Monday, August 22, 2016

Amtrak Saluki One Day Rail Trip Carbondale, Illinois, to Mattoon, IL, and Return

Amtrak's Saluki Train - Ready to Board in Carbondale

Amtrak Saluki One Day Rail Trip in Illinois


Wednesday, August 17, I drove to Carbondale, IL, and did a short 2 hour train ride on Amtrak's Saluki train to Mattoon, IL. Ate breakfast at the Downtown Diner and returned to the Amtrak station to wait for the southbound Saluki back to Carbondale. It simply was a good quick inexpensive Amtrak ride in between my June Amtrak and Via Rail trip to Canada and New York State and my upcoming Amtrak California Zephyr adventure October 3. Yes, I like my Amtrak train rides. In fact, as you may know I already have Amtrak trips planned for October 2016 and January and April in 2017. Hopefully, there will be more Amtrak trips in 2017.

The photo above is the train I rode from Carbondale. It is backing up from the center track where it parked overnight and will pull forward on the boarding track next to the boarding ramp. I took about 80 photos and you can check them out in this gallery:   



Here are seven other selected photos from this day trip:

Passengers boarding in Mattoon

Building Mural of Illinois Scenes

Tracks at Mattoon Station 

A little too close for comfort as I waited for my train back to Carbondale

Waiting for the Southbound Saluki in Mattoon

Southbound Saluki arriving in Mattoon

Unloading in Carbondale

Friends, I won't be just traveling on Amtrak.  Beginning Labor Day weekend I already have two weddings and one college graduation trips to plan.  A close church family friend's granddaughter Annie will be getting married in Seveirville, TN, September 4 and I will be there for the wedding.  In early May 2017 I have been requested to attend my great niece Kellie's graduation from Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS.  And my great niece Cheri will be getting married July 15, 2017, in Benton(Shreveport/Bossier City), Louisiana.  Since I am wanted, I definitely want to and will be at all three of these special times for close friend and great nieces.

Here are my next four trips planned and three are Amtrak Adventures:

October 22 - November 5 Sister Pat Visit and Trip to Louisiana Home -- 
I will be hosting my sister Pat in Nashville for a couple October Tennessee Titans NFL football games and then driving with her to Shreveport/Bossier City/Benton, Louisiana October 28.  I will return home November 5 and be home through November and December for the holidays.

October 3-12 Amtrak California Zephyr Trip -- Flying Monday to Chicago to stay two nights at The Wit Hotel(a Doubletree Hotel). Boarding Amtrak's California Zephyr Wednesday afternoon for two night trip to Emeryville, CA, arriving late Friday afternoon. Staying at the Hyatt House in Emeryville three nights departing Monday morning on Amtrak's Coast Starlight for all day trip to Los Angeles Union Station. From Union Station I take the Fly Away Bus to LAX Airport and on to the Hilton LAX Hotel for two nights before flying home to Nashville on American's non stop flight.

January 23-31 Amtrak 2017 Winter California Zephyr Trip -- This is what is becoming my annual "see snow away from home" Amtrak Winter trip on the Zephyr. Itinerary is almost exactly as the October trip except I will fly Southwest Airlines to Chicago and I will only stay two nights instead of three at the Hyatt House in Emeryville.

April 8-22 Amtrak April 2017 Rail Adventure -- On this trip I will be riding on two Amtrak trains for the first time and actually traveling coast to coast and return.  I will begin the trip by flying Southwest Airlines to New Orleans April 8 for two nights at the Hyatt House Hotel on Poydras Street near New Orleans Union Station. Early Monday morning (7 AM) I will depart on Amtrak's Crescent train from New Orleans through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia(Atlanta), South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia arriving Tuesday morning at Washington, DC, Union Station. That same Tuesday afternoon (4 PM), I will depart on Amtrak's Capitol Limited through Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania(Pittsburgh), Ohio, and Indiana arriving early Wednesday (9 AM) in Chicago's Union Station. At 2 PM Wednesday, I'll board Amtrak's California Zephyr for the two night trip to Emeryville arriving Friday late afternoon April 14 for two nights at the Hyatt House Emeryville.  Sunday morning (9 AM) I will board the east bound California Zephyr bound to Chicago arriving Tuesday afternoon and staying one night at the new Hampton Inn Chicago West Loop. Wednesday evening, April 19, I will return to Chicago Union Station to board the Capitol Limited(6:30 PM) for overnight trip back to Washington, DC, arriving early afternoon (1 PM) for a two night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn/DC US Capitol.  Saturday, April 22, I'll fly Southwest Airlines home to Nashville from Washington, DC, Reagan National Airport.

You can see all my previous Rail Trip photos on my photo galleries in the Rail Trips Folder.  




