Natalie & Tom Training

NatalieTom50th

Natalie & Tom Training

In celebration of our 50th anniversary, we are taking a train trip to visit family and tour some of these United States. This will be a running commentary about our adventure.



North America » United States September 16th 2019

We've been visiting with relatives the last few days, and unable to add information to our blog. There hasn't been much in the way of travel news to write about, anyway. However, we have not stopped, and there will be more - we won't be home for almost two weeks. In Charlottesville, we mostly visited with a brother and his wife. It was a very pleasant visit, especially since we haven't seen them for about 12 years and we caught up on a whole lot of news. Natalie was especially pleased when she was able to see the home in which she spent her first few years. As we were standing around in front of the house, taking pictures and gabbing, the owner came out, wondering what was going on. He was very friendly and offered ... read more

North America » United States September 13th 2019

Friday morning finds us traveling through West Virginia on a beautiful clear day. It seems sleeping on the train gets better with practice because we both slept better last night. The Empire Builder, which we took from Edmonds to Chicago, used different types of rail cars than the Cardinal, which we're riding now. The Superliner is a double decker, with most passengers on the upper level, while the Viewliner, which we're riding now, is a single decker. The seats are similar - they recline about the same and have leg rests and foot rests - and are equally comfortable. The main difference is the ride. The Viewliner is much lighter with tighter suspension, so you feel most every twist and turn and bump. On the Superliner, though, the weight dampens all the motion so you don't ... read more
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North America » United States September 12th 2019

We have had our fill of walking for a while and look forward to being seated for a good long time. (That's how Natalie told me to start this today.) After breakfast, our question was how to spend the day before catching the next train this afternoon. We finally decided to explore Chicago's "Miracle Mile" and see where that takes us, what fun and interesting things we find. So that's what we did and it pretty much filled out time. The "Miracle Mile" is a mile or so of Michigan Ave with shops and stores selling all kinds of stuff, most well beyond our budget. There isn't a Wal-Mart anywhere nearby. It's amazing how many people are walking that street, all intently focused on their own world. Since yesterday's tour, we are much more aware of ... read more
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North America » United States September 11th 2019

We had an awesome night's sleep. Yesterday after dinner, Natalie had a long discussion yesterday with a very helpful concierge at our hotel about things to do. (I watched, but we must know who's the boss about some things.) It was a very nice, but hot, day, so we decided to take the architectural river cruise. Our speaker was a Chicago-based architect who knows all about Chicago and its history. He gave a fascinating tour as we cruised around the city's rivers. One building is the Boeing headquarters. I plan to include a photo of it today. It's the only building with exposed trusses above it. The exposed truss work is necessary because a third of the building has no foundation. Instead it is suspended from that truss work. Every other building was built over the ... read more
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North America » United States September 11th 2019

On Tuesday, we woke up approaching Minneapolis-St Paul after a better night's sleep to clouds and rain. The St Paul stop was 20 minutes, so we stepped out to stretch our legs into a really nice, covered outdoor station. It's apparent they have lots of material to make red brick nearby-most of the buildings are made of it. After St Paul, the train follows the Mississippi River for 2 1/2 hours through some beautiful territory with lots of trees, mostly deciduous. It's clear we've left the plains behind. The land is still pretty flat, and plenty of gentle hills continue. The most noteworthy difference is the abundance of pretty trees. The thing about the terrain that amazes me is how wet the low and flat land is, not all of it could be left by recent ... read more
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North America » United States September 9th 2019

After Spokane, the train heads north, winds around Lake Pend Oreille, stops at Sandpoint, ID, and follows the Clark Fork river for awhile, then heads east across Montana. I slept through or stop at Sand Point, and missed most of Idaho, but it was too dark to see anything anyway. As dawn began, I was awake and able to enjoy the view as the scenery took shape. It was almost magical to see. It was cloudy and raining hard, so it took a long time for the trees and roads and meadows, and even the clouds to become distinct. But it certainly was quite a pleasure and a privilege. One somewhat amusing note. Natalie and I have an app on our phones that allows us to keep track of each other. It also acts as a ... read more
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North America » United States » Washington September 9th 2019

Our trip has begun. The train left Edmonds just a couple minutes late. There were no empty pairs of seats together, but the attendant helped and we are happily seated together now. The overhead storage was a bit too short for my pack, but it makes a fine ottoman for Natalie. We rode right along Puget Sound all the way to Everett, then headed east with a stop at the Everett station. We'll pull into Leavenworth about 8:00. The scenery has been fantastic, though with rain and overcast. We did check out the view through the back window along the water, and it was something special. A picture would have been a good idea, but we didn't really have a good view for a photo. The eastbound leg parallels highway 2, and has some really nice ... read more

North America » United States » Washington » Lynnwood September 7th 2019

Many of our awesome friends have asked us to keep them informed about our trip, so we've added them to our subscriber list. Now it's time for another update, just to learn how everything on this blog works. It certainly looks to be an outstanding way to keep a journal about our trip. The excitement and trepidation have really been building, for weeks. One minute, we can hardly wait, but the next minute we worry about all kinds of things. We've never taken a trip like this before, or at least since our Navy days. Friends will take us to the train station tomorrow, where our journey begins. Probably the most comprehensive source of information about what to expect, what we'll need, and answers to many of the little questions that crop up has been a ... read more

North America » United States September 5th 2019

Just to get this blog started, here's our planned itinerary: We begin in Edmonds, Washington on Sunday, the 8th by catching the Empire Builder to Chicago. We'll spend a couple nights in Chicago, then catch the Cardinal to Charlottesville, Virginia. After a couple nights in Charlottesville, we'll rent a car and drive to Asheville, North Carolina, where we spend some time with my sister. Then we'll drive to near Cincinnati, Ohio, where we'll spend a day at The Ark Encounter, and most of the next day at The Creation Museum. Then we'll catch the westbound Cardinal back to Chicago, where we'll spend another couple nights. Next will be the California Zephyr to Sacramento, where we'll spend one night. Finally, we'll catch the Coast Starlight back to Seattle. Thank you for your interest and joining our own ... read more




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