July 6, 2011

Plans are Afoot

Top: Washing the window. Middle: Central coast of California. Bottom: The Portland station. 2007.

The Sidebar
Himself: Very hot out there yesterday. When asked he replied that his office was air conditioned. He made only short forays out.

Herself: Even hot at the beach. I only got a little done on the “Sisters” project, but I got the laundry almost done, house picked up, lunch with a friend, and groceries picked up.

WW foods for the day: Breakfast: Usual. Lunch: Tiny Chili Relleno with two bits of beans. Dinner: Chicken salad with melon.

Purelandmountain.com offers the latest news from Japan on days he isn’t fighting his local flora and fauna.

There’s a nasty monsoon rolling up from the south. Here at the coast, we have the heat. Inland the heat is in the hundreds, and thunderstorms are rolling across the skies. We have been distracting ourselves froom our miseries by planning my big birthday trip this seventieth year.

Yes, we usually go somewhere every year. Occasionally we take a cruise. I like road trips as does the Geezer. We have been known to ride the rails discovering more about our land than we can see from the freeway.

In 2001, we did London and Paris with trains, trolleys, and tubes everywhere. One big treat was the Chunnel. Poof and you are under the English Channel. Now in 2011, we are going to make the great circle route around America with a museum here and a book store there.

The Geezer only has a week of vacation, but a week combined with two weekends will take us up the coast to Portland on the Surfliner to the Coast Starlight. Maybe my high school friend Dee and her husband Keith can meet us for dinner or breakfast after an overnight stay. The next day, we will add a quick stop at my favorite bookstore, Powells. Did you know they have a whole building that’s just cookbooks? Then it’s back to that red depot and off to Chicago on the Empire Builder. Fabled train names of long gone Railroads now used by Amtrac.

We will have one day in Chicago to tour the big art museum, The Chicago Art Institute, and take a riverfront cruise. Bee endorses one and Kay endorses the other. Back on the train again, we will be on the Southwest Chief across the southern arc of America.

The tickets are paid for, and G planned the itinerary last night. I can hardly wait.


  1. If I could choose a vacation, I think what I've thought of most was riding Amtrak wherever. (Loved Chicago, but got there by plane, as someone else made the plans...)

    Have a wonderful trip.

  2. Sounds great!!! I love trains -- both my dad and my grandpa were railroaders. One of my earliest memories is a train trip from Elyria to Galion with my grandma.

  3. How very exciting!! I love trains, too. So why is G washing the train window?

    I read the article/blog on cruisenews. Very interesting. Makes my concerns with RCL seem pedestrian at best.

  4. I have ridden on 2 trains -- the Eurail thru Europe and the Amtrak from NYC to DC.

    Fun! Enjoy your trip.

  5. Wow! That's a lot of traveling and exploring for just 9 days. I hope the weather in Chicago is blissful during your one day stop. I'm sure the photos you take will be gorgeous. Can't wait to see them.

  6. What a brilliant way to spend your 70th birthday. I have been thinking along the same lines, not your trip per se, but a trip somewhere. I love England and France and the Chunnel is wonderful. I knew about Powels because I visit them online and have purchased used text books from them. The Coastal RR in CA is also wonderful, although I have not be on it since the 1960s. My 70th birthday is not until next year, so I have time to plan. Dianne

  7. If you have a little extra time, go to the Chicago Cultural Center. It's just down the street from the Art Institute and the building is sensational--absolutely one of my favorite places.

    When will you be there?

  8. Mage and G,

    I really envy you. Taking the Empire Builder from Chicago to the West Coast has been a dream of ours for years.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip,see all the sights and take a million pictures.

    Take care and keep in touch.

  9. I've never done the cross country trains. It sounds like so much fun. The Chicago Art Institute is fabulous! You'll love it! Chicago is a beautiful city. You'll love Millennium Park also. What fun!

  10. I've never done the cross country trains. It sounds like so much fun. The Chicago Art Institute is fabulous! You'll love it! Chicago is a beautiful city. You'll love Millennium Park also. What fun!


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