Earlier today, I read an article on thewire.com about Amtrak Writer’s Residencies. You can read the article yourself here.
I think this is an awesome idea from Amtrak. I would love to be able to participate in this opportunity, especially right now while I have the time. I can think of all sorts of fun itineraries. One that especially interests me would be to take the Southwest Chief from LA to Chicago and then meet up with my High School roommate, Katharine, and take the Lake Shore Limited together from Chicago to Albany for the Bicentennial Celebration of our school Emma Willard in May.
Of course, it would be equally exciting to take the Coast Starlight and Empire Builder to Chicago to meet up with Katharine.
Thinking about these options reminded me of my last trip on the Coast Starlight. I went to Seattle to spend the weekend with another friend from boarding school and her husband. It was a birthday treat to myself and a chance to take a trip I had often dreamed of taking.
I flew up to Seattle on Jet Blue which had a great fare available from Long Beach to SeaTac. My friend met me at the airport and we did one of the ultimate tourist things to do in Seattle, Pike Place Market. After we’d had our fill of shopping, we headed back to her house to make dinner with our fresh seafood and produce and while we were eating dinner, it began to snow.
And it snowed. And snowed. And snowed.
All of our plans for the rest of the weekend were scuttled as we decided it was best and safest to just stay at home rather than venture out. The power went out and we had fun reading books by the fireplace and cooking things on the gas stove that didn’t require opening the fridge. Her cat that doesn’t like visitors thought I was the best human ever. It was pretty fun even though we were housebound.
I was afraid that we might not be able to get to the train station in time for departure. But the sky cleared on the day of departure and we cautiously headed down from Capitol Hill to the King Street Station.
It was cozy and the attendant was very friendly. She made up my bed while I was having dinner.
In the morning, there was a delicious breakfast.
And the gorgeous views didn’t stop all day.
I’ve been trying to schedule another long-distance train trip ever since. My Coast Starlight did not have the Pacific Parlour Car so I definitely would want to take one that did have that car. I was able to visit that car on National Train Day one year. But it would be lovely to be able to travel in it.
And so I will keep an eye out for the application process and hope that one day I might get a chance to be an #AmtrakResidentWriter. My grandfather was a train conductor and he would be so proud.