Saturday, December 13, 2008

How Jack and Joann Went To Florida

Two weeks ago today on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Jack and I drove about 35 miles from Haymarket, VA to Lorton, Va to the Car Train Depot. Yes, that's Jack in the photo. He got the Christmas lights up and made the trip with me. And that's our little Honda waiting to be driven on board a double decker auto car for the ride from Lorton, VA to Sanford, Florida which is just northeast of Orlando, Florida. This was our fourth ride on the auto train.The train pulls out of Lorton around 4:00 P.M. loaded with cars and folks heading to the sunshine state. The trip is great. You relax. Then have dinner in the dining car on white linen tablecloths.
Then you can watch a movie in the lounge car. Eventually you fall asleep either in your seat or in your own cabin which is more expensive. We have tried both. Cabin time is better but you can rough it with the peasants in just a seat for the night.
As the evening goes by you watch it get dark and then you watch it get light again. I took this photo as we were coming into Jacksonville, Florida and crossing the St. John's river. You get a very different view of the U.S. when traveling by rail. You see the rear ends of the towns and discover the industries that exist in them. You also pass much wooded forest--the southern pines.
The passengers waiting to check in at the Lorton station had lots of company. The place was hopping. We always see many cars with license plates from Quebec, New England, New York and New Jersey. These folks drive one day to get to Lorton and then rest for the night while their car and themselves head on down to Florida.
This is at the entrance to the Lorton Car Depot Station. We are lucky that we live not far away and can enjoy this car/train experience. This is the only car/train line in the United States. It began around 1982.
This is the lovely building in which you wait for your car to be put on the double decker train cars that you can see in this photo off to your right. They even have a little play train for the little ones to play on while waiting for the start of the train. The Lorton Depot is prettier and nicer than the depot in Sanford, Florida in my opinion. Tomorrow we will reverse this trip to return to Virginia. Our Florida vacation will be over then.

1 comment:

fishing guy said...

Joann: With the gas going down it probably still cheaper to take it by train.