Friday, 17 July 2009

Dining with Amtrak

Since we've been travelling Sleeper all this way, we take our meals in the dining car at no additional cost. (Coach passengers can use the dining car too, but pay for everything. If we'd had to pay for all our meals, it would have worked out to about half the price of our twinnette sleeper right there.) Lunch and dinner are by reservation only (the Dining Car Steward comes round asking what time slot you want to dine, and books you in), but breakfast is first-come, first-serve. In each case, diners are asked to enter the dining car and "wait......... to be seated". Every table seats four people; anyone in a party of three or less (including us) will be seated with strangers, so "You will be making friends all along the journey" (as Anton explained - in a tone that made it sound like "You will, or else!"). So far, we've had five meals; and only once have we been with people we were previously seated with. For breakfast today, Michael and I were separated (he was still asleep, while I was up and about), so I sat with a party of three, which otherwise wouldn't have happened.

We have dined _extremely_ well. There's no way that these Amtrak guys are going to let us go hungry. Sure, we could have gotten around the place quicker and cheaper by air... but the journey has been such fun, and so relaxing. (We do not want to arrive to see someone we've never met before, jet-lagged and exhausted, but this way we get a couple days to sort ourselves out before meeting anyone.)

I'm posting this from the First Class lounge in Chicago Union Station. As sleeper passengers, we get the luxury facilities, including an internet connection with 35ms ping times to Threshold - woooo! (On the flip side, it's 227ms ping time back home. But that's no big deal.) Premium service here, I love it!

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