Monday Meanderings – National Train Day

All Aboard!

What?  You didn’t know there was a National Train Day?  Well, neither did I, but my husband is a train buff and if it’s about trains, then he know it.  Trains are to him, as beads are to me–that about sums it up!  So on Saturday, May 7th, we hopped aboard an Amtrak train and headed south to Portland,  Oregon.

red sign on a black train engine

To celebrate National Train Day, a couple of vintage trains had been brought in to the Portland depot.  There were also informational booths inside the depot and hundreds and hundreds of people.  Clearly my husband is not alone in his fascination with trains.

Lantern on a caboose

Although I don’t share his fascination with trains, I did find that there were many opportunities for cool photographs of gears, valves, springs and such.  My photos took on a sort of Steampunk atmosphere.  I hope you enjoy them.

bolt and gear from an old train

red valve on the side of an old black steam engine

two metal coils on an old train

drive shaft

old steam engine gear fuel gauge on an old steam locomotive

Monday Meanderings: Sunny San Diego

My husband is a train buff.  He is an amazing font of knowledge about all things public transit.  It’s not unusual to be watching the opening scene in a movie with him and when he sees a train he’ll say something like, “This movie must take place in Chicago in the early 40’s.”  He knows what kinds of train ran where and when.  So for Christmas this year, I gave him a round-trip train ride for two to San Diego.

Amtrak train in front of a station house.

Last week we escaped the gray, dreary winter of western Washington State and caught a train south to sunny San Diego.  The trip takes about a day and a half and we had a small sleeper berth.  We passed through snowy mountains, ocean vistas studded with palm trees; past rivers, farmlands, cities and towns.  Whenever the train had a 10 minute layover, my husband would be out on the platform taking pictures of the trains.  His great happiness meant so much to me.

snow view from the Amtrak train

View from the train window, of mountains in Oregon, on the return trip.

In San Diego we visited Coronado, where they filmed “Some Like It Hot” with Marilyn Monroe.  I walked barefoot on the beach, luxuriating in the feel of the warm, silky, fine sand.

Hotel at Coronado, San Diego

Hotel at Coronado, San Diego

We went up to Cabrillo National Monument, with its incredible views of the San Diego skyline, across the bay, (see yesterday’s post) and we visited San Diego’s first mission.

The mission building and grounds were lovely, but what lingers with me was an old photograph of a class of Native American children, all with sad or grim faces.  These children had been forcibly  removed from their families and sent to the Catholic mission school.  This happened to Native kids all over the country and their tears flood my heart.

San Diego's first mission

I’ll post pictures from our visit to San Diego’s fabulous Balboa Park, soon.  I hope you vicariously enjoyed this trip, too!