August 17, 2011

1 A Birthday Train Trip....

…taking the train around the USA for my 70th birthday: Part 1

G and the train at California Adventure.

The Question: what did I really want to do for my 70th birthday? Ride a train. Where did I want to go? Italy? Over the Alps? Round Britain? India? Limits? The Geezer’s vacation days. Dreaming smaller works too, so we will be going once around America this vacation.

We haven’t been lucky with vacations the last few years. Go on a cruise, and G is forced to quit. Go on another cruise, and G is laid off. We are staying closer to home this year. Seeing our own country and it’s wonderful vistas including the industrialized east. G planned the route. I consulted with friends and fellow bloggers, and the plans began to come together.

Long time friend Kay, sent me a book on US rail travel…thank you again Kay. I bought a used copy for the future. We will head up the coast to LA on the Pacific Surfliner. At the famous LA Union Station, we transfer to the Coast Starlight.

Up the coast we head to Portland, OR. We will spend one night on the train, and we have a hotel room that looks pretty good. DA, my best friend from high school, lives at this stop as does a wonderful nephew and his family. Dinner with one and brunch with the other. I’ll miss a favorite blogger Ronnie, but I will get to stop by my favorite bookstore Powell’s. Oh heaven. Old friends, family, dear G, and books.

The next afternoon, we head east on a train route I’ve never been on, the Empire Builder Stunning landscapes from the west to the east. I can hardly wait.

Continued tomorrow:

The Geezer cleaning our roomette window in Portland.


  1. "Old friends, family, dear G, and books."

    It doesn't get better than that!!!

  2. What a wonderful way to celebrate!

  3. This sounds like a wonderful trip. I am salivating for the photos to accompany the stories.

  4. I took the Amtrak from NYC to D.C. back in 1987. Fun ride. Good luck and best wishes to you, Mage! And happy birthday!

  5. What a grand way to usher in another milestone! It will be such grand fun! I turn 60 in 2012 and have not made a single plan. I spent 50 by myself alone moping on the beach. A train ride would have been much better.

  6. How wonderful and what a nice gift for giving up his little trains. Have fun. Dianne

  7. OMG these photos are the BEST! The story is fun even without the details!! Are you coming near DC??

  8. Wow! what a great idea. Have lots of fun.....and I hope you share with your photos for us.

  9. I've always wondered what it would be like to use the train to visit the states. It's still on my to do list. I'm looking forward to seeing how you like it.

  10. Oooo... I can see the photos now. Wonderful!

  11. Sounds like a great fun and different vacation! I know you'll have scads of pictures to show us when you get back. If you get near SLC, give us a call!


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George coming down Peter’s hall that’s lined with wood and artifacts from wonderful ocean liners of the past .             We ...