Have you ever thought, “man the commute from Jacksonville, FL to Pittsburgh, PA is just too darn long for a single driver”! No? Maybe that’s because unlike me, you don’t live in Jacksonville! 😉 I have been wanting to escape the Florida heat for some time now (read: since May), but didn’t want to make the
hike drive. 14 hours in the car alone? No, thank you!
Some genius I know (I apologize if you’re the one, but I simply can’t remember who) suggested I travel via the auto train. Yes, that’s a thing!
Basically, I drove 2 hours south to Orlando through the hurricane rains, and waited in line for about 2 hours, then waited in the train station for about another hour and a half all so I could sit on a train for 18 hours with my car. (No, I was not sitting IN my car for those 18 hours…) It’s a pretty sweet deal if you have to trek between DC and Orlando, though! The train was a pretty nice set-up, with ample leg room and reclining seats. Hoo-ah! Sounds like I’m a seasoned traveler, right? Ha.
The auto train serves dinner and a continental breakfast, which undoubtedly busted the whole/natural foods approach I’ve been eating as of late, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. The only real struggle was sleeping, but not for the reasons you’d think. Things I’d do differently next time:
1. Bring a neck pillow & blanket.
2. Bring a change of shoes (not flats).
3. Be prepared to jolt awake at any subtle stopping of the train. Nice to know my vestibular system is 100% functional, though. Helloooo, 1:30am.
Oh, and all the free coffee you can dream of!!! Luckily, this gal was seated right next to the lounge car where the machine was. Pretty sure I had 6 cups over those 18 hours? And only 1 decaf. 😉
All in all, it’s worth the money. Getting off the train to a carful of luggage and driving right off the lot? So worth it when you’re an impatient traveler such as myself. And the views? Gorgeous. ❤