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Monday, June 11, 2012

Hugging Family in Minnesota thanks to Amtrak

Dear Family and Friends,

Last week we boarded Amtrak in Seattle, Washington to travel to Minnesota.  Minnesota, where our daughter, son-in-law and ten grandchildren live.

We love traveling by rail and we love traveling the Empire Builder because it's route takes us right through Glacier National Park in Montana. The scenery is beautiful no matter what time of year we travel.

The man in the picture below is a volunteer from the National Park Service narrating about the park, the plants,the animals and the glaciers as we traveled along.

This is Glacier National Lodge built in 1912 by Great Northern Railroad in order to get passengers to ride the train.  When it was built, the only way you could get to Glacier National Park was by train because there were no roads.

As you might expect the observation car is the most popular car on the train.

Another popular car is the dining car.  To look at this picture you would not know that, but I took this picture early one morning just before breakfast was served.  For dinner the tables have table cloths.  It is fun to meet other travelers over dinner.

Our first night on the train we shared the table with a couple who have been researching retirment in Ecuador.  What a small world.  They were full of questions about our experiences.  We advised them that they should visit for a few months before making the decision to move there.  Who knows we may be having a meal with them in Cuenca one day.

We got off the train to stretch our legs when the stops were long enough to permit it.

Here is sunrise the morning we arrived in Montana.

We arrived in Minneapolis about 7:30am.  We rented a car and drove through the countryside to visit the kids.

Here are Merri, Ken and the grand kids, Portia, Paris, Joshua, Petra, Paige, Nathanial, Joy, Kylia May, Raven Lee and Autumn Rose.

We spent one day at their house being entertained every minute.  Here is Paige showing us a magic act with little sister, Kylia May.

The next day was a full day of swimming.  Here is our oldest grand daughter, Portia, holding our youngest grand daughter, Autumn Rose.

The following day we were treated to some of the most beautiful singing we have ever heard.  Our grandson, Joshua is in the North Star Boys Choir.  He has been singing in the choir for five or six years...and toured all over the U.S. and in Europe.  This was his last performance.  His voice is changing so his tour this summer will be his last.

 Here is a picture of Chuck and me with Joshua after the performance.

We had a wonderful always, it is never long enough.

We will be back in Cuenca on Thursday.  We can't wait to see all our friends.  



  1. How wonderful that you got to do all those things. I lived not far from Seattle for several years and just moved to Cotacachi from Minneapolis so I found myself envisioning all your travels. The only thing I wasn't able to do was take the train from Seattle to Minneapolis. I had it all planned out and then had to cancel at the last minute. Darn!

  2. Cynthia, Hopefully you will be able to take the train in the one day. The scenery through Glacier National Park is extraordinary.

  3. I grew up near Seattle and now live in Minnesota.

    I have taken the Empire Builder a couple times between Minneapolis and Seattle and thoroughly enjoyed the pictures you took.

    My son is a choir mate of Joshua's; in fact, Joshua was asked to help Marc learn the ropes of choir when we first started.

    We are so proud of ALL the boys!


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