by Dave Belk
Charlotte, North Carolina
Photo: Daniel Holth
My story begins at the Amtrak station in Charlotte, North Carolina when we arrive at the station and check in three big pieces of luggage bound for New Orleans, Louisiana. We board the southbound Amtrak Crescent after its arrival and slept overnight in a Viewliner Sleeper Bedroom. After leaving the station in the morning, my mother and I had a classic big breakfast in the Dining Car — it was delicious.
Later on, we passed through the states of Alabama and Mississippi, had a noonday lunch, then crossed out of Slidell, Louisiana, over the six-mile-long bridge spanning Lake Ponchartrain. We arrived in New Orleans Union Station in the evening and got off to spend a few days in the city and see a lot of sights.
We continued our trip when we boarded the City of New Orleans train headed to Chicago, Illinois, our second destination. We enjoyed accommodations in another Bedroom on the Superliner Sleeper's second floor. It was smooth sailing all the way past Memphis, Tennessee, and into Illinois the next morning. We had a good breakfast and after arriving into Union Station that morning we once again caught a cab into downtown and explored the city for a couple of days.
We got back to Chicago Union Station to catch the eastbound Capitol Limited for Washington, D.C. We had a Superliner Bedroom on the second floor again, had good meals and good night's sleep. The train was held up in Cumberland, Maryland, for a bit but we picked up a little speed and entered the outskirts of D.C. After arrival at Washington Union Station, we hailed a cab and traveled downtown to stay for a few days and tour the nation's capital.
When it was time to head back, we returned to Washington Union Station and spent a little time inside looking through the stores until it was time to board the southbound Crescent heading home to Charlotte, North Carolina. We had one last stay in a Viewliner Bedroom for the trip and arrived early in the morning at Charlotte Amtrak station.
Mother and I thanked the crew of all the trains we were on and hope to have another future trip on Amtrak soon. Happy 40th birthday Amtrak, may you have 40 more wonderful years.