Monday, June 26, 2017

June 4-20 Amtrak Summer 2017 Adventure - New Orleans and Portland, OR - Photo Galleries are Uploaded

Amtrak Adventure Began on Sunset Limited

June 2017 Amtrak New Orleans to Portland Adventure Galleries

Another great Amtrak Adventure is completed and Reagan's Photo Galleries have been updated with ten galleries of photos and three videos.  I flew to New Orleans June 4 to begin the trip staying three nights before boarding Amtrak's Sunset Limited to Los Angeles CA Wednesday June 7 connecting to Amtrak's Coast Starlight traveling on to Portland, OR. Portland is one my favorite public transportation cities. While in Portland, I did two day tours from Portland visiting Multnomah Falls and other falls along the Columbia River and also visiting the Oregon Coast. Following my stay in Portland, I traveled June 14 on Amtrak's Cascades train to Seattle. After about three hours in Seattle I boarded the Empire Builder for a two night trip to Chicago connecting to Amtrak's City of New Orleans to return to New Orleans for three more nights before flying home to Nashville June 20.  Thanks to Southwest Airlines for two safe on time flights from Nashville to New Orleans and return. 

The ten photo albums are available for your viewing at:

Rather than link all ten photo galleries separately, I recommended accessing all ten photo galleries from the link above.  In the meantime here are some of my favorite photos.

And to close here is one of the videos I took.  That's my sleeping car attendant yelling out from the car as it passed.  I was able to take this video because they were just re positioning the train on the station ramp after letting us off.


Future 2017 Travel Plans

My future 2017 travel plans includes a visit with friends in Albuquerque in October to experience the balloon fest and some family activities in July and August.

October 4-14 Albuquerque Balloon Fest and Las Vegas -- Will fly American Airlines to Chicago October 4 in the morning and board Amtrak's Southwest Chief that afternoon 3 PM.  The Southwest Chief will arrive afternoon of October 5. My friends, the Andersons, will pick me up and deliver me to my hotel for five nights. While in Albuquerque, the Andersons will be my host and together we will take in all the balloon fest activities and experience my first time staying in Albuquerque.  One of the must do activities will be to ride the commuter train the Railrunner from downtown Albuquerque to Santa Fe and return.  By the way, I met the Andersons while riding the Durango and Silverton Railroad on my 2012 Colorado Road Trip.  At the time they were living in their RV but now have a one bedroom apartment in Albuquerque. 

After five nights in Albuquerque, I will fly Southwest Airlines to Las Vegas and four nights at Caesar's Palace. It's been a while since I last visited so I have already purchased my front row seat to see Cirque Du Soleil's  "O' at the Bellagio. I'll fly American Airlines home to Nashville Saturday October 14.

Family Time - In July and August I will be traveling some to be with family for great niece Cheri's Louisiana wedding and then to east Tennessee to attend my great niece Kellie's "white coat" ceremony as she begins pharmacy school at East Tennessee State University. I'll also use that travel to visit with family and friends in North Louisiana and the Dallas, TX, area. I'm not planning to do blog updates during those trips.

Cataract Surgery - After I return home from the family event mid August, I will be dedicating the remainder of August and all of September to having cataract surgery and recovery.  Since the new lens and related doctor cost are not covered by insurance, I'll be directing my travel money toward this expenditure. That means no new travel plans remainder of 2017 and into 2018.

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.


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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 20 - Home is Where the Heart Is -- And That's Where I Am

Just a very short update to let you know I left rainy New Orleans this afternoon and arrive home around 6 PM Central Time today.  Thanks to Southwest Airlines for getting me here.

No pictures but here is my near term life events.  First, my 2006 Sony Vaio has official died or at least refuses to power on since I think the battery is officially dead and the USB ports other than one no longer provide a valid connection.  Good thing I ordered a new second generation Notebook Lenova Thinkpad 13 inch and it will hopefully arrive before I leave for Texas and Louisiana to visit long time friends " the Young's"  in Dallas(Plano) and then back to Shreveport/Bossier City, LA, to attend my great niece Cheri's wedding on July 15.

Second, I go the my eye doctor Monday, June 26, for measurements and discussion of lens implants and possible scheduling of my cataract removal surgery after I return from my July trip to Texas and Louisiana.

