Darren and Dani have been ridin' the rails. They departed Fort Worth on Amtrak's Texas Eagle late yesterday afternoon and arrived in Chicago early this evening. They've both decided that train travel is the only way to go. Darren can't wait to take me on a long train trip now. We've taken Amtrak before - between here an Oklahoma City - but it wasn't exciting enough to write home about. The longer routes have better accomodations, apparently. They enjoyed the lounge car, the observation deck and, of course, the dining car. If Darren ever DOES take me on a train trip, I'm gonna insist on a sleeping car, too. :D
They visit the University of Chicago tomorrow, and then Saturday,they board another train and head to Washington D.C. for a day of site-seeing. Then late Sunday evening, they'll board one more time and head for New Jersey, where they'll spend Monday keeping appointments with Drew University. They'll fly home Tuesday night.
A neighbor tonight mentioned that no one in our day ever thought about doing college visits, and what a cool idea it is. The thing is, colleges are so competitive these days, and scholarships are even more so, that a face-to-face meeting often gives you an edge. In fact, some colleges are requiring an in-person interview as part of the admissions process. Lucky for us, Dani found out about an excellent deal: if you're travelling on Amtrak for the purpose of college visits, one parent gets to ride free. Otherwise, I don't know that we could've made this trip happen!
Before they left, I told Darren that I really hoped they'd not only have fun, but also spend some time talking about serious stuff. They have, in fact, spent a lot of time talking, and Darren said it's been really, really good for both of them to connect that way. That makes me heart happy. It also made my heart sing when he told me that they got to laughing so hard on the train that he couldn't breathe. Evidently, they were imagining Aidan being in the circus. I guess you had to be there!
But I'm not, and I miss them both.
This time next year, I'll be making the trip somewhere with Dani- college-bound once more - only THAT time, she won't be coming back home. That's hard to imagine. I'm not going to think about it yet.