Amtrak Sponsors the APW Book Tour!

Since the APW book tour officially kicks off today at San Francisco’s Green Apple Books, it is the perfect day to announce the Huge Enormous Good News that has been consuming the whole team for two weeks:

Amtrak is sponsoring the APW book tour.

Actually, it gets better than that, if that’s even possible. Amtrak is sponsoring the APW book tour, and generously allowing us to add a Southern leg to the tour, doubling it in length (details at the end of the post).


But let’s back up because this calls for a bit of a story. As I’ve mentioned, this fall I traveled non-stop. And finally, right before Thanksgiving, when I had my second panic attack at 30,000 feet, I decided I needed a break from flying. Since I still had some travel to do, I decided to go by train.

Initially, traveling from San Francisco to LA was a purely logical decision: I needed to get there, and I wasn’t going to fly. But it turned out I loved taking the train. Loved. To clarify, I’ve always liked taking the train over short distances: It was low stress, I got to daydream as I stared at the passing countryside, I got to read, and I always got in a nap. But long distance trains? All that goodness, and better. When you add in the dining car, where you sit down with people you’ve never met and enjoy a long leisurely meal? I was hooked. You see, it turns out Amtrak people are a different kind of people… my kind of people. Train people. I met editors. I met people traveling all over the country by train. I met a super-smart eight-year-old who wanted to be a Lego architect. (I told him that was a real job. He was over the moon.)

Turns out I loved Amtrak .

Plus, sleeper cars! I was eight when I took Amtrak for the first time, and I vividly remember being obsessed with the sleeper car. It seemed magical. I wanted to have my own. Well, somethings never change. Turns out I’m still obsessed with the sleeper car (and yes, I totally snuck into the sleeper car section on my last trip and sleuthed around).

So I made plans to do the book tour to New York by Amtrak. Sleeper cars for Meg! So much staring out the window! Getting to quietly get my work done! Meeting new people at meals! Watching movies in the cinema (yes, they totally have that)! Sleeper cars! I was excited.

And then, last week, thanks to some major help from the APW Staff, something awesome happened. Amtrak stepped in and offered to sponsor the whole book tour. That means this self-funded book tour just got a lot easier and a whole lot more exciting (not to mention a lot longer).

In our house, Amtrak is now used as a term of endearment. “Think she’ll Amtrak it?” (Translation: Will she help save the day?) “He is so Amtrak-y!” (Translation: What a nice guy!) I love Amtrak. And by the end of this tour, I think you’ll adore them as much as I do.

In short, I couldn’t be happier to be working with the Amtrak team on this tour. I will be making a loop of the whole United States over the course of a month, stopping in lots of your cities, meeting you, signing books, and writing little afternoon posts on the adventure so you guys can travel along. (You guys get to hear about the sleeper car! And the people I meet! And get details on Maddie joining me on a trip to New Orleans! Yes! I totally just said that!) Welcome to APW, 2012.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a ticket to ride. And I could not be more grateful to Amtrak for it.

And now, let’s get down to business.

Confirmed APW Book Tour dates:

Thursday 1/12 (TONIGHT!): The San Francisco Book Launch Party
Starting at 6pm, speaking at 7pm, Green Apple Books
Appetizers by Trumpetvine Catering, Wine by Monogamy Wine
Please RSVP to San Francisco here!

Thursday & Friday 1/19 & 1/20: Altitude Design Summit
Speaker, Building Relationships With Ad Networks and Sponsors

Sunday 1/22: Denver Books & Brunch
11am, Japoix Restaurant, ~$20 brunch buffet with bottomless mimosas
Please RSVP to Denver here!

Wednesday 1/25: Cambridge Book Talk, Q&A, and Informal Drinks
7pm, Porter Square Books
Please RSVP to Boston here!

Saturday 1/28: Brooklyn Book Talk And Full Scale After Party Madness
2pm, Park Slope Barnes & Noble
After party 3:30pm-5:00pm, within walking distance, details given out Speakeasy Style at the bookstore. NOTE: This party is getting more and more absurdly awesome. It’s a cash bar, but the word on the street is that there will be free tacos! And gluten free cake! And amazing decorations!
Please RSVP to New York here!

Brand New Dates (Thanks to Amtrak)

(Note: Jury is out on DC, but we’re still trying for Monday 1/30)

Thursday 2/2: Atlanta book talk, co-hosted by Leah and Mark and Wedding Day Hooray
7pm-9pm, Young Blood Gallery
APW has the best friends. Seriously. We’ve had just one week to pull together the second half of this tour. When I emailed Mark to see if Leah and Mark could help me out, within an hour he had a plan (and he has a new baby). This is not a joke. So, we’ve teamed up with Wedding Day Hooray, an indie craft fair in Atlanta (taking place on February 18!) thrown by the women behind Indie Craft Experience. The Wedding Day Hooray team, plus Leah and Mark, is throwing the APW Book Tour bash at the excellent Young Blood Gallery. Plus! There will be food and drinks! Plus! There will be prizes (Wedding Day Hooray tickets, a wedding day idea sheet and clipboard, a handmade notebook, and portrait sessions by Raven of Leah and Mark). I know, right? It’s going to be awesome. ALSO: I’ve never been to Atlanta, so I’m super excited.
Please RSVP to Atlanta Here!

