This takes me back many years to my childhood. When I was ten years old, my grandmother and her sister took my two male cousins and me on a road trip. We took a day long ride on an Amtrak train.
We left from Philadelphia around 8 a.m. on a Friday morning. It was a cloudy day and I remember wishing the sky was much brighter. The train was filled with many people going many places but none in our car were going as far as us.
My cousins and I played card games for the first few hours as we were giddy with excitement. We also played punch buggy while watching the cars trying to keep up with the speeding train.
I remember meeting a man who told us wonderful stories about growing up in the South and how things have changed. He made me feel as if I were there with his colorful words and descriptions. His tales of lying in the sun made me long to be there as well.
For lunch, we headed to the dining car. It was very busy, filled with hungry travelers. We ordered pancakes, bacon and eggs. It's funny that I remember. The pancakes and bacon were delicious. The eggs were runny and horrible. I remember missing my mom's special pancakes and eggs she made during our special time together.
After lunch, I felt a little sad and stared out the window for a while. My cousins noticed my mood and started to name different cars they saw passing. At this stage in my life, cars were my passion. I joined in on the fun.
We had dinner a few hours later. My great aunt packed fried chicken and biscuits. We ate in our seats as we watched the beautiful scenery pass us by. I remember seeing mountains, green grass, sandy dunes. There was so much beauty in nature that I felt I'd never seen before. It was as if I were experiencing them for the very first time.
I was in awe.
As night approached, I was very tired from playing games and gave in to Mr. Sandman. In the morning, I awoke from my slumber to find all new people were in our car. Not many were friendly and wanted us children to be quiet. We were excited to find we were very close to reaching our destination.
We arrived in Fort Lauderdale around 11 a.m. We headed to my grandmother's brother's home to meet his family. He had a granddaughter my age for us to play with. That was the highlight of our trip as most relatives were not happy to be visited by the rambunctious city kids that were my cousins and me.
I'll always remember that train ride and hold it dearly as a fun time spent with my grandmother and cousins.
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