Seattle Train Trip February 2011

Dates: February 17 - February 22, 2011

People: Luke, Jonah, Denny, Marcia


Mark and Seth put Luke, Jonah, and Grandma Witte on the MegaBus in Ann Arbor at 5:00 p.m. this evening and we headed for Chicago. Seth wasn't too upset when he saw them all leaving without him. We ate our supper that we had gotten at Wendy’s before getting on the bus. About an hour after we left, we stopped at a Truck Stop. Luke and Jonah each got an ice cream bar and ate it on the bus. The MegaBus was suppose to have internet, but it wasn’t working so they played some games that were on Grandma’s netbook and watched some Star War videos that Mark loaded on Grandma’s netbook. We arrived in Chicago about 8:45 p.m. and Papa was there when we got off the bus. We drove to Lombard and played Wii before going to bed.


  • Luke, Jonah, and Grandma picked up Papa at Concordia and we parked the car at Midway Airport. We took the “L” from the airport to Union Station downtown. We got to walk along the Sears Tower.
  • We put our luggage in the Lounge and Grandma stayed with it. Papa took Luke and Jonah to McDonald’s and we got some supper and took it back to Grandma to eat. The Lounge had all the pop and pink lemonaide that we wanted to drink along with pretzels to eat. The train, the Empire Builder, Number 7, was slated to leave around 2:15 pm but we didn’t get to board the train until about 3:15 p.m. It left about 3:30 p.m.
  • We boarded the Empire Builder and went in our Roommettes. We are on car 730 and in rooms 7 and 8 which are across from each other. Luke went in the room with Papa and Jonah went in the room with Grandma. As we were getting settled, Isaac, the porter, came by and explained details about the train. He brought Grandma & Papa some champagne and he brought one bottle of sparking apple cider for Luke and Jonah to split. They even got to drink it out of plastic wine glasses. They thought it was very good. We took a walk through the café car, 2 passenger cars and took a look at the lounge car.
  • Grandma gave Luke a Lego Star Wars sticker book and gave Jonah a Lego City sticker book. So Luke and Jonah put a few stickers in their new books.
  • At 5:45 p.m. we went to the café car for supper. Luke ordered chicken nuggets and Jonah ordered macaroni and cheese. We each got a salad to eat first. Luke got potato chips with his nuggets and Jonah got parsley sprinkled over his macaroni and cheese. He got mad and wouldn’t eat, because he didn’t like the “green” stuff on his macaroni and cheese. So Papa tried to scrape it off and finally Jonah ate most of the rest so he could get some dessert. Luke ordered cheesecake and Jonah ordered chocolate ice cream. Luke couldn’t eat the cheesecake fast enough as he thought it was “delicious”.
  • We played some Uno cards and Crazy 8 cards on the little pull up table in our roomettes before falling asleep about 9:00 p.m. Papa made our roomettes into beds. Luke slept on the top bunk of Papa’s room and Jonah slept on the top bunk of Grandma’s room. The train continued on overnight. It was going to have an hour delay somewhere before Minneapolis, because they were working on the track. We didn’t wake up when we crossed over into Minnesota and the train stopped at Minneapolis.


