I think the Amtrak train is like childbirth. Once you get over the initial shock and get a good nights rest, a good meal, some coffee and a couple Excedrin, it almost seems like a good idea.
Let me back up....our train was supposed to leave at 11:50 at night. I figured we'd get settle by 12:30 and get 5-6 hours of sleep. We'd be okay. That didn't happen. Our train was over 2 1/2 hours late. Apparently, that's very common. We decided to try to get a few hours of sleep before we even left. The kids slept. David and I really didn't, maybe 30 minutes. My Dad and Suzy woke up at 12:15 and drove us there. I kept checking the status on the way there and it kept getting later and later. By the time we got there, we had to wait an hour for the train to arrive. The station that we went to in Sandpoint, Idaho looked like an abandoned haunted building. It's permanently closed. Nobody even works there. You just stand on a platform. They stop, you load and they go.
At 2 in the morning, we were all pretty tired.
We finally got on and the conductor tells us to go in this particular lower level car. The lower level is usually reserved for people who can't climb the stairs to the top level. The top level was full though. We got in the train and Emily and Ben were so excited to be on the train, they couldn't sleep. Noah was out as soon as the train started moving. It's pretty comfortable and the seats recline and stuff, but David and I just couldn't sleep. At some point David laid on the ground I think where a wheelchair may normally go. We stopped at 4:00 in the morning in Spokane and a lot of people got off and lots were waiting to get on. A conductor came in our car and said, "Party of 5, I need to move you." Ben had just fallen asleep. We gather up some of our stuff (purse, laptop, camera, she told us to leave the bigger luggage) and we go outside and to another car that has an upper level.
Let me just insert a comment about how shocked I am about the lack of security on a train. No scanners, nobody looking through a bag. Absolutely nothing. People walking on and off with tons of bags and nothing. Just shocking really. But, I guess it's safe.
I digress...The sunrise was gorgeous. In Spokane (when they woke us up to move cars), the back of the train got detached and headed to Portland. We went on to Seattle. So, we ended up being in the last car. I was able to get a great picture of the sunrise.
I was surprised at the diverse landscape in Washington. I thought the whole state would be green. It wasn't. At first, it looked a lot like Arizona.
It slowly got greener as we headed west.
We went through an almost 8 mile tunnel. When we got through, it was like a rainforest.
Emily and Ben finally fell asleep around 9. Noah woke up at 7. David and I never slept.
Then, we got to the coast.
We finally arrived at the train station. It was a far cry from the haunted platform we left from.
At some point, we tried on mustaches as we all needed a laugh.
Emily wouldn't try hers on because the people behind us were watching (laughing) at us.
Luckily, we arrived in Seattle only an hour late. We had enough time to grab lunch and get back to the Amtrak station to take a bus to Vancouver. Here are the kids waiting for the bus. They are in front of Century Link field. Pretty impressive football field.
The bus ride was uneventful. The kids slept the whole way. Well, all but Noah who had energy to spare and kept David and I from getting any rest. The bus dropped us off in front of a hotel. So, that's where I booked a room for the night knowing we would be done. And we were. The kids still had energy to head to the pool.
They had a huge waterslide.
Emily convinced Noah to go down the slide.
David and I were just done by 8:00. We were beyond tired. We fell asleep, Noah was asleep and I told Emily and Ben to turn off the TV by 9:30.
Long travel days are always hard. They are even harder with 3 small children. They almost kill you when you have no sleep on top of all that. We are happy it's over, kind of like childbirth.