Tuesday 2/7: Austin book talk, Feminism and Weddings (with tacos and beer afterwards? eh?)
7pm, BookWoman
I’m pretty phenomenally excited about this stop on the tour. First off, I’ve never been to Austin, which I hear is beyond excellent. Second off, the event is in a feminist bookstore (!) which means the whole talk gets to be about feminism and weddings. I know, right? Plus, Elissa R Photography is going to round us up and take us out to tacos afterwards! Tacos!
Please RSVP to Austin Here!

Saturday or Sunday 2/11 or 2/12, Los Angeles
Save the date. We’re working on projects….

So, please RSVP to Atlanta and Austin! Get excited! And more planing is going full steam ahead around here. We (because now Maddie is coming to NYC and Atlanta, thanks to Amtrak) can’t wait to see you. And finally, a huge bottom of my heart thank you to Amtrak for making this possible. Now, let the adventure begin!

And a final note: If you want to join me in traveling the rails this winter, Amtrak is currently running a 20% off promotion for pretty unbeatable rates. If you book from now to January 23, you can get up to 20% off of one-way fares on every long-distance train route for travel between January 17 and March 29, 2012. My suggestions: New Orleans to Memphis starting at $42, or Chicago to Seattle starting at $125.

Photos: First by Slideshow Bruce on Flickr, used under Creative Commons. Second personal for A Practical Wedding.

Featured Sponsored Content

  • Mary Jo

    Oh, if you’re going to Atlanta, please stop in Nashville! You’re so close! Pretty please! (I might try to make it myself, but it’s kind of late for a school night…)

    • meg

      Nope, that’s it, y’all. It’s a very timed out thing, train schedules. And every single day I’m either traveling are doing an event or doing press. So this is it. We’re working on DC and LA, but other than that, there will be no other events happening in the next month.

      • MDBethann

        Meg, just an FYI with your schedule. I don’t know what Amtrak train you are taking between DC and Atlanta, but be prepared for delays and to arrive at your destination much later than planned (try about 3 hours or so later). Between Boston, NYC, and DC – no problems unless they are weather related. South of DC, Amtrak shares the tracks with freight trains, which get priority. You can have delays ranging from an hour to 3 hours, as a co-worker and I learned the hard way in November when we used Amtrak between DC and North Carolina. I don’t know how off schedule they get south and west of there, but I wanted to give you fair warning just in case.

        Good luck – sounds like an awesome trip and I really, really, really hope you are able to figure out a DC site!

        • Oooh, yeah, that’s a good point. My husband was just going from Fort Worth to Austin, but he ended up delayed about an hour because of freight trains. I didn’t have any issues, though, making the same trip on a different day, so you never know. A few hours’ buffer between scheduled arrival & events probably isn’t a bad idea.

        • meg

          Oh, that’s always the case unless you’re on commuter lines. We don’t have dedicated passenger travel lines in this country, which is a d*mn shame, if you ask me. But slow travel is slow travel. I don’t care. I’m going to have a BED. They can take as long as they like. I always arrive the night before an event. It’s slooowww travel. Hurrah.

  • Renee

    AMAZING!!! This is just more proof that the universe (and hardworking APW staffers) give you what you need, just when you need it!

    And now I totally want to take a train somewhere. The born-and-riased New Yorker in me really misses the daydreamy train ride right now.

  • Jennifer

    Ooh, sleeper car! I also had an obsession with sleeper cars from childhood. Sadly, the only overnight train trip I’ve ever done was on somewhat late notice when I was a broke college student, so I just spent 24 hours in my seat. (Even that was more comfortable to sleep in than a plane seat, though!)

    I think I also love trains because my grandparents met on a train, waiting for the bar car to resume cocktail service while the train was going through a dry county.

    • I want to read the story of your grandparents!!!

  • Holy awesome batman!

    I’m crazy excited that you’ve got an awesome sponsor for the book tour AND you get to travel in a less stressful way to do it.

    Now if only you came north of the border. :P

  • Liz

    This is so exciting! I won’t be able to make it to any of the events, but I take Amtrak a lot. I am glad the hundreds of dollars I give to Amtrak each month is going towards something great!

    • meg

      It totally is!

  • I want to take a train trip!!! So I totally just looked at trains from Spokane to LA for the party there…just need them to be faster because I can’t take that much time off. :-(

    • I want to do the Empire Builder line from Seattle to Chicago. Can I pick you up in Spokane??

      • Absolutely. This sounds like a brilliant idea.

  • Peabody_bites

    What great news – congratulations! I love me an overnight train trip (or three, or ten). I only wish Amtrak ran under the sea to Europe…. you are all going to have the BEST time.

    • meg

      Me Too about Europe.

      • Lucie

        I’m from Australia but I’m in the US right now but nowhere near you! Can you amtrak to Australia pretty please :D

      • May I suggest asking the Eurail people for sponsorship?

