All Aboaaaaard!

January 13, 2012

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We are en route – passing by lots of trees and lakes at the moment!

Riding a train is like flying first class. A world better than both flights and cars for so many reasons:

  • Leg room
  • Free wifi (that barely works, however)
  • Inexpensive tickets (our round trip tickets still cost us around $250 per person, but compared to the $500 flights out of Charlottesville, it’s a steal!)
  • No security
  • No waiting to board
  • Open seating
  • A café with a surprisingly good selection of snacks
  • Big bathrooms
  • Scenic views
  • AC ADAPTORS!!!

The only downfall is it takes slightly more time to get where you’re going than a plane – but not much more when you account for traffic, security, waiting at the gate, boarding, crowds, delays, baggage claim and not being able to bring your full-size perfumes!

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Just finished up a packed lunch

Cheese + Jam + Greens on a homemade baguette that Karen’s friend made

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And Cheese + Mustard + Greens for him [clearly we are low on food in the fridge!]

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Plus los chips

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And pineapple for dessert!

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I’ll C U When U We Get There! [Remember that Coolio song!?]

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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Krissy @ Shiawase Life January 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm

ooooooh fun! Can’t wait to see where this adventure is headed!!!!!!

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2 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries January 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm

i’ve actually never ridden in a train before! sounds like fun. have a great trip!

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3 Molly @ RDexposed January 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I love that leg room is first onthe list-right were it should be. Is there a snack cart coming around that offers chocolate frogs and cauldron cakes??

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4 KathEats January 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I would LOVE a giant chocolate frog right about now!

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5 Charissa January 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I’ve always wanted to go on a train trip! Now I gotta make it happen…

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6 Stephanie @ On the Road to RD January 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Have a great trip, Kath!

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7 Johanna B January 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I took a train trip from New Orleans to Grand Forks, North Dakota. That was one LONG ride.

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8 Paula January 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Good grief, I might have seen you there. I traveled the New Orleans to Grand Forks train many, many times in the last 40 years. I went on a few more hours to Devils Lake. It was my drug of choice for a long time. It was so much cheaper than flying and I LOVED train travel. Now both my parents are gone so I don’t go very often.

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9 Blessing @ Working Mom Journal January 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Looks like a fun trip. I am guessing someone else is in charge at the shop today?

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10 KathEats January 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Yep! Our awesome staff is makin’ it happen

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11 Hillary January 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm

My boyfriend and I are long distance (I’m in MD, he’s in NC), and he ALWAYS takes the train when he comes to see me. He loves the extra space, the time to get work done, and the cheap tickets!

Safe travels!

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12 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I LOVED that song. Still know all the words. Makes me nostalgic for middle school.
I have a love/hate relationship with Amtrak’s wifi. So awesome and so annoying at the same time!

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13 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I agree on the train vs car/planes comparison!! Although here, train tickets are definitely NOT cheap. For most places I’d be traveling to within about a 3-5 hour drive, it’s cheaper for me to drive myself and pay for gas than to buy a train ticket (usually for a trip that leaves at an inconvenient time). However, I suppose there’s that whole environmental impact of cars to consider… Ah well, maybe someday ours will be as good as yours! Can’t wait to see where you’re going!

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14 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl January 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm

How fun. I’ve always wanted to take a train along the California coast. Why I haven’t done it yet is beyond me. Looking forward to the updates. Lunch looks nummy!

? Anticipation ?

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15 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl January 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm

okay, those were supposed to be music notes (?) not sure why it didn’t take. ;)

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16 Cortney January 14, 2012 at 10:32 am

I took the train from L.A. all the way to Seattle and it was awesome. 36 hours, yes, but I met the coolest people- backpackers from Ireland, a Taiwanese medical student coming to America to do her residency, a funky hippie chick who worked for record label and lived on the the islands off of Washington state, and lots of fun older, well traveled retired people.

I highly recommend it!

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17 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Haha I’ve actually had some awful train experiences, so I’m not a huge fan. But they are much cheaper!

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18 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn January 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Right? I la-la-looooove the train. I’ve taken it a few times to go to NYC, Chicago, etc. and I’ve always loved how roomy it is. Plus, there are always places to plug your stuff in, and as you said — free wifi and great snacks! The snack bar really is never too shabby, even on Amtrak.

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19 Ellie@Fit for the Soul January 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I seriously wanna travel on the train soon! And hopefully there will be many instances where I will need to~And it’s crazy that they have wifi! didn’t know, lol. :P You guys have a safe time~

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20 Jo January 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I LOVE trains. I take the train whenever I can because I hate highway driving. Agreed, in North America, train travel can be expensive because there just isn’t the same network of rails and geography is so much more spread out. In Europe (obviously) train travel is much cheaper because of the developed rail infrastructure, high population density, and compressed geography. But here in North America, even with the higher cost, IMHO it’s still the best way to travel!

