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Turning 30 South American Style With the dreaded 30th birthday looming, I ran away to South America to celebrate the landmark birthday in style.

Kat on a hot tin roomette - riding the Atlantic coast Amtrak in style.

USA | Sunday, 24 August 2008 | Views [6323]


Kat on a hot tin roomette - riding the Atlantic coast Amtrak in style.

A roomette for two on Amtrak for the 31 hour train journey from Miami to New York is about as close to flying first close we are likely to experience any time soon and oh what fun we had.

It all started at the train station where we were informed we had a private lounge. Had we known this we would have arrived ten hours before departure to fully appreciate it. As it was we had just five minutes.

Muffins, danish pastries, fresh coffee, cans of soft drinks, bottles of water, sandwiches and sweets. We swiped the lot, raiding the fridge like a fat couple from Burnley on Supermarket Sweep.

Haul in tact we pretended our tickets to the guard who informed us we could not possibly walk the 200 meters to our room and should wait here for a ride on the golf buggy. Meanwhile an 80 years woman stumbled past with a heavy bag and had to heave it all the way herself. I love traveling first class.

After being shuttled up the platform by a frighteningly cheery man we were seated in our roomette, which although shockingly small housed everything needed for a long journey including a toilet.

At first I thought it was a seat, having no door and being well, next to my seat. But no, convenience indeed, I had to shift just five inches along the bench and lift the lid to enjoy a little light relief.

I always prefer to be good yard away from someone using the toilet, preferably with a door in between us.

A feeling I was assured was mutual, we instigated a 'no using the toilet in the roomette' rule.

As there was no other toilet available nearby, this later became the 'leave the room and draw the curtains if somebody wants to use the toilet in the roomette' rule.

Matters of hygienic services aside, we pulled off our shoes, put our feet up, fluffed our pillows and enjoyed the feeling of luxury. (Really you could ignore the toilet after a while).

Free coffee and juice with ice on hand, three meals a day in the dining car (with tablecloths) and the United States of America rolling past your window.

We spotted orange orchards, men on porches on rocking chairs, wooden clap board houses, deep rivers and bays and more trees than you can shake a stick at.

Not the most scenic rail ride ever, but pleasant enough and we got a better view of the Atlantic coast of the states than we would have from the air.

As night fell, our friendly cabin guard came and transformed our facing seats into bunk beds. Dimming the lights and opening a bottle of red we smuggled aboard, we got giddy as school kids on summer camp.

Truly the way to travel. Beats being barked at and man handled at the airport.

Tags: america, american raliway, amtrak, miami, new york, rail, train, train journey, united states of america, usa

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