East Coast US

Thanksgiving in North Carolina

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.

Sadly, this old fashioned split flap sign at New Haven Union Station has since been replaced with a digital one
First glimpse of NYC!

From the train, I also caught my first views of New Jersey, Philadelphia, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.


Baltimore, Maryland
North of DC, trains are electric; south of DC, they run on fuel


Potomac River

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!

Nighttime in New Jersery

Overall, this was a much-needed getaway and I very much enjoyed visiting my friend and seeing the sights of the east coast.

3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving in North Carolina”

  1. I love train journeys too. Next year I’m going to go to Edinburgh on the train, which is a few hours. There’s an amazing view of Durham cathedral as you arrive into the station, but that’s as far North as I’ve been on the train! It’s exciting to see beautiful things from the window.

    By the way, your Thanksgiving dinner photo doesn’t show up on the post 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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