Friday, July 31, 2015

A vegan traveler rides the Amtrak to Chicago

Sleeve for a coffee cup.

I eat a plant based diet and I try to tread lightly on the earth. Recently my hubby and I traveled from our home in Duluth, Minnesota to Chicago via Amtrak.

I ate very well on my trip and certainly didn't lose any weight because the food was so good.

We had friends who, when they heard we were going to Chicago, told us about deals that we could get on various airlines, but they didn't get the point. The point was to take the train.

There is no passenger train to Duluth, the closest location for us to catch the train was St. Paul. We rode the Skyline Shuttle from Duluth to St. Paul.  The Skyline Shuttle is a privately owned business which has several vans traveling daily from Duluth to the Twin Cities. Many people are catching an airplane.
Since our train was scheduled to leave at 8:05 a.m., we decided to book a hotel in downtown St. Paul the night before and relax and then walk to the depot in the morning to catch the train.We boarded the shuttle at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center at 3:20 p.m. The driver let us off near the state capital, which just few blocks from our hotel and the train depot at about 6 p.m.  

Riding the train is very relaxing.
Here my hubby is gazing out the window at the Mississippi River

We stayed at Hotel 340, which is located at 340 Cedar Street. Since my day-job is as the editor of a weekly newspaper, the Duluth Budgeteer, it was interesting to me that the hotel is across the street from the Pioneer Press and two blocks from Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media. Also the Metro Green Line light rail station is right behind the hotel.
When I booked the Hotel 340 I read that as a guest would have access to the St. Paul Athletic Club. This turned out to be a real treat for me as I am a swimmer and my goal is to swim laps everyday.
When I asked about access to the fitness club, I was told it was a $10 extra fee. In my head I was a little miffed, I didn't think I should have to pay extra for this, but soon my hubby and I visited the fitness club and I was in awe. The fitness club is contained within 340 Cedar Street on the third through ninth floors. It's very upscale.

The Saint Paul Athletic Club's athletic facilities are located on floors three through nine.

An elegant, sunlit swan-motif terrazzo pool on the 8th floor.
(Photo from the SPAC website)
The pool is titled in Art Deco motif, and the water felt wonderful. The website described it as: elegant, sunlit swan-motif terrazzo pool on the 8th floor. I felt like the queen of Sheba as I glided in the water with the evening light pouring through the large west facing windows. After my swim I asked the staff how much chlorine they put in the water and she said none. There is a special filtration process.
That's all for tonight folks. I  will post more tomorrow. 
There were a couple of vegan choices.