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Fort Worth Date Night: The Love Train (FW Business Press)

BY MIKE BLOOMBERG
December 03, 2009

With Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror and Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah just down the road, you may be asking yourself, “Will my significant other and I ever have any time alone?” This time of year, every weekend seems to be filled with parties, dinners, gift exchanges and driving around searching for the best holiday lights.

Have you thought about a quick weekend away? If not now, perhaps in January after your social life has slowed a bit? I traveled over the week of Thanksgiving. My favorite (and only) sister lives in Austin. But, rather than drive the three hours down Interstate 35, it was my perfect opportunity to do “research” for random romantic outings and I took the train.

Many people don’t know that there is an Amtrak train station in downtown Fort Worth. My tickets were purchased online and all I had to do was show up, print off my tickets on a kiosk and hop aboard. The chairs were oversized and comfortable. People were friendly and the train even offered a plug at every seat for a computer, a phone charger or your 42-inch flat panel. OK, so maybe leave your flat panel at home, but, you get the idea. It’s very accommodating. You are allowed to bring food on the train. For those who don’t, there is a dining car for seated meals and, also, a cafe car to get snacks, drinks and such.

The greatest part of the train that you two can share is just time. There are not a lot of distractions, the view of the countryside and back roads is charming and relaxing and you can get caught up on whatever it is you need to catch up on. Perhaps, even use the time to plan a future trip.

Go to www.amtrak.com and pick out a locale that will take you to a town that you are familiar or one you’ve never visited. Booking rental cars and hotels also are available from Amtrak’s Web site. Perhaps, the best advice when approaching a weekend away comes from the father of Taoism, Lao Tzu, who wrote, “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”

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