Following a festive and snowy couple of days in Newport, Rhode Island we wolfed down our last delicious breakfast at Bishops Fourth Street Diner and then we made our way by Uber to the historic Kingston Train Station on the Northeast Corridor in the village of West Kingston.
Built in 1875 Kingston Railroad Station is a stop on the Amtrak Northeast Regional Service between Boston and Washington DC. We got there quite a bit earlier than our train was due to leave thinking that we could grab a bite to eat, little did we know the station, as lovely as it is, is not close to any shops/cafes if you’re travelling on foot. There is however, lots of seating and plug sockets for charging. There is also access to very clean ‘rest rooms’.
Our train, the impressive Acela Express arrived on time and after walking from one end to the other trying to assess the best spot to sit we found seats with tables in the cafe car. We made ourselves comfy and again, made use of the plug sockets, Pumpkin’s iPad is an absolutely vital part of our ‘travel kit’! As you can tell by the name of this blog, we travel by train quite a lot. Pumpkin is train mad and I think it’s a much more relaxing way to travel than by car. The view on our journey through Connecticut to New York was a splendid mix of trees, rivers, fields and stunning sea views. I cannot express in words the excitement I felt as we approached New York City, the famous skyline now right in front of us, it was a dream come true kind of moment. The weather wasn’t great but it didn’t matter!
When we disembarked in bustling Penn Station, full of commuters and tourists rushing here and there I instantly went in to ‘Game Show Mode’. My mission? To make our way from here all the way to our AirBnB apartment in Jersey City. Round One…. The Subway. The New York Subway! Like I said, I was very excited.
First we had to find some tickets so we headed to a machine and for $1 we bought a Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard. With this card you can use either card or cash to ‘top-up’ and use when needed. This type of card includes free subway-bus and bus-bus transfers within two hours and subway to subway transfers within the system. The MetroCard can be used by up to 4 people. The next day we decided it would be more cost effective to purchase a 7 day unlimited MetroCard for $31 which I would advise if you’re in the city for 7-30 days. When using this card for 20 trips the cost per trip amounts to $1.55 compared to $2.75 on the pay-per-ride option.
The subway stations are full of life, music and laughter. There really was a happy and festive mood down there that was a joy to be part of.
I won’t go into all the routes and lines we took as anyone reading this will be heading in their own direction but it is worth noting that as we were staying in Jersey City we had to make our way to the World Trade Centre transportation hub at the end of the E line. From here we walked through the highly impressive Oculus building. Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava’s bird-in-flight design is a transportation hub like no other I have seen before. The result is a seamless way to connect the PATH trains to New Jersey, 11 subway lines and a Hudson River Ferry Terminal.
Once on the modern and comfortable PATH train (which is not covered by your MetroCard) we headed 3 stops along the line to Journal Square. We called an Uber from the station entrance and hey presto we arrived at our beautiful brown stone apartment in Jersey City where we would spend 12 nights very Christmassy nights!
For Part One of our journey from Boston to Newport click here.
For my tips on travelling to the USA alone with kids click here.