Steve (DOS) and I spent Mother’s Day weekend in my hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, visiting my family and especially my Mom.
I had been on business in Maryland late that week, and with my Southwest Airlines companion pass, DOS could come along for free! After my work week, instead of flying home to Orlando, we took the train to Roanoke. AMTRAK started coming into Roanoke about a year ago, and the six hour journey is not only easy to make, but fun!
While it wasn’t a sleeper car, it was quite comfortable in the Business Class car, which was the last car on the long train. The train itself started in Boston, and umpteen stops later ended in Roanoke, the same day. We boarded at the BWI Airport station, which is under renovation.
The train was right on time, and we were off to Roanoke! DOS had bought a bunch of snacks to bring aboard, even though they have a dining (actually snacks and sandwiches) car, as well as drinks. In Business Class you get complimentary waters and non-acohololic drinks, while the brewskis will cost you $5 to $7, with wine and cocktails a bit more.
As the train became less full, notably so after the half stop in Washington D.C., DOS and I spread out a bit and took window seats opposite each other, offering us both more room with the empty seat next to us.
Once we got to Roanoke (the last stop) it was dark and around 10pm. We took a photo of the train stop and ordered an Uber to take us to Mom and Dad’s old house, where we stayed for the weekend.
The next day we took Mom and Dad out to lunch at The Train Station Restaurant in Bedford, VA, which is right up the street from their assisted living home at English Meadows (formerly the Elk’s Home).
We had a nice lunch, and we could tell Mom and Dad were happy to eat out with us. This was our first visit to the Train Station, which is quite a popular place in town, and being right by the train tracks is appropriately ‘train themed’.
There are quite a bit of antiques of railroad memorabilia, as well as a life-size figure of a conductor which we posed with.
We then went back to English Meadows, where we watched my brother Andy give a ‘concert’ for the residents in the entertainment room. As it was Mother’s Day weekend, Andy played a few special ‘Mother’ songs, many from years gone by, that the residents could hopefully relate too. It was enjoyable for all, and a bit out of the ordinary entertainment (i.e. Bingo) so it was much appreciated by Mom and Dad, and the other residents.
In the evening, DOS and I took Andy and Art out to Frankie’s Steakhouse for dinner. In addition to the always wonderful food and service, we are so glad we went, as it was Jason’s last week at Frankie’s as he was in the process of changing jobs. We gave him our card, and he promised to keep in touch with us. We even invited him and his wife to go back to Frankie’s on a future visit to Roanoke.
While the Mother’s Day weekend quickly passed, we visited Mom and Dad again the next day for lunch, but this time in the dining room at English Meadows.
We took the train back to Baltimore on Sunday, and then connected to our nonstop flight home to Orlando on Southwest Airlines.
As I had to fly out in the morning for work, and we got in late Sunday night, we stayed at the Hyatt Airport.
Now four more days of work, and then on to our China vacation!