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First Class for the First Time

Coast Starlight Highlights

by Lisa Curley

Los Angeles, California

I am a mature adult. I traveled to grandma's house on the train since I was a kid and have loved trains ever since.

A few years ago, I was planning my summer vacation. In that pursuit, the idea to visit Canada via Amtrak was born. I spent hours on the web deciding on the dates, hotels, excursions and of course good restaurants. I was getting excited about the destination and had no idea what was in store for the journey.

Upon arrival at the station, I was greeted warmly by the train staff and was immediately escorted to a room, not a chair. I was amazed at the accommodations aboard the train. I began to unpack and notice the facilities for showering and couldn't put it together in my head how to explain this to children. I would be taking a shower on a moving train with hot water — wow. The children still don't believe it.


That was just the beginning of my childlike wonder. As we traveled along, I was in awe with the splendor of California. I am an educator and must admit my knowledge of California compared to this experience was lacking.

Later, it was time for lunch. To my utter surprise someone came to the room to take reservations. That's when I knew this was first class. Upon entry into to Dining Room, it was official, this was first class. From the china to the silver utensils, to the napkins, to the service, and oh to the view.

At dinner, I thought if it gets any better than this, I'm moving in for good. I never dreamed that having lamb for dinner along the coast of California on a slow-moving train could feel and taste so delicious. I will never forget the first class facilities, service, and meals. Oh, did I mention the afternoon wine and cheese hour in the Parlour Car?

This is my kind of traveling. Airplanes and ships have nothing in comparison to the train. You get to see it all and live it up too — see it for yourself.