Having traveled more than 60,000 miles by rail in the past five years, Wen Lee and Chris Stratton knew when they decided to get married that Amtrak would play a role in their celebration. With family scattered across the country, they decided to combine their wedding and honeymoon into an epic cross country train adventure.
As they cross the country using the USA Rail Pass, they will hold 4 wedding receptions in 4 different cities over 30 days. Their itinerary is enough to make any Amtrak fan a little jealous of the adventure that lies ahead for the couple:
Destination: Lawrenceburg, KY
California Zephyr: Richmond, CA → Chicago, IL
Cardinal: Chicago, IL → Cincinnati, OH
Destination: Boston, MA
Cardinal: Cincinnati, OH → Washington, DC
Northeast Regional: Washington, DC → Boston, MA
Destination: Los Angeles, CA
Lake Shore Limited: Boston, MA → Chicago, IL
Southwest Chief: Chicago, IL → Los Angeles, CA
Destination: Oakland, CA
Amtrak Thruway Bus: Los Angeles, CA → Bakersfield, CA
San Joaquin: Bakersfield, CA → Richmond, CA
With a jam packed schedule for the newlyweds, we were lucky to catch up with Chris and Wen to check in on the first leg of their journey:
Amtrak: Why did you decide to make the California Zephyr part of your wedding adventure?
Wen and Chris: This is the third time we’ve taken the California Zephyr to visit Chris’ family. His father’s side lives in Lawrenceburg, KY, and our favorite way to travel there is the Zephyr. It goes through the Sierras, the desert, the Rockies, and the Great Plains. It offers some of the most spectacular scenery of this country we’ve ever seen. One of the first places we go on the train is the observation car — with large windows and skylights, it’s the best place to see the views!
Amtrak: The trip from California to Chicago is over two days long. How do you guys keep yourselves entertained?
Wen and Chris: In today’s digital age, it’s wonderful to take a break from the usual hectic and media-saturated lifestyle. On “train time,” everything slows down. We love the chance to unplug, look out the window, meet new people face-to-face, and play games. One of our favorites is Backgammon.
Amtrak: What is one of the most unique experiences of riding a cross country train?
Wen and Chris: The dining car! It’s a fun way to meet other passengers on the train. We met one couple celebrating their 20th year wedding anniversary, and another couple celebrating their 50th! Isn't that sweet? We hope on our 20th and 50th anniversary, we will also be celebrating on the train.
Amtrak: We have over 20,000 employees that work around-the-clock to get you where you need to go. Did you get a chance to meet any of #TeamAmtrak?
Wen and Chris: We became friends with the wonderful dining crew. These folks are outstanding! So friendly, professional, efficient, and full of good humor. We especially appreciate them accommodating for our vegan diets.
Chris and Wen are making their way to the East Coast for their Boston wedding reception. Tune in next week to hear about their trip and maybe a wedding party photo or two!