Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Randomly Random-- So. The Train happened. And it was something!

*waves* Hey guys! It's been a little quiet on the blog the last few days. If you're in the FB group you already know I went to Florida! It was the first time I've been able to get home in 8 years (ack!) and was my first time taking the train on a long trip too. 

Figured I'd share a little about the trip :) I'll be around to catch up on everyone's blogs the next few days and will get things going on here too. Didn't realize until I got home my mom didn't have wifi so my laptop was useless and she's in the middle of the country so my phone was pretty useless for updates and such too. *flails* lol

So first up was dropping my girls off at the vet. Sierra and Gladys dang near had more luggage than I did! lol They were NOT pleased about their journey and haven't quite forgiven me yet. We're working on it with wet food bribes today though. 

So, yeah, my first real train travel! I went via Amtrak and yall it was a pretty fantastic experience. So much nicer than plane travel.

The people were so dang friendly and helpful.

I booked my ticked on their website and the real nice thing is you can change your travel dates very easily and with no penalty! We ended up having to change our travel dates by 2 weeks so I was very relieved about this. You just pop on their website and change the dates. As long as the tickets cost the same there's no fees and no new charges. If the ticket is a higher cost you just pay the difference. So not bad at all.


Our train station is right in downtown and only about 5 minutes from my house.
It's really a rather pretty spot. A nice lobby and some statues.
There was free parking for the trip as well which was great.

Another thing I loved was when you call in--unlike air travel where you get put on hold for ages and it takes forever to get a real person--you get a local person and they answer right away. I had some questions and called in pre-trip and they were very nice and gave me all kinds of info I didn't even know I needed then changed settings for notifications because the ones I'd picked were too far out. It was just a real nice experience start to finish.


My train was about 30 minutes late but it wasn't too big of a deal.
When it arrived they lined us all up in a row in order of our car assignments and walked us out to the platform follow the leader style. lol

Then checked us on to the train and took our bags. 

This is the hallway from my room. There are rooms on both sides of the aisle.

I opted for a roomette for the trip. It wasn't too expensive (less than 200 per way of travel, regular seats in the passenger cars are even cheaper. I could have done that for about 80 each way)
and had a bed so I could sleep since my trip went from 950pm until 7am.


The roomette is small but cozy. The two chairs fold down into a bed and they pull down a mattress for it and make it up for you. Lots of pillows and blankets come down.

It was actually pretty comfortable.

There was a sink and little toilet as well.

And this. Well. This was just moments before I learned that I get train sick.

LOL yall. It was so bad! I went to check out the cafe cart and had a nice visit with an elderly man from Colombia while we had a little snack then headed back to my room.

And, yeah. It was unfortunate.

And no dramamine or anything on board. Oys! But it did finally pass and I got to sleep a bit before we arrived in Jacksonville.

Then I had an hour bus ride provided by Amtrak to Gainesville and my family.
Now the buss was crazy! I was expecting something little but got this!

And for only $12. There were 4 of us on the bus.

And then I was home!

And we ate and visited and visited and ate. lol
I'm stuffed...still.

We pretty much had meals out with everyone in turn.
Like I said. It had been 8 years since I've been home to Gainesville and 4 since I've seen my mom so there were lots of people to catch up with. It was great seeing everyone but we were all shocked how GREY we'd all gone. It was pretty funny. omg look at your hair! omg look at yours!! ha!

There was lots of herd babe visiting everywhere we went too since I haven't seen my siblings in ages.


Me and my mom's pup Lena who I refer to as the devil spawn. lol
She was actually one of the dogs in my rescue and she and her siblings were just the most evil bad puppies...ever.

She's grown up pretty cute, though, and loves me. She spent a lot of time in my lap (she was in this pic) and touching me.

Mom giving out treats.
(Luna, Lena, Panda, and Jethro)


Panda the dog and Studebaker the cat.
The pic on the right is my mom's Cat House. It's a separate building on her property that some of the cats live in. It's got a few human beds and a couch, rocking chair, mini kitchen, lots of scratching posts and such.

My grams <3 Oma just turned 87 last month.
That's her cat Foursie who's head is too small for his body.

June the beagle who is...rotund.

Me and Rocky. He was another that was originally part of my rescue and was returned.
My mom loved him and adopted him.

He remembered me after all these years <3

Oma with a couple of the pups.

So. Some of the pets love me. not one of them.
She was freaked the fuck out by my arrival and ran down the hall and was trying to open the door to one of the cat rooms. lol She was actually born in my bathroom years and years ago but alas she doesn't think that makes me one of her humans.

My birthday is coming up in August and my classy, sophisticated grams was like...walk through the house (full of fancy, gorgeous, and classy things) and pick out something for your birthday...

And I was like CHICKENS I want the chicken lamps!!!!!

And she was like...really? You don't want any of the silver or this antique or that fancy thing?

And I was like chicken lamps!!!!!!

And she goes real quiet and is like I'm not ready to give those up yet but I'll make sure you get them one day. lol

My mom lives out in the country now and I snapped this the second day as we were driving into town to pick up Oma for lunch. I thought it was so pretty.

A little more snuggle time with Lena.

Me and my mama right before I got back on the bus.

The return trip went well!
We got a call about an hour early from Amtrak that my bus was early and could we come early so we did. I had a little wait at the Jacksonville station but it wasn't too bad. I drugged myself up right good with dramamine for the way home and after a little listening to an audiobook crashed for nearly the entire ride. I got a wake up call from the attendant--two actually since she didn't think I'd gotten up at the hour from home mark lol Then visited with the ladies in the roomette across from me who were headed to NC to visit their son/grandson. No motion sickness and got home well rested. Woo!

So that was my trip! It was great seeing the family and herd-siblings. I'd totally recommend Amtrak and train travel. It really was a fantastic experience even with the motion sickness. Just so different attitude wise vs plane travel and worth the couple extra hours it took. It was low key and pretty stress-free and the cost was excellent. I'll be doing it again hopefully :)

More Randomly Random on Herding Cats


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