Link to Amtrak.com

Cross Country Trip

With My Teenage Boys

by Mary Kirpes

Tucson, Arizona

A few years ago, I decided that I needed to do something memorable with my children before they were on their own. Since we did not have a lot of money, we decided to travel to the east coast to visit family and friends. We were going to drive, but decided that going by train would be more interesting and wasn't very expensive if we did not go with the Sleeping Car option.

It took just over three days to reach our destination in Florida, but we all felt it was worth it. Stopping and waiting for other trains to pass was tiring, but we were able to join with other passengers and sing and chat.

We managed to see New Orleans before Katrina hit. My oldest son found out what he wanted to do with his history degree through the information he got from a tour guide who was on our train as we traveled through Louisiana. My younger son made friends with a kid from Tucson and we even traveled back a month later on the same train. How cool is that?

My sons, who are autistic, enjoyed the social aspects of the trip, but they really enjoyed our stay in Orlando. We often reflect back on this trip and would like to do it again if possible.