Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Heart Amtrak

by Amy Platon

Well, the family and I just came home from one of the best little vacations we’ve been on in a while. We boarded Amtrak and took the night train to Raleigh NC to visit some friends. Half our neighborhood came with us totaling 15 people (six kids). It was a nice little group. The round trip ticket cost the four of us $230.

I’ve never taken a train to travel but I have always wanted to. I am so glad we did it. We boarded at 6pm and arrived at our destination at 9am the next morning. No sleeper car just camping in the extra-big, better-than-first-class recliners for us.

Before the sunset we got to see all the little towns along the track from Orlando to Georgia. The nifty iphone app. Google Maps kept us all tracked so we knew the name of each town we rode through. There is an App for that!

Quick Stop: the Amtrak employees are like Disney-nice! They were super accommodating and helpful beyond expectations.

Sleeping for most of the fifteen-hour ride was the way to go with the little ones. It’s like cruising - wake up at your destination. There wasn’t even enough time for a single, “Are we there yet?”

I also especially liked the fact that we could stand as much as we wanted throughout the trip. We packed a cooler full of food and a few beers, pillows and blankets and had a great time chatting and switching seats as often as we wanted.

If you are considering a summer trip, I highly recommend Amtrak. It was unexpectedly fun. We will be doing it much more often.


  1. I have always wanted to take a journey by train. I love watching the TV-docs on travels through wine-country, the west, the Orient... Never dawned on me! My dad, in Sanford, has a train depot. I don't have to make the long drive or board a plane! I just have to figure out where to drive to get on...

    Thanks for the inspiration! Now I'm planning on heading your way this fall. (After the weather mellows.)

  2. i have never rode on a train but would love to. i think i will have to plan a trip for our family someday like that.

  3. We rode on a train from our house to my grandma's when we were little. My sister's and I still talk about it once in awhile. I had forgotten about it. I remember how fun it was though. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Cool trip! I'm glad you had a nice time and it worked out well for you!

    Happy Thanksgiving THursday!

  5. I have the most wonderful news!

    I've rewarded your blog with the 'One Lovely Blog Award'. I so enjoy reading it and wanted to share it with others.

    When you get the time, stop by my essays & utter nonsense blog at (sorry, I can't get a link in here the right way) and pick up your award!

  6. Lily,

    Couldn't have arrived at a better time! You're so sweet. Thanks for all you do.

  7. Taking an overnight train on a family trip to New Orleans when I was around 10 is one of my favorite memories. I'm thinking of putting my kids on Amtrak to go see grandparents and cousins this summer. Thanks for the lowdown. It sounds great!

  8. I've always wanted to travel by train. I think it's the old movies from the 40's & 50's that make it seem so romantic.

    Training to NYC from CT is not the same, thanks for reminding me of this hidden passion.

  9. Sounds fun! I have wanted to take a train before but never have. Thanks for this info!

  10. I took a train ride to Washington DC from Central FL...the only thing you forgot to mention (or maybe it was a fluke on our train) is FREEZING cold at night. This was middle of July but the train was so cold.

    My advice...pack blankets and pass the hot chocolate.