Book Tour By Amtrak: New Orleans to Houston


This morning, when I got on the train in New Orleans, it suddenly felt like I was on my way home. Maybe it was because West Coast trains (west of New Orleans and Chicago) are different, and I was suddenly back on my old friend the double decker train. Maybe it’s because in exactly a week I’ll be heading into San Francisco. Maybe it’s because Maddie left this afternoon for the airport. Maybe it was the wheels whispering “home, home, home” to me. But suddenly it felt like the last leg of the tour was upon me.

Mostly I’ve worked like a crazy person all day today, preparing the exciting surprise coming at you Wednesday, thanks to Amtrak. But I did take a few hours to stare out the window. I saw small towns, fishing boats, levees, and houses on stilts. And in Louisiana, people in small towns look you in the eye, grin at you, and wave as the train goes by. It’s sort of magical. Then I read a chapter in my book (the first chapter I’ve read in a month). And I decided to take all my meals in my room… just because I can, and because it’s cozy in here. For lunch I had red beans and rice, and bourbon and pecan pie. For dinner I’m having fried chicken. And yes, they are as good as they sound.

I’m excited for my final book events in Austin and LA. But I’m really thrilled to take some proper downtime on my last and longest trip of the tour, later this week. And to see my family and my husband in LA, and to go home. Because coming home, change forever, is the best part of adventures. Thanks, Amtrak, for getting me there with grace. And see you tomorrow, Austin.

Pictures from Instagram, where I’m documenting the trip. Follow me on Twitter for more. I’ll do a proper photo round up at some point, never fear.

**This post was made possible by Amtrak, who is sponsoring my book tour. Thank you Amtrak!**

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  • Sara C.

    Amtrack sounds amazing! I would love to hear any insights/pictures you have of the “regular” coach class seating and any lounge/amenities for us regular folks – you’re definitely tempting me to take a trip, though I’m thinking coach is more my budget :-).

    • meg

      Coach is great (it’s how I normally travel). But, if you’re going over night, you want some kind of sleeper. That’s my advice.

  • Class of 1980

    It was a revelation for me also when I moved to a small town in the mountains. If you live in a neighborhood comprised of locals, they wave to you when your cars meet. If you live in a neighborhood where the people don’t wave, then they’re newcomers. Small town people are used to the personal touch.

    Isn’t it wonderful to go different places and see the differences?

  • Erin

    Yay for Amtrak! I take the train from/to Houston whenever I can. It’s the best.

  • I’m really enjoying your train posts. Reading them has caused me to start day dreaming about train travel, and I’m now pretty preoccupied with the notion of taking a train trip vacation across the country – it seems like it would be both an adventure and an opportunity for peaceful reflection. I hope you’ll write more about the train travel experience when you have time – any advice or tips for those of us who are now inspired to try this kind of travel too (long distance anyway – I’ve always been a fan of day trips by train).

  • Melissa Leinart

    I never really considered Amtrak as an option but you made it sound really great.