  • Lindsay

    meg, meg, meg……PLEASE COME TO ST LOUIS!!! i got married last october, after finding your website just. in. time. to keep my sanity. i bought your book for myself even when i didn’t need to plan a wedding anymore, and i bought a copy for my friend who definitely needed it to keep her sanity through the non-traditionally engaged period and beyond. we would love to meet you, and i’m SURE there are plenty of others in town and around who love to meet you, too. so just think about it, k? :)

    by the way, you’re awesome.

    • meg

      Ah, see the note above. Plans are set with the train schedule, and that’s it for now. I’m away from home and my husband for a month, which seems like the most I can pull off and stay sane :)

  • VERY VERY cool (or should I say, VERY VERY Amtrak). Congrats on the huge sponsorship.

  • This is the best sort of news! Hurrah for Amtrak!

    I’m restraining myself from sending you my list of top ten places to eat in Atlanta (seriously, forget sightseeing; it’s a foodie city all the way). Soooo excited you’ll get to experience my hometown!

    • You should post those anyway! I’m a newbie to ATL and my husband and I looove good food. (When we have money for it, which is rare right now). I’m curious!

    • I’m probably going to be in Atlanta this June for a conference, so I want you to post them so I can do some planning.

      • I’ll email you guys so as to avoid spamming Meg’s comments with food talk :)

        • email at jennfcsu (at) msn (dot) com. Thanks!

  • OMGYAY! Coming to LA!

  • Amy

    Well, I now consider Amtrak Good People. And since I like giving money to Good People, I’m going to book my first train trip with them tonight. Congratulations to Amtrak…they just got a couple of new customers.

    Have fun on the book tour Meg! Maybe for the next book you can stop in the Midwest. :)

    • mimi

      I agree! I was just investigating their routes & fares myself. I live in Detroit and I want to visit my grandparents in Memphis. The trip would be 18 hours, but it only costs $110, which is much cheaper than flying or driving these days!

  • Amtrak is so awesome! Every time I travel from Boston to New York, I take Amtrak because it is sooo much better than the Chinatown bus, and sooo much more convenient than flying!

    Can’t wait for the Boston/Cambridge book talk!

    Also, am I dreaming or does your Amtrak ticket say “Jane” on it?

    • Meredith

      I also saw the Jane!

      And you can also try Bolt Bus. WAY nicer than chinatown bus and cheap too!

      • Oh yeah, I did Bolt bus, and Megabus, and Greyhound, and… well you name it, tried it. I still prefer the train. :)

        • meg

          Train is TOTALLY the way to go. I’ve tried them all.

        • Oh but the Chinatown buses have so much charm. You never know if your bus is going to tip over or if you are going to go on a four-hour detour because your driver was talking on his cell phone and got lost (both true stories).

          • meg

            Or if they are going to drive 100 miles an hour down the shoulder of the road in stopped traffic. ALSO TRUE STORY. ALSO THE LAST TIME I TOOK THE BUS.

          • I should note, neither hearing true stories of the things above or experiencing the 100 miles per hour down the shoulder actually deterred me from taking the Chinatown buses. I was poor and I needed to get to New York. I probably should put my safety higher, but cheap is often much more important to me. And it gives you fun stories.

          • And let´s not forget the roaches. True story.

    • Amy

      I travel from CT to Boston for work on a regular basis and it really is such a gorgeous trip – getting to see all that lovely New England waterfront is so much nicer than flying!
      Though – consider yourself warned, the NY/Boston route is infamous for not having much Wifi reception between bridgeport CT/Providence. Verizon is even spotty along that section.

      • meg

        Ah, tether your phones, people! That’s the way to wifi!

    • Alia

      I was totally going to ask the same thing about the “Jane”. I was like . . . did I miss something here? Lol.

  • How cool is that!!! I used to take Amtrak to visit home from college… I’d love for trains to make a comeback in the US!

    • Ooh, I did too. So much nicer looking out at the pretty scenery than fighting traffic up I-5. (The Seattle to Portland leg of the Coast Starlight runs through a whole lot of lovely.)

      • Indeed, Coast Starlight FTW!!

      • That’s the exact trip I made!!! I went to UW and was visiting my dad in Hood River. How funny!

  • Yay! Choo choo! Chuga-chuga, Choo Choo! Woot Amtrak!

  • Tricia

    So many fans in DC- please make it happen!!

    • Yes! I hope DC happens!! :D

    • meg

      It is not up to me. As ever. We’re waiting on a bookstore, hoping they’ll go from maybe to yes!

      • Jackie

        Please PLEASE come to DC!!!! That book store better say yes!

        If not, I’m an event planner here… maybe I can help you find a venue?

      • Julia

        I already have your book but I will buy a copy from the host bookstore if you have an event in DC.

        • meg

          YOU’RE ON. Because they did say yes.

          • YAY. Which DC bookstore should I be showering with praise?