You can click on any of the small photos in this blog to open a full size photo. 

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


************************************


EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS --  CLICK HERE to sign up your email
to receive each new blog post to in your email inbox.
         



Friday, August 5, 2016

My Future Travel Plans - Three Amtrak Adventures Planned

Amtrak's East Bound and West Bound California Zephyr's Meet In Colorado

My Future Travel Plans - October 2016 to April 2017

Sometimes, it is just good to be home for a while. That is where I have been since returning from my Canada trip to Halifax, NS, on June 17. And I don't have any travel plans until October 3 except for a short Labor Day weekend Saturday to Monday trip to Sevierville, TN, for a wedding of a close extended family friend.  

Most of you know I have almost a fanatical love for Amtrak sleeper car rail trips particularly Amtrak's California Zephyr that travels from Chicago through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado(Denver and Glenwood Springs), Utah(Salt Lake City), Nevada(Reno), and California(Truckee, Sacramento) to Emeryville(San Francisco), California.  That's the east bound train meeting my west bound Zephyr near Glenwood Springs in the photo above.  It should be no surprise that my next three major travel adventures will be on Amtrak trains and each one will feature travel on Amtrak's California Zephyr.  Incidentally, I've traveled enough as a Amtrak Guest Rewards(AGR) member that several of these future trips are paid for with AGR points.

In addition to these Amtrak trips, I will be hosting my sister Pat in Nashville for a couple October Tennessee Titans NFL football games and then driving with her to Shreveport/Bossier City/Benton, Louisiana October 28.  I will return home November 5 and be home through November and December for the holidays.

Here are the three Amtrak trips I have planned:

October 3-12 Amtrak California Zephyr Trip -- Flying Monday to Chicago to stay two nights at The Wit Hotel(a Doubletree Hotel). Boarding Amtrak's California Zephyr Wednesday afternoon for two night trip to Emeryville, CA, arriving late Friday afternoon. Staying at the Hyatt House in Emeryville three nights departing Monday morning on Amtrak's Coast Starlight for all day trip to Los Angeles Union Station. From Union Station I take the Fly Away Bus to LAX Airport and on to the Hilton LAX Hotel for two nights before flying home to Nashville on American's non stop flight.

January 23-31 Amtrak 2017 Winter California Zephyr Trip -- This is what is becoming my annual "see snow away from home" Amtrak Winter trip on the Zephyr. Itinerary is almost exactly as the October trip except I will fly Southwest Airlines to Chicago and I will only stay two nights instead of three at the Hyatt House in Emeryville.

April 8-22 Amtrak April 2017 Rail Adventure -- On this trip I will be riding on two Amtrak trains for the first time and actually traveling coast to coast and return.  I will begin the trip by flying Southwest Airlines to New Orleans April 8 for two nights at the Hyatt House Hotel on Poydras Street near New Orleans Union Station. Early Monday morning (7 AM) I will depart on Amtrak's Crescent train from New Orleans through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia(Atlanta), South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia arriving Tuesday morning at Washington, DC, Union Station. That same Tuesday afternoon (4 PM), I will depart on Amtrak's Capitol Limited through Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania(Pittsburgh), Ohio, and Indiana arriving early Wednesday (9 AM) in Chicago's Union Station. At 2 PM Wednesday, I'll board Amtrak's California Zephyr for the two night trip to Emeryville arriving Friday late afternoon April 14 for two nights at the Hyatt House Emeryville.  Sunday morning (9 AM) I will board the east bound California Zephyr bound to Chicago arriving Tuesday afternoon and staying one night at the new Hampton Inn Chicago West Loop. Wednesday evening, April 19, I will return to Chicago Union Station to board the Capitol Limited(6:30 PM) for overnight trip back to Washington, DC, arriving early afternoon (1 PM) for a two night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn/DC US Capitol.  Saturday, April 22, I'll fly Southwest Airlines home to Nashville from Washington, DC, Reagan National Airport.

You can see all my previous Rail Trip photos on my photo galleries in the Rail Trips Folder.  




You can click on any of the small photos in this blog to open a full size photo. 

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


************************************


EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS --  CLICK HERE to sign up your email
to receive each new blog post to in your email inbox.
         



Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day - July 4, 2016



STATUE OF LIBERTY - Ivan Parker

Friends, we in the USA are celebrating our Independence Day July 4.  It's been 240 years since the Declaration of Independence was officially authorized two days after the Declaration was penned by Thomas Jefferson.  

