"Go By Train" indeed! At the moment it seems a distant memory, with spring weather now well under way, but a couple of weeks ago, I was planning to drive to Seattle with my friend, Erin for our annual trek to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, but severe weather and snowstorms were forecasted that threatened to muck up travel up and down I-5. So at the last minute, we booked a couple of seats on Amtrak.
As it turned out, we saw very little snow from the cozy interior of the train, but it was nice to know that there was at least some snow here and there, in order to justify our trepidation for traveling by car.
I know, I know, a lot of people take the train to the show every year, so it's not a new idea, but it was a first for me, and I have to say that I'm a convert. Even though my friend is usually the driver, I found this to be such a comfortable and relaxing way to go. Very spacious. Free WiFi. Coffee, drinks and snacks. The only downside was that it forced us to be pretty careful about our purchases once we got to the show, because we had to figure out how to get everything home. In the big scheme of things, having some discipline imposed can be a good thing, at least for my pocketbook. I did still manage to shop -- bulbs, tubers and bare root plants pack quite nicely in a suitcase!
On the way up we took the Cascades route, opting to travel in the more spacious business class for a slight up-charge. On the return leg, we took the Coast Starlight to Portland. It's an especially pleasant ride in the observation car -- light, bright and airy. After a late lunch and a glass of wine in the dining car, voila! we're home.