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21 Cortney January 14, 2012 at 10:37 am

I agree, Jo! My partner and I are avid train travelers and have done some really long hauls (L.A. to Seattle, Chicago to Denver, etc.)I so wish America would get on the band wagon with the high speed train circuits. I got majorly spoiled after living in Japan. It’s the most environmentally friendly way to travel per passenger mile, so much more comfortable than a plane, and in my mind a lot more convenient. It’s frustrating to me that Americans say they don’t like train travel because of the cost/time, so they don’t want to invest in it, and I’m thinking “it’s more expensive/takes more time because we need to invest MORE into it to make it better!” It’s also annoying when people talk about not wanting to pay tax dollars to trains, as though our highways and roads and bridges just come out of thin air instead of also being paid for by tax dollars.

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22 Maria @ Sinfully Nutritious January 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I have never been on a train before. Remember how you asked about some of our crazy fears…trains are one of mine, yet not flying? I am not sure why, too many movies or too many crazy news stories where people get thrown in front of a train, or may be a past life experience. I get the creeps just thinking about it. RV-ing is my kinda travel…as long as I don’t have to drive! Just enjoy the scenery and the home on wheels, even a fridge full of food. Can’t wait to see where you end up.

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23 Kelly @ Vegolosophy January 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Excited to see where your adventure is taking you!! Have fun :)

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24 Lee January 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Embarrassing fact: I still have that Coolio song on my ipod.

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25 Kinley @ Better Off Barefoot January 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I love traveling by train! So much less stress and much comfier!!

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26 Katie @ cooklaughmove January 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I’ve trained it to Chicago before (from Grand Rapids, MI).

I’d like to take the train to my sister’s (Carbondale, IL) but the wait in Chicago (5 hours) is a bit ridiculous, it takes less time to drive than the train+wait! But I hate driving period. Really hate driving in new places and really, really hate driving in crazy traffic (through Chicago!), so might be leaning towards a train trip.

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27 Khushboo January 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Oh I still listen to that Coolio song occasionally- it’ll never get old !

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28 Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous January 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Train is my favorite way to travel, especially in Europe where they are even nicer!

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29 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles January 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I much prefer to bring a packed lunch or snack when I am travelling too…I especially like yours! You sure like to keep us all in suspense! My adventure this morning walking the dog left me with a very snow matted dog! The snow has stopped for now and we will be venturing out for our second walking adventure of the day before the kids get home and take over. Happy travels!

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30 Jennifer January 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Now I am singing the Quad City DJs song “C’mon ride the train”, another good one! :)

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31 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! January 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Where ya going?!

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32 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I haven’t been on a train in ages! I used to take the train to and from everywhere when I lived in Chicago but San Diego has very few commuter trains and I dont have reason to take one…but trains are fun.

Have a great weekend at your destination!

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33 Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy January 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I used to take the train home from indianapolis all the time, it was so relaxing!

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34 Katie January 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Have fun in NY!

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35 Larbs January 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I’ll really c u when I get there!!

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36 TeenyLittleSuperChef January 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Oh man, trains are so fun. I think the last time I was really on one was when we were backpacking through Europe almost 6 years ago. Those were the days :) I hope you have a great trip. The scenery looks great!

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37 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope January 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm

What fun! I’d much rather travel by train than plane. It’s a lot less stressful that is for sure. Can’t wait to see where you are headed! Have fun! :)

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38 Christine @ BookishlyB January 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I took the train often from Souther CA to Northern CA as a college student. I was able to get so much studying (and sleeping) done! As an adult I don’t do it often because I get frustrated watching the cars zoon by (it’s about a 6 hours drive compared to an 8-9 hour train excursion w/ a bus ride through the mountains). But with gas prices the way they are it’s sometimes worth it! Enjoy.

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39 Cortney January 14, 2012 at 10:38 am

Plus the depreciation on your car from a 12 hour round trip!

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40 Kavi @ Lab to Fab! January 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm

haha LOVE the Coolio reference! Train rides are so relaxing. And like you said, an economical alternative to airfare, depending on your route.

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41 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio January 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I must have totally missed it, but where are y’all headed?

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42 Susan (Oliepants) January 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I love riding the train. We take it to OKC. Plus – picnicking on the train is the best! :)

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43 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes January 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm

How cute! Sounds like fun :D

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44 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama January 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I’m always looking at train prices but it’s always the same as flying. One day we’ll have to take the train just to do it. My grandparents took Amtrak from Chicago to Montana and said it was absolutely beautiful.

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45 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife January 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I LOVE riding trains!! I rode ‘em all the time when living in Europe–SO fun! Have a great time :)

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46 Lindsay @ FuelMyFamily January 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm

The train is also great when you have kids. Don’t have to keep them strapped down as much and theres more room to play and entertain them!

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47 Cait's Plate January 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I’m so excited to see where you guys end up!!

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48 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) January 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I’d love to travel by train more often but I’ve never found a cost-effective price compared to flying or car. :(

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49 Andrea @FrSeed2Stomach January 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

You really know how to keep us coming back for more KERF! Where are you going? LOL.

