All aboard Amtrak – Chicago bound

It’s easy, convenient, and an economical way to travel (senior rates apply).  If you’re not pressed for time, Amtrak can connect you to cities across the United States and Canada.  This time its bound for the windy city of Chicago.  We left on Tuesday on the 3:45 PM from Penn Station in New York City, scheduled to arrive in Chicago Central Station the next morning at 9:30 AM.

There was plenty of legroom in coach to stretch out on my seventeen-hour trip to Chicago last week.  Since I had not traveled on Amtrak for almost twenty years, I was pleasantly surprised at the accommodations.  There’s enough space in the overhead bins for a large sized piece of luggage.  Even though the the train was packed to capacity, no one had a problem storing their luggage.

Landscape of the Hudson River

Landscape, Hudson River Valley, New York

There are things you have to get used to traveling via train, especially when you’re traveling through the night.  For the most part, people were polite and accommodating.   When it was “lights out” around ten or eleven o’clock, most observed the quiet time.  But you can’t help when someone next to you snores.  I found that was the only distraction if you’re a light sleeper.   There are so many other benefits to traveling by train, that a snoring passenger isn’t that awful.

The movement of the train is relaxing and therapeutic.  As we passed the scenic Hudson Valley, the picturesque scenery eased the stress of the day.  It was great to focus as far as the eye could see at the wonder and beauty of the landscape.

Sunset of the Hudson Valley

Sunset over the Hudson Valley

There’s plenty of time for reading, meeting people, going into the dining or club car, or just taking it all in looking out the window as Amtrak brings you closer to your destination.

Bringing your own meals on board is not prohibited, and packing a snack or two with water or juice just makes the trip easier.   I enjoyed sitting in my comfortable seat next to the window vegging out, not worried about parking a car when I got to the windy city of Chicago.  A $7.00 taxi ride got me to my hotel in less than ten minutes the next morning, and I was ready to enjoy the sites I had come to see.   Knowing that we didn’t have to worry about being delayed by snow or visibility on board a plane made the trip even more pleasurable and carefree.

Night sky over the Hudson River

Yes, I’d do it again.  I would definitely travel to other cities across the United States via Amtrak.

Next time, my article will give you a glimpse into just how windy the windy city of Chicago really is.