Tomorrow the journey begins. A long dreamed-of train ride from Orlando to New York, across to Wisconsin, then home again via Washington DC. As it happens, we will arrive in Washington on Memorial Day which should make it all the more spectacular.
Our daughter and son-in-law are flying in the day after our arrival so we can all converge on great-grandmother with the new (16-month-old) grandbaby Darren. I think she will really enjoy his big dimpled smile and curly hair and probably will take a mental trip back to when my husband was a toddler as there is a close resemblance.
We probably won't have time for a day in the Big Apple this time, but it might be difficult to manage with a toddler to wrangle anyway. Last trip we managed a full day of sightseeing aboard a double-decker bus with stops at the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, the nearby chapel and of course ended at the Empire State Building just before sunset. Too bad we couldn't stay longer for that wonderful view, but as it was, we still missed the Hoboken train to upstate NY and arrived exhausted but happy near midnight.
Most of our trip will be spent on the train this time and I am looking forward to a peaceful slowed paced tour of our beautiful country. A bit earlier in the season, we could have witnessed the eerie reversal of weather seen when you travel from south to north in Spring. Starting out in thin breathable fabric wishing for a breeze, and ending the trek in polar fleece is quite an adventure in itself. If you make the return trip quickly enough, the process is reversed and it is like watching a flower unfold before your eyes as the snowy landscape gives way to trees fragrant with blossoms, then a road sweltering under the hot sun.
I will have a full pack of gadgets along hoping for WiFi connections so I can blog and twitter and write stories for The Examiner, but usually that is wishful thinking as we are caught up in family time and views out the window.