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Day 20 - Ending up by the lake

I had to get up before 6 am this morning because of my early departing train. After a quick shower I finished packing and left the apartment by 6.20 am. There were no buses running that early on a Sunday morning but luckily the Amtrak Station was only about 2.5 miles away. I walked for a little less than an hour and arrived at the station quarter past seven. The train was scheduled to depart at 8.20 am. I still had time to take a few pictures of the train before it was time for boarding. There were not many passengers boarding train 98 “Silver Meteor” bound for New York this morning so I got a nice window seat in the last car. The Silver Meteor left Miami on time at 8.20 am. Soon after Miami the train had several stops in Hollywood, FL, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Deerfield Beach, FL, Delray Beach, FL and West Palm Beach, FL. Unfortunately during those stops the train picked up a little bit of delay. I spent the morning mainly with writing on the blog and eating off some food that I still had left from the day before. Of course I also took some time to enjoy the landscape of Florida which is really beautiful especially the lakes. After further stops in Sebring, FL and Winter Haven, FL we reached Kissimmee in Central Florida. I got off there instead of Orlando station as my hostel was closer located to Kissimmee than Orlando. Before arriving in Kissimmee the train had to wait for the southbound Silver Meteor from New York to cross and picked up more delay through that. The train arrived in Kissimmee about 40 minutes late. Before getting off the train however, I still had lunch in the launch car. This time I tried the Vegan Burger which I didn’t had so far. From Kissimmee transit center I took bus Lynx 55 that went down highway 192, the street on which also my hostel was located. The bus ride took about 30 minutes, the bus stop was conveniently right in front of the hostel. The hostel itself was more a motel but had also dorm rooms. At check-in I also asked about organized tours to the Kennedy Space Center, the place I wanted to visit and the only reason why I had stopped in Orlando. I had tried to book a tour already in advance but all tour operator’s schedules that I could find online were unsuitable for me as the tours didn’t return to Orlando any time before 7 pm in the evening. I however had my train leaving Orlando at 7.32 pm so joining any of these tours would have not been possible. As I could not find any solution online I left it until the arrival at the hostel. Unfortunately the staff couldn’t help me either as they used the same tour companies as I had already looked up. It had been a dream to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando but for now I would remain one. There was just no other option to get there and back in time in order to catch the night train to Washington D.C. Nevertheless, so far everything had worked out during this trip and sometimes things are just not meant to be. Still I wasn’t disappointed as the location of the hostel turned out to be very beautiful, with a nice lake just behind the hostel and a swimming pool in the backyard. After I had settled in to my room I took a dip in the pool and met some guys from Alaska that also had come out for a swim. Clouds came up and it started raining, a funny experience, I had never been in a swimming pool during rainfall. But the weather was warm and the rain felt actually refreshing. At some point however the rain got quite strong and I decided to head back to the dorm room. I supposed to be alone in the room. That was at least what was told to me at check-in. However, to my surprise there was another traveler in the room when I came back. I met a very nice guy from Porto Rico who had been living in Texas for the past two years and had just returned from a visit to Europe where he had spent his summer vacation. We had a long and interesting conversation about cultural differences between Europe and the U.S. In the evening I went to the nearby shop across the street in order to get something to eat for the evening and for breakfast. The hostel didn’t provide any meals but had a kitchen for guests so I could prepare my own food which was convenient. I got to bed early because I felt tired as the night before had been rather short. 

Miami Amtrak with Silver Meteor

Arriving in Kissimmee, FL

Beautiful lake right behind the hostel

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