  • Mira

    Be sure to get a seat in the observation deck EARLY when you’re going through the Rockies — especially the Glenwood Springs – to – Denver leg. It fills up really fast and it is going to be really spectacular with all the snow we’ve been (finally) getting!

    • Amen. The Rockies are awesome. I so miss those mountains.

  • Wow, this is fantastic – well done!
    We took the train from NYC to New Orleans in 2010 and it was brilliant – our highlight was also meeting people over meals in the dining car. Absolutely fascinating. Slow travel is definitely the way forward.

  • kathleen

    oh big hooray! and an even BIGGER hooray for Atlanta!

  • Austin, what is UPPP?? Please join us!!! :)
    Also, WHOA to the Amtrak love. I have never ridden Amtrak but now I want to.

    • V

      I’ve ditched facebook, but I will totally be there assuming cap metro doesn’t completely screw up the bus schedules when they get changed on sunday. Good job cheerleading for an Austin stop Elissa :)

  • Kate

    So incredibly excited that you’re coming to Austin! I’ll see you there. :-)

  • Emily

    DC! DC! DC! DC! DC! This pre-engaged girl could use a little bit of company from other sane wedding advocates.

    ps, even after multiple Amtrak trips to and from DC on the Northeastern tracks to NY/NJ, I still did not know that there is an AUTO TRAIN! Yes folks. A train between DC and Miami… THAT CARRIES YOUR CAR DOWN FOR YOU!!! In other words, eff off, I-95.

    • are you in our APW-DC facebook group yet? we do happy hour sometimes, join us!

      • Janet

        Oh gosh there is a DC APW group?!?! Haven’t had a chance to fully explore the discussion boards yet and must have missed this! Ladies from the DC Metro area are invited to join, yes?

    • Janet

      Totally with you in pre-engagment land Emily and I’m firmly in all of my friends are getting engaged/married hell. [And yes I read the pre-enganged post earlier this week.] Keeping my fingers crossed that the book tour will stop here in DC, I’ve even held off on buying the book so I could purchase it from whatever bookstore the tour stop was at in DC!

      Hope there are plenty of other DC Metro area APW ladies out there!

      • Emily

        I love this thread. Joining the APW DC facebook page now!!

      • Sarah

        We’re out here Janet! And I am super excited that there’s a DC APW group! Totally joining that right now.

        I reeeeeally hope the book tour stops in our fair city, especially since Union Station is an Amtrak hub.

        Have a ton of fun on the trip Meg! I’ve taken Amtrak cross-country twice- once from Chicago to San Francisco and once from Chicago to Seattle/Portland and back (you go through Glacier National Park!). The Denver to San Francisco leg of the journey was seriously the most beautiful mountain scenery imaginable. Just an awesome, awesome ride. Yay Amtrak!

  • I love this!! My future hubby and I are moving from Chicago to Portland 2 weeks after the wedding for a job opp, and we decided to take Amtrak out there. We’re shipping everything ahead, including the car, and splurging on the sleeper cars with private bathrooms. It’s a weird twist on a honeymoon, but I honestly can’t wait!

    • meg

      Oh, we are going to TALK about the Amtrak honeymoon. Because, AWESOME.

      • Ha.. I fly in from Europe precisely one month from now for the start of our Amtrak Honeymoon.

        50 hours worth or train travel, spread out over the American west.

        LOVE!! I LOVE, LOVE Amtrak and it’s great that you’re making this statement about them since so many of my American friends look at me weirdly when I tell them the joys of train travel.

        If you would like me to, I can see if I can send you words and/ or pictures to contribute to a post

        • American West? Where?

          • Portland >> San Fran >> Denver

            We get almost a week in Portland for the US Family Reception (we had the ceremony in Europe in November). Then Amtrak down to San Fram for a few days and another few for a road trip to at least Yosemite and hopefully some other parks. Then back to SF for the train to Denver (that leg of the train ride has such a fascinating history and I can’t wait to see the Sierrra Madre and the Rockies In Winter *faints from all the anticipated pretty*).

            We end the trip in a smaller city in CO where we’ll take the first steps to ensure our move there in the next 18 months.

            I Can’t Wait!

            *hugs Beth from sheer excitement*

    • MDBethann

      That sounds like an awesomely (Amtraky?) retro-style honeymoon. Not weird at all!

    • Write a post about that, please! How fun :)

    • ellobie

      We did an Amtrak honeymoon, too! George is stupid-crazy about trains so we flew from Chicago to Denver and then took the train up into the Rockies. We stayed at Glenwood Springs, a hot springs resort within walking distance of the train stop, and then headed back to Denver after a few days. Soooo relaxing and “slow” after the craziness of the wedding.

      This February we’re heading to Mesa, AZ to visit my grampa and planning to take him on the train that goes to the Grand Canyon. Fun fun!

    • I was supposed to take the Amtrak to my wedding but they cancelled my train. I had been really looking forward to telling fellow travelers in the dining car that I was on my way to get married.

  • Congratulations!

