|Vintage train car parked in an upstate New York railyard|
|Frozen Lake Erie|
We recently took Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited, a 20-hour, 1,000 mile ride transporting us from New York City to Chicago, Illinois, for Christmas. It was our first time on this particular route and we were told by several veterans that this was one of the best lines in the nation in terms of service and equipment. The train travels north from NYC along the Hudson River to Albany, heads through western New York [Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo] and then runs alongside the edge of Lake Erie in northern Ohio and Indiana, before turning north towards Chicago.
|The dining car|
|Steel factory in Gary, Indiana|
|Wind farm in central Illinois|
|Wide open fields|
|The large picture windows in our "roommette"|
|Somewhere in western New York|
|Small town in upstate New York|
|Freight train passing overhead|
|Restored train car in Rome, NY|
|Lighthouse in the Hudson River|
From inside our little "roommette" we had the luxury of time and quiet to be together and relax, play cards, read, draw, knit, sleep – all while watching the vast and varied American landscape of five different states whoosh past our window.
We ate our meals in the dining car, where we dined with a physicist, a dentist, a tea expert, and the founder of something called "nature awareness." We slept in proper beds and received a wake-up knock (with newspaper) in the morning. We were free to move about where and when we wanted without restriction. We were in possession of our luggage the entire time.
In essence, we felt, and were treated, like human beings. It is not the fastest way to get most places, but it is by far the most civilized way. And by taking this slower, less stressful mode of transportation, we were able to shed the city and the stresses of our lives so that we arrived at our destination refreshed and ready to visit with our family.