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Travel Etiquette

Roaring Roanoke




The Jet Set had me traveling to Roanoke, Virginia for the first time since I stopped there on Piedmont Airlines flight from DC to Atlanta in 1979.

This time, we traveled on Amtrak from Washington’s Union Station to Roanoke via the new rail extension to the Virginia Blue Ridge that has returned the regular passenger rail service that left the city the 1970s.



Upon arrival, I checked-in to Hotel Roanoke, which was originally built to provide accommodations to passengers of Norfolk and Western Railway in 1882. Today, the luxury hotel provides European style service along with high-tech amenties and excellent gourmet dining.



I started out with the That Guy from Richmond and ended with A Boy Named Sue — these are cocktails by the way — then onto their excellent dishes which included Virginia oysters (fresh and roasted), Massachusetts Diver Scallops, and Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Not saving room for dessert didn’t stop me from finishing with their bodacious bread pudding.


As the name says, they are the people to see when you’ve got to get your “down home biscuit” fix. I ordered their special of the day, the Country Fried Chicken Biscuit with everything.

Located in Downtown Salem, we stopped into the Blue Apron Restaurant and Red Rooster Bar for one of the best martinis, The Dixe,  I’ve found anywhere. This was also the first time I’d tasted a ‘tomolive’!



I could spend hours at this place which is full of treasures pulled from all over the area. Vintage tiles, doors, mantles, signs and other architectural elements have been saved, restored, repurposed and are made available to new projects and loving homes. The owners of Black Dog Salvage also star in the long-running DIY TV series, Salvage Dawgs.



Many things for everyone, including children, to enjoy in this stunning museum with over 2,050 pieces in its permanent collection along with temporary exhibitions featuring artists such as Paul Villinski to the “Iconic American Cars and Motorcycles” exhibit which will run from September 2018 through February 2019.


The Roanoke Star provides the most famous view in the region. At night, this historic landmark is visible from throught the city as well as from flights arriving into Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport. The star weighs about 10,000 pounds, stands 88 feet tall and is said to be the world’s largest manmade star.



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Travel Etiquette

Amtrak Offers BOGO Valentine’s Day Tickets



Amtrak has announced a Valentine’s Day Buy One Get One Free Sale. From Thursday, February 13, through Monday, February 17, customers can buy one coach ticket and get the second free for nationwide travel between March 9and August 30, 2020, with no blackout dates. Customers can receive discounted tickets by using the code V214 at checkout or at

Amtrak is offering a great way for customers and their loved ones to travel for a weekend away or on a leisurely vacation. From couples to moms, to friends, to every loved one, Amtrak encourages individuals to give more than chocolates, flowers, and valentines this year. Instead, consider gifting a trip on Amtrak with a two for the price of one, Buy One Get One Free Sale.

Amtrak Fare Sale

The discount is valid for travel across the national network including most long-distance routes as well as the AcelaAdirondackCarolinian/Piedmont,CascadesDowneasterDownstate Illinois Services, Empire ServiceEthan Allen ExpressHeartland FlyerMaple LeafMichigan ServicesMissouri River RunnerNortheast RegionalSan JoaquinsValley FlyerVermonter and reserved sections of the Pennsylvanian and Keystone Service. Two customers can travel together in coach for as low as:


New York – Washington, D.C (Acela) $183

Los Angeles – Seattle $126

Washington, D.C. – Boston (Acela) $192

Seattle – Portland, OR $36

Washington, D.C. – Chicago $105

San Francisco – Denver $149

San Francisco – Los Angeles $66.50

New York – Atlanta $164

New York – Washington, D.C.$98

Chicago – St. Louis$31

Los Angeles – Albuquerque $86

St. Louis – Kansas City $36

Portland, ME – Boston $29

Richmond, VA – Charlotte $54

Detroit – Chicago $40

Washington, D.C. – Orlando $139

Fares will vary by train

Being able to easily travel to/from city centers, Amtrak has one of the most generous baggage policies in the travel industry, applicable for two personal items and two carry-on bags. Amtrak also offers the freedom to use phones and electronic devices at all times (no “airplane mode”), the ability to travel with small pets on many trains, large spacious seats with ample legroom and no middle seat.

This sale is valid for one free companion rail fare traveling on the same reservation as one full adult coach fare. This offer is valid for travel on all reserved service except the Auto Train. Adults must travel together and be booked in the same reservation. Valid for coach seats only; no upgrades allowed. This offer is not combinable with any other discount offer. All prices will be automatically discounted from the standard fare when accessing this promotion at or by using the discount code (V214) when booking their trip. Other terms and conditions apply.

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