Can I Post from a Moving Train before I Lose Power?

I bet you’re wondering, where is she?

Well, this is where I was about an hour ago, 4:44 am to be exact on Sept. 13.  Having my first cup of tea, writing in my diary (I brought a leaf from our walk), trying not to wake Joe (asleep in the upper bunk) watching the lights of some dark city (I think it was Cleveland) go by the train window in my room with a view.  And now I’m writing you!

If you’ve been following along on Twitter (’cause I’ve been doing my “Twitter from the Twain,” kind of a blow-by-blow of the trip with photos and video from my phone) you know that we left from Boston yesterday and traveled west through Massachusetts into the Berkshires . . .

…on the Lake Shore Limited, through upstate New York, into Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, to our destination at around 10 am this morning, Chicago.  We brought everything needed for civilized travel.  We have the teapot of course, it’s electric, and cookies to go with it.  I have my pillow from home.  Three cameras, two computers, six books, knitting, magazines, and my green plaid shawl which has been on every train trip I’ve ever taken for the last 20 years when I first started traveling this (wonderful) way.  We just passed the runway at an airport, still dark, and all lit up, two rows of parallel lights.  The room with the view is highly entertaining, and very quiet as the train with all the sleeping passengers creaks and rocks through neighborhoods where no one’s up yet, crossing roads where there are no cars out.

Sometimes the train speeds along at what seems like 100 mph, sometimes it goes very slow, around bends where you can see the engine and the back of the train at the same time, and sometimes, like right this moment, it stops, and waits for another train to go whooshing by, the train whistle blowing loud and instantly becoming distant as it passes in a flash.  It’s a big adventure. ♥

Oh yes, we have our string bag with Chilmark Chocolates, apples, peanut butter and crackers!  We take no chances with danger of starvation.  We’re on our way to the Creative Connection Event in St. Paul Minnesota.  We’re getting a car in Chicago so we can drive up and see some of the sights along the way, more commonly known as “antique stores” if we can find any.  We’ll be in St. Paul until the 17th, then we head back to Chicago, to the Southwest Chief, that’s the train to Flagstaff, Arizona, to my dad’s house, then into LA, to my mom’s, and then to the Central Coast to my California house and to the Remnants of the Past Show.  And then back on the train for the three-day trip back home, to Autumn, and kitty.  That’s the itinerary…so you won’t get confused as in “what the heck is she doing?!”  Right now, I can dimly see Lake Erie!  Still dark at 6:25 am. Whew! I did it! Thought sure I’d get about here and this whole post would disappear!

♣    ♣    ♣    ♣

Have a wonderful day!  I’ll try to keep up  — hope to take you along for the whole trip!  If you have any questions about the wonderful world of train travel, I will be happy to try to answer. xoxo


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145 Responses to Can I Post from a Moving Train before I Lose Power?

  1. Miss holly says:

    So exciting!! There is something about a has a cosy feel…and you have certainly added to that with tea and cookies …it’s like a sweet little nest in there!! Have the best best time and thanks for taking us along for some of the ride!!

  2. Theresa says:

    LOL…love the leg shot…I am on my way to work…am a nurse…routine coffee…check emails,susan website,chckng account,and on the back roads to my “thank the good Lord” for work each day! Thanks for sharing your journeys through life on this blog, Susan. This blog is very good medicine for me……peace !!..Theresa

  3. joan says:

    You are living my dream! I cannot wait to see more of this train trip. Someday… Someday…

    Have a wonderful day!

  4. mari1017 says:

    just popping in to say enjoy your day ~ love the posts and the pix – how fun!!!!
    and it’s off to work for me ~ will hop on at work if I can 🙂

  5. Jeanette says:

    Susan, “Waving” hello from central Illinois as you pass to the north today. It’s such fun following along and having a vicarious trip. Good to know there’s someone else who travels with all the necessary provisions, just in case. Have a splendid day! Hugs!

  6. Krista says:

    I have to echo Theresa’s words — this blog is very good medicine — for me too ! We’ve taken the train several times from St. Louis to Chicago, and I hope to take a longer trip very soon. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip!

  7. Sheryle Towle says:

    Thank you. You put so much passion into your life, no matter if you are stirring chocolate, hanging quilts or riding a train! Love to read your updates. So relieved that you have some chocolates with you…makes everything right! I am off to a craft store…need to feel creative. Happy travels!

