One of the nice things about working for a bank is that we get the Federal Holidays off work—if the stock market is closed, we are closed! And that means that I had Presidents’ Day Weekend off work. In the before times, I used to travel to New York City about every other month for work (you can view my New York City Travel Guide here!), which means I was able to rack up quite a number of Amtrak points. After I got home from Charlottesville in January, I really wanted something else to look forward to, so I decided to book a trip to NYC for Presidents’ Day Weekend to visit my friend Emma. And since I already had the aforementioned Amtrak points, it was free for me to book a train up.
So that I didn’t have to take any time off work for the long weekend, I booked a train that left Union Station here in Washington, DC around 5:15pm. While I’ve traveled to New York all the ways over the years—plane, train, car, bus—I think the train is the easiest and usually is most affordable. (If you don’t have Amtrak points like I do, the cost of a ticket right now is so cheap, so definitely keep that information in your back pocket if you’re looking to skip town, too.)
This was my first time taking the train since the pandemic, but I felt very comfortable. I booked a business seat class on the Northeast Regional and had an assigned seat; to accommodate for social distancing, no one is able to purchase the seat next to you. You’re required to wear a mask the whole time. On both my train there and on the way back, there were no more than five or six people with me in my train car and neither train station was all that crowded. It was easy to keep your distance from people.
My train pulled into Penn Station’s new Moynihan’s Train Hall around 8:45pm on Friday night and I was blown away. The new train hall is gorgeous, clean, and so much better than the old Amtrak waiting room. (If you know, you know!) It’s right across the street from the old Penn Station, so it’s still in a super central location. I grabbed a cab to Emma’s apartment and we kept things really low key on Friday night—we ordered in Shake Shack and drink champagne. My idea of the perfect night in!