In a spiritual sense, our outfits can really connect us to what’s happening in the moment. On this Valentine’s induced date night, I felt that connection with a new turtleneck maxi sweater dress in the color “Desert Rose” from Express, which I paired with black, lace-up boots.
My husband and I were going to have dinner on a beautiful Civil War-era train to celebrate the romantic holiday together. Everything was ideal; the excitement of something adventurous neither of us had done before, the ability to get last minute tickets, and the short drive there!
We patiently waited to go aboard The Colebrookdale Railroad – The Secret Valley Line, which departs from the Boyertown Station in PA. And it was COLD! I mean literally freezing – it was very uncomfortable, even with a sleeping bag coat on.
I was quite pleased with my outfit choice though! My lace-up boots were perfect for trudging through some ice and snow, while complementing the dress to give it an edgy vibe. In the stillness of the bone-chilling evening air, the Edwardian train stretched out with open arms, eager to welcome us aboard.
Boarding the Train
For a second, I almost wished we were back home snuggled warm on the couch, but just then, the conductor came out of the train and announced that we would be boarding shortly. He called ticket holders by group according to the train car bookings.
There were a few cars to choose from; the Café car, the dining car, the Parlor car, and the Lounge. Michael (My husband) and I were in the Lounge. Our specific ticket did not include a full dinner, but did come with drinks, an appetizer plate, and dessert.
As we walked up the deck to enter the train, our temperature was taken and our tickets were hole-punched for admission. Everyone was required to wear masks, including the staff.
We carefully stepped over the threshold and were instantly transported into a Victorian dimension where stained glass windows, intricately carved woodwork, and vintage industrial craftsmanship dominated the atmosphere.
A Table for Two
As we walked through about four of the train cars, we looked in awe at the stunning classical interior decor. When we found our table, it was reserved with our name, which was such a luxurious touch. There was a small a la carte menu for ordering light fare and drinks, and a little vase filled with flowers as a centerpiece. Little boxes containing Lindt Lindor Chocolate Truffles were perched as a favor at our seats.
A Little Bathroom Blunder!
Of course, me not planning ahead, I had to use the bathroom right away! Mike helped me find the restroom, which was VERY small…maybe even smaller than an airplane bathroom! I had to laugh because even the tiny bathroom was decked out in Titanic-like features.
One of the staff tried to open the door on me as I was doing my business because I hadn’t locked it! The lock was a bit complicated and I didn’t realize it was not secure. It was alright though, because I was able to save the door from opening up on me.
The train ride is only two hours long, so if you use the restroom beforehand, you might be able to avoid having to go during the whole experience.
Traveling Through the PA Valley
I made it back to our table and sat down. I felt amazing in my ankle length, long sleeve sweater dress and gold hoop earrings, sitting across from Mike and taking in the beautiful sights of the historical train.
Other passengers at their tables around us chatted excitedly, and a harpist played a relaxing and romantic melody. Sadly I couldn’t see the harpist because she was perched away from the dining tables, but I could hear the music just fine.
As the train took off, we got our first round of drinks. We looked out the windows as the train traveled through the quaint, snow-laden Pennsylvania towns. Looking out the windows, we passed a bundled up father and son standing in their own backyard, waving at us with a sled in tow. A short while later, we saw two deer gracefully galloping amongst a white sea of forestry.
We enjoyed our little charcuterie plates and slices of pie as we talked and enjoyed each other’s company. It was a bit chilly in our car, so I recommend that if you go on this excursion in the winter, be sure to bring an extra sweater. A long nude colored shacket or blazer would have been great to have over my turtleneck dress…ah well! I’ll know better next time!
Arriving Back at the Station
Our waiter was so sweet, and such a gentleman! I think he was in his early twenties, as he looked quite young. Near the end of the ride, one of the train staff handed out roses to all of the ladies. I was given a pink rose, which was so lovely!
We paid our bill for the additional drinks I ordered while the train pulled back into the station. Just like that, the “Romance on the Railway” event was over. What a great time!
Additional Details About the Train Ride
I forgot to mention that tickets must be ordered online, and then you pick them up at the station before boarding the train. The little station house has some adorable souvenir shirts, hats, and figurines for purchase.
We did the Valentine’s Day Dinner event, but the Colebrookedale Railroad has many other different themed events throughout the year. Some of the upcoming events include a Mother’s Day brunch, wine and cheese tasting, Sensory friendly rides, mudball tosses (these are mudballs with wildflower seeds that get tossed from the train to encourage growth along the rail line), and an Italian dinner expedition.
If you are in the PA region, you will love this train ride! I will never forget this amazing experience with my hubby, feeling fine in my fitted turtleneck sweater dress! I seriously cannot wait to go on another one soon!
Here is the Express Turtleneck maxi sweater dress I wore, as well as a few others I recommend 🙂
Turtleneck Maxi Sweater Dress • Express • $88
Sheerah Turtleneck Midi Sweater Dress • Lulus • $58
Gaiva Turtleneck Long Sleeve Sweater Dress • Vero Moda • $79
Brave Soul Rouse turtleneck sweater dress • Brave Soul • $26
Y.A.S long sleeve turtleneck sweater dress in rust • Y.A.S • $62
Style & Co Turtleneck Sweater Dress, Created for Macy’s • Style&Co. • $59.50
Long Sleeve Turtleneck Sweater Dress • Charles Henry • $89
Washable Merino Turtleneck Sweater Dress • Banana Republic • $139
LOULOU STUDIO – Ribbed Wool Turtleneck Maxi Dress – Gray • LOULOU STUDIO • $330