  8. Sharon from Maine says:

    Susan, this is just the coolest thing, we can actually “go with you” on your trip and see it through your eyes! It’s like going on vacation with you without leaving home but still enjoying all the sites and sounds with your beautiful descriptions of everything you’re seeing. I’ve never been on a train, and I think it must be so relaxing to travel like that and enjoy the scenery without worrying about the driving. And it sounds like you came well prepared bringing all your goodies and essentials from home. I love antiques, too, so can’t wait to see what’s in store for us there. Have a wonderful day Susan and enjoy the ride, and thanks for taking us along!
    P.S. –I didn’t know you kept a diary, do you write in it every day?

    • sbranch says:

      I try. So glad you’re enjoying it….it’s amazing to be able to take you along. Someday I’ll have to write about my first train trip.

      • CAROL O. says:

        PLEASE DO SUSAN…I would love to hear about your very first train trip….thank you for taking me along like this…how lucky I am to ride with you and see the country…its a miracle that this is possible…and its so fun….and I also love trains…and only taken them up north from Southern Cal…to Central Calif….its great to ride in the then called Lounge Car…and put your feet up…have a drink and enjoy the view…and what a view…
        thank you for sharing…enjoying all your blogs Susan…
        Carol O. in Southern Cal.

        • sbranch says:

          The best lounge car in the country is on the Coast Starlight; it’s an old “bubble car” (“glass” topped), with swivel armchairs!

          • CAROL O. says:

            thanks Susan…that sounds just like the one I used to ride up North….thanks for answering…have a great trip and be safe….

  9. Oh, my – you’re inspiring me to try train travel! As someone who dislikes flying, all my journeys are made by car (plus I’m usually schlepping art to shows), so anything else gets complicated. But maybe our next vacation! The rocking of the rails, your very own teapot and favorite shawl, good books, gorgeous scenery – it sounds so romantic and relaxing, *sigh*…

    Thanks as always for the beautiful post. Wishing you safe (but hopefully somewhat adventurous?) travels!

    ♥ Carolee

  10. Connie says:

    Traveling by train sounds much more restful and also fun. I think it would be a lovely change from the craziness of traveling by air as it has become these days. Happy antiquing!

  11. Sheryle Towle says:

    Also, if you don’t mind…what kind of tea do you prefer? I am experimenting, trying to get away from drinking too much coffee. Just wondering.

  12. Debbie says:

    I’m a new follower and a fan of your work. I’ve never traveled on a passenger train, let alone seen the inside of a sleeping coach. I think it would be nice to let someone else do the driving. Thanks for posting that! It’s a shame there isn’t more color to see yet, but it is starting a little at least in upper Wisconsin where I was last week. Hope you have a wonderful trip, and thank you for sharing your pictures.

  13. Susan Simon says:

    Your train adventure looks marvelous. I have ridden Amtrak often between Chicago and Jackson, Michigan. I think you are going to go just about right by my house on your way to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Give a wave when you go by Libertyville. (If you go take that route, that is!) Too bad you are not staying longer in Chicago; great weather today for wandering the city. We were in Minneapolis a few weeks ago for my niece’s wedding. We stopped at an antique store in Tomah, WI (I think it’s the only one there) on the way to Minnesota and my mom bought a Bouillon cup made by Hammersley (a now defunct English bone china company). That’s my maiden name… and we are always looking for that kind of china. If you read this, stop in Tomah if you have time… it was chock full of all kinds of interesting things! Hope you find lots of goodies… and safe travels to St. Paul.

  14. Reneelynn says:

    So far so good. Love to see what your seeing. Keep taking lots of pictures, their so very interesting. Have a wonderful day!

  15. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Great Blog! I see you have your “Passenger Safety Instructions” close by – always good to be safe! Great photos – love the red barn! And, it’s good to always be in cute clothes, everywhere you go, & coordinated with your travel shawl! Perhaps we’ll be in long sleeves here, soon, too. Chilmark chocolates, hmm, being a chocolate fan, I’ll have to check into that brand! Twain twip has been fun, thank you. Have fun “seeing the sights” & be safe. Happy Trails To You! xo

  16. laurie says:

    now this is cool, i’ve never been on the train, the only thing missing is sound!

  17. CHeryl Egan says:

    I love following your trip! It was great seeing the prospective of the train going over the Ct. river because we just took a cruise with our family on a boat along the Ct. river and went under that exact bridge! How cool. Are you on Amtrak? What is the name of the train system that goes all the way accross the country? Keep us all posted about your adventures. Yes, I agree, your blog is “good medicine” for the soul…

  18. Country Gal says:

    A wonderful way to travel ! I love it when the old trains run through and blow their horns and it echoes through out the country side its a wonderful sound! Awesome post thanx for taking us along ! Cant wait to see and read more of your train trip ! Have a wonderful day !

