By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I was still struggling with this whole living in New England and being a grad student thing. Actually, school was going okay. Living in Connecticut was not. I got along well with my roommates and the other students in my department, but I missed my family and friends back home. And I was in serious mountain withdrawal.
Fortunately, I had a few days off for the holiday and a good friend who was also adjusting to grad school life down in North Carolina. Neither of us could afford to fly home for the week but we both were in need of a break and a familiar face. So I bought a train ticket and headed off on a 12-hour journey down the east coast.
I’ve always loved train trips. They’re so relaxing and it’s great to not have to worry about driving and sitting in traffic. Instead, I could look out the window and catch glimpses of many east coast destinations that I’d never seen before.
My journey started in New Haven, CT with a short train ride into New York City, where I would transfer to a second train. I had about a two-hour layover and I intended to make the most of it. Conveniently, I have a friend who works near Penn Station and was able to walk over and meet me there. We grabbed a coffee and then she took me to see Times Square and the Empire State Building. I didn’t have time to do much more than look around and snap some photos, but it was fun to experience the bustling energy of NYC for the first time ever.
From the train, I also caught my first views of New Jersey, Philadelphia, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.
I arrived in North Carolina at about midnight, and from there we had a bit of a drive to my friend’s apartment in Greenville. The next day, I got to tour her university and some areas of Greenville. But mostly, we relaxed, caught up, and commiserated about our dislike of east coast living.
Together, we made our first ever Thanksgiving dinner, and I was pretty proud of us for how well it came out. We even managed to make a fancy pie crust!
Overall, this was a much-needed getaway and I very much enjoyed visiting my friend and seeing the sights of the east coast.