Our surprisingly fun trip to Florida on an Amtrak train

Back at the end of the Summer I wrote about getting ready for our #FamilyForward trip. Since we have been back it’s been insanely crazy. This Fall has totally kicked my ass. I have been so busy, at times I thought there was no way I could keep my head above water. Things are finally getting back to somewhat normal and now I can actually sit down and share some fun we have been having.

I really wanted to make sure I wrote about our Amtrak trip to Orlando. Every time someone hears that we took a train to Florida from Connecticut I can see the disbelief in their eyes. We get so many questions about it. To tell you the truth, when I was booking the trip I thought we were crazy. We had no idea what to expect. I knew it would be an adventure. Good or bad, we would be making some family memories!

Amtrak

One of the things that made me so happy was that even though we didn’t buy assigned seats, they assigned our seats as we got on the train in NYC. I was stressed about how that worked, I was worried we wouldn’t all be able to sit together. But luckily no worries! The service crew in NYC were fabulous. So friendly and super nice. Chatted with everyone and traded jokes with my kids. We packed a cooler with a bunch of food and drinks for the trip. Best idea ever. Saved a lot of money and we didn’t really have to worry about the cafe car times. The kids did get to pick out a treat from the cafe car, but not having to buy full meals was a big money saver.

Chloe loved that you could walk around the train. She thought the cafe car was the coolest thing in the world. She had a blast playing card games at the table while having a snack. It was nice to go into the dining car and get a change of scenery. We also packed our portable dvd player and the kids watched Harry Potter and Despicable Me in preparation for Universal Studios.

Amtrak 2

When we arrived in Orlando Town Car Now was there waiting for us. The kids got such a kick out of seeing our name on the sign! The drive to Loews Royal Pacific Resort was short and our driver was fabulous. It was a great start to our vacation.

All in all we loved traveling by train to Florida. It was much more relaxing than driving. In the end we all decided we would totally do it again. In fact, I am looking at booking our train for our April trip to Disney as we speak. Have you ever traveled long distance by train? I’d love to hear about your trip! Are you thinking of taking a long trip by train and have questions? Ask me anything!

cheryl
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We are jumping on the Hogwarts Express!

Family Forward

We have an amazing opportunity to attend the Family Forward Retreat at Universal Studios Orlando. Thanks to the awesome Mom It Forward team, along with fabulous sponsors Universal Orlando Resort, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Southwest Airlines, Cricut, Duct Tape, and National Geographic Kids, we are going to be making fun family memories.

From the Family Forward website:

Family Forward, a 3-day family retreat organized by Mom It Forward for social media influencers AND their families focused on helping families connect in the digital age.​

Family Forward gives families experiences, ideas, and skills to embrace bonding in the digital age through workshops centered on topics like charity, communication, creativity, team building, and trust. Our premise is that whether you are unplugged or are plugged in, you can maximize opportunities to create connections with your family.

This is perfect for my family! We have made it a mission to spend more time together as a family this year. We have been making time to find the fun in our everyday lives as well. We can not wait to participate in the workshops and spend this time together as a family.

Harry Potter

We surprised Jacob and Chloe on Thursday night. I can not believe I was able to keep it in! I could not wait to tell them! We made these Hogwarts Invitations that told the kids to pack their bags! They were in complete shock. They are both HUGE Harry Potter fans. So much so, they both became super emotional and I can’t show the video or they will hate me. We all ended up in tears at one point. But they were happy tears!

As much as the kids are excited for the trip, they can not wait to take a train to get there. Yup. You heard that right. We are taking an Amtrak train to Orlando Florida. 24 hours. Overnight. What were we thinking? I think we might have lost our minds, but I actually think we are going to have fun. We really wanted to make this trip special and have an adventure. We’ll see how it goes!

You can follow along with me and all of the other families at Family Forward by following #FamilyForward on Twitter and on Instagram.

If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter, then you already know I will be tweeting and posting pics through the whole retreat. And if you are not following me, what’s up with that?

Disclosure. I was not asked to post about this trip. I am talking about it because I am super excited! We did receive a generous discount and some fun perks like tickets to Blue Man Group, and a fun dessert party. But I am paying for this out of my very own pocket.

cheryl
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