And most important, I look forward to getting back to worship at my church Forest Hills Baptist and working with the 5th grade guys in Sunday morning Bible study.

My Dell desktop computer is working well so I shall also be optimizing, organizing, and uploading my trip photos to  my photo galleries.  I let you know with a blog update when they are ready for you to view.

Before leaving New Orleans today, I did go to the Cafe Du Monde for cafe au lait and beignets.  Here are IPhone photos I took there.

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 18-19 New Orleans

For two days in New Orleans I've not done much tourist things and left my camera in the room. Actually, I spent a lot of time in my hotel room researching and ordering a new Lenova Thinkpad 13 Inch Laptop. Traveling with my 2006 Sony laptop had finally led to me needing to replace.  For sometime now I have known the battery was probably ineffective as I could only use it while plugged into power.  A while ago two of my USB ports stopped working and I discovered that while traveling with me, a third USB port had stopped working leaving only one USB port still working. I need two - one for my portable external hard drive which I backup documents, etc and so that I can bring the files, etc. from my desktop to keep up on my laptop and then use the external drive to update my desktop. I use both Quicken and Microsoft Excel on both desktop and laptop.  The second need for a USB port is for my wireless mouse. Yes, the touchpad still works but I don't like using the touchpad. So, hopefully, the new laptop will arrive before I leave for Texas to visit friends and to Louisiana for my great niece's wedding in July.

The photos today were taken Saturday as we arrived in New Orleans and a view of Mississippi River from my hotel room and also a painting in my room.

One of the joys of traveling especially on Amtrak is meeting people from all over the world.  I met one such family from Oregon on the Empire Builder and they send me the photo below of us sitting and visiting in the sightseer lounge card.  The young teenager Russell in the photo invited me to join with him and mom and dad to play "spades" after dinner one night. That was a lot of fun.

Tomorrow I fly home to Nashville on Southwest Airlines arriving around 5 PM. I have ridden on five Amtrak trains and all five arrived at the final destination on time and usually a few minutes early. I will organize, optimize and update my photos to my photo galleries while at home and my next blog update will let you know when the photo galleries are ready for you to view.

My next "big" travel trip will be in October when I visit my friends, the Andersons, in Albuquerque for the hot air balloon festival. I will travel on Amtrak's Southwest Chief from Chicago to Albuquerque. 

In July and August I am driving to Texas, Louisiana, and East Tennessee for family activities and to visit long time friends who use to live in Nashville. I will not be posting travel updates during these family and friends travel.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

June 17 - Last Day on Train- New Orleans

Today is my last train day for this trip. We arrived 
Memphis TN on time and will travel through scenic Mississippi north to south today. 


We stopped in Greenwood MS for fresh air break. 


Last fresh air break in Jackson. 



Almost to New Orleans 



What's is it with New Orleans' hotels. Arrived 4 PM and room not ready. Have waited 30 minutes and they are still cleaning room. Last picture of the day. 


Plan to take Sunday off for rest and worship. So no Sunday update. Weather permitting Monday I plan to visit WW II Museum and post an update. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

June 16 - Empire Builder to City of New Orleans

After a good night of sleep, we arrived on time in St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota. Traveled along and crossed the Mississippi River leaving St. PAul. Goal is to arrive Chicago by 4 PM to connect to the City of New Orleans at 8 PM. 



 Last fresh air break on Empire Builder at Winona, Minnesota. Expecting and on time arrival in Chicago. 



Arrived Chicago right on time 4 PM. Checked into the sleeping car lounge and then went for my Chicago hot dog and a brief step out doors. 


Waited in the sleeping car lounge to board the City of New Orleans. 


Boarded and leaving Chicago. Good to have Rion as my sleeping car attendant. He was my attendant coupe years ago. Here's today's last photos. 



Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 15 - Empire Builder Across Montana to North Dakota

Today began in Whitefish, Montana, as we began traveling all day around Glacier National Park and across Montana to North Dakota. 



Continuing on across Montana. 


Havre, Montana 


Cattle near Malta, Montana  


Around 7 PM tonight we will reach North Dakota and continue on to Minot. North Dakota and arrive Minnesota early morning. 

Around 9 PM we are in North Dakota and this rainbow appeared to end a good day.