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50 Karen January 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I take the commuter train regularly from the burbs to the city, but I haven’t been on a long train ride since, gosh, childhood! This is suspenseful…

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51 Chris January 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Fun Fun!! Just made an Amtrak reservation to go to DC and meet a friend for lunch and a museum (our little Culture Club in a Day) next week before I checked here. I LOVE train travel :-) But we need to know where you are please?

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52 Angel7 January 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Have a great, adventurous time, Kath!

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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53 Kristen @ Change of Pace January 13, 2012 at 7:51 pm

A train ride alone is an adventure! So curious to see where you are going :)

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54 Army Amy* January 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm

The only time I’ve ever ridden on a train was when I was in Germany this summer. I loved it for all the reasons you mentioned. I wish the US had more trains bc it is a fun way to travel!*

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55 SemiHealthy January 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I love trains! I always get excited when I have to stop for them and get to watch them blurrr past!

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56 Michelle (Better with Berries) January 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I have fallen in love with taking the train this year! The one I take has no Wifi, but I usually bring my laptop (love that there are AC outlets!!) and watch movies and edit pictures/scrapbook. The first time I took it I was like a little kid, smiling like crazy the whole time. So fun!

Have a great trip!

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57 Jen January 13, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Is the train a rocky ride or comfortable?

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58 Ash Bear January 13, 2012 at 9:49 pm

I can’t wait to see you pretty lady! Safe travels!

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59 Sara January 13, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Until AMTRAK and other national train providers can compete with the prices of Megabus or even economy airlines, it makes it hard to chose train travel. Of course, this is something Obama and other leaders have talked about investing in, but it’s hard to see why/how infrastructural improvements can/should be made given the competition…and especially since the technology of train-travel, even though it saves on car fuel, does not yet seem to really be reaching green energy standards…I wish I could be a bigger fan of trains (I do enjoy it, aesthetically) but i’m not sure the economics — either personally or nationally — often make sense…

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60 Jo January 13, 2012 at 11:44 pm

It comes down to personal preference. For me, it’s worth paying more money for the comfort and relaxed nature of train travel.

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61 Cortney January 14, 2012 at 10:50 am

Sara, I’m not sure what you mean about meeting green energy standards? Per passenger mile, it is more green than cars, buses, cruise ships, and planes. Regarding the economics, the reason it cannot compete as well is because it is not as heavily subsidized/invested in as our highway + car culture. Also, adding cars onto a track to accommodate more passengers is proven to be far less expensive than widening highways and roads to accommodate more cars(Dallas has been expanding 75 central expressway constantly for over a decade; thankfully they have also been creating an excellent DART rail system that has 5 lines and is growing). Maintaining train systems is less expensive than maintaining roads and highways. Many people balk at the taxpayer cost of trains, yet they seem to forget the taxpayer cost of maintaining highways, roads, and bridges, not to mention the environmental costs related to cars. This isn’t just my opinion; many studies have shown the cheaper maintenance costs of trains versus highway systems. The proposed high speed rail routes in major city circuits make more economic and environmental sense than maintaining roads- yes, it’s a higher up front cost but overall it’s cheaper. Unfortunately, in many cases small regional airlines lobby hard against high speed rail between, say, Dallas and Austin because it would cut into their business. I’m not trying to be argumentative, but saying that it doesn’t make economic or green sense is simply not true in the face of all the studies and evidence that prove otherwise. This is a common argument I hear a lot against expanding train systems in America, and it’s disheartening that it is based on misinformation. There is a reason that so many industrialized countries are investing in high speed rail, and it isn’t that they are all failing at basic economics- it is a sounder investment in a variety of ways. China is an enormous country, and yet they continue to invest in high speed rail, for example.

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62 Julie January 14, 2012 at 12:52 am

I’ve never been on a train but I imagine it to be like it is in Harry Potter. :) Very magical.

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63 Emmalinda January 15, 2012 at 12:49 am

Hi, Kath! My parents have twice taken the train from Ohio (where they live) to Denver (where I live). It’s a long ride, but they love it–definitely more relaxing the airplane travel, in my opinion. Have a great time in NYC! I haven’t been since I was a freshman in high school.

Also, where did you get your coat? I’m the market for a good warm coat and am struggling to find anything I like. Thanks!

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64 KathEats January 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm

My coat is Lands End that I got on sale last year for $48. It’s wonderfully warm!

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65 Allison January 15, 2012 at 8:57 am

Love train trips- something about it is so luxurious and tranquil… The rock of the train, the ample room, the passing scenery- much better than flying! But a bummer that the prices have skyrocketed in recent years :/

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66 Judith January 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Kath, I couldn’t agree more! Your post sounds just like the one I sent out while taking the train from San Francisco to San Diego for Christmas. I repeated everything you said…SO much nice than flying, waaaay less stress. Can’t believe the West Coast can’t get its transportation issues resolved :-( We voted in a high speed rail system about 5 years ago and they can’t seem to get it going.
Anyway, let’s hear it for trains!

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67 Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie January 20, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Trains are pretty rare where I live in California, but I’m loving how accessible they make things in DC :)

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