First off this trip is back from 2014 when my former French Exchange Student aka my French Brother Sammie, Michaela, Lauren, and now future colleague Heather planned a little trip for my 19 th Birthday almost six years ago this week. Planning Well for a surprise party in my honor I didn’t do any planning for this trip. I graduated high school the year before and Sammie went back to Tarbes. But he chose to come back to visit for the summer. So Heather asked me if I would pick him up and drive us to meet with our friend Michaela and Lauren to go somewhere. I was used to going places with them so I wasn’t really expecting a trip. As things were when Sammie and I were in high school together he was at his host families house. The Trip I was told we had to meet at nine thirty at Michaela’s dorm at Columbia College so I left my house at eight to pick up Sammie from Lugoff, and looped back to pick up Heather at her farm. On the way into town we stopped at Publix for breakfast where I used to work between school and PV gigs. Afterwards we arrived at Michaela’s dorm and transferred to her car for the drive up I77 north to Charlotte. It’s been so many years that I really can’t remember what we talked about in the car. But I can imagine it was whatever series we were watching on Netflix, or books we were reading. Either way I was really surprised when we pulled into the Charlotte Station’s parking lot. We took several pictures next to the lead unit of Train No. 74 the Piedmont. We then waited out of the heat in the station where I received my tickets to Salisbury for a lunch trip. Boarding began around 11:45 AM for the 12:00 PM departure. We received our seat checks at the vestibule and walked straight from the vestibule into the Lounge car. We sat up shop for the five of us at two tables. After departure Heather brought fresh baked cupcakes out for our birthday party food. And she made enough extra we gave both conductors, and had some sent up to the engineer as well. It’s a short forty minute trip forty miles north. The conductor opened up the vestibule of the Lounge car for us as a thank you for the cupcakes so we wouldn’t have to walk a car length. We then walked from the Salisbury Station to my favorite restaurant in Salisbury Emma’s which has now closed unfortunately. It was located in a small restored house from the early 1900s. I honestly can’t remember what we all ate. After lunch we went antiquing for the rest of the layover. Then we returned to the station and boarded the southbound Train No. 75 the Piedmont back to Charlotte. Again we went straight to the cafe and enjoyed a free bottle of water and went back to Charlotte. A nice short trip back to Charlotte. Afterwards the girls wanted to visit the mall for a bit so we detoured there on the way back. We ate dinner in a restaurant in the luggage department of a department store. Then we drove back to Columbia. All in all it was a great birthday surprise I was reminded of when I saw the photos pop by this last week.