Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Breakfast with Phyllis and Aaron

We awaken to the smell of fresh coffee in our sleeping car. Outside our window, cool tones of the snow-dusted desert between Winslow AZ and Gallup NM.

Community seating for meals is what it's all about on Amtrak, though this train is so sparsely populated it's never crowded. Angee our sleeping car attendant tells us the holiday season was packed with passengers, this lighter load a welcome break.

This morning in the dining car we share travel stories with East Chicagoans Phyllis and Aaron--smart, talkative, and on their way home after a three-week visit to California.
Phyllis' husband and daughters are pleading for her quick return so she can resume cooking for them. She rolls her eyes and tells us how she's tried to teach her daughters. Meantime, Aaron's enjoying his French toast--and he loves to cook. Way to go, Aaron!

Easy too to take a few good snaps out the window from our breakfast table.

Our next stop with time to walk around (these are rare) is Albuquerque. Since we're running early, we have about 40 minutes. Art says this is one of the nicest Greyhound stations he's seen. Amtrak, too, of course.

The first nations vendors are out on this chilly day, selling their wares. I bought a buffalo nickel key chain from this adorable girl.

We stroll the immediate station grounds, intrigued by this sign.

I can't quite dope out how the old Alvarado Hotel relates to this one, but here's a clue.
Later, in our room, fresh fruit from our cooler.

An endlessly scrolling landscape makes for a lazy afternoon.


This just in, from the National Association of Railroad Passengers...
"The current atmosphere of severe federal budget cutting is having devastating consequences. Despite continued record-breaking ridership for Amtrak, a House Appropriations Subcommittee recently approved a 60% cut to Amtrak’s operating grant in 2012, a level so low that it would force a total Amtrak shutdown.

In fact, even the usually supportive Senate Appropriations Committee approved a 2012 funding level that would force Amtrak layoffs and a reduction in service quality."

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