For my annual visit to my daughter’s in Florida, I decided this year to forgo the plane and take a cross-country train trip. My route was LA to Chicago, Chicago to Washington, DC (visit with grandson Austin and a trip to the Museum of the Bible – very worthwhile!) and on to Palatka, FL and my daughter. I secured a “sleeper” with a bath and on March 26th began my journey. My “bedroom” was small. When the bed was opened out for the night, I had 6” between the bed and the sink. If I was careful, I could turn around in the shower. When I knew they were stopping at a particular station for a short time, I planned my showers. Had to be speedy! At least it was my own private quarters. The dining car was just the next car so after I made my way between cars, stepping over moving plates and holding on to handholds, I found the dining car very nice. There was just enough variety to please most guests. If I wanted to read, I could retreat to my little space and read while I viewed the scenery passing by. By dinnertime it was dark, but for breakfast and lunch, I could watch small towns, fields, etc. pass by while I ate. The waiter seated you and I found all my tablemates very friendly. I never really felt like I was “alone” on the journey. I really enjoyed my trip except for sleeping, when I was unused to my bed moving back and forth and side to side with the movement of the train! I had to just imagine I was being rocked to sleep. Some of the passengers elected to take a “roomette.” This was a very small compartment with two couches facing each other that made into a bed at night. An upper bunk was also opened. There was no place to put luggage. One person told me that they must leave their luggage in the baggage area and take only the few necessary clothes, etc. they need in their quarters. Also, they had to use the communal bathroom down the hall. When I saw what they were dealing with, I was more than happy to have booked a sleeper! At each transfer station, there were Red Caps to transport me to the next train. Since I pulled a large suitcase (having to pack for 3 separate climates, Washington, DC, Florida, and Pittsburg) I was glad for the help. All of the attendants, from my steward to the conductor, to the dining personnel, were friendly and helpful. They made the whole trip very pleasant. While meals were included in my fare, I learned that you still tip on the amount of each meal. Also, tip your steward $5 for each night you are on that train. It was a great experience, and though I haven’t planned to take another major train trip, I’m not ruling out the possibilities!