A travel blogger’s lament

Ocean, rivers and rails from Florida to Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest.

Exactly one month ago, I began my next great adventure: 10,508 miles without flying. Not Europe or Africa this time, but Florida to Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest and back.

Along the way, I’ve lost track of blogging. No news stories, no my stories, no nuthin’. I’d like to blame it on that Mai Tai in Honolulu or the breathtaking scenery of Mount St. Helens but I can’t.  Oh, maybe it was the lack of internet. Yes, that’s it!

I’ve traveled Amtrak’s Silver Meteor from Orlando to Washington, DC and then the Capitol Limited from DC to Chicago. Onto the Southwest Chief to Los Angeles and the Coast Starlight bound for Portland, Oregon.

In between the Southwest Chief and Coast Starlight, I cruised round-trip to Hawaii aboard the Golden Princess.  Yes…Hawaii from Florida without flying, thanks to Amtrak, Princess Cruises and careful planning.

Kelii ukulele from Kauai Hawaii
My new Kelii ukulele made in Kauai. Mission accomplished.

So it was that fifteen days and one new ukulele later, I arrived in Portland to board American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the West paddlewheeler to cruise the Columbia River and Snake rivers.

I will valiantly try to catch up on writing for my blog. But since a picture is worth a thousand words (that’s about the equivalent of two blog articles!) here are some photographs to bring you up to date on some of the highlights I’ve seen, from tropical Hawaii to chilly but sunny Stevenson, Washington.

Amtrak bedroom compartment aboard the Silver Meteor
Amtrak bedroom compartment aboard the Silver Meteor to Washington, DC.
Amtrak Southwest Chief dining car.
The dining car on the Southwest Chief is set for dinner. First class accommodations include complimentary meals.
Navaho pueblo homes blend into the landscape.
Navaho pueblo community’s adobe homes blend into the landscape of New Mexico.
Golden Princess is offshore of Lahaina Maui.
Fast forward to Hawaii. Since most ships cannot dock in Lahaina, Maui, we boarded the tender (lifeboat) to get to the port, while the Golden Princess is anchored offshore.
Pearl Harbor Honolulu Hawaii
Visit to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. Oil is still bubbling to the surface from the Arizona directly below.
Germaines Luau in Honolulu Hawaii
A tourist-y evening at a luau in Honolulu complete with poi and pig.
The port of Nawiliwili Kauai Hawaii
A picture-perfect arrival into the port of Nawiliwili in Kauai, Hawaii.
Along the California Coast on Amtrak Coast Starlight
Along the California Coast on Amtrak Coast Starlight north to Portland Oregon.
Day 3 of our American Cruise Lines Queen of the West cruise on the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington.
American Cruise Lines Queen of the West cruise on the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington.
Mount St Helens volcano in Washington
Our shore excursion to Mount St. Helens really put the volcano into perspective. The carved-out crater from the eruption in on the other side of the mountain.

One more day on the Queen of the West. We docked in Clarkston, Washington on the last day for a jet boat ride on the Snake River.

One of eight locks on the Columbia River that we entered.
One of eight locks on the Columbia River that we entered.

It’s time to go and pack, for tomorrow would be an early morning debarkation at 7:30am. Onto Spokane via motor coach for my fifth Amtrak train; the Empire Builder to Chicago.  More details of my 42-day trip to follow.  Hope you enjoyed this short tour.

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2 thoughts on “A travel blogger’s lament”

  • Hi Marian,

    Always great to hear from you. It is a challenge to keep up with writing a blog while traveling…you’d think I’d have figured it out by now! However, I’ve been writing almost daily for Onboard.com but launch date isn’t until sometime in June.

    Heading out on Pullman Rail Journeys on Friday so I’ll have all sorts of new things to write about next month!

    Have a good weekend.


  • I certainly have missed your posts! Great pics and I look forward to all of your updates. I know it is incredibly hard to document what you’re doing while doing it, so don’t feel too badly about it. You’ll get caught up soon enough. Sounds like it was a great trip!

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