It’s editor Maddie here, writing from my very first leg of the Amtrak tour! See that photo up there of me looking wistfully out the window? Well, that’s pretty much how Amtrak travel makes you feel. And let me tell you, with the amount of traveling I’ve done this weekend, I feel like somewhat of an authority on modes of transportation.
You see, in the past three days I have traveled by car, plane, bus, subway, taxi and now Amtrak. The flight out of San Jose was bearable, mostly because I had gotten three hours of sleep leading up to my departure and could barely tell which way was up, but that ignorant bliss was quickly squashed when I was forced to surrender the wine opener I accidentally left in my bag at security (womp womp. Spoiler alert: You don’t have to do that on Amtrak, so I bought two new wine openers at the Penn Station gift shop). From there I finally discovered how to rid a New York City bus, transferred to the subway, and walked the majority of lower Manhattan trying to find the bar where I’d set up a party for myself.
A cab I tricked into taking me to Brooklyn dropped me off just in time for the Brooklyn book party the next day (which was AMAZING, more on that later) and then an off-duty cab that I also tricked took me back to Manhattan that night.
So, as somewhat of an expert these days, I can say without reservation that having endured layovers, turbulence, way too damn expensive cabs, Amtrak is easily the most comfortable and accomodating mode of transportation I’ve ever been on. Back when Michael and I were dating long-distance between New York and Boston, I was a slave to the Chinatown bus. And while I begrudgingly accepted that my fate was to ride that cockroach-infested speed monster until the day I die, I remember that every year my uncle would give me an Amtrak gift certificate for Christmas. I would always save it for a special occasion trip, knowing that for one glorious day I would be guaranteed to travel like a human being.
Now I’m here again (and in first class, baby!) and I’m overcome with how amazing and different feels from what I’m used to. As I’m writing this, I am devouring a generous slice of carrot cake and watching as Meg tracks down a glass of champagne for us. I have enough space underneath the table where my laptop sits that I haven’t once had a panic attack about getting deep vein thrombosis (I’m a worrier).
Now that I no longer have to travel to see Michael, or commute three hours to get to work each day, I really thought I’d sworn off train travel entirely. But, as it turns out, I’ve just sworn off crappy train travel. And luckily for me, Amtrak happens to be just the opposite of that.
Now I have to go because there is a glistening bottle of Korbel on my table practically begging for me to drink it. But don’t fret, I’ll be back to update you again on the next part of my adventure: overnight train travel! Until then, cheers.
Pictures from Instagram, where Meg is documenting the trip. Follow her on Twitter for more.
**This post was made possible by Amtrak, who is sponsoring the book tour. Thank you Amtrak!**