for me, since I have no income, and my husband's salary is on the lower side. But I was dreaming that one day I would do another trip on a LD train somewhere through America.

I am from Germany, immigrant of 2003, so this is a foreign country to me, and I have not leant American history in school. I was 40 when I set foot to this country, so traveling through the USA is a big adventure for me. My clients normally provide my trips (airfare and groceries), and I had fabulous 5 years seeing 27 states from within.

Insert Covid-19, all my upcoming assignments have been canceled except for one in May. Thanks to the stimulus bill I actually got free money! I got Trumpbucks and I need to get home from Austin next week. So hmmm, let me think...

I could take the Texas Eagle from Austin and go north to Chicago, then fly home to Pennsylvania. Or....

Or I can go the other direction, taking the southbound TE to Los Angeles, then taking the Chief to Chicago from there, and then take the Cardinal to Philadelphia. And that's what I am doing!

Is that insane? Clearly, it is! For the same money I could stay in my favourite luxury hotel at the Atlantic ocean for over 2 weeks. But you know what, I have spent a few summers in Atlantic City, been there, done that. Now is the time to cross off another item off my Bucket List. When if not now? I was given free money, so there's my chance, and I am grabbing it.

I will be 57 this summer, and I want to do things while I can. My mother in law always wanted to see Lithuania where her grandmother came from as a young child. She could have taken that trip, they are not as poor as we are (lol), but there was always something more important going on at the time. I have known her for 20 years. She could have traveled, and she should have. Now she is over 80 and sick, she won't be traveling anywhere anymore.

That won't be me. I will not make that mistake. I want to see my chances when they come along. I did that 20 years ago when I met this American by chance (called wrong number), married him against all odds, moved across the ocean and in hindsight it was the best decision I ever made in my life. So I saw the window opening and I jumped, so to speak. And now I got the money to take several LD trains through America, and hell yes, I am doing it!

Stay tuned!
For someone with English as a 2nd language you write an excellent narrative, your story is very interesting and I hope for you (and all of us), this current disruption in our lives is soon ended. "Safe Travels"
 

Albi

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
26
On the Chief now, have been since last night but couldn't post. The cell service is very spotty and never lasts long.

You can see my pictures and videos under Albgardis Tausendschoen (@albgardis) • Instagram photos and videos as always

I noticed that the roomette is laid out differently than on the TE or the CS. Also the restroom in the car is different. I assume this is another "generation" of superliners? Does anyone know?

The little table between the chairs is not level so I can't put my tea set on it, but I found an even better solution (hoping the pic loads up).

My Porter is a young girl. She seems overwhelmed but I am willing to forgive that since she is likely new. She looks like mid-end 20s.

Unlike the TE, I can't eat in the dining car here, Stefanie takes my orders and brings the food to my roomette. That means there are no extras. Sandy on the TE/SL had always offered another juice, another brownie, but not Stefanie. She actually was of the opinion that I would get ONE item of the already meager breakfast menu.

I said no, I'll have everything except for the oatmeal, that got her confused. But it's all good, I did convince her that I get it all, not either this or that.

I slept well again, these beds are comfortable. The rocking was hefty but that actually helped...

We just arrove in Albuquerque so I'm stepping out. Will be back shortly.
 

Attachments

Albi

Train Attendant
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
26
No jewelry vendors in Albuquerque, damnit! I had reserved some cash for that, but CJ from the café car said that they are not considered essential and therefore not allowed to offer their goods.

I will likely be banned from this forum if I wrote what I really think about this whole BS, so I'll leave it...

Somebody was removed from the train in Albuquerque! I think now I've seen everything. Three men removed him, he didn't want to leave.

He was actually in my car! When I got ready to get out in Albuquerque he passed me by and asked me if I was ok. I wondered how disheveled I must look, but I also noticed that he was very drunk.

He asked me 3 more times if I was ok and I knew he was not right, but didn't think further. I assumed he was a fellow passenger who just had too much alcohol.

But when I came back up to the sleeper, two Amtrak conductors were struggling to move him off, and a local mechanic rushed to help them. Together they managed to get him out of the train, and then I saw a police officer on the platform.

How often does this happen? Did he sneak on? Did he think nobody would notice him?

On we go. I better finish this post while I still have cell service.
 
Last edited:

oregon pioneer

Conductor
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
2,264
Location
near Seneca, Oregon
The only place it is acceptable for a passenger to be drunk is in their own sleeping accommodations. If they bother other passengers or are drunk and obnoxious in public parts of the train, they will be removed. I've seen it happen.

Nice tea set! I did not see how you heat the water -- was that little glass pot an electric one? I bought a small kettle online before our trip last December. It only uses 600 watts, so a little slower to heat the water, but not too bad. It will not blow any fuses, so will not make my fellow passengers mad. No fancy china for me, though, just a stainless travel mug to keep my beverage warm. Made myself a mini-tote from recycled clothing to carry my beverage service (pot, teabags, jar of coffee, spoons and napkins).

Acres_19s.jpg
 
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