Having finally made up my mind that I am definitely going to Florida for Jamie's graduation in less than a month I seem to have found myself in major planning mode. I spent a good part of yesterday looking at various Amtrak schedules and routes and trying to decide which would be the best way to go and come back. I believe I have decided that I am most definitely doing the train both ways as even though it takes a little more time, the cost isn't bad and it would give me a chance to see more of the country than I can from the window of a plane hurtling through the skies at 600 mph - or however fast they go!
I have very fond memories of the one cross-country train trip that I took from California to Massachusetts back in 2002 and even though I'm not going to have the luxury of a sleeper car this time as that part of the trip is WAY too expensive, I'm still looking forward to journeying down the East Coast via the rails. Obviously it appeals to the railroad lover in me!
Even though I've yet to hammer out all the details of the journey itself I've submitted my vacation request and have made definite plans to meet up with several blogging friends - an activity which is definitely the best part of many of my journeys these days! Not being able to see my West Coast blogging friends this year, I'm just going to have to make up for that by meeting some from the Deep South. To that end, Jamie and I have been invited to spend the night at Barb's house in the swamp where we'll also partake of her mother's delicious lasagna and I'll have some Chianti while Jamie gives scritches to all the kitties. Being a cat-kid I know she'll just love meeting Gandolf and Grayson and Whitey and Gracie!
Following that helping of Southern hospitality, we'll point the rental car in the direction of West Palm Beach where I'll have the privilege and honor of meeting Miss Bee and Sarge Charlie. Sarge and Bee are actually some of the very first people to become regular readers of my blog way back when I first started it close to four years ago so it seems like it's way past time I got to meet them in person. I figure I'm probably not going to be in Florida again anytime soon so this would be the perfect time to meet up for real hugs rather than virtual ones!
From there I'm not quite positive which direction things will be going as I received a phone call from Jamie's stepmother yesterday evening who told me that she was going to try to talk my ex into letting me bring Jamie back here to Connecticut with me on the train so that she could see the rest of the family and spend some more time with me. Considering that both Deb and Al are flying up here on the 16th of June themselves and going back on the 21st, I think it would be very nice if Jamie could come back with me and then go back with them later. I'm not sure how much luck Deb will have in convincing Al that it's a good idea but she said she'd do her best and let me know as soon as possible. Needless to say, I've got my fingers crossed!
As for the leg of my trip down to Florida, I'm waiting on word back from Bloggingham Palace and Queen Mimi as to whether she might be available to meet up for dinner during a four-hour stopover in Raleigh on Friday afternoon/evening. Alas, it wouldn't be long enough for me to go free the prisoners from the dungeon but an audience with the Queen would be a lovely addition to my trip and the perfect break in between Connecticut and Florida. Hopefully I'll hear from Her Majesty soon.
So, there you have it - sounds like a pretty good trip so far and I'm hoping that perhaps Jamie and I can find some other interesting places to check out during our travels. I'd love to discover The Fountain of Youth or go to Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine or the Bulow Plantation Ruins just a bit south of there but I don't want to drive the poor kid totally crazy with my love of history so I'll see what she wants to do. After all, having been at the Academy for 5-1/2 months she may just want to go to the beach and relax for a bit and that would be okay, too, as long as we're together.