I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day.
Now it’s time to get back to my tale of our most recent adventure. We were about to embark on the Amtrak portion of our trip. We had to be ready to board by 6:30 am so we arranged the cab ride the night before.
The cab was early. It was still dark and rainy when we arrived at the station so we didn’t see much of the exterior.
Inside was much smaller than I expected and there were plenty of people waiting for trains. As we checked our luggage I joked with the clerk who assured me that they had a better track record than the airlines for getting our luggage where it was supposed to be.
He told us the conductor would come in to announce our train so we could have a seat and relax. Time passed and I watched the clock progress toward our departure time and still no “All Aboard” announcement. Finally I got concerned and started asking other passengers. One said our train was boarding right now and that we’d better get out there. So much for the conductor!
Outside we were immediately given our “room” assignment. By having upgraded to a “sleeper” all meals were included and we had a little bit of privacy. The room was tiny and if we wanted to sleep one of us would have to climb to the upper bunk. It was adequate but I think the full size sleeper would have been nicer. Next time.
One of the nicest amenities was the lounge car, a windowed dome car with tables and more comfortable seats.
Amtrak’s lounge car feature windows that reach into the ceiling which makes it the best place to soak up the scenery on a long trip. (Photo by Josh Noel/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Meals were served in the dining car. The conductor came around with a form for us to sign and choose the time we wanted to eat. You don’t just wander down anytime you get hungry. Snacks are in the the Lounge Car. Anyway, when they call your seating you go to the dining car where seating is 4 to a table. We had lunch with a French couple and dinner with a German couple. The food was excellent which amazed me considering the size of the galley and the wait staff was top notch. I was quite impressed.
The views along the corridor from Texas to New Orleans weren’t the most scenic that I’ve ever seen. One of the most interesting to my mind was refineries we passed, at least one was burning off gas which was quite something to see. Up until now, I’d only seen it on TV.
We passed cotton fields but I seem to have missed them. The German couple told us they had seen several.
We wondered what the grassy crop was that we were seeing. It was clearly cultivated so we asked the dining car staff. They told us that was sugar cane.
I never would have given Sugar cane a thought. I think of Sugar cane as an island crop not something on the mainland US. Its wonderful what you learn when you travel!
Before we arrived in New Orleans the sun had set and we were back in the dark. Once in New Orleans we retrieved our luggage, hailed a cab and soon were checked into our hotel in the French Quarter, Wyndham New Orleans.