    When my now-husband and I moved from Brooklyn to Oakland two years ago, we did it by Amtrak. I haven’t stopped recommending it. You can’t bring furniture, but you can bring everything else in the cargo. With a ticket, you get 3 50lb items to check in baggage. PLUS! You can just ship your stuff without a ticket, for a seriously good rate. We got our checked bags when we got off the train in Emeryville, and our shipments arrived in Jack London Square the next day (they must have been on the same train as us).

    So besides being an amazing way to get you and all your boxes across the whole damn country, there was all of the following awesomeness:
    – No jet lag! You’re crossing one time zone per day, so it’s no more difficult than daylight savings time (of course, we were going in the more-sleep direction)
    – Awesome people at meals! Ok, some were more awesome than others, but they all were interesting. A dad with his kid going to see some family. A sort of uptight guy who was clearly embarrassed (he didn’t have to be, with us) by his pot farmer dad.
    – Tons of space! You can wander all over the place, the seats are as roomy as most business or first class airplane seats. There’s even a snack car that serves drinks that would be considered cheap at most NY or SF bars.
    – Tons of view! They time the cross-country trips so that you sleep through most of the middle plains, and during the day can enjoy all the amazing mountains. They even have a double-decker lounge car with huge picture windows so you can see everything.

    • Kyley

      I might be moving across country this summer; this is great news!! Can I ask what you did with furniture? Did you find another way, or were you forced to sell stuff/leave it behind? Also, what did you do with everything once you arrived in NYC?

      • We didn’t have any furniture we really cared about, so we just got rid of it. It’ll be tougher when we move back, but we’re still trying to travel light, as it were, and avoid accumulating too much nice furniture out on the west coast.

        Once we arrived in Oakland, we took the biggest taxi we could to get our 6 checked boxes home with us. The next day, we rented a car to get the rest. Everything has to be in not-too-big boxes (it gets put on pallets to go into the trains), so it was all small enough to fit into a station wagon, and we just had to make a couple of trips.

  • clairelizabeth

    Congratulations! Amazing work by you and the Amtrack and APW team! Now we just have to cook up a scheme with VIA to get you on a cross-Canada tour!

  • Chelsea

    If you can’t make DC happen, is to too late to suggest you try for Baltimore? They’re so close together that it probably wouldn’t affect your schedule!

    • meg

      Well, no, we already are all booked in DC. Now we’re just trying to get the bookstore to finally say YES. Fingers crossed please.

      • Meghan

        Need us to send cookies and/or booze to whichever store this is? Because I, for one, would be ON IT.

        • meg

          DONE! We got it! I’ll give details tomorrow, but save that date.

  • Amy

    Hooray, Amtrak! I’m going to be booking my first train trip in March, since plane tickets have gone up – no lie – $500 for the flight I take most frequently. Saving money, relaxing, and not having to panic about flying (and crashing – I’m not a good flyer at all)? I’m totally in.

  • Debra

    What awesome news! I read your blog religously while planning my wedding (October 2011) AND . . . get this . . . we had an AMTRAK wedding! Kid you not. It was the one aspect of the day that I just refused to budge on. I grew up with Amtrak and have always loved the train. So we took the train, along with several handfuls of our guests, from our home (Charleston, WV) to the wedding venue (White Sulphur Springs, WV) the morning of the wedding. It was SO MUCH FUN and I’m so glad we did it, even though the train was 3 hours late. But that’s another story about wedding zen. I’m hoping that we also recruited several new customers for Amtrak, as I was surprised at how few of our guests knew about this treasure in our back yards.

    If you’re interested, my wedding was featured at

    • meg

      Oh! Want to email us? This would be super super cool to run as a Wordless Wedding during all the train travel, no? YES! Seriously. Email maddie at apracticalwedding dot com, if you are interested. We’ll totally make it happen.

      • Edelweiss

        Uhm…please do! I met my partner on Amtrak and have just started wedding planning! I’d love a Amtrak wedding to inspire me.

        • meg

          You met your PARTNER on Amtrak??? Oh my god. You need to send me that story too. Maybe I could use it in one of my Amtrak travel posts?

          This is kind of more fun that I’d even imagined.

    • Thanks for sharing-what a fun way to celebrate a place you love! And those red suede heels? LOVE.

    • OH WOW. If we’d seen this before our wedding, my train-crazy husband would have been all over it. Amazing.

  • Kelly

    Meg this is wonderful news! Congrats! I’m so excited you guys will be in New Orleans. If you and Maddie would like to hang out with a local APW supporter at any point while in town, I’d love to meet up for a drink or grab some food or just show you around. If ya’ll have any questions or want suggestions about fun things to do here, please feel free to email me at keltanner at gmail dot com. Either way I hope you guys have a blast here, and throughout the tour!

  • WOOHOO!!!! I’m so pumped you’re coming to LA!!!

    Can’t wait!!!!

  • IT’S A SIGN. We are about to book our honeymoon and were trying to figure out the best way to get from Seattle to LA (to fly out to Hawaii). This is amazing. I gave a little shout out on Facebook to Amtrak too. Maybe they’ll add a little Canadian leg onto your trip?

