Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Train Ride to Vancouver


After getting up early and catching the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle, it was time to wait in the passenger lounge at King Station for my Amtrak.


It only costs $38 to take the train from Seattle to Vancouver. I am definitely going to remember that any time I have a few spare days in the Pacific Northwest on my hands. I was really looking forward to my mini adventure.


We didn’t have to stop at the Canadian border but cleared Customs in Vancouver. However, just to check that I had all of the proper documents, I had to present my passport when I made my purchase at the ticket window.

My passport is a whole lot cooler now that I’ve been to the Caribbean twice in the past few months…


As you can see, they have spared no expense in making their awaiting passengers comfortable. I am just hoping that this area looks so awful because of the construction being done on the station. It could very well look this inviting all the time. It is Amtrak…

I was an hour early for my train, so some pretty good people-watching took place as passengers filed in for the 7:40 AM northbound.


All aboard! I love trains. They are so powerful and beefy. Two qualities that I look for in a good train.


Sorry for the rain-blurred picture, but I though the cart used to haul checked baggage to the train was just out of this world! They were probably using this exact same cart to load western coaches in the 1870s! Doesn’t it look ancient?! Are those metal tires?


I’ve ridden an Amtrak fewer times than I can count on one hand. I felt even more adventurous knowing that I was doing something so out of-the-norm for me. I just pretended that I knew what I was doing when I found my seat in the first car behind the baggage car.

Fake it ‘til you make it.


It was difficult to get good pictures during the four-hour train ride, as it was pouring rain against my window for the entire trip. I love rain. But not when I’m trying to get some shots of the beautiful landscape in between Seattle and Vancouver!

Shame on you, Rain.

Also, we were moving pretty fast. That always provides a challenge to cameras to avoid blurring.


After we were on our way and had made a few stops shortly after Seattle, I decided to see what this Bistro Car was all about. I was hungry and had already been up for five hours. Sounds like breakfast time to me!

On my walk, I passed this empty car. Since we had about seven stops on our way to Canada, they left this car empty in Seattle for the future riders. It was nice that they properly planned things so we didn’t have to share seats right next to us.

I like strangers and all, but not that much.


The train tracks ran right next to the water. It was really neat to be so close. We even passed a beach where several golden eagles were loitering. Maybe it was a gang?

When I tried a picture of them, it was a blur. Of course. Golden eagles may just be too majestic for my little camera to handle.


I love mini milk cartons (chocolate, of course. I hate drinking regular milk). The carton made me feel like I was back in elementary school! The bagel was good, too. Anything is good when you haven’t eaten for a while!


Hi, Bellingham, Washington station. Allegiant Airlines flies directly to you from Mesa. It would be so fun to head up for a few days in Seattle with Hubby. However, he didn’t seem so crazy about the idea when I pitched it to him a few days ago. How did I marry someone who doesn’t like to travel?!


On the train ride, I read my book (on my Kindle app on my iPod Touch…turning a page every three seconds because the screen is so tiny!), checked email, and watched the beautiful scenery outside my huge window. I love that the train had wi-fi. Bonus.


We passed some pretty sites and some not-so-pretty sites. I would include these houses in the latter grouping.


Here we are crossing the border into Canada. As always, it looks like we are way more concerned about who enters the Unites States compared to who leaves. It is this way in general aviation Customs, too! They don’t even come to the airplane when you land…you simply call them on the phone to tell them that you’ve arrived, and they look out of their toasty-warm trailer to confirm. Then they wave you on.

I can’t say I blame them. I wouldn’t want to leave a toasty-warm trailer to check on an airplane when it is minus fifty outside, either.


This is White Rock, which is the first town in Canada after passing the border. It was cute, and I wanted to stop and wander around. I bet there is a fudge shop somewhere in this general area. A girl can always use more fudge.

I stayed on the train, however. It helped that the train didn’t stop here!


We are nearing the city of Vancouver now. The train had slowed down through every town we passed, and it was now going about 20 MPH. The last ten miles took almost an hour to the station.


The Amtrak train is just one of several trains operated in this lovely country. These tracks are for the Sky Train, which runs through all of Vancouver and its suburbs, as well as for the Canadian version of Amtrak, Via.

I love this picture because it looks like the White Roller Coaster at Lagoon. My sister is going to Disneyland this week, so maybe I am just excited that she is going to a fun theme park by relating this photo to a ride from my childhood?


I don’t remember what this river was named. I was too excited thinking about almost being with my family. Sorry that I am not being a very good tourist on this one.


These skyscrapers mean I am definitely getting closer to downtown Vancouver. When I showed them to Hubby, he thought they looked rather Communist. This coming from a man who lived in Hungary for a few years, so he would recognize such buildings…

Canada? Is there something that you want to tell us?


I have to hand it to the teenagers of Canada. They have some mad graffiti skillz, and I got to enjoy lots of their colorful work on my train ride to Pacific Central Station.


Here we are parked after arriving at the train station. The few workers first unload the baggage before passengers can disembark. This is the Via, which is the Canadian version of Amtrak.

Maybe they aren’t as heavily-subsidized by the government as our little train?

Whoa. Sorry to get all political there for a minute. Sheesh.


With my luggage in hand, I played the annoying tourist yet again by taking a picture of Ralph, our train. I knew he was a “Ralph” from the moment I saw him.

Aren’t trains so big and cool?

I made it safely to Vancouver and had butterflies in my stomach from my adventure in motion. I love living on the edge like this! This is considered living on the edge for someone as Type-A as me, by the way.


  1. Type A....OCD...??
    You know, don't you, that they make medications for both of those conditions....
    LOL, JK!!

    I LOVE the pics and the narration! Thanks and keep it up! It's going to be 100* here in dry Utah today and a pic or two of rainy weather is welcome!


  2. So cool! I didn't realize that Seattle and Vancouver were so far apart! They definitely don't look that far on a map! Thanks for being such a good little tourist and blogger and letting me travel vicariously with you! Love you!

  3. I'm so glad you seem to like these posts. Sometimes, I worry that my trips would only be interesting to ME! I'm glad that others are willing to come along for the journey.

    Hopefully it will counts to have my mom and sister so enthusiastic?

  4. I love that you knew the train was Ralph.


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