Trip:Earth:USA:Chicago to Seattle… On the Road Again

What kid doesn’t dream of trains? Maybe not kids these days staring at their ipads and digital trains but I did growing up. I’ve always enjoyed the trips I’ve taken. It’s such a pleasure to be able to relax and let the miles move themselves. For this trip I took Amtrak’s Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle. These are a few of the photos without most of my writing. A second entry will be my journal plus a gallery of the photos. Easy peasy.

The night before started with a bottle of wine. A celebration of a good voyage to come and the next day off to the train station

.Chicago, IL

I’m used to short trips on the east coast but this was scheduled for two nights. As people constantly said, “You could just fly to Seattle and get there faster.” Yeah though the point is not about seeing Seattle but about seeing the country and taking the time to be in the moment. When you fly over the land you are just that much more removed. Even on a train I was closer but still not interacting. I was hoping to feel the country in a similar way I feel closer when I’m on my motorcycle. This trip cutting through america’s heartland should be great.

The train was scheduled to leave at 2:15pm. The first picture didn’t come out right and it took another minute but still blurry, 2:16pm the train was off.

Leaving on time

Leaving on time

It’s a great feeling to be on the train. I’m already feeling relaxed especially after hearing the boarding call. It was a slow removal away from Chicago and a slow transition through the stops. The room I booked was a roomette I believe.

The Room

The Room

The top bunk can fold down into a bed. There is netting to help keep you from falling out.

 

 

 

The bed unfolded

The bed unfolded

The bottom couch drops into a two person (or one large person) bed. The length was just about right since I don’t usually sleep straight out.

 

 

The Bathroom

The bathroom

The bathroom was described as small and it was. One blog described it as a place a man could shit, shower and shave at the same time.

 

 

Fold out table

Fold out table

There is a fold out table that actually holds quite a lot of stuff as you can see. Food and music for the trip.

 

 

 

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The viewing car

The viewing car was occupied most of the time. Great big windows and comfy chairs. Plugs in case you needed to charge your device.

 

 

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The coach car

The coach car was quite roomy appearing. Most of the seats were empty and a lot of the passengers seemed to have two seats so they could layout and sleep.

 

 

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The dining car

In the sleeper car you get the meals for free thankfully. They can be quite expensive. Dinner was by reservation which was a window of time to show up.

 

 

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Americana

Just a beautiful picture of america.

 

 

 

 

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Americana

Another one.

 

 

 

 

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Dining car food

The food was edible. Not the greatest. The steak was tough and needed the A1 sauce. The mashed potatoes were the best part of the meal. The corn was mostly left on the plate.

 

 

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Dining car food

The pasta was ok.

 

 

 

 

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Dining car food

The best part of the meal.

 

 

 

 

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Dining car food

Not so good strawberry cheesecake.

 

 

 

 

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Breakfast burrito

The burrito came out fast so I’m thinking premade. It was still good. Potatoes not so much.

 

 

 

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Omlette

Cheese omelette wasn’t too bad.

 

 

 

 

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Americana

 

 

 

 

 

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Smoking break

The always tried to announce smoking breaks. So many people wanting/needing their smoking addiction.

 

 

 

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Americana

 

 

 

 

 

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Americana

 

 

 

 

 

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Cheese pizza

Standard and while I am picky with my pizza, I found it edible.

 

 

 

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Hamburger on croissant

The croissant was actually a great addition to the burger.

 

 

 

Americana pictures

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Americana

 

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Dining car food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acceptable.

 

 

 

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Dining car food

Mac and cheese

 

 

 

 

Lots of beautiful pictures

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Dining car food

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Dining car food

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana

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Americana – The Sound

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Americana – The Sound

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Metal thing poking the space needle

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King Street Station

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Hotel Hyatt Olive 8

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Hotel Hyatt Olive 8

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Hotel Hyatt Olive 8

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Hotel Hyatt Olive 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sitka & Spruce

Didn’t eat here but heard it’s good.

 

 

 

 

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Homegrown

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Homegrown

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Small stores

 

 

 

 

 

Set of small stores. Nice area.

 

 

 

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Homegrown

Great small place to eat at. Clean tasting food.

 

 

 

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Grilled Cheese with tomato sauce

Yummy.

 

 

 

 

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Sad panda. Would love to have seen Rodrigo and Gabriela

Wish I could have seen Rodrigo and Gabriela.

 

 

 

 

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Pike Place Market

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Pike Place Market

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Tulips at Pike Place Market

 

 

 

 

 

Pike Place was interesting to visit. They like their tulips.

 

 

Clear enough day to see the mountain

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Mount Whitney

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Mount Whitney

 

 

 

 

 

Was lucky to get these birds in flight.

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In flight

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In flight

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Viewback of Seattle

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Bainbridge Island

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Cafe Nola

Bainbridge Island, WA

Cafe Nola Menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decided to stop at this place. It was recommended.

 

 

 

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Homemade House Margarita

I was trying to decide what to drink and a passing group of people yelled out to get the house margarita as it is fresh and they make it in house. Good recommendation. Clean and light with a great taste.

 

 

Chicago to Seattle-209

Truffle cheese fries with a lemon aioli

Saw these on the menu and of course as a fries aficionado I had to order these. OMG! If you’re there, you must stop by and get them. The lemon aioli was a great compliment.

 

 

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Mo

Supposed to be a top place for ice cream in the country. The ice cream was ok.

 

 

 

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Molten cake with mint ice cream

Decadent.

 

 

 

 

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Fudge place

I love fudge.

 

 

 

 

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Fudge place closed

Sad panda. Fudge place closed.

 

 

 

 

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Japanese removal

It was interesting to learn that the first japanese were removed from this place.

 

 

 

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Return to Seattle

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Space Seattle

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

 

 

 

 

 

Great glass work pieces

 

 

 

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

Uhh.. Chihuly

 

 

 

 

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly

Chihuly Garden and Glass

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Yummy pizza

bicycle polo

Polo on bikes

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Homegrown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last day meal before leaving for the airport. Avacado and cucumber sandwich. Cappucino. Oatmeal.

 

 

 

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Homegrown

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Homegrown

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Homegrown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from the airplane

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From the airplane

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From the airplane

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From the airplane

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From the airplane

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From the airplane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-SFA – Choo Choo

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