  19. Deb Surman says:

    Welcome to Chicago Susan! As you can see, it’s a beautiful sunny, crisp day, fall is definitely in the air. I’m a south suburban gal, but work on the south side of the City. Although my drive in every morning can at times be a nail biting, stressful experience, I always love seeing the Chicago skyline as I come into the city – it kinda makes up for the crazies on our expressways. 2 places I’d recommend in our area, Long Grove which has quaint shops and restaurants and is about 20 miles outside the city and Lake Geneva, WI. which is beautiful any time of the year. Have a lovely trip and keep on blogging, I love following your adventures!

  20. Rosemary says:

    We are researching train travel and this just plain inspires! We want to go from Texas to Chicago and then the great trip out west to California on the train. My Mother took my two brothers and me on the train from Texas to Utica, NY…way back in the day…to see my grandparents. I just barely remember looking out the windows but what a brave soul she was to strike out with three small children and transfer in St. Louis. My Dad came later on the train…as we stayed up there for 6 weeks or so. Great memories! Want to go train traveling.

  21. Nellie says:

    Oh, what fun! So glad you are taking us along with you! Enjoy your drive today, and find some great places to shop. I’ll enjoy following along with you on your Twitter postings. xoxo

  22. Gert says:

    Oh Susan you remind me of ‘me’….photos on the go! Lol the majority of my photos on my blog are on the go…smile…. I love traveling with YOU, that Train ride is on my “bucket list”..but until then I will enjoy our time together on your journeys!

    xox Gert

  23. Mary says:

    I took the LA to San Francisco trip on the train last summer and loved every minute of it!


  24. {oc cottage} says:

    WOW! How fun! I have only ever been as far as St. Louis, eastward…and Kauai, westward{somehow I recall the weather in Princeville being better than that of Missouri…but maybe my mind is just playing tricks on me after all these years! ;}
    Thx for taking us along on your trip…have to confess…I didn’t know there was a Connecticut River! See! You can learn something new…even at 6:34 am! ;}

    Have a blast!

    m ^..^

  25. dawn says:

    I just love how you and Joe are so train-wise after 20 years of trips…you know all the tricks and secrets to making it a comfy, enjoyable ride! For example…did Joe stack 3 mattresses for extra comfort?? 🙂
    These journeys with you are so much fun! Keep us posted!

  26. Becky says:

    Thanks for taking us along on your trip. I am loving it already. Happy Twaveling!

  27. Angie(Tink!) says:

    ♫♥♫♥♫♥ Good Morning You Two Train-Travelers!…omgggggggggg….Sweet Sue…the photos of Joe in the upper bunk (His Stocking Feet) & Beautiful You with Your Camera…Delightful!…. The Inside of Your Train Cabin…Magic! & then The Video from the Train…that made Me really Feel like I am On The Train….Really along for This Adventure…& Bravo! You Blogged a Fabulous Blog From The Train….I’m doing Cart-wheels ♥ Huge Smile on my Pumpkin-Face! 🙂 Yay! When Herbster & I Gazed up at The Golden Moon last night… We Raised Our Glasses & Toasted to You & Joe for a Safe Enchanting Very Fun-Filled Adventure! looks like You Two are off to an Excellent Start! Chooooooooooooooo-Chooooooooooooo! We are All Aboard Sweetest Sue! xoxo Poof! ♥ ♥ ♥

  28. Gumbo Lily says:

    Is traveling by train in the US as economical as traveling by plane or automobile? My daughter and I took a trip to England and did quite a bit of travel by train and it was so enjoyable and economical too. I would love to travel the US by train.


    • sbranch says:

      No, it’s not. It used to be, but it’s gotten much more expensive, because of the many people it takes to keep a train going. If you just get a seat, coach, it’s very economical, but a room is more. The rooms are always full, they have to turn people away,you need to make reservations far in advance … what they need is more cars on the train!

      • Gumbo Lily says:

        Thank you for your honesty about train travel. I’m wondering if you just get a seat/couch, do they recline at all for sleeping?

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, they do, people bring their own blankets and pillows…there’s a snack bar to get food too. And you get the same view ! I get a seat when I go on a short trip…like to NY or something.

  29. cecelia says:

    Ohhhh, love the train. We take a trip every year. Usually from Cleveland to Wash Dc, to Florida and then back again after a couple weeks.
    If you were going through Cleveland at 4ish, then the train must have been running late. Doesn’t it come through our town around 2ish?

