Category Archives: Travel


The Dining Car Will Soon Return to Amtrak Trains | Southern Living

The throwback to a golden era of train travel will only be available for certain routes.

By Melissa Locker, Updated October 22, 2021

Credit: NBC / Contributor/Getty

Good news for people who like eating while in motion: Amtrak may be bringing back the beloved dining car.

That’s right, eating your Whataburger honey butter biscuit behind the wheel is no longer the most glamorous way to eat-on-the-go.

Back in the fall of 2019, Amtrak announced that it was getting rid of the classic dining car —the ones with china and flatware on a white tablecloth—in favor of pre-packaged options. This was before the pandemic, so they couldn’t use health and safety as an excuse to stave off the inevitable firestorm of criticism.

While Amtrak executives may have been looking to cut costs, people really love the romantic notion of dining off of fine china while rolling through the night. Cutting the full dining car experience transformed train travel from something elegant and nostalgic to utilitarian.

Luckily, Amtrak has realized the error of its ways. The Washington Post reports that six long-distance routes, including the Texas Eagle, on the leg that connects Los Angeles to San Antonio, and the Sunset Limited, which runs between New Orleans and Los Angeles will once again offer dining options for sleeper car customers “that harken back to the golden age of rail travel.” Sadly, folks traveling routes on the eastern side of the Mississippi will be stuck with decidedly unromantic ready-made meals served on plastic trays.

Source: The Dining Car Will Soon Return to Amtrak Trains | Southern Living

Review: Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams call for action in ‘Book of Hope’ : NPR

Published October 19, 20217:28 AM ET, By Barbara J. King

Damian Dovarganes/AP

In Mombasa on the coast of Kenya is a place called Haller Park. People flock there to see 180 indigenous species of plants and trees, and a variety of animals including hippos and giraffes.

In The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times, Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams (Gail Hudson is an additional author), discuss the park as an example of how our injured Earth can be restored and healed.

At one point the park was “a monstrous five-hundred-acre scar where almost nothing grew” because a cement company created a quarry that ravaged the land. The company’s CEO decided to repair the damage and slowly, year by year, with horticultural tending and introduction of wild animals, the area was transformed.

Source: Review: Jane Goodall and Douglas Abrams call for action in ‘Book of Hope’ : NPR

William Shatner has traveled to space in Blue Origin rocket : NPR

By Joe Hernandez, Updated October 13, 202111:08 AM ET

Blue Origin’s New Shepard lifts off from the launch pad carrying 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner and three other civilians near Van Horn, Texas.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Blue Origin’s second human spaceflight has returned to Earth after taking a brief flight to the edge of space this morning. Among the four passengers on board — there is no pilot — was William Shatner, the actor who first played the space-traveling Captain Kirk in the Star Trek franchise.

“The covering of blue. This sheet, this blanket, this comforter that we have around. We think, oh, that’s blue sky,” an emotional Shatner said after returning to earth.

Canadian actor William Shatner, who became a cultural icon for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, speaks from the stage at the second edition of the multi-genre entertainment comic and fan convention ‘Comic Con Africa’ in Johannesburg on September 21, 2019.

“Then suddenly you shoot through it all of the sudden, as though you’re whipping a sheet off you when you’re asleep, and you’re looking into blackness, into black ugliness.”

At age 90, Shatner is now the oldest person to fly into space.

Source: William Shatner has traveled to space in Blue Origin rocket : NPR

Battleship N.C. turns 60, looks ahead to more decades in Wilmington | Wilmington StarNews

By John Staton, Wilmington StarNews, September 29, 2021

From article…

In 1961, the struggling, railroad-abandoned town of Wilmington, North Carolina, was a vastly different place than the growing, film-industry-saturated city we live in in 2021.

Charting all of the changes in the Port City over the past six decades would be a story unto itself. As steeped in history as Wilmington is, however, in that time there have been plenty of constants, and one has been the enduring presence of the Battleship North Carolina.

Since it first arrived, to much fanfare and more than 100,000 onlookers, on Oct. 2, 1961, the Battleship has been moored in its current spot on the west bank of the Cape Fear River across from downtown Wilmington.

It was dedicated on April 29, 1962, as a memorial to the more than 10,000 North Carolinians who died fighting in World War II. For the past 60 years, the 728-foot, de-commissioned Navy vessel has been not only a vital part of the downtown Wilmington skyline, but also its economy, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year, including nearly 200,000 since Oct. 1 of last year.

Source: Battleship N.C. turns 60, looks ahead to more decades in Wilmington

What to Pack for RV Trip, According to Couple Who Traveled US

Marc and Julie Bennett drove through 48 US states in an RV. To help others planning a trip, they’ve shared a list of essential items to pack.

By Joey Hadden, Sep 19, 2021, 4:01 AM

Marc and Julie Bennett say they wouldn’t leave for an RV trip without leveling blocks, camping chairs, or a patio mat.

Packing for an RV trip can be daunting if you’re traveling in a motor home for the first time.

RV experts Marc and Julie Bennett shared their essential packing list for a road trip with Insider.

You don’t want to drive off without a paper atlas, basic tools, or camping chairs, they said.

Source: What to Pack for RV Trip, According to Couple Who Traveled US

Amtrak’s Plan to Connect the U.S. – Railway Age

Written by Kevin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, International Railway Journal
September 14, 2021

From article…

Biden has been a vocal supporter of the federally owned passenger operator for almost the entirety of its existence: from his days as a U.S senator when he would regularly ride the train from Wilmington, Del., to Washington D.C.; to his time as the U.S. Vice President, when he presented the Obama Administration’s plans for several short-lived high-speed passenger projects as part of a 2009 economic stimulus package.

Now as the 46th President, Biden has made rebuilding and reviving the country’s infrastructure, including its passenger rail operator, the signature policy of his first term. The American Jobs Plan was announced by Biden on March 31 and has since moved to Congress for debate and negotiation.

From article…

The Administration hopes the legislation that emerges will satisfy Biden’s objectives so he can sign it into law this autumn. Inevitably, given the variety of views on the scale and ambition of the proposal on both sides of the political spectrum, there have been several compromises.

From a $2.3 trillion plan when Biden presented it, the Senate scaled it back to a $1 trillion initiative, including $550 billion of new spending.

However, the legislation took a significant step forward on Aug.10 when 19 Republican senators joined with their 50 Democratic colleagues to pass a bi-partisan Infrastructure bill, a move praised by Biden.

As it stands, the bill includes $66 billion for intercity passenger rail, with $22 billion of this figure set to go directly to Amtrak. This includes $6 billion for the Northeast Corridor, and $16 billion for the national network, including state-supported services.

Source: Amtrak’s Plan to Connect the U.S. – Railway Age