@honey cowl Thanks for the tip! One problem is I'm coming from LA so that seems to up the price majorly, vs if I were coming just from JFK. But maybe I could finagle a cheap flight to NYC and then a cheap Iceland Air flight.
Ah! This is relevant to my interests as I am planning a week-long trip to Paris this summer (staying in an apartment in Montmartre!). Sadly this means ridiculous airfare, which I am praying to the travel gods goes down- the cheapest ticket is like $1334 right now, ugh, and that's not even a direct flight.
I may or may not have spent about 5 hours yesterday down the rabbit hole of TripAdvisor's Paris forums....
@MilesofMountains Full disclosure, the first 18 years of my life were spent in Dallas. I would not live there now, but I will echo the sentiment that there is KILLER Tex-Mex and BBQ to be consumed. The only thing that entices me to come home for xmas (besides family, I GUESS) is eating at all of my favorite restaurants.
But I will say, the 3.5 hour drive from Dallas to Austin is really fun. There are some quirky stops along the way, such as the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco (already mentioned by someone else), kolaches at the random Czech gas stations in West, and the monolithic dome homes outside of the town Italy.
Oh, and the grocery stores. Texas wins at grocery stores. See: Central Market.
On Train Help
Meh... I loved taking trains when living in the northeast, but had a not-so-great experience taking Amtrak back home to LA after Christmas in Dallas.
The first night was spent stationary in San Antonio, as a different train had to come "pick up" our cars to make the journey out west. We arrived in SA around 10pm and were told the train would depart a few hours later (maybe 5am?), but in the meantime we were free to go explore San Antonio if we wanted. So the bf and I walked around until midnight, then headed back to the train to sleep the rest of the night off. This proved difficult when they shut off the power and locked the doors so they could hook the car up to the new train--- the car became unbearably hot and stuffy! Not to mention the folks around us had no trouble sleeping, meaning super loud snoring.
The next day brought on elbowing our way into seats in the lounge car as we sped through the desert. We read books... drank some beer... enjoyed the views...We also made a reservation to eat in the highly rated dining car. Then as the evening came forth, announcements were made that the dining car was running behind, so patience was appreciated. About an hour and a half after our original reservation time, we finally were seated; only to be informed that they had run out of all food except for the $17 enchiladas.
"I wouldn't buy them if I were you," said our waitress.
So that night was microwaved hot wings and beer, which to be honest wasn't that bad in the grand scheme of things. And bonus! Sleeping that night came a lot easier!
TLDR version: go with the sleeping car for journeys over a day, your meals are guaranteed.
@AmandathePanda Um hi, are we the same person? Super creeped out by the accuracy of your comment as it pertains to my experience!