  30. Deborah says:

    I have sooooooooo been waiting for your train trip blogs!!! Ever since I read how you travel between the two coasts by Amtrak, I have been fascinated by reading about it. One of my (hate to say it, but) bucket list events MUST be a cross country train trip! I don’t care if I just turn around and come right back! I really want to experience this! So, needless to say I am enthralled with your pictures and blogging about your and Joe’s experience on this trip! Love the pictures, you went near by me in NY! Looking forward to more of your adventure by train, Susan, and thanks you so very much for sharing this cool adventure. If you care to elaborate on more details, I am an avid reader! Do you feel cramped, or is it just cozy? Do you talk to many people, or keep to yourselves, what about a dining car? total cost, comparable to air fare or better?
    What do you enjoy the most? The least?

    • Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

      Deborah: I want to do the same thing. I actually want to just cross the country back and forth. Think of all the different places you’d see. I’m also an avid knitter so I really recognize all the serious knitting I’d get done will enjoying the view!! My friends say I become Best Friends with a wall so I don’t think I’d be lonely. I also read and I think a rainy day on a train with a good book would be fabulous!! OK….enough of this….I have to go back to work!! Thanks for the mini vacation, Girls!!

  31. Jody Gray says:

    Thank you so so much for taking us along with you. I look forward to your “letters” everyday.

  32. Judy C in NC says:

    I am just giddy with excitement reading about your adventure as I want to go cross country in a sleeper car on Amtrak so bad. Just think how much hand stitching I could get done and how much different scenery you get to see from the “room with a view.” Seems like your trip will be broken up just enough so that none of the journey is very long. Thank you for information about the tea pot and does it need any sort of special plug in order to use on the train? We will be traveling from NC to Colorado next Spring for a grand’s graduation, hopefully by train. Do you ever get off the train to stretch at short stops? is the dining car food really good? I am sure I will have more questions the closer it gets.

    I also want to go down the Mississippi on a paddle boat and hope that happens next year. Just thinking of all the wonderful journeys to come is so exciting. Judy C in NC sends happy journey wishes and thank you for taking us along.

    • Sarah says:

      Oh, Judy, you MUST take that trip down the Mississippi on the paddle boat. You will love it! We did that a few years ago on the American Queen, and it was glorious. You will quickly see why Mark Twain called paddle boats “floating palaces.” It’s one of the best vacations we have taken. 🙂

  33. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for taking us along with you! Because of you I have just discovered twitter, and am having way too much fun! Your trip is bringing so many good memories back to me. I took four train trips as a child with my mother. One to Washington State, one to Reno, and two to San Diego. (I live in the SF Bay Area.) We were visiting my sisters. (I have three sisters.) The train travels in places you cannot access by car. Like the Sierra Mountains, covered in snow, beautiful, and no cars in sight, just the scenery. I felt like Heidi! Do you have a lounge car? My mother called it “The Bubble Car.” My husband has never been on the train. I always tell him, “We’ve got to plan a trip!” When we do I’m going to take a picture of his foot, just like you did of Joe’s. I have to go now, I have to go check in on twitter and see where we are, and what we are doing. 🙂
    P.S. Can you tell I am excited? I am very chatty, and I haven’t even had any caffeine!

  34. glenda b says:

    I have been a long time fan and was so happy to find your blog a few months back. I haven’t commented much-just lurked-but I do love your blog. Thanks for sharing your trip and the wonderful pictures!! I always come away from your posts feeling like I have just shared time with a good friend.:-)

  35. Gamma Rori says:

    I thought I would send along a few sound links that you might like to add to your posts while on this cross-country jaunt of yours.
    Here they are:
    This one has the ambiance sounds of the train, absolutely wonderful:

    Riding the rails is THE absolute BEST way to travel because it is soothing and oh so much fun to see what is going on in the world just outside the window!! I highly recommend it, life is good when you travel by rail…GO AMTRAK!! :->

    Susan, thank you to you and Joe for sharing this wonderful trip with us all.

    • Terrie from Atlanta, GA says:

      Oh, Rorie ~ those train sounds were the BEST!! Thanks for sharing the links…I wish my “sound machine” alarm clock included the steady rocking rhythm of a train in motion, not to mention the Conductor calling, “All aboard!”

  36. Gamma Rori says:

    PS. I thought I would add, seeing this trip through your eyes is thrilling! I love the idea that you brought along your teapot, I will have to remember that for my next train trip! Thank you SOOO much for sharing!!

  37. Jeannie M from NC says:

    Oh Susan, what a wonderful journey you are taking us on! I have been wanting to travel to So Cal by train to visit my Brother, I wonder how it would be by just getting a seat? Are they real uncomfortable?

    • sbranch says:

      It depends on how long you’ll be on the train, how bendy you are, and if noise bothers you. Because there could be a baby two seats over. The seats are very comfortable, but they aren’t beds, even though they lean back.

