Thursday, June 28, 2018

Amtrak Vacation June 2018 - Photo Galleries Updated and Ready for You to View

In Front of my Empire Builder Sleeping Car in Minot, ND

Amtrak Vacation June 2018 Photo Galleries Updated and Ready to View

I've been home about a week and I've optimized and arranged my photos into eleven photo galleries which are now updated and ready for you to view on Reagan's Photo Galleries. All eleven galleries accessible by clicking the link below:

Amtrak Vacation June 2018

On the Amtrak Vacation June 2018 page of my photo galleries you will find a link to all eleven photo galleries. You may possibly save this page as a bookmark so you can return to this link to all the photo galleries as you have time.

  1. New Orleans
  2. World War II Museum and Victory Belles
  3. Amtrak Crescent
  4. New York City
  5. Metropolitan Museum of Art
  6. Amtrak Acela and Capitol Limited
  7. Amtrak Empire Builder
  8. Seattle
  9. My Seattle Family
  10. Mt. Rainier
  11. Los Angeles

One of the favorite things for me this trip was meeting friends and family. So here are photos of my friends and family.

Scott, Reagan, and Tevy in Central Park

Tevy and Reagan - Tevy is part of my adopted Tennessee Family

Reagan and Julie - She got me tickets to DEAR EVAN HANSEN

Great Nephew Neil, wife Megan, and sons Lucas and Isaiah

Reagan with Neil, Isaiah and Lucas(Luke)

It was great having friends and family in both New York City and Seattle. Looking forward to returning to both cities and continuing my friendship with my New York City friends and my Seattle relatives.

More 2018 Travel

As of now I have planned a September trip to Las Vegas to visit with my Australian friends and an Amtrak trip October-November.

Las Vegas Nevada, September 9-13 - Will travel to Las Vegas, Nevada, to the Bellagio Hotel for the purpose of spending time with my Aidelaide, Australian friends Mark and Megan Lindner. This is the couple who visited me in Tennessee in 2014. This September they will be touring the West Coast of USA and I will spend a couple days with them in Las Vegas. 

Amtrak Trip October - November - October 23 to November 6 I will be riding round trip from Chicago on two Amtrak trains - the Southwest Chief to and from Los Angeles followed by the California Zephyr to and from Emeryville(San Francisco). The focus on this trip is the Amtrak rides so I'll only spend three night in Emeryville and three nights in Chicago. Yes, I will arrive and depart Los Angeles the same day. 

All my photos are available to view on Reagan's Photo Galleries website.


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Friday, June 22, 2018

Amtrak Vacation June 2018 - Last Train Ride

Amtrak Pacific Surliner

Last Train Ride

I enjoyed my Alaska Airlines flight to Los Angeles Thursday and am also enjoying my stay at the Hyatt Regency at LAX Airport. I wanted one last train ride so today I took the Flyaway bus to Los Angeles Union Station for a 30 minute ride on the Pacific Surfliner to Fullerton, CA, to eat lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory located right by the train station. So I got to do two of my favorite things: 1) ride the train and 2) eat spaghetti with meat sauce at the Old Spaghetti Factory. I'm now back in my hotel room and resting up for my flight home to Nashville Saturday morning.

If you read this mid day on Saturday, I hope to be on American Airlines flying non stop to Nashville. It has been a good three weeks visiting friends and family in New York City and Seattle, riding five Amtrak trains -- the Crescent, Acela, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder and the Pacific Surfliner. Except for short trips, I plan to be home in Nashville July and August.

Here are photos documenting my day in Los Angeles.

I rode this Pacific Surfliner to Fullerton

This is the Old Spaghetti Factory in Fullerton right by the station

My favorite food - spaghetti with meat sauce

American Flag at entrance to LAX Airport right outside my hotel room window

I will work on all the photos I have taken and upload them to my photo galleries website in the next few days maybe weeks and let you know with a blog post when they are ready for you to view.

Remember you may click on any of the photos to view the full size photo.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Amtrak Vacation June 2018 - Mt. Rainier National Park June 19

Day Tour to Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park 

Today was a time of getting out and discovering the great Mt. Rainier National Park. I went with a Tours Northwest group and we were gone a full day. How fortunate that today was one of the most perfect weather days to visit this park. Lots of sunshine, warm, and partly cloudy skies were high and did not cover any of the mountain.  It was a picture perfect day to take perfect pictures. Weather was so warm in 70's I ended up in short sleeves even at the top where the visitor center and restaurant was located. The above photo captured Mt. Rainier with my transportation in front so I decided to let it be my lead photo. During the day we stopped many times for short hikes to visit water falls and check out some awesome scenic views of the park.

Tomorrow is my last day in Seattle and I've made no plans so I'll just plan to do whatever I decide tomorrow. Probably will not do a blog update tomorrow.  On Thursday, I will fly Alaska Airlines Seattle to Los Angeles for two nights in the LAX Hyatt Regency. I'm sad that I do not get to do the two day one night trip on Amtrak's Coast Starlight but I had a great ride on four Amtrak trains and visited dear friends in New York City and my great nephew and his family in Seattle. I'm ready to come home to Nashville and stay most of July, August, and September at home in Tennessee.

I took over 100 photos today in the park so you will have to wait until I update my photo galleries to see all of them.  Here are just a few selected photos without captions.

Remember you can click on any of the photos to see the full size version.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Amtrak Vacation June 2018 - Family Time in Seattle June 18

Great Nephew Neil, Wife Megan and sons Lucas and Isaiah

Family Time in Seattle

My great nephew Neil Owen and his wife Megan live in the Seattle area so we got together tonight to eat dinner at PF Chang's in Westlake Center in downtown Seattle. We had a great time and I enjoyed catching up and spending time with them and their sons 3 year old Lucas and 3 month old Isaiah. Lucas has continued to be the "full of life" personality while I understand Isaiah is more calm. That's the family in the photo above.

