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Traveling to Florida Then and Now

Trips Full of Romance and Nostalgia

by Anthea Darling

Hillsborough, North Carolina

When I was a little girl, living in New York City, my mother and I traveled frequently to Florida via the Seaboard Coastline. Our destination was always Jacksonville and the old terminal station was a grand one, where the trains backed in. I remember always taking coach and sitting in the Lounge Car with my mom, playing gin rummy and the porters bringing me sliced turkey sandwiches.

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Today, I live in North Carolina but still travel via train to Jacksonville where mom still lives. I don't get turkey sandwiches anymore (my diet has changed, so I bring my own) but the highlight of my trips today are awakening at dusk as the Silver Star travels through the Okefenokee Swamp — the mist on the water, the gators on the shore, the birds on the move. Its romantic and its nostalgic.

I love to travel by train.