    • meg

      IT IS A SIGN. Seriously, what a chill way to start the honeymoon, no? Love. Also, the part where you go along the coast in California is breathtaking you literally go over the sand on some beaches that you cannot reach by road. It’s pretty… amazing…

  • whaaaat! yay Amtrak!!

  • Shelly

    First of all, this is so awesome! What a great experience, and a blessing that you have a sponsor to help make all of this possible!

    Secondly (and on a more selfish note), this post totally confirmed the decision that I’ve been debating in my head all morning: about whether to keep my original travel plans this weekend of car + commuter train OR, in light of the big winter storm coming my way, to take the Amtrak the whole distance. So. Thanks for helping me make the decision (and probably the safer one at that!)

  • Wow, this is so cool! I remember taking the train with my sister to visit relatives when we were little kids and loving it, then loving it again as an adult when traveling in different countries. This tour sounds like so much fun.

    Can’t wait for the LA details!

  • Stephanie

    Pleeeease come to DCCCCCCC

  • Meg? Seriously? You are awesome! I hate flying and am ready to be an Amtrak girl when traveling to see big bro in SF. Really.

    • meg

      Do it. You won’t regret it.

  • That is so fantastic. As an extremely hesitant flyer myself, I take Amtrak as much as possible. A lot of people who have never taken the train have a hard time understanding my love of it. I don’t mind those long trips – I love looking out the window, and I can take the best naps ever on the train.

    Pumped for Brooklyn!! I’m so glad Maddie’s coming with you!!

  • Woow , how weird is this, today I happened to write about how I enjoy travellin by train, reading.
    I really wish I could make it to the book tour… will be waiting for you on the other side of the pond !

  • Erica

    If you need a little polite nudging from some DC brides/grooms to get that bookstore to turn a maybe into a yes, you let us know who to call! We’re well-connect people with the lobbying power to make things happen. Change we can believe in, and all that jazz. I vow to politely call said bookstore and tell them what an amazing opportunity this would be for them business-wise. Better than Groupon, baby.

    Seriously, DC wants to see you! Annnnd Joe Biden is like THE KING of Amtrak! <3 locomotives
    Enjoy your trip via rail!

    • meg

      Also, I love Joe Biden and have given him lots of money. Perhaps these things are related? Hum.

  • Question about Atlanta – since it’s at Young Blood Gallery, should we still expect to purchase a book at the event? Or is that just the talks at bookstores? Just planning ahead :)

    • meg

      It would be lovely if you’re up for it. I’ll be selling them myself, which means I make WAY more per book. Think of it as helping to pay for my dinner and hotel that night :) I will say there is less pressure in private events. I’d rather you leave me with extra books than a bookstore.

  • Ahhh, this is awesome! I didn’t get to ride a train until I was 24, and I find it so romantic!

  • Once upon a time my brother and I planned to take the train across the country to Vermont and then do a bike tour of Vermont and stay at bed and breakfasts. I can’t remember why we picked Vermont. Probably because it’s a small enough state to do a whole bike tour of (western states, not so much). We were going to do it before we turned 30. And then we both got sucked into graduate school and now we’re both over 30.

    But perhaps I should start planning that trip with my husband. If you’re going to travel across country, do it on the ground. See it as you go.

    Trains! I’d need to find a copy of “Murder on the Orient Express” (a train I’d love to ride) and reread it if I were stalking you.

    • meg

      I agree. Travel on the ground is really the best. You get a sense of places, which is the whole point. AND. GOOD IDEA. I will buy Murder on the Orient Express for the trip. Lucky for me, I can’t remember who did it (shhhhh).

  • Erin

    Wooohoooo! Congrats Meg and Team! This is so unbelievably awesome (and I wish I had read today’s post before posting on Facebook and not already realizing there was a Boston visit planned, hehe). APW: Taking America by awesomely-sane-humorous-much-needed-advice-force. Have a great tour and a great launch tonight, can’t wait for the Boston event.

  • Beth

    SO HAPPY to see this today! We’re just starting to talk about our options for our honeymoon (which will be at least a few months after the wedding.) So excited about touring California wine country but the FH was not looking forward to driving a rental for a few days. And since he doesn’t want to drive, that means it would be moi. Amtrak is the PERFECT way to enjoy the scenery and then we can explore on our own in the individual places.
    Anyone have experience with taking multiple legs? Maybe even staying overnight in a city, then hop back on? Advice would be most welcome.

    • meg

      In sum, the train goes each direction once a day (if you’re looking at the coast starlight). So you’ll have fixed times to go from here to there, but otherwise, it should work really well. I think you need to do Central California wine country, the train goes right through that, not Northern California wine country.

  • Anne

    I love Amtrak! I’ve done the cross-country trip a couple times (Emeryville to Minneapolis or Chicago and back), although I’ve never had the money to spring for a sleeper car — they look awesome. The ride down the coast from Portland is pretty spectacular; you should definitely try it sometime if you haven’t yet.

    • meg

      Now you can do sleeper car by proxy! There will be pictures! And stories!

  • Woohoo to the news!

