There was a time back when husband and I had been dating for about a year and a half, when he was selected to got to Switzerland for the Model United Nations conference. I of course couldn’t let him go by himself, so I bought a plane ticket and joined him. The group had planned to take a train from Geneva to Paris once the conference was over, and it was with this magnificent experience that we both fell in love with train travel.
When trying to decide how to get from Portland to Seattle, then Seattle to Vancouver, we originally went straight to looking at renting a car. But then Husband had the bright idea to see if Amtrak ran trains to those locations.
Much to our delight, not only did they have routes that would put us right in the city where we could then hop on the public transportation to our hotels, but the tickets were also insanely cheap. Like $120 for both of us or both trips.
Stepping into the train station we were already excited. There is something so old school romantic about train stations. I adored the pews for passengers to sit on in the waiting area.
This excitement grew as we got on the train. We were met with spacious cabins, comfortable leather seats, and all the bathrooms we could need for the multiple hour trip we had in front of us.
We got out the food and drinks we had bought, and settled in for the ride…then our bad luck showed up again. Apparently some passengers that needed to get on our train were set to transfer from another train that was arriving. However, that transfer train was running an hour late. So we had to sit at the station for an hour before we even left.
Then everything went relatively smoothly until we reached Tacoma, a small town about 20 minutes from Seattle (and somewhere we wouldn’t mind to live if we got stationed at the McChord Joint Base). Almost as soon as we arrived, the intercom crackled on to let us know that the train in front of us had hit a pedestrian, and we would be stuck there for an indefinite time.
There are not many things as frustrating as being within 20 minutes of your destination and stuck. Many passengers got off and started calling for taxis, ourselves included, but the $100 fare made us find new patience. We had friends we planned to visit while in Seattle, so I gave them a call hoping it was easy for them to just run down and pick us up, but the 5:00 traffic and promise of a two hour long trip made us rethink that option.
Finally we resorted to just waiting it out. We were already two hours behind our arrival time, what was another hour right?
Thankfully the train got moving eventually…only to be stopped again as there was congestion with the commuter trains going from Tacoma to Seattle.
We were supposed to have arrived at 3:30 in Seattle, but instead called for a taxi to our hotel around 6:45.
The Seattle train station was beautiful though.
We stayed at the Sorrento Hotel, and upon arrival were treated to an upgrade to a suite, and to our surprise a half bottle of wine and chocolates to celebrate our upcoming anniversary.
It was a great start to make up for our travel woes.
The room even had a french press and unlimited ground coffee. For anyone that knows us, coffee, especially on vacation, is a necessity. We drink a ton in the mornings, a ton in the afternoons, and if it strikes us, maybe a caffeine nightcap before bed.
Another positive aspect of our trip that I feel I should mention, is that every one of the beds we had at our hotels were to die for comfortable. Huge, fluffy comforters. Mountains of pillows. My idea of heaven really. I slept like a baby the whole time.
We took a few minutes to enjoy the wine and refresh, then got ready to hit the town.