Monkey and I took a short trip to visit my friend, Liz, down in Lynchburg, Virginia over our spring break. It was our very first long-distance train ride! We took Amtrak, which has pretty good ratings on their northeast routes. I can’t speak to other areas, but we weren’t disappointed.
The train was clean and organized. We spent all of our time in the food car at one of the tables, as from DC and north, the train was sold out and otherwise, we wouldn’t have had a seat together. On the ride home, we actually opted to take our spot in the food car so we could sprawl out a bit at the table, enjoy snacks, and stretch or walk a bit.
When we got to the train station initially, Monkey and I were both a little nervous. This is far different for me from taking NJ Transit to NYC. It was going to be a 7 1/2 hour train ride! Our train was a few minutes late… hence Monkey’s questioning the train board.
It took us a little time to find a seat together, but once we settled in we were fine. We brought a ton of snacks and meals with us, unsure of what would be available to eat on the train. They definitely had a lot of food options, so it’s up to you how much you want to carry. We brought way more than we needed, but it’s always to be more prepared!
Monkey played a little while on apps on his device, and I had downloaded a ton of podcast episodes to binge listen to. After awhile, we put a movie on to share on my laptop as night drew near and we were past Monkey’s bedtime!
Since I’ve had a lot of issues with motion sickness and everything else under the sun lately, I decided to try out SeaBands for the train ride. I have gotten sick on buses ever since I was little, and always had to right in the front seat of cars. On our cruise, I stuck with medication and have some prescribed for our upcoming trip. I didn’t want to take anything while away with Monkey in case it made me sleepy or with an upset stomach.
Luckily, the SeaBands were great! At first, I tried to go without anything, and eventually couldn’t take it anymore. Once I put them on, I felt so much better. I tried to remove them around the last hour of the train ride, and within five minutes I was nauseous. I put them back on and was fine! It could always be a placebo, but I’ll take it!
At one point I realized I could look at the GPS location of the train to get an idea of where we were on our way down. I did have a list of train stops, but this gave me a good visual and it moved while the train moved which was fun to watch!
Once there, it was late so off to bed we went. The next morning we had a nice breakfast, and then we took Monkey to see the store House of Vacuums! He was thrilled and they were kind enough to let him try out all the vacuums he wanted. We spent at least an hour and a half there or longer testing, trying, switching, comparing, and putting back vacuums.
After our vacuum excursion, Liz was kind enough to bring her girls home from school early so Monkey had friends to play with.
Back at the house, of course more vacuuming ensued with Monkey teaching Sunday how to put together a new vacuum Liz picked up for her studio. Then he continued to clean the whole house! What a great house guest 🙂
The second day Liz had some errands to run, so we opted to hang out around the house and enjoy the warm and sunny backyard with their pups.
And for our last night, we went out for ice cream with the kids! That’s when I realized we hadn’t had a picture together the whole trip!
Just as quickly as our trip started, it came to an end. The train only goes to their stop once on the way down and once on the way back. So, our train was arriving early in the morning to take us back.
We got to see beautiful landscapes on the way home we didn’t see on the way down because it was after dark as we made our way down to these parts. It was beautiful and relaxing… until we made it to Washington, DC where the train filled up quickly and they had to change the engines over from diesel to electric.
We learned quite a lot about train travel on this trip and while enjoyable, we don’t plan to take the train again anytime soon! We do like to drive to most places, and our upcoming trips are a drive to the cruise ship and a flight to meet Mickey.
Though, I did get on a NJ Transit train just two days later to head to NYC! Ah, my fill of trains is good until at least the summer 🙂
How about you, do you travel long distance by train at all?