Here are the photos I made while in the restaurant and then we took more photos outside.

Dad Neil and Son Isaiah

Mom Megan and Son Lucas

Us Guys 1

Us Guys 2

3 year old Lucas

3 Month Old Isaiah

Lucas and I could be a good team - He wanted to ride train with me

Lucas is full of life and "actions"

Remember you can click the photos to see full size.

Amtrak Vacation June 2018 - Seattle - Sunsets and Ferry Ride June 18

Sunset Over Seattle Waterfront

Sunsets and Ferry Ride

As the sun set Sunday night, I was awed by the view of the sunset on the Seattle waterfront from my suite. Since I had already shared my blog update earlier, I'm sharing the photo above and the first photo below on today's blog post. 

I walked to the ferry terminal this morning and took the Washington State Ferry to Bainbridge and back. After returning I walked to eat fish and chips for lunch at Ivar's. Yes, I know I had the same thing yesterday but i really like fish and chips and Ivar's make some of the best cod fish I have eaten. And you get to eat with the sea gulls. There are a few photos below of Ivar's.

After lunch I walked up the waterfront to the Seattle Wheel which I did not ride so that I could ride "Flying over Washington" which is a neat multi media presentation takes you flying over the attractions of this State including Mt Rainier which I plan to visit on a full day tour Tuesday.

I am meeting and having dinner with my great nephew Neil Owen and his wife Megan tonight along with their two young children Lucas and Isaiah. I met Lucas last year but get to meet Isaiah who was born this past March. I'll take photos and possibly add this to a separate post today or tomorrow.

Here are today's photos.

Seattle Sunset View from my Hotel Suite

Seattle Wheel

Riding the Washington State Ferry to Bainbridge

Riding the Washington State Ferry to Bainbridge

Riding the Washington State Ferry to Bainbridge

Riding the Washington State Ferry to Bainbridge

Smith Tower(Seattle's original skyscraper) to my hotel 

Seattle Wheel and location of "Flying over Washington"

Ivar's where I get fish and chips

Ivar's where I get fish and chips

Ivar's where I get fish and chips

Sea Gull at Ivar's

My Embassy Suites Hotel behind the King Street Amtrak Station

Remember you can click on any of the photos to see the full size photo

Amtrak Vacation June 2018 -Amtrak's Empire Builder June 15-17

Traveling Amtrak's Empire Builder June 15-17

A Journey on the Empire Builder 

Any trip I make on Amtrak's Empire Builder is sentimental and hearkens back to my early adulthood. Fresh out of college working in New Orleans, LA, I took my first real vacation in 1965 on Great Northern Railway's Empire Builder to Seattle, WA, on the great original version of this train featuring full length dome coaches with red sofa seats just for the sleeping car passengers. After a week in Seattle for my first time, I returned home via that same Great Northern Empire Builder. 

So now I can't tell you how many but I have taken the Empire Builder numerous times and it's my second favorite Amtrak train - second only to the California Zephyr which is definitely the most scenic of all the Amtrak long distance trains as it crosses Iowa and Nebraska overnight after departing Chicago and arrives Denver early morning. From Denver it crosses the Colorado Rockies and then overnight it crosses Utah and Nevada arriving Reno the second morning. From Reno the Zephyr enters California at Truckee and then crosses the Sierra Nevadas into Sacramento and on to Emeryville across the Bay from San Francisco.

But the Empire Builder was my first long distance train ride and I always enjoy crossing Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Washington on the Empire Builder.  This trip was enjoyable and memorable as crossing North Dakota and Montana was mostly overcast and rainy all day long crossing those States. Glacier National Park was crossed into the night, but Sunday morning the sun was shining brightly in Washington State as we crossed the Cascade Mountains and cruised into Seattle along the bay. Even had time to go to the Seattle waterfront to get Fish and Chips and enjoy a good walk back to the hotel. I'm staying at a brand new Embassy Suites in Pioneer Square right next to Amtrak's King Street Station and the views of both the train station tracks and the waterfront are spectacular. I'll try to share some more of those photos tomorrow.

I do have plans while I am here. Tomorrow Monday night I will joining my great nephew Neil and wife Megan for dinner along with their sons Lucas about 1 1/2 years and Isaiah who was born this March 2018. I met Megan and Lucas last year for the first time and now I get to meet Isaiah. Neil is the son of my nephew Charles that teaches at Michigan State. Then Tuesday I have booked a full day trip to Mt. Rainier south of Seattle.  Wednesday is not planned and on Thursday, I fly Alaska Airlines to Los Angeles for two nights before flying American home Saturday.

Here as some selected photos for the Empire Builder trip.

Waiting in the Metropolitan Sleeping Car Passenger Lounge in Chicago

Northern Wisconsin - I think the beginning of the Mississippi River

My Roomette converted to nighttime sleeping

My train in Minot, ND - the beginning of a wet raining day

In Minot, ND

Me in front of my sleeping car in Minot, ND

Same mostly flat but green land across North Dakota and Montana

Stopped late afternoon in Havre, MT

One of the original Great Northern Steam Engines that pulled the Empire Builder

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Izaac Walton Inn  in Glacier National Park

Cascades Mountains in Washington State

Typical Town Scene in Washington State

A Stream in Washington State

Cascade Mountains

Approaching the Bay at Edmonds, WA

A great lady and great sleeping car attendant - Connie

View of Smith Tower and Seattle Skyline from my room

Fish and Chips at Ivar's

In front of Ivar's

Seattle Waterfront

Remember you can click on the photos to see full size.