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Monday, May 30, 2016

Welcome to Yemen

Dear Family and Friends,

We had a nice three days cruising from San Diego, CA to Vancouver, BC.  What a nice civilized way to get from Point A to Point B.  Fine dining and good entertainment every night.  We were able to spend time with Audrey and Jim and hear about their South Pacific adventures. Matt even took advantage of the free Windows 10 classes offered on board.  Chuck and I enjoyed the lectures offered on Jazz. The ship traveled without any ports of call.

When our ship arrived in Vancouver, Chuck, Matt and I disembarked.  Our next mode of transportation, to get Matt back home, was to take the train to Portland, Oregon, spend the night and then take the train to Pasco, WA.

By the time we got off the ship it was too late to catch the morning train going south.  We spent the afternoon enjoying the fun city of Vancouver and spent the night in a hotel.

We had to get up early the next morning because our train left at 6:30am.  Our hotel made sure we had a taxi waiting for us in the pre-dawn hour.

When we arrived at the train station, we all did a double take.  Even though it was still dark outside, we could see all the signs were in Arabic.

As we entered the station we saw the film crew busy removing all the scene props for the day.  They had been shooting a television show inside the station. The name of the show was Prison Break, I think.  Although we had never heard of it, Matt was familiar with it, which made it much more exciting for him.

They were filming at night...during the day the train station was back to normal.

I made some photos before all the props were dismantled for the day.

Here is a link I found regarding the filming:  Revival of Prison Break episode photos

We boarded the Amtrak train called the Cascades, that goes from Vancouver, BC to Portland. It had to stop at the U.S. border for customs and arrives in Portland in time for connections to the Coast Starlight (south to L.A.) and the Empire Builder (west to Chicago).

Getting up at 4:30am can be rough on a body.

We arrived in Portland about 3:30pm.  Instead of jumping on to another train, we elected to cool our heels in Portland overnight.

We took a taxi to our hotel.  I spent the rest of the afternoon reading a book with my feet propped up while Chuck and Matt went to the movie theater to see the premier of Captain America: Civil War.

Since our train west did not leave the station until 4:30pm, we spent the morning at the Portland Saturday Market.

In order to better enjoy the market, Chuck suggested that we go to the train station first thing and check in our luggage.  This worked out great for us.

Here is Chuck showing Matt how to buy tickets for the light rail. 

The Portland Market is fun and one of our favorite things to do when visiting Portland on a weekend.  Every time we visit, it seems to be bigger and better.

We got to the train station in plenty of time to retrieve our carry on items.  We boarded the train and began our great tip from Portland, Oregon to Pasco, WA.

The journey from Portland to Pasco is one of the prettiest routes of the Amtrak system.  The train goes along the Columbia river all the way to Pasco, WA.

Since this was early May the days were getting a little longer, which made for beautiful views along the route.

I will share some of the pictures I took out of the lounge car window as we made our way up the river.

Mt Hood, which is in Oregon, was beautiful from the Washington side of the River.  We were blessed with fantastic weather.

The land becomes more arid as you travel west.  By the way, the views we saw looking across the river, is the route taken by the wagon trains going to the Willamette Valley back in the 1840's.  If you want to know more about the wagon trains and the Columbia river you can check out this link:  Final leg of the Oregon Trail

The train pulled into the Pasco station about 8:45pm.  Our hotel sent a van to pick us up and Chuck took Matt back to his house.

Sunday, we spent time with our kids in Richland.  In the afternoon we drove over to Seattle to return Larry's car. Monday morning we stepped on yet another airplane, this time headed for Phoenix, Arizona.

I'll share about our Arizona adventure in our next post.



  1. My goodness... the was a touch and go in Richland, wasn't it!

    1. It sure was Karen. We had a plane to catch Monday morning so we couldn't piddle around.


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