      • Jeannie M from NC says:

        Thank you! Not so bendy anymore, but stubborn, and I have a cd player with earplugs, and I am a carpetbagger who always brings a shopping bag with me in the car with food and books!

    • CarolK says:

      I’d recommend, on trips longer than a day, to book a room on the train. The biggest reason why is to get a peaceful nights sleep, privacy and use of your own private WC. Sharing a watercloset with a whole car load of people is not pleasant. You can always meet people by taking a walk when you need to stretch you legs. We took the auto train once down the East Coast to FL and rode in coach, not a brilliant idea. Just loving that you’re taking us with you on this trip, Susan. For sure, now I know that’s the way we’re going when we visit the kids in WA. Amtrak really should make you and Joe their ambassadors of the rails!

  38. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Thanks for sharing your train trip. Your videos bring back so many memories of when Norm and I took the train when we were dating to see each other as he lived in Winona and I lived in St. Paul. We took it once, also, to go to Chicago. We talk about taking the train to relatives in Seattle, across the Canadian Rockies to Vancouver, or out to Boston to visit my BF, Sandy, someday. Have a safe trip and enjoy antiquing on your drive here and we look forward to meeting you and Joe. 🙂

  39. pam says:

    Its all just so sweet! I love the tweets and the videos. Makes me wish for a train trip. Love the ‘sights’ as well. That cracked me up. xo

  40. Carolyn Ann says:

    I’ve always wanted to take a train trip. Now I’m sure I will do it sometime after hearing you talk about it. And after some of the flight experiences my family and I have had in recent years, I never, ever want to see the inside of an airport again. Have a great trip. I’m so excited for you!

  41. Sandra Gillanders says:

    I so love your little pictures and videos of the train ride. I’m going to make sure to take the train SOMEWHERE and thanks to you we know just what to bring along. You could write a book I’ll bet! Maybe a trip from Philadelphia to Monteal for the first trip and then I would like to see Baniff National Park. Your whole trip sounds amazing, especially the little car trip to St.Paul and the antiquing along the way. Thanks for taking us along ♥

  42. Stephanie says:

    It’s so much fun to go with you – sort of – on your journey. This makes me want to take a cross-country train trip just for the fun of it, with no destination in mind! Thanks for sharing. I’m loving the Tweets from the Twain too!

    I keep thinking of the GREAT Broadway musical “On the Twentieth Century” with all sorts of train songs. These are not the best versions, but maybe you’ll enjoy “Life is like a Train”:

    OR the Tony Awards performance of “On the Twentieth Century”:


  43. Marilyn says:

    What a wonderful way to see the USA! I feel like you’re taking us all along with you…….which is absolutely great.

    Enjoy your trip and take plenty of pictures. 🙂

    Marilyn (in Dallas) where the high today is 105 degrees!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. michelle a says:

    I have never travelled by train, but it looks like it would be a lovely way to go. I was thinking that it would be hard to sleep with all the noise but, watching the video I noticed that its much more quiet than I thought it would be so maybe its not to bad. Can you go to other cars or do you stay in your little room the whole time? I think I would need to move around but I guess it would depend on how long it took. How long does it take to go from your home to Chicago? Enjoy the rest of your trip! I cant wait to hear whats next. Thanks for taking us along.

  45. Oh, I love this…I was telling my Honey Bear about your train travel and life on Martha’s Vineyard the other day…He thinks he’d like to travel across country on a train…I said not without my Dramamine.
    Have fun, can’t wait for the next installment.
    Mama Bear

  46. Kathy says:

    You are such a delight and your spirit always nourishes me. Oh how I love that you are blogging. It’s like being wrapped in goodness 🙂

  47. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    That was so much fun, getting to see you traveling on the train. I am not a traveler so this is so exciting to see this. You look all nice and cozy. I didn’t realize you can bring a tea pot on a train. I could never go without my tea in the morning. Can’t wait to see the next post on where you are
    happy day Susan

  48. Mrs.T says:

    Oh, how I love train travel. We have taken the Lakeshore Limited and then the California Zephyr as far as Nevada to visit family, so I can well picture the particular journey you are on. Wish we had the time and money; we would take the trip by train every time. Much nicer and much more fun than flying. Have a wonderful, wonderful trip!

  49. Shelagh says:

    Susan, I think you are single handedly going to revitalise train travel in North America !!! We are all itching to jump on a train and settle in for the ride after reading your tweets and seeing this lovely post. Love your green plaid, looks like a cozy friend. Happy Rails!

