United States Journals

Going to LA — The Really Long Way

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A July 2006 trip to United States by ssullivan

Arizona Photo, Arizona, United States More Photos
Quote: On a whim, I decided to take Amtrak's Sunset Limited on a 1,995 mile, 48 hour trip from New Orleans to Los Angeles.

Going to LA — The Really Long Way

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Overview

Inside an Amtrak Superliner Roomette Photo, United States, North America
Quote:
I had a week off from work in early July, 2006. I wanted to do something besides sit at home, but didn't want a vacation that would be a lot of hassle either. I mainly wanted to just sit back, relax, and watch the world go by. So, I thought, "Why not take Amtrak?" I settled on buying a ticket on Amtrak's Sunset Limited from New Orleans to Los Angeles, a trip of nearly 2,000 miles and 48 hours on the train.Along the way I encountered a number of interesting passengers riding the train with me from all over the US, and got to see just how low we've let this once grand method of long-distance travel in the US slip in quality. But despite several days of average dining car meals, sharing a sin...Read More

Hilton Garden Inn - LAX/El Segundo

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Hotel

Hilton Garden Inn - LAX/El Segundo Photo, Los Angeles, California
Quote:
The Hilton Garden Inn LAX/El Segundo is quite convenient to Los Angeles International Airport, and provides very comfortable accommodations with a moderate array of services and amenities. Like most Hilton Garden Inns, rooms feature one king or two queen beds, satellite TV with pay-per-view movies, large work areas with well-placed outlets, complimentary high-speed Internet, mini-refrigerators, and microwaves. Other amenities in the hotel include a complimentary business center with computers, printers, office supplies, and a copier, a fitness center, a pantry with snacks and sundries, a pool, and a restaurant providing full breakfasts and evening dinner service, with room service in the evenings only...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2008

Hilton Garden Inn - LAX/El Segundo
2100 East Mariposa Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90245
(310) 726-0100

Day 1: Houston to New Orleans, and Back!

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Story/Tip

Inside the Dining Car Photo, United States, North America
Quote:
The first day of my trip started very early. I awoke around 5:00 AM to get ready and head for Houston's Intercontinental Airport, to catch my flight to New Orleans. Houston has very regular service to New Orleans, but I didn't want to chance getting to New Orleans late and missing the train's 11:55 AM departure. So I was scheduled on a flight that would get me to New Orleans about three hours before the train's departure. That way, if there was any delay at all in the flight, I'd still have a nice safety buffer that should allow me to get to the Amtrak station in New Orleans on time.It turned out to be a good thing that I had scheduled myself on an early flight. As I was driving to the air...Read More

Day 2: San Antonio to El Paso

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Story/Tip

West Texas Photo, Texas, United States
Quote:
Day two on the Sunset Limited began with a jolt. While I had slept, the train slowly made the 210 mile trip between the Houston and San Antonio stations. In San Antonio, the Sunset Limited meets up with the southbound Texas Eagle at the end of its Chicago to San Antonio run in the middle of the night. At that time, several cars from the Texas Eagle are coupled to the back of the Sunset Limited, providing passengers from Chicago and points south along the Eagle’s route to have through, same-car service all the way to Los Angeles. On our run, this meant two cars a first class sleeper and a coach passenger car were attached to the back of our train. The conductor had warned us the night before that we mi...Read More

Day 3: Arizona to Los Angeles

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Story/Tip

Arizona Photo, Arizona, United States
Quote:
After two days of travel, I was ready to get to Los Angeles when I awoke on Friday morning. When I had gone to bed the night before, the train was running a couple of hours behind schedule, but given the Sunset Limited’s dismal on-time performance, and the nearly 2,000 miles the train had to travel along its run, a two hour delay was hardly worth complaining about. After all, the conductor had told us the night before that the train’s crew anticipated we’d make up some of that time during the night on our run through New Mexico and Arizona.So when I woke up Friday morning, I assumed we were somewhere in Arizona, west of Maricopa, the train’s stop for the Phoenix area, and that we’d be arri...Read More
Quote:
The last evening of my trip was quite relaxing and enjoyable. I picked up my rental car, pulled out my directions printed off the Internet a few days earlier while at home in Houston, and headed for my hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn LAX/El Segundo. I had chosen this hotel due to its close proximity to Los Angeles International Airport, where I would be flying home to Houston the next morning. At check-in I was informed I had been upgraded to the hotel’s "university" wing. This meant I would be staying in one of the rooms that the Hilton Corporation uses at this location for testing new room décor and amenities, and for training its employees. My room ended up being a test room for Hilton’s Homewood Suit...Read More