Lulu's Vintage

Train Trip 2011- Empire Builder

LuluComment

Last week Chris and I returned from our 2011 train/roadtrip to the Midwest and the Southwest.

We took the Amtrak Empire Builder train from Portland to Chicago. In Chicago we boarded another train that took us to our destination of St. Louis.

After our first dinner on the train the train conductor went around and delivered a mini bottle of sparkling wine to each person in the sleeping cars. He initially gave us two- but, slipped us two more later on...

Before the trip I went to my favorite chocolate shop here in Portland Cacao and bought four Fortissimo chocolates for us to have on the two nights that we were on the train. They are a meal unto themselves...

In the evening the conductor would come around and put down the beds. On our first night on board the train the people across the hall from us had their beds turned down at around 5:30 and the conductor turned down our beds at 9:00. Which was early for us, we are more the go to bed at 11:00 or midnight kind of crowd- so we had to scrunch down on the bottom bunk while we read and played word games...

In the roomettes the two seats that you sit in during the day are folded down and turned into the bottom sleeping bunk and then an overhead bunk is pulled down from the ceiling. Chris slept in the top bunk- where there was a brace on the side of the bed to ensure that he didn't roll out. Neither of us got very much sleep at night because of the violent swaying of the train car that made us feel as though we could be flung out of bed at any moment.

Our first morning on the train we awoke to passing through Glacier Park which was gorgeous...

When you book a room on the train all of your meals in the dining car are included. When you arrive for meal time in the dining car you are seated randomly with fellow passengers. It's the luck of the draw who you will be seated with. Our dining mates ranged from grumpy to mellow.

We enjoyed our train trip and would definitely recommend it to anyone who has the time to travel this way.

This post was originally published on October 26, 2011.