  50. Kimi says:

    Hey Susan

    It looks like a lot of fun! on this train here Susan, I think looking out the window at night and day time always keeps you in touch with whats passing you by how fun! I too when traveling bring things that make me feel as if I had some of home with me so you don’t miss it. I’m loving your pictures and yourself there on the train seat you look happy just too be! well enjoy yourself drink tea and chill out….Happy travels Joe~Susan….

  51. Taking a train trip across the country (any country) is so much fun. This reminds me of my trip with a Eurailpass around Europe many years ago. You have inspired me to investigate train travel for my next adventure.

  52. Nina says:

    Love it Sue! Thank you sooo much for sharing! I have been checking out what the UK has to offer from trains. I have never been to Scotland maybe that would be a nice trip! If I decide to go then you and Joe are welcome to come along with us! Enjoy your trip! xxxx

  53. Pat says:

    How wonderful, I get to go on a train ride vacation. A big wave to you as you drive through Chicagoland. There are lots of antique shops in the Chicago Suburbs. I am sure you will find shops of interest along your way. Enjoy your trip and thanks for taking me along.

  54. Rita Goshorn says:

    wonderful! such a trip … would love to make the trip across the states. have done the alaska railroad though – gorgeous, wild, breath-taking. but only 500 miles or so. thanx for sharing!

  55. Kristen says:

    Lovely post!!! One question, are we going to be able to come for the book signing in Minneapolis? I was trying to find the info on that on their website. Enjoy your trip…will you be traveling along the Mississippi to Minneapolis? The leaves are starting to turn! 🙂

  56. Nancy says:

    Thank you so much for the pictures. I have been trying to get up the courage to go on a train (I just really hate being closed in and not being able to get out when I want) but you make it look like so much fun. Maybe a short trip to the beach to start. Tranquilizers? Cookies?

    I’m trying to get on Twitter, I’ve never tweeted before. There’s some kind of problem today but I’ll keep trying.

    • sbranch says:

      The train stops all the time, and often you can get off and walk. And you can, if you throw a big enough fit, or it’s an emergency, make them stop it anytime; knowing that should ease your claustrophobia.

  57. Heartsdesire says:

    Train travel is the best. So much better than the car. So many sights to see. I just love it. When I was a child, I lived in Toronto, but my mother’s family lived in Nova Scotia. We traveled back and forth many times. Once, going over to Cape Breton Island, the train went onto a boat. It was at night so I didn’t seem much. Still, exciting. Enjoying your photos very much. Thanks for taking us along on your travels. Looking forward to the rest of your adventures.

  58. paulette says:

    Glad you’re having great trip and thank you for sharing the train ride with all of us. I’m sure your route from Chicago to the Minneapolis will take your through Wisconsin, so in answer to the question about antique stores….yes, you will see many. Depending on what your route would be, there are some wonderful antique malls, including my favorite right in my home town of Oshkosh….which is right off of Hwy. 41. If you’re smart you won’t come up this way, the construction on the highway is crazy!

  59. Lindy says:

    Thank you so much for your delightful blog! Your stories, photos and videos have helped me make it through this record breaking summer in Dallas. Today is the 70th day it has been 100 this year – actually right now it is 106. This year has been the hottest in history and also the worst drought in Texas ever. In Houston it would take 20 inches of rain to end their drought. So your videos of rain and ocean have been tonics for me along with the photos and stories. Bless you dear lady! I have been a fan of yours for many years and love your books and cookbooks. I reread all of them this summer to keep my spirits up because hot and dry for me is like cold and dark for other people. Please tell me how you stay trim and enjoy yummy treats. I’m very impressed. Hope you have a wonderful time. Thanks for the virtual trip!

  60. Treese says:

    Seems I now only travel by train when I am Abroad. It is a good way to see the sights and I miss it.
    I got my spurs tangled up. I thought your family all lived in San Louie. I do miss California sometimes, but moved back to my cattle ranch in Colorado years ago. I lived in Cali at the beach for afew years and I loved surfing.
    Enjoy your train adventures!
    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl.

  61. Amy Powers says:

    Susan, I’ll be at TCC too! I hope I’ll get to meet you…I can’t wait!

  62. Sandra says:

    Thank you for posting from the train; I am SO loving this! We’ve talked about taking a train and are doing research now re. the possibilities. It sounds wonderful and what a fabulous way to see the country…both of you at the same time. At the same time you’re both awake anyway -smile-. When one is traveling by auto, it seems like one person sees almost everything and the other person sees the road in front. Not so evenly balanced.
    Please post often, I’m not crazy about social media…just lack the time to get that involved with the computer so have only your blog to tag along.

  63. Denise Leavens says:

    Regarding The Creative Connection: Check out Sarah Jane Wright of

    She is an illustrator and fun person. She is speaking on Friday.