    Only thing about Amtrak that makes me sad is no dogs allowed. Not even an engagement puppy.

  • Annika

    This is fantastic! We took a wonderful tip to Glacier National Park on Amtrak last year – and could not have had a better time. If I can work another trip on Amtrak into our honeymoon plans I will be super excited.

  • YAY!!!!

    Coincidentally, I am also booking some AMTRAK tickets RIGHT NOW. Their web interface is giving me fits, but like Meg, I LOVE traveling by train and it’s a damn shame that we don’t have passenger rail as a more prevalent option in this country.

    This sounds like a great book tour, and I will be there in spirit for the Austin stop (stupid Texas, where everything really IS bigger, including what should be reasonable driving distances between major cities) – wish I could be there in person! I would love to check out the feminist bookstore and Elissa + tacos = awesome.

  • Darn. I was planning on making a weekend trip up from Dallas to Austin for the book tour but turns out it is on a Tuesday and that day I have to put on my big girl pants and go to work :(

    • I’m in the same boat! Was keeping my fingers crossed that there would be a stop in Dallas. When I saw Austin I got my hopes up, thinking I could go for the weekend. Can’t make it on a Tuesday because of work. Sorry I’m going to miss it. :(

  • Ali

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE COME TO DC!! Having it “up in the air” is just silly!!

  • CoffeePlease

    I might have missed this in an earlier thread, but…why no Chicago talk?! No venues willing to host you?? Sad sad panda.

    • meg

      No. I just only had time, given train schedules, for one stop between Salt Lake and Boston. The Denver crowd stepped up and planned the whole thing right away, so I went with Denver. Next time!

  • Yaaay! I’ve been traveling Amtrak since I was a wee thing of 6 or 8 months and I’ve always loved train travel – not only do you get to do things like stand up and lie down and walk around (i.e. things that cannot be done on a plane) but you get to pretend you’re Hercule Poirot (or other vintage detective of your choice.) And you meet the greatest people on trains!

    • meg

      Hercule Poirot!

  • I love this because: 1. LA date – yay! but also 2. I too have panic attacks flying! It is the worst and I don’t know what to do about it b/c I have family and friends all over the country. I used to take Amtrak all the time when I lived in the Northeast and have taken it to San Diego on multiple occasions, but I never considered it for long distance travel. Why, I do not know. I’m going to go stalk their website now!

  • Dianne Callahan

    Oh Meg! I am so happy for you, but bummed for me. When I saw you were adding an LA leg to your tour I thought we would finally get to meet (this is Dianne from San Bernardino by the way) but I am going to be at City of Hope in the midst of a stem cell transplant when you are in SoCal. Yeah- my aggressive lymphoma returned last fall and I’ve been in treatment since just after Thanksgiving. It did prompt me to finally write a wedding graduate post – “In Sickness and in Health…” just this morning, which I will send to you soon (that is, if you are interested in grad posts from 3 years out).

    You are such an inspiration and I continue to watch and support the growth of APW (and you!) with awe!


    • Tamara Van Horn

      Wow…good luck with the transplant, Dianne! I’ll be raising a toast to you at the Denver meet-up.

    • meg

      Oh, hugs and prayers Dianne! And of course we’re interested. Send away!!!!

      • Dianne Callahan

        Wow – I just sent in the wedding graduate post and photos after many tears shed while writing it. I am just so thankful that I married someone so … perfectly right for me and who loves me more than I could ever have wished for. I should probably have sent you a photo of how we look today – me bald (again) and him thinking I am beautiful anyway.


  • Nina

    That is excellent! I commute every day by Amtrak from Emeryville to Davis (hence why I had to wake up at 5:20am in order to make it to your book talk tonight in SF!), and it’s fantastic! The train conductors are as friendly as can be, I’ve gotten to know several of the other regulars, lots of us even bring cards and have a game while waiting. It’s like sitting in a coffeeshop for 3 hours/day, with giant panoramic windows that look out on nature preserves, friendly folk, and comfy seats. Why *wouldn’t* I choose that over working an extra 3 hours in my offce?

    And, yes, you will love Austin. (I’m the same Nina who won the Elissa R giveway for her parents last year). Have Elissa take you Amy’s ice cream. I know she loves it. And maybe fit in a stroll on South Congress. It’ll make your indie heart go pitter-patter.

    • meg

      SEE YOU TONIGHT. Bring your cards. Just kidding. I won’t have time to play, sigh.

  • This is AWESOME. I have so much respect for everything that you’ve achieved this past year Meg.

  • kellilu

    Love it!!

    Amtrak played a big role in our dating relationship and engagement, too. When my husband and I were dating long-distance (I was in Philadelphia; he was in Baltimore), I used Amtrak anytime it was my turn to visit him. I have a very vivid, treasured memory of sitting on the train back to Philly the day after he proposed – I just kept staring at the ring, trying to absorb what had happened, and wondering if my seatmate (a total stranger) would notice that I couldn’t stop looking at my left hand.

