Friday, February 20, 2009

Finally got home Wednesday afternoon after two great days on the Empire Builder - there is a real difference in the attitude in the staff on this train - very much more professional and courteous than on the City of New Orleans - train also arrived early into Seattle so I was able to catch the early bus back to Vancouver - while there were only nine of us on the bus it took a while to clear the border as there was another bus in front of us and one of the young lads on the bus who just arrived to study English took a while to answer the usual questions of such student.

After cashing in some American money at the currency exchange I grabbed a quick bite to eat at McDonalds having had breakfast at 6AM on the train - then I walked home dragging the suitcase behind me - it was a nice pleasant day and after three days on the train I needed to get some exercise. On the scales later at the gym I was actually down a couple of lbs so I guess all that walking on the trip which I estimate to be around 60KM made up for the ice creme on the ship and those decadent desserts on the train.

Yesterday I got back to the real world - buying groceries, cooking meals, making my bed etc. Still have 2 - 3 loads of laundry to do later in the week.

Also worked on trying to find some more volunteers for the FOYP work party next weekend - not having a lot of success but it looks like I will have at least 10 people working on the projects.

Met with up Jim for dinner last night and watched the Canucks game - they are once again interesting to watch.

Woke up early this morning - still somewhat operating on the Central time zone - 2 hours different as I couldn't sleep all that well.

Have now transferred all of my video from the cruise etc onto my desktop - now starts the editing process and coming up with a best off album or two.

Still hope to do a detailed review of this trip replete with images and video and get it posted before too long. The weather turned cold and snowy as i may my way across the Northern high line states as they like to call the Empire Builders route - these three images are of Chicago skyline near the Sears tower, me at one the stops between Chicago and Seattle and a snowy scene at one the stations along the line - It is Minot, North Dakota.

Well the major cruises are finished for the foreseeable future - with my pension income down this year and no big income tax refund likely anymore such trips will be harder to take - still intend to do the one nighter from Seattle to Vancouver in September - haven't decided on whether to book the Pearl or the Star or perhaps even a different cruise line.

I also submitted an online application for employment in the upcoming provincial election as an election official - there can be as much as 5 days of work and depending on the job the pay is between $200 and $300 a day.

Hope to get out on the bike at little later today - the nice weather won't last forever so I might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

More later



Monday, February 16, 2009

Well I am now in Chicago awaiting the departure of the Empire Builder for the final leg of my trip home - the images you see above are just a sample of some of the scenes that I experienced at the various ports of call - they are the Spirit anchored off Belize City, Las Escobas Waterfalls in San Tomas, Altun Hu ruins in Belize city, Chaccohben ruins at Costa Maya and finally the poolside area at the rebuilt port of Costa Maya.

The train ride up from New Orleans was bumpy and boring and not the greatest staff attitude - probably the worst that I have had on my recent Amtrak rides.

Cold in Chicago but currently sunny - any going to adventure outside for a short time before having lunch and then boarding the train.

Gord - if you read this say hi to Jim for me.