  64. Jacqui G says:

    Enjoying the journey with you! I have never been on a long train trip and this is such fun:) Definitely living vicariously through your posts and tweets!

  65. Carol Deiber says:

    I’m throughly enjoying your blog and everything you share with us! I feel like I know YOU. I have tears reading-You’re going to “my Dad’s house,then my Mom’s house” please tell me your parents are seperated. I want your happy chilhood memories and stories to have happy endings! I guess because my own personal chilhood stunk for the most part,(I do live a happy ending now) and I like to believe someone, somewhere, had it All! I love you Susan.

  66. Ann says:

    I LOVE the train! I once went overnight from Newport News, VA to Newport,RI. Fun! Exciting!. Not long enough! I also take the train to DC often–day trips have their own brand of wonderful 🙂
    I’ve been planning a longer trip in my head…
    I seem to remember that you once posted advice for train-travelers. I tried to print it out but the format didn’t print well. Might you consider running it again??


  67. Denise Allen says:

    Susan, I loved seeing the vid of passing the Ct. river, as i am a resident of Ct!! Yah!
    I love your stuff, you are such a comfort & inpsiration to me!!! TY! Godbless you!
    What a lovely wonderful life you have my friend and TY for sharing it with us!<3

  68. Carol C says:

    Last Dec. my sister and I took an overnight train trip to NYC. We had a great time seeing shows and sight-seeing while there, but the highlight was spending the night on the train and eating in the dining car, and watching the Christmas- lit towns go by. Thanks for bringing those memories back!!

  69. Francine says:

    Choo! Choo! That’s the way I’d have to travel, cause I hate planes! I went once years and years ago, from Wisconsin to join my military husband in Alabama! I had a two year old with me. The train trip was fun, but when we got there, my husband didn’t come to get us, I got us to the base only to find out he was in the hospital with measles and my luggage was lost! Ugh! You have better treats on the train than I have at home! Lucky!!!!

  70. Priscilla says:

    Years ago, I took my kids on a train trip from San Diego up to Portland. We had such a wonderful time! My hubby didn’t want to go, so off we went! The kids met all kinds of other kids & they played & had a ball! The scenery couldn’t have been any more beautiful!!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s probably my favorite trip of all, the CA coast up through the northwest…the country around Shasta Dam is so pretty!

  71. Carilyn Wolski says:

    How happy I was to see your photos on the moving choo-choo train! I can’t wait to check in on you every day to watch your adventure unfold! I only dream of traveling by train one day…..thank you for helping me dream……..!!!

  72. Susan says:

    Dunno if this is a dumb question; can you use a cell phone while riding in a train?
    Must be lotsa areas w/o cell service. Hope there’s not roaming charges… Have fun! I’d love to kidnap my DH and get him on a cross country train adventure. Might be easy as we live in PAup near Lake Erie

    • sbranch says:

      Yes you can, almost the whole way now. When I started, there were no cellphones… or at least, I didn’t have one. It was more fun actually, to be totally cut off from the real world!

  73. Susan says:

    Train travel is in our family’s history. My Grandfather was an engineer on Pennsylvania Railroad until he retired; he ran the line into Altoona and the famous Horseshoe Curve nearly everyday. Sometimes he would talk about train stories at our dinner tables until my Grandmother would say…”John..!”. My Mom got on a train with her Dad to Chicago; she was blind and on her way to marry my father in Oklahoma before he was deployed to Italy as an Army Air Corps pilot. They had two weeks together & she got on another train back to Pennsylvania (He made it back home OK from WW2).Mom, sister & I took a train out west when I was six to visit my Dad’s parents; we traveled to Chicago, changed and went thru a switchback in the Rockies. We loved it all; the conductors would take my sister & I off the train for brief walks while our train was stopped and waiting our turn up the mountains. Got to see Disneyland and ride in the teacups! Everyone should have a chance to take a long ride on the trains & see our beautiful country.

  74. Linda says:

    Enjoyed hearing details of your train trip. While crossing Wisconsin consider exploring Columbus, WI, and visiting the antique stores and I hear there is a pottery store to check out as well. Enjoy your journey! ❤ your blog!

  75. Jocelyn says:

    Wow this looks like so much fun. Have you always traveled by train?? What an adventure.

    • sbranch says:

      Not always, I flew for years, but it got to be less fun all the time until just the freeway to the airport bothered me! Took my first cross country train trip in around 1984ish or so.

  76. Tiina says:

    Can I come. I’m stuck grading papers and dealing with the hot indian summers in Cali. Looks like so much fun. Can’t wait to see more.