  • When we woke up on Saturday morning, we were crossing into North Dakota, but the train was running about 3 or 4 hours behind.
  • Grandma & Papa emailed back and forth to see if each other were up in their rooms as we had our curtains closed.
  • We went to breakfast in the café car. Luke ordered an omelet with cheese and sausage patties off of the adult menu and Jonah ordered pancakes. Luke ate the whole omelet, but Jonah had to have Papa help him with his pancakes, because they were big.
  • We went back to our roomettes and played some Uno and Crazy 8. Grandma played Transformers with Luke, but Luke had to explain to Grandma how to play. When Papa played he knew how to play. Luke and Jonah put stickers in their new sticker books.
  • We went to the Observation car and played Uno. At around 8:45 a.m. while there the train had to park on a track off the main route so the other Empire Builder coming from Seattle could load and unload at Grand Fork, North Dakota. One of the engines on that train was a freight train engine. Papa had said a lot of Amtrak engines were being repaired right now. The engines on our train were all Amtrak engines. We got to watch the train unload their passengers and load up passengers.
  • Grandma gave Luke Step 1 Beginning to Read Star Wars:The Clone Wars book. She gave Jonah a Step 1 Beginning to Read book. So Grandma read the Stars Wars Book to Luke and Papa read Jonah his book.
  • Luke and Jonah decided to switch rooms so Luke moved his stuff to Grandma’s room. Jonah moved his backpack to Papa’s room.
  • At noon we went to the café car for lunch. Jonah ordered macaroni and cheese again, but this time we asked them to leave the parsley off the top. Luke and Grandma ordered cheesecake together for dessert , but Grandma didn’t get any and Papa and Jonah ordered a piece of peanut butter chocolate pie together and they shared.
  • We went back to the Observation Car and played some Uno again.
  • Around 1:00 p.m. the train stopped in Minot, North Dakota for a service stop. We all got off to walk around for a little while, but it was 0 degrees outside so we didn’t stay outside very long.
  • We went back to our roomettes and Luke and Jonah played transformers in one room and Papa and Grandma sat in the other room. Jonah got tired and took a long nap.
  • Sometime in the afternoon we crossed into Montana.
  • At 5:45 p.m. we went to the café car for supper. Luke was so tired, that he couldn’t even order. So Papa took him back to the roomette and he went to sleep. Our room was right in the next car from the café car. Papa came back and we ate supper. Jonah ordered chicken nuggets. We ordered chicken nuggets to go for Luke. Jonah ordered chocolate ice cream for dessert and we ordered a Dutch apple pie to go for Luke.
  • We couldn’t get Luke awake to eat his supper so Papa made up the beds and put Luke to bed on the top bunk. Jonah slept on the top bunk in Papa’s room.


  • We woke up around 6:00 a.m. and Grandma & Papa emailed each other to see if each other were up. Sometime overnight we went through Idaho and crossed over into the state of Washington.
  • We went to breakfast in the café car. Luke ordered his an omelet again off of the Adult menu and Jonah ordered Raisin Bran cereal.
  • The train stopped in Spokane and they unhooked some of the back cars as they were going to go to Portland, Oregon, and our part of the train was going to Seattle.
  • This morning the train was going through the Cascade Mountains so sometimes it was going pretty slow climbing up the mountains. One time we went through a long tunnel to get through a mountain. There was a lot of snow on the mountains.
  • We were suppose to arrive in Seattle about 10:25 a.m., so we didn’t get any lunch on the train.
  • We arrived in Seattle around 2:00 p.m. PST. We got on the Sound Transit and took the train to the Seattle Airport where Papa rented a car for us to drive around.
  • We were all hungry so we stopped at Wendy’s to get some lunch.
  • We went to the Space Needle, but had to wait in a long line. It was sunny and clear while we were in line. While on the top, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset. We took a lot of pictures of the city of Seattle.
  • Papa got us a room at the Comfort Suites Motel in Tukwila. Papa took us swimming in their big pool. We had so much fun. Grandma came and took pictures of us and to see what we had learned.


  • We ate breakfast at the Motel and left for the Northwest Trek Wild Animal Park.
  • We got to the Wild Animal Park about 30 minutes before it opened so we took some pictures on the moose at the entrance. We walked around and looked at some of the animals.
  • At 10:20 a.m. we got to ride on the tram that took us around to see more animals – like moose, bison, and deer.
  • We ate some lunch at the Wild Animal Park.
  • After lunch we got to listen to a lady give a presentation about skunks. She had a skunk on a lease, but the skunk’s scenter had been removed. We learned a lot about skunks.
  • We walked around and saw more animals and then went to another presentation on the Western Screech Owl. The lady was holding the owl on a glove on her hand. Did you know that the Western Screech Owl does not screech? It was only named that, because it looked so much like the Eastern Screech Owl that does screech.
  • We went back to motel and Grandma and Papa were trying to figure out where to go eat supper at. They took us to Dino’s Gyros. We got to eat a gyro and they were so good!
  • We went back to the motel and Papa took us swimming again. Grandma came down later and took some pictures and watched us jump off the side of the pool.


  • We had to get up at 4:00 a.m. in the morning and go to the airport.
  • Grandma, Luke, and Jonah got on Southwest flight 2079 at 6:00 a.m. from Seattle to Denver. Papa got on a plane at 7:20 a.m. from Seattle to Chicago.
  • We arrived in Denver at 10:30 a.m. about 15 minutes early, but went straight to the gate for our flight from Denver to Detroit. We colored for a few minutes, but then got on Southwest flight 689 to Detroit which left at 11:20 a.m.
  • Daddy and Seth were waiting for us when we arrived in Detroit around 3:30 p.m. It took a long time to get our luggage, but then we were on our way home.
  • Now it is time to get ready for school tomorrow.

The End.