No, I am not traveling today but celebrating quietly at home in Franklin(Nashville), Tennessee.  While browsing YouTube trying to find just the right musical greeting to post on Facebook that would express my sincere feeling this Independence Day I found this moving video from Ivan Parker and the words very well express my thankfulness to be both American and Christian in a not so peaceful world filled with economic and social strife, domestic and international terrorism, and extreme political polarization. Hopefully you can find hope both in the welcoming open arms of the Statue of Liberty inviting all to America and the promise of redemption and eternal life in God's only son, Jesus Christ's death on the cross at Golgotha.

The music and words speak so much to me, I want to share with all of you who follow my travels via this blog.  Here are the words of the song.

   PUBLISHED ON Jun 4, 2015
In New York Harbor stands a lady,
With a torch raised to the sky;
And all who see her know she stands for
Liberty for you and me.

I’m so proud to be called an American,
To be named with the brave and the free;
I will honor our flag and our trust in God,
And the Statue of Liberty.

On lonely Golgotha stood a cross,
With my Lord raised to the sky;
And all who kneel there live forever
As all the saved can testify.

I’m so glad to be called a Christian,
To be named with the ransomed and whole;
As the statue liberates the citizen,
So the cross liberates the soul.

Oh the cross is my Statue of Liberty,
It was there that my soul was set free;
Unashamed I’ll proclaim that a rugged cross
Is my Statue of Liberty!   


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Via Rail and Amtrak Trip June 2016 - 16 Photo Galleries Updated to Reagan's Photo Galleries

Peggy's Cove near Halifax, Nova Scotia


Friends, I've been home just over a week and have now optimized and updated all my photos to Reagan's Photo Galleries. There are 16 photo galleries documenting my trip to Toronto, Halifax, Peggy's Cove, Lunenburg, Niagara Falls, Albany, NY, Poughkeepsie, NY, Chicago, and New Orleans.  In all I boarded and rode the trains nine times including twice of some of them. The trains were Via Rail Corridor trains, Via Rail THE OCEAN, Amtrak's Maple Leaf, Amtrak Empire trains, Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited, and Amtrak's City of New Orleans. So I think I have got my train riding "bug" satisfied until October 5 when I will ride Amtrak's California Zephyr again. That's my favorite Amtrak train and I will ride it a couple times a year.

You can reach my 16 photo galleries by clicking on the heading above or here:


For those of you who read my travel Update emails on your mobile devices here is and APP you can upload to your mobile device to view these 16 photo galleries. You can also access the Home Page of my photo galleries website from within this APP.  To add this APP to your mobile device you do need to access this link on your mobile device to add the APP.

Reagan's Mobile APP

To add this APP to your mobile device just click on this link above and follow instruction on your mobile device.

Whether on your mobile device or PC/Mac, enjoy the photos.  If viewing on your PC/Mac you might want to save the 16 galleries as a bookmark so you can take your time viewing the photos.

My next travel planned is October 3-12.

I'll fly to Chicago for two nights at the Doubletree Wit Hotel before boarding my favorite Amtrak train the California Zephyr October 5 to Emeryville(San Francisco). I'll stay 3 nights in Emeryville and then catch Amtrak's Coast Starlight to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles I'll take the Fly Away bus from the train station to LAX Airport and two nights in the LAX Hilton. Wednesday April 12 I will fly American Airlines nonstop to Nashville.



You can click on any of the small photos in this blog to open a full size photo. 

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


************************************


EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS --  CLICK HERE to sign up your email
to receive each new blog post to in your email inbox.
         






















Thursday, June 16, 2016

Via Rail and Amtrak Trip June 2016 - Nashville bound Friday, June 17

Riverwalk Outlet Connection at New Orleans' Hilton Riverside

My twentieth day away from home and, yes, I'm ready to be home in Nashville/Franklin, TN. Super Shuttle picks me up at 10:10 AM tomorrow Friday morning to take me to my Southwest Airlines 1:10 PM flight home to Nashville. My young friend Henry G. will be picking me up and taking me home in Nashville.  

I've stayed indoors most of today since New Orleans is experiencing triple digit heat index. Not good for us older folks. Stay indoors and "hydrate" is the motto. The photo above is of my hotel the Hilton Riverside. Good thing it is connected to the Riverwalk Outlet Mall. That's been the extent of my day's whereabouts. Time to convert to resting mode tonight and after I get home. 

I will indeed be home in Nashville for the foreseeable future. My next travel planned is October 3-12. I'll fly to Chicago for two nights at the Doubletree Wit Hotel before boarding my favorite Amtrak train the California Zephyr October 5 to Emeryville(San Francisco). I'll stay 3 nights in Emeryville and then catch Amtrak's Coast Starlight to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles I'll take the Fly Away bus from the train station to LAX Airport and two nights in the LAX Hilton. Wednesday April 12 I will fly American Airlines nonstop to Nashville.

