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November Trip to Chill With Abby

Trains, planes, automobiles, oh yeah, and a bus too!

My next adventure brings me back to the historic city of Charleston, SC. I will hang out with Abby, my sister’s dog, this time while they visit Disney. (Side note, I am the only one in my family that has never been to Disney.) This trip involves four trains, a connecting bus, and a plane.

To Charleston:

I will ride Amtrak’s Hiawatha train to Chicago, followed by the Cardinal, a connecting bus, and the Silver Meteor.

The Cardinal runs from Chicago to New York three times a week, in each direction. The Cardinal offers many unforgettable views of the Southeasts, such as the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley, and the wild white-water rivers of West Virginia and vistas that can only see by train.

The Silver Meteor runs daily along the eastern seaboard from New York to Miami. I don’t see much on this train because I get on it when it is dark and arrive in Charleston early in the morning, but check the link if you are interested in this train.

I have reserved a Viewliner Roomette on the Cardinal. A roomette includes meals (but not alcohol), private space on the train, shower use, access to a juice and coffee station, and the lounge in Chicago Union Station.

The Cardinal takes me from Chicago to Charlottesville, VA; when I arrive, a bus transports me, and the other passengers, to Richmond, VA. I have a layover before catching the Silver Meteor to Charleston, SC, when I come to Richmond, VA.

I have a coach class reservation on the Silver Meteor because the trip is about 7 hours. A roomette is my first choice unless someone donates to the cause. $170 extra is hard to justify for that short of the trip. My sister and Abby will pick me up when I arrive in Charleston.

Return Home:

I am flying back; I usually fly back with Delta to Midway (Chicago) or Milwaukee with a layover in Atlanta. I am flying Southwest on this trip with a direct flight to Midway. After arriving at Midway, I take the Orange Line to the Loop, walk to Chicago Union Station (two blocks away), and then take the Hiawatha home.

Equipment needed for a two-week trip:

  • I will bring my Tortuga Backpack, but I could use my Travelpro Bold 2.0 22” suitcase. I would not take anything more substantial because I would have to check a bag when flying.
  • To stay organized, I will use packing cubes.
  • Water bottle and snacks
  • Electronics (iPad and computer for me )
  • 4-5 days’ worth of clothing (plan on doing laundry)
  • Chargers and wires
  • Journal and entertainment
  • Minimum Toiletries
  • Small day bag


Kev has been traveling with Amtrak since 2012, celebrating his tenth year this year. Over those years, he has been on over 700 trains covering over 200,000 miles of rail. Kev enjoys helping others achieve their travel dreams by assisting them with support and information. Kev enjoys making music as an organist.