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Top Ten Things ~ Train Travel July 27, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
70 comments

This month, I traveled round-trip to New Jersey via the Auto Train  which  clickety~clackety~clacks, forth and back, on tracks from Sanford Florida  (northeast of Orlando) to Lorton VA (south of Washington DC).

The Top Ten Things I/we enjoyed about Train Travel:

1.  At the train station, we left everything packed in the car . . . except for a small overnight bag with pj’s, snacks, and toothbrush.

2.  No one asked us to take off our shoes, disrobe, endure a patdown, or pass through an onerous metal detector at a TSA checkpoint before boarding.

3. Amtrak offered wheelchair assistance for mom (who is recovering from spine surgery). The person who helped her out of the car came and found her when we needed to board the train.

4.  We enjoyed a free wine and cheese reception as soon as we boarded the train and stowed our belongings in the sleeper car.

5.  While nibbling on fruit, nuts, veggies, and cheese, we enjoyed panoramic views of sleepy towns in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia through expansive picture windows . . . with no tractor trailers to mar the scenery.

6.  We avoided 900 miles of tedious interstate driving on the I-95 corridor while still being able to use my packed-to-the-rafters Honda to transport mom’s clothes, meds, toiletries, etc., from NJ to FL.

7.  Friendly stewards served us dinner (salad, rolls, entrée, dessert, wine) at  a spacious table in a dedicated dining car . . . rather than passing us a tray of insipid airline food to eat while strapped/trapped in an assigned seat.   Mom had grilled salmon with lobster sauce.  I chose four cheese spinach  lasagna.

8.  Delicious desserts!  We both ordered the Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake ~  best tasting dessert I’ve had anywhere this year.  Sadly, we were too full from dinner (and the wine and cheese reception) to finish it.

9.  During dinner and in the lounge car, we met passengers of all ages from all walks of life ~ including an active duty Coast Guard officer relocating to Cape Cod Massachusetts from Florida, a veteran of the Korean War, and lots of excited children thrilled to be traveling to/from Disney World via train.

10.  Instead of being cramped in a crowded car, legs crossed between ill-timed Rest Stops, we remained free to move about cabin . . . with food, beverages, and bathrooms (!) available at all times.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Trains, Planes, and Automobiles (WP Daily Prompt)