  77. Jen says:

    If a person were to have major problems with motion sickness, would a train trip be the worst idea in the world? I can handle car rides as long as I’m in the front seat. Planes, not so good. This sounds so romantic, but it wouldn’t be if I were sick the whole trip.

  78. Enjoying this so much! Once traveling from Los Angeles to New Orleans our bedroom became twice as big during the night when the wall between two bedrooms vibrated open. My husband was jimmying it back into place when a woman sat up in her bed and removed her sleeping mask. quickly he said “I’m just trying to close the wall” and she said icily, “Please do!” We heard from an engineer friend that it’s not at all unusual for that to happen.

  79. Oh, the train story whispered to my soul. My husband and I have been talking for many years about a train trip and have actively checked out one from Orlando to NYC. Then we began to vascilate, considering exchanging that plan for a road trip to Prince Edward Island. However, your post is tugging at my heartstrings for that leisurely experience of the train ride again.
    At first we thought of it as simply a way to get to NYC without the hours of driving, and decided we would buy a standard ticket to save our money for spending in the Big Apple. But now, after reading your wonderful endorsement of train tripping, I am rethinking spending money on the room as well and making the trip itself a focus of the vacation.
    I have many detailed questions, but most can be answered by a travel guide or the internet, but from you, I ask the following.
    Will you give me tips on packing the most essential and leaving out the non-essentials?
    How much space is available in your room and is it enough for you to feel unclostrophobic?
    Am I correct that your computer card works on the train just as it does in an automobile?
    Thank you for your lovely posts and for touching my heart with them.
    :-))) Janie

  80. Suzanne in Sydney, Australia says:

    Wow, thanks for the arm chair train ride. I’ve watched previous posts relating to your cross country train travels and enjoyed them. I’m looking forward to the rest of this journey with its posts and photos. If you do any drawings in your journal can you take pics of those too please. Can’t imagine taking a teapot and kettle on board :). Your posts are a joy to read and wait for. Thank you.

  81. Sandy Perry says:

    Susan, I was lucky enough to grant one of my Dad’s wishes to travel on the train from the west coast(Santa Maria to RI then back from RI to San Luis Obispo) to the east coast like his Father did when he came to the USA. What a trip that was! He had us sitting up the whole way because his Father didn’t have the money to have a sleeper cars so we did the 4day trip the old fashion way!!! I am so very happy I got to see his extended family and see the beautiful countryside of our beautiful country. God Bless America. see you in San Luis Obispo on Oct. 9. Will you have books,calendars etc to buy so we can have you sign? Twain away<3

    • Sandy Perry says:

      Sorry my heart did not show up like on Facebook(: Love your blog. Sandy

    • sbranch says:

      Yes I will, see you there! Wonderful story, thank you!

      • Sandy Perry says:

        Thank you, I just can’t tell you how excited I am to get to see you again. My daughter, Michele, my Aunt and cousins just love all you do. I did one of the Homemade recipes for my Aunt Betty with old photo’s of my Grandma and my Mom,both deceased, and it brought tears to her eyes. Thank you for the chance to not only give her pictures of loved ones as well as their recipes and a lovely book by you.

  82. You are just fun. A really fun person. I just love your blog, books, etc. Thanks for taking us on your trip. This made my day 🙂

  83. bj says:

    The main question…why take a train when a plane is faster? Not nearly as much fun, mind you. I did a lot of train traveling when I was young…went to Calif. once, from West Texas, on the SantaFe Chief. So fun…
    I am going to LOVE going on the trip with you and J0E. Thanks.
    xo bj

  84. Joan says:

    Train trips are THE BEST. Have done one from Anaheim, CA to Sandpoint, ID. Gorgeous scenery. Another from Anaheim, CA to Little Rock, Arkansas. Both in sleeper rooms – would not advise long trip sitting in coach. Rooms include meals in the dining car – fun to meet all different people and the food was wonderful! You can walk up and down the cars and get off at stops, even the fairly short ones – just to get a bit of fresh air. Susan, you describe the twain twip beautifully!

  85. Una Gibson says:

    Susan I just love your newsletters. You are so inspiring and I enjoy trying out your recipes. I live in a lovely part of England , UK (the Cotswolds) however I have a son who lives on Nantucket which as you know is near Marthas Vineyard. Receiving the newsletters makes me feel a little closer to him. You take crafting to a different level by making it so much fun. Thank you

  86. Wendy says:

    Oh my dear Susan…thank you SO MUCH for all the goodies attached to Willard! I am in love with bookmarks and the owl and the birds at the feeder are printed and waiting for a trip through the laminator! Thanks for the gifts for “sitting by the fire with a good book” season! Hugs…

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