    Also, Amtrak worked well for our strapped budgets: since I knew I was going to be using it often, I signed up for their frequent-rider thing and even took out an Amtrak credit card to rack up points for free tickets (to which we charged and paid off a lot of wedding expenses, so I got more than one free trip to see my honey!).

    Go, Amtrak!

  • i. adore. amtrak.

    we hopped the midnight train after our wedding to our honeymoon, because it sounded romantic and fun and we’ve always wanted to take a train. i love it. best from of travel ever. and that’s after the 8-oops-i-mean-22-hour trip home on freight rail lines.

    i wish i could take the train everywhere. as it is it has proven both time-prohibitive and, well, we’re not exactly in a rail (or anything else) hub.

    but i’ll wave as you go through at 3 am…unless there’s a different train to austin.

  • So excited for you!

    (So wishing Amtrak did transatlantic travel as well. LONDON. It had to be said at least once. ;))

    • meg


  • This sponsorship is clearly indicative of the selling out that I’ve seen coming for years on A Practical Wedding. First you try to monetize this blog by having the audacity to WRITE A BOOK, and now you’re further exploiting your readers by riding the rails FOR FREE to go meet them?! Why, it’s a travesty! A terrible travesty, I say! WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS GROSS COMMERCIALIZATION OF MY VERY SPECIAL PLACE™!

    *snorks into mug of tea*

    Ok, seriously, Meg: this is so incredibly awesome and amazing and wonderfully cool! I can’t wait to hear how it goes, and please get some video along the way that captures the gentle rocking of the rails. I wish you were coming to Seattle, but there will be other times.


    • meg

      I know. I was going to be coming to Seattle, and then I looked at my one-month-away-from-home travel schedule and thought it might be nuts. I will say though, I have some Amtrak travel money saved, just IN CASE I want to come have a book even in Seattle later this spring. Just saying…. just planting seeds.

      Ok! Gotta go back to selling out now! Busybusy! Kthanxsbye!

  • WOO-FREAKING-HOO on the ATL stop!!! A huge thanks from the Southern folks and to Leah and Mark for helping pull the thing together. Oh yeah, and being sponsored by Amtrak? That’s just awesome. I love train travel.

  • Pingback: Happy 2012! | Six Modern Paper Goods()

  • LOS ANGELES!!!! YES!!!

    I also love Amtrak too. My husband can’t fly due to ear problems, so we either go on cruises, drive, or take the Amtrak. It’s AMAZING.

  • YES! My love for Amtrak seriously just DOUBLED.

  • Sylvia

    What? No Chicago stop? You forgetting us out here in the Midwest?? :(

    But seriously…we would love to have you!!

  • lauren

    Yes! Please please please come to DC! Would it help if I promised to bring you cookies? :)
    Hope to see you here soon!

    • meg

      If they were gluten free, YES. (I am coming though!)

  • Class of 1980

    AMTRAK!!! That is the coolest thing that ever happened. Your book tour is now deeply retro.

    Now I want to get on a train to somewhere.

  • MWK

    THAT IS THE FUCKING COOLEST THING. Please tell me that at some point you will eat a club sandwich in the dining car, because then you will have fulfilled a dream I’ve held since I read Gone Away Lake in elementary school. Also: Portland? Too small? Too rainy? I bet you could even book the bookstore used in Portlandia…

  • Colette

    Yeah, we just took the Amtrak from Chicago to SF for our elopement. We were almost sad when we got to Emeryville — just had too good of a time. It’s a perfect two-day break for people who like to read, eat food…and who hate planes. Glad to see the promotion — more people should take the train!

  • Chelsea

    YAY SF! Thanks for signing my book and introducing me to an amazing book store!

  • Pingback: Amtrak Sponsors the APW Book Tour! « A Practical Wedding: Ideas … – Cheap Dream Wedding()

  • Rachel

    Come to DC!!!!

  • Jill

    I just RSVP’d to your Boston event! Can’t wait!!!

  • You know what, I love trains. It´s just so sad that along the east coast, it´s just not as affordable as the bus, and sometimes not even as affordable as flying (depending on distance, of course!). Still, there´s something about the train . . . watching the scenery roll by, falling asleep one place and waking up in another . . . all without weight limitations and people telling me to empty my water bottle.

    Also, good on the APW team for getting Amtrak to sponsor you. I mean, hot damn, that´s just awesome. Have the best time and be safe riding the rails!

  • April

    SO EXCITING. Oh, this is just wonderful news and I’m jumping up and down here for you!

    For the record: I also *LOVE* trains. When I lived in Europe, my husband and I were always taking the train whenever and wherever we could and it was lovely. One of my Life List dreams is to take a big train trip with – yes, you guessed it: SLEEPER CARS. Because hello: convenient! romantic! fun! And let’s not forget the most important benefit: NOT having to wake up with 150 other people seeing your crazy hair and mascara ringed eyes after sleeping upright for 7 hours.

    GO AMTRAK! :-)

  • Pingback: A Practical Wedding Book Talk & Afterparty || Tomorrow || Park Slope | New York City Elopement Photographer || Katie Jane Photography || Elope NYC || City Hall Wedding Photographer()