Getting ready to hit 73, I have to constantly remind myself not to think about or talk to others about the "good old days". Watching TV the other day, I remembered having only three station to watch. Now we have hundred's of options, that really don't seem much better. Anything beats Greyhound!Way way long ago as a young adult I pursued my love of railroad travel during the declining years of the golden era... venturing out West, to the southeast, the Appalachians, eastern cities, and western shores.
Coming back to Amtrak travel about 20 years ago, it my every intent to be a first class traveler enjoying an actual bed so as to be lulled to sleep by the rails... and to me... nothing can compare! Also enjoyed the camaraderie of making new friends in the sightseer car and while dining on some rather indulgent meals. I mean... when you're sitting around a table with other travelers, sipping red wind and enjoying steak, shrimp, and baked potato as the world speeds by out the window... of course there's going to be upbeat conversation and friendships made.
Speaking of making friends, that happened with a couple a few years ago and we have been keeping in touch ever since... and although it is rare to establish long lasting friendships from chance meetings with people... it does happen.
Towards the end of my second grand adventures on Amtrak... establishing Executive Plus status and raking up the points, things started to happen. The roomette was either too hot or too cold; food started to become more standardized; chinaware and glassware were replaced with plastic; there were more breakdowns and mechanical problems; remembering once when a fire alarm just outside the room started 'chirping' and keeping me up. The conductor warned me it was a 'federal offense' to remove that battery which would have brought peace... and that coveted sleep.
Sadly the restaurant cars on eastern routes were replaced by what could now be described as an 'upgraded version' of the new 'flex dining.' Then that too began to decline. And just when it seemed that things just couldn't get any worse... the pandemic hit. That recently ended the 2nd phase of my rail travel experience.
I wonder if there will be a third chapter for this rail enthusiast???
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