I love traveling. I enjoy road trips, airports, ferries, and especially trains. I don’t know what it is about train travel that I delight in, but I do. I remember being about 10 and my family taking the auto train from Baltimore to Florida, and being very excited (although super concerned about my barbies having to ride in the hatchback of the Taurus). I loved going up to the observation car and watching the scenery fly by.
When my oldest son, A, was about four we took the Amtrak from St. Louis to Kansas City, just so he could ride the train. He spent most of the ride with his nose up against the glass, especially when we passed the bison farm the conductor was sweet enough to tell us about. He loved trains, Thomas the Tank Engine was his favorite show and he could spot a train on a road trip anywhere, before the grown ups ever saw one.
So I got married this weekend (yay!), and for our honeymoon my mother-in-law purchased an amazing cruise package for us leaving from New Orleans. When checking my travel options from Memphis to New Orleans I checked out Amtrak, as my (now) husband has never taken a train. We were able to purchase two tickets with a sleeper car and meals for less than the price of two airline tickets. I was almost as excited to take the train as I was to go on my first cruise!
We had to arrive for the train at 0’dark 30 (or something like 6am) to board our train. Everyone was super helpful and we got on quickly, stowed our luggage and found our room. While I looked at the room on the website I never expected it to be as nice as it was. Lots of room, private bathroom, a sofa that makes a bed, and chair. We were served a great breakfast in the dining car and have since returned to our room.
As my husband sleeps (remembering the 0’dark 30 arrival) I am awake and properly caffeinated looking around the room. I see things that remind me of what travel must have been like when more people used more trains than airplanes. There are an abundance of coat hooks, where I can picture gentlemen and ladies hanging coats, rather than wadding their jackets in their suitcase like myself. A sink with a slot for used razor blades, and plugs, but no USB port in sight.
In my imagination I see the women in their skirts and jackets, gloves and hats. And men who traveled in suits with briefcases. That bit of nostalgia hits harder on trains I think, although maybe that’s just me. Today though I am glad I wore my polka dot dress and kept my hair done, in some ways it makes me feel like I am part of that long history of travel. I am especially happy to be able to share that with someone I love so dearly.
To those of you traveling this summer, maybe you could try a train, but even if you can’t, enjoy the journey as much as you enjoy the destination! Happy Travels!