Okay, folks, this is the last update for this trip.  When I have all my photos optimized, organized, and uploaded to my photo galleries, I will do an update to let you know they are ready for your viewing.


You can click on any of the small photos in this blog to open a full size photo. 

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


************************************


EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS --  CLICK HERE to sign up your email
to receive each new blog post to in your email inbox.
         

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Via Rail and Amtrak Trip June 2016 - New Orleans Wednesday, June 15

Me(Reagan) in along side Amtrak's City of New Orleans

Well, after three days and two nights I've completed my last train ride for this trip. Both Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited and City of New Orleans transported me to Chicago for a 9 hour lay over and then on to New Orleans arriving this afternoon around 3 PM. The journey was not without an exciting end though. After all the checked baggage was delivered and picked up, my bag was no where to be found. Kudos to New Orleans Amtrak personnel checking and contacting baggage people in Chicago and Albany. No evidence was found in those two places that my bag was find-able. The New Orleans employees took down all the information and sent me on to my hotel. Since I was wearing long sleeve shirt and not knowing when or if my luggage would show up, I bought a Kenneth Cole short sleeve shirt at the nearby Riverwalk Outlets Mall connected to my hotel.  Happily, Amtrak called me about 8 tonight and told me my bag came in on the Cresent train from New York and they delivered the bag to me at my hotel around 9 PM. All is good. I hope my bag enjoyed traveling on two separate trains from me. I learned a lesson to not check a bag at Albany. 

I did get to spend about 9 hours in Chicago yesterday which included a visit to the top of the Willis Tower 103 floors high and a stroll south of Union Station to a place I could watch trains departing south and also find a Panera Bread store where I had a good cup of Chicken Noodle soup and frozen lemonade. In my walk I passed the best flower aroma from the flowers in the photo below.

Flowers in Chicago with most pleasant aroma

I think tomorrow will simply be a spontaneous day in New Orleans with rest and recuperation.  Looking forward to flying home Friday afternoon on Southwest Airlines. Time for a long, long time enjoying life at home. Looking forward to the Tennessee Titans 2016 NFL season and worship at home with my Forest Hills Baptist fellowship. 

I've taken over 1,300 photos which I will work on and update my Reagan's Photo Galleries in next few weeks. When ready, I post an update to let you know they are available for your viewing.


You can click on any of the small photos in this blog to open a full size photo. 

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


************************************


EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS --  CLICK HERE to sign up your email
to receive each new blog post to in your email inbox.
         
  



Sunday, June 12, 2016

Via Rail and Amtrak Trip June 2016 - Sunday in Albany, NY, June 12

Entrance to Albany's Hudson River Walkway

Me, Reagan, along the Hudson River in Albany, NY

My last full day in Albany began as a partly cloudy sunny day but became more of a brisk cloudy bright day with almost full cloud cover and very windy - 15-25 mph. After a late breakfast I walked the very short walk from my hotel to the Albany Hudson River Walk. This is another enjoyable riverside walkway provided by cities along the Hudson River in New York State. In the first photo you can see the city, state, and national flag at the entrance to the walkway with the river just beyond and city of Rensselaer on the other side where the Amtrak station is located. If you look closely, you will see an Amtrak train passing through. Being a government town Albany is very quiet on Sunday so I stopped by a Rite-Aid store and stocked up on ice cream, water, and Coke Zero planning to hang out at the hotel this afternoon and evening.

One of the great things about technology now is the ability to keep up with news, sports, and other things from home. This blog is a gift that technology provided to let me share my travels with you. In recent years, churches have been using technology to even stream their worship services and provide websites full of church information.  I took advantage of the streaming service provided by my former home church First Baptist Nashville this afternoon to worship with them.  I was surprisingly blessed to watch and hear a quartet of men including my closest adopted Bradley family member Russ singing during the worship service.  Here are three photos I captured from my laptop of the worship service.

Worship from First Baptist Church Nashville Sunday, June 12

Men's Quartet singing "I Sing the Mighty Power of God"

That my adopted family Russ B. in the light gray coat

Friends, how about a two day break in these updates? Tomorrow I board Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited for an overnight trip to Chicago. After a fairly long day between trains in Chicago, I depart Tuesday night on Amtrak's City of New Orleans bound for New Orleans in my home state Louisiana.  I'll do my next update Wednesday night from New Orleans where I will stay two nights at the Hilton Riverside. Friday afternoon June 17, I'll fly home to Nashville. Surprisingly, I have no future travel plans until October so it will be good to become a home body in Tennessee for a while.


You can click on any of the small photos in this blog to open a full size photo. 

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


************************************


EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS --  CLICK HERE to sign up your email
to receive each new blog post to in your email inbox.