After much deliberation and debate we have concluded that the best way for this family of five to see the states is by …. wait for it… TRAIN! Thirty days, 12 segments and as many contiguous states that we can cram into one trip! (For more information, click here AMTRAK USA RAIL PASS).
How did we arrive at this decision you might ask? Well, it goes something like this…. I have always wanted to travel cross country and I anticipated that I would be doing it like the Griswolds (if you are unfamiliar check the video reference in our last camping trip post). The Griswolds less the dead grandmother on the roof!
Seriously, my vision involved renting an RV and spending a summer month leisurely riding across America with my family. I’ll admit I’m an optimist and an adventure seeker, but thankfully, I also possess a very practical and realistic mindset. The idealistic version in my head collided with reality and produced these frightening truths about my family’s ability to drive across country together:
1) I actually do not like to drive ~ I am a great passenger!
2) My family loves each other but let’s face it my teenage children do not get along like the Brady Bunch.
3) Our marriage like most marriages has its strengths, however, after 2 decades together I am quite certain that getting lost while driving in a new city is not one that brings out the best in us.
4) The idea of driving a large RV, repeatedly parking and setting up in campsites, and copious amounts of gasoline all worked against this once dreamed of idea.
Enter the train plan. Many years ago I traveled through Europe on a Eurail Train Pass and it was the time of my life. A few google searches later and I stumbled upon the Amtrak multi-city pass. For Christmas we surprised our children with the plan and gave them their first assignment, to choose the one city they can’t miss on our trip. (Our only caveat was to start 10-12 hours outside of the northeast since that is within driving distance of our home and can be saved for a later adventure).
Now I need your help, my fellow bloggers and followers. What advice can you share about train travel? Where should we go? What cities, places, adventures should not be missed on our next great adventure? Any and all suggestions are most welcome!