Thursday, July 23, 2009

Auto Train to Orlando




Last night we arrived at the Springfield, VA Courtyard a little after 9 PM. The pool was closing so we changed quickly and enjoyed the hot tub and pool. A father and his two daughters joined in and soon the kids were eying each other suspiciously and doing their own thing. The father took over the hot tub, and we dried off and headed off to the courtyard. It was warm last night. I bought a beer, and we headed back to the room. Lights were off a quarter to 11. By 6 AM I was awake and ready to go. I finished up some work, and wrote my weekly while the rest of the bums got dressed, took showers and watched the Disney Channel.
We ate breakfast, really brunch at Bob Evans, I had eggs and pancakes and sausage and OJ and coffee. The food wasn’t too bad, but the waitress had an extremely dry sense of humor. Not sure how he day was going, but she told us she was there since 5:15.
Afterwards, knowing we had time to kill, we drove to DC and went to FDR’s memorial. It’s a beautiful display, using boulders and water, and is the only presidential memorial which includes the first lady. Took some pictures with Amanda standing next to the statue.
We’ve been at the Larton terminal since 1 PM. This is our first time and we didn’t know what to expect. Not sure if our seats would be next to one another. The process was very easy. We drove the car, checked in and watched as our car was inspected and videotaped, since they wanted to make sure there were no erroneous claims of damage. I took Bell and Joe outside for a walk. We had an hour and half to kill. The depot building is very roomy and bright. The building is air conditioned and modern. A TV is playing in the corner, and there is a small cafĂ©, a shop really in one corner. From the look of it, the place appears to be in Florida.
It appears as if people are boarding though there was no announcement made. Just waiting for Ali to get back since she bought TUMS. This place is emptying fast. Time to go?
We’re on the train. There is a lot of room. It’s very comfortable. Whoever is sitting behind me is playing with the foot rests. The seat is knocking. There is a family next and behind us. This is not going to be a quiet train, but let’s see how it works out. I can use an ADVIL.
Instead of Advil I had a couple of beers. Dinner was served at 5 PM and 7 PM – we chose the early dinner since there was a movie playing for the kids at 7…I had cod and veggies and rice. The food was very good. With dinner came white wine and water and choices like iced tea and apple juice for the kids. They were given the choice of chicken fingers, and mac and cheese. There was a lot of food. The other options were a beef or veggie lasagna. The settings were pleasant, a flower on each table as well as silverware, but the cups were plastic, as well as the plates. For dessert we had cheese cake with a couple of options, either covered in strawberry or chocolate.
Overall it was quiet, but one neighbor watched a movie on his laptop and the language was not appropriate for children. A couple had two little ones on-board and it took them a long time to fall asleep. Music came over the loud speaker but was shut off close of 8 PM and soon after lights were shut down and we got comfortable.
Sleeping was a little bit of a challenge. Trying to get my 6 foot 4 body comfortable – even in reclining chairs was interesting. I bent my legs and curled in the seat, and propped the small pillow on a corner as well as my sweat pants.
I’m typing this, knowing we’re expected to arrive an hour earlier. Amanda and I had breakfast and met an older couple from Florida. Cereal as well as warm bagels and muffins were served, coffee and OJ as well. A good start to the vacation…rise and shine we are in Florida.

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