We had a window this week to get in a short trip to Seattle, so we got on the Amtrak here in Portland and took the 3.5 hour ride up the coast. It’s nice to have a train right here for a quick run to another big city for $34 per adult, each way. And the best part is, I don’t have to drive. We got to bring sandwiches and books on the train, so we ate together and everybody had a lot of quiet reading time and computer time since Tate brought his laptop.
The trains here are new, clean and comfortable and the train stations in Portland and Seattle were impressively fancy and big. The trains were right on time and they run four or five times a day. It’s very convenient.
I’ve taken lots of train trips, but my kids have never been on one, so this was an exciting first for them. They are having lots of new experiences that are changing the way they see the world. We haven’t been in a car at all in three weeks now. Just walking, biking, buses, street cars and now the train.
We walked a lot on this trip too, so much that Tate had blisters and we had to get him some Space Needle socks to wear with his sandals. But, we got to see a lot. We walked through Pike Place Market where we saw them throw fish when people bought them and we saw the original Starbucks. We walked to the West Lake Mall and took the monorail to the Space Needle. Then on the way back out of town, we walked through Pioneer Square then through the massive crowds at the stadium where the Sea Hawks were kicking off at the same time as our train departure right next door at the King Street Amtrak Station.
All five of us made this trip, which is always a victory with so many conflicting priorities and interests now. And even though it was a short trip, there are lots of logistics around activities, travel and food that we have to negotiate. We always get closer when we all get to work together to have a good time. It builds trust along with the memories. The situations are not completely without conflict, but the minor, short lived conflict is always a good opportunity for everyone to practice diplomacy and patience.
With every passing day, I get lots and lots of reminders that spending this time together was a wise choice for us right now. An education like no other.