After 6 months of Covid 19, and in anticipation of at least another. 6 months, we decided that we had to learn to live with it. Retired, we pretty much live a quiet life; however, travel plans have been interrupted, including a Family Alaska Cruise and a a cruise to the Caribbean. Alaska was cancelled, the Caribbean was reset for March 2021 and was then cancelled as Viking cancelled all cruises until at least March 31, 2021. We are betting on being able to go in June with our 125% deal, especially since the vaccines have arrived and being in the over 80 category, we expect to be high on the list.

We have mastered shopping, eating out on outdoor patios, exercise in small numbers at the YMCA and having friends over for outdoor drinks and dinners. 

We have not been able to master travel, given our ages, 78 and 80 and various state and international restrictions. There is also a fear of flying.

So, we decided on a short train trip. Albuquerque to Las Vegas, NM is about 3 hours on Amtrak. Las Vegas has a renovated Harvey House Hotel, Castenada, next to the tracks, as well as an earlier one in Winslow, AZ which we have stayed at.

Train 4 was only 20% booked when I got tickets, $15 apiece each way. Leave at 11:45 and arrive about 3. 

Castenada had rooms available for $130 including tax etc. and they claimed that they let a day lapse between guests and that the rooms were super clean. The restaurant was closed, but from Wed. Through Sat ,  3-8 you could eat on the patio, first come, first served. A limited menu but it looks good.

No breakfast, but the hotel said that the Spic and Spam was just 3 blocks away. We have eaten there and they have great Mexican Food. The place also has an automatic Tortilla making machine which cranks out fresh tortillas.

We were still nervous, so we have gloves, masks, 90% alcohol handi wipes, and water proof pillow case covers, $25 from Amason. We could have gotten disposable hazmat but enough is enough is enough.

You have to balance the risk’s of Covid 19 with going crazy; and at 80 the choice was easy. Crazy is not my thing; caution is ok.

Fortunately, we can park in a city garage a block from the Amtrak station. We have had one Covid 19 test which came back negative, but that was a month ago. Since the trip we have had two more tests, both of which were negative. The tests were drive through and waiting in line took about two hours.

Before taking the trip, we considered what could go wrong.

If we are denied boarding on the train because of symptoms, no problem; we go home and are out $130 for the hotel. If we get toLas Vegas NM, and the hotel won’t let us in because of symptoms, or if the return Amtrak won’t let us on board, what do we do?

There seems to be only one bus a day, at the wrong time. Even if we could get to Santa Fe, The RailRnner is not running, and buses may be risky. Where do we spend the night. Car rentals seem to be non-existent in Las Vegas 

It all worked out well. The trip was worth it and we are trying to think how we could do another.


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