Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Portland to Seattle on the Train

My first trip on the train was as a little boy.  My dad took me from Portland to Pasadena to see the Ducks play in the Rose Bowl.  We got a sleeper car.  My dad broke out caviar to celebrate our journey.  I didn't want to eat fish eggs.  Gross.  But he made me.  And then I got a bad ear infection going over the mountain passes.   

I don't remember much else about the trip other than finding myself in a hospital with some lady sticking pointy stuff in my ear over and over.  The game was a feverish blur.  I don't even know if we rode the train back or not.

I do remember my dad complaining then and ever since about the service and cleanliness.

So 18 years later I gave them another chance.  Took a trip to Seattle the past weekend and opted for Amtrak instead of driving.  Loved it.  

It was affordable, $66 round trip.  Could have been cheaper had I booked earlier.  Saved on gas.  Saved on parking in Seattle, which was $30+ at our hotel.
It was quick.  It took about 3 hours and 30 minutes.  About the same as driving, if not less.

It was fun.  I ate.  I drank.  I got up and walked around.  I looked out the window. 

It was clean.  Quick.  Convenient.  Easy.  I want to do it again.   Trains aren't popular here like they are in Europe, but if my experience was indicative of Amtrak's new standards, that will change.

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