One of my favorite destination tickets in Ticket to Ride is Los Angeles to Chicago, also known as the Sade Express. Ever since I first heard the Sade classic song “Smooth Operator” the lyric “coast to coast/LA to Chicago” has stuck out to me for the simple fact that it makes no sense. LA to Chicago is not going coast to coast. I suppose that Chicago is a coastal city but invoking LA and traveling to the other coast really conjures up an east to west continental journey. While the lyric may be silly, the route is certainly a winner. A favorite of mine, that Sade Express.
What makes it a good ticket? Well, it’s worth sixteen points which makes it one of the more valuable tickets in the game. There are certainly tickets worth more than that, but I think that the Sade Express might be better than all of them because of the fact that you don’t have to enter into the labyrinth of small, time wasting connections that begin once you head east of the Windy City. The only tricky thing about the route can be getting out of Los Angeles, which can frequently get clogged up early in the game. Aside from exiting LA there are a myriad of ways to get from one way to another, and it is also possible to pass very close to many of the other major cities in the game and have a multitude of tickets contained within the Chicago to Los Angeles route. I’d like to think that Sade knew all of this when she penned Smooth Operator.