Rick and I decided when we planned our vacation that we wanted to take the train home. It's an experience we have both wanted to try. While we worried that a 36 hour trip would not be fun, we did it anyway. And it was great! It was relaxing and worth it.
We had a little roomette with two chairs facing each other that convert into a bed with a pull-down bunk for a second bed. All the meals are included in the price of the ticket. You share a bathroom and shower with about 8 other roomettes. You can purchase a room with a private bath but we were both satisfied with the space in a roomette and though the setup was better.
We rode from Grand Rapids to Chicago (a four hour ride). We had a 3 hour layover in Chicago so we locked up our suitcases at Union Station and headed outside to explore a little of the city. We were in the financial district so much of the area was dead and much to our dismay, many of the restaurants were closed, but we finally found a little Italian place. The remainder of the trip was on one train headed all the way to Austin.
We played a couple of games of scrabble, listened to music, watched movies and slept. It was great. The food on board was actually pretty good too! We both think the train is a great option if you have young children. If you can't afford flights, it's definitely cheaper and they have room to runaround - unlike when you drive.