To Grandma’s House We Go

To Grandma’s House We Go


We think that “over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go” sounds more enjoyable than sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-95 with kids who just want to get to grandma’s house already.

We put our theory to the test when we partnered with Carey Reilly of Not So Skinny Mom on her and her kid’s recent adventure from their home in New Jersey to Grandma’s house in Richmond, Virginia. We caught up with Carey’s two kids, Ava age 11 and Jon age 8, to see what they thought of taking the Northeast Regional to Grandma’s house, rather than hitting the road in the family’s minivan:

Amtrak: Had you ever taken a train before?
Ava (age 11): Yes, I rode a train before from our home in New Jersey to New York City multiple times with my family.

John (age 8): Yes. I went to New York City to see a show called MadLibs with my family.

What did you expect when your mom told you your family was taking the train to see Grandma?
Ava: I was expecting the train to be cramped, and I was scared to take it because I’m older than my brother and I knew I’d have to sit by myself while my mom sits with him because there are only two seats together on the aisle. Then once I got on the train I loved sitting by myself listening to music.

John: I thought it would be quicker than the car and I thought there would be a lot of people on the train and it would be very loud.

What was your favorite part of the train ride?
Ava: My favorite part was the the car where we ate ramen noodles and a Gatorade. My mom, brother, and I played cards and talked and giggled. That’s also where we charged our iPads and played on them.

John: My favorite part of the train ride was the food. I loved the pizza. My mom gave me my own money and I liked ordering my own food.

Any amenities you wish you had in your car that are available on the train? 
Ava: I wish we had a bathroom instead of stopping so many times to go. Also, how we had food on the train was nice. I like that my Mom wasn’t driving and instead got to spend time with us in our seats.

John: I wish my car had table and booths like the train did. I also wish we had our own dining car in our minivan. I would also like an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Did you think taking the train was less stressful than having to ride in the car all the way to Grandma’s? 
Ava: Yes, I did think it was less stressful because me and my brother didn’t argue, we had lots of room, and it was a little bit like an airplane but better.

John: Yes, the train ride was much shorter than the car ride. I also liked watching a movie and reclining in my chair.

Would you take the train again? Where would you want to go and why?
Ava: Yes, I would take the train again because it was a lot of fun, food was only a few steps away, and there was a desk right in front of you to do work on. If I did take the Amtrak train again I would go to Boston because I have always wanted to go there and on the train it is a shorter amount of time.

John: I would like to definitely take the train again. I wish I could take it to the Dominican Republic but since I can’t I would also like to go to Arizona and see the desert and my Aunt and Uncle.


Ready to skip the traffic of I-95 and let us handle the driving? Save 25% by booking 14 days in advance. Did we mention kids ages 2-12 travel 50% off and kids under two travel free? Our generous baggage policy also ensures you won’t need to leave anything behind. And if you’re traveling with infants under the age of two, you’re also allowed items like strollers or diaper bags that will not count toward the carry-on limit.