Posts Tagged With: Train

Wait a Minute…This isn’t the Hogwarts Express

We boarded the bus and caught our last glimpse of the pyramids. We were headed to the train station. Right before we got to the station Sherif read us our car and cabin numbers. Originally I was alone, but then he realized and added Alli. I was car 13 cabin 11/12. We got off the bus and everyone had to make sure their bags were unloaded. The porters came and took the bags and followed us into the station.

We walked the whole length of the station and everyone looked at us. We got to the end and waited and waited and waited some more. While we waited we watched a lot of trains pull in and people fight to get on. It was crazy! People were even hanging off the back of the train! Paul, Nicole, Michael, Megan, and I did a comparison of the work environment in Australia vs. USA. Australia’s is so much better! They have lots of freedom and time off. We also entertained ourselves by making fun of the guy hanging over the ledge leering at Megan. Paul kept going, “Special Price”, “Good price for you my habibi”, “Buy one get one free”, etc.

The train was over 1.5 hrs late. The car we needed to get to couldn’t be reached by the station. We had to go to 9 or 10 and walk. This was very difficult since the train space was tight and people kept pushing. We finally found our car and cabin. The cabins were not marked with #’s, which caused some confusion. However, we eventually got it all sorted out. Alli and I were next to the twins and on the other side of us were strangers. The cabin was so small! I don’t know how we would have fit two suitcases. Alli and I were crawling over each other. Paul, Michael, and Alli agreed with me that it was like Harry Potter’s train car to Hogwarts. Sherif showed us how to work the lights. He dimmed the lights and cracked a joke about romantic lighting. Alli and I declined dinner and tried to get ready for bed. That was easier said then done.

Megan lent me a pair of booty shorts to sleep in. Alexis brought me a skirt to wear the next day. We called for the porter to put down the beds, which gave us even less room. I finally got to see the bathroom and it wasn’t so bad. The toilet flushed and there was a sink with water. It was also somewhat spacious. I went back to the cabin and Alli and I proceeded to cough our lungs up over the cigarette smoke coming from the other cabins. We climbed into bed and I leaned outside of my bottom bunk to blow my nose when the heavy metal ladder came crashing down on my knee. THANK G-D IT WASN’T MY HEAD! The bruise started to form right away and I was in so much pain. We laughed about it though. What a night! I put on my headphones and called it a night.


Around 4 or 5 in the morning I wake up. I sneak out of the cabin and use the restroom. I walk the hallway a bit to ease my stiff legs and knee pain. As I walk the hallway I get a flashback of the train to Thessaloniki and seeing Mt. Olympus. This time however I see Re. I watch as the perfect orange red sun orb rises above the Nile and the land. It was beautiful. I could see why the Egyptians worshipped it. I sneak back into the cabin and eventually fall back asleep. Hours later Alli’s movement wakes me and I get up as well. I stay dressed in Megan’s shorts so I don’t drag Lexi’s skirt in train station nastiness. I knew Aswan would be hot in August, but the window is burning. They bring us breakfast. I pack up the bread for later and give Alli some of mine. Instead I have animal crackers and such for breakfast. Sherif comes around and warns us that we are getting close and should get ready to leave.

Images from the train in the morning:

Categories: Africa, Egypt, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Voodoo Time in Portland


I still wasn’t feeling well when I woke up. This time neither was my mom. We both had to get ready quickly and head to the train station. We had to catch a train to Portland. We walked from our hotel to the bus depot and were told the bus we needed could pull into any lane, which is stupid. The guy working there told us just to pick a lane and if it was wrong then we should run at the last minute to the correct lane. That’s not very easy when you have suitcases. We picked a lane and sure enough it was the wrong one. We had to run to another one. The bus left us off at the International District. We spotted the entrance to Chinatown and then we walked to the train station.

The station was very clean and white. My mom tried to pay to upgrade us to business class, but it  was sold out. We waited on line for about an hour so we could get our first pick of seats in coach since they are assigned. We asked for the middle of the car on the right side. Our train  finally pulled in and we settled into our seats. We got good seats. The people behind us didn’t have a window and they had a baby behind them.

The train ride was long (almost 4 hrs) and boring. The train car smelled like poop. We later found out that this was because the baby had been sitting with poop in his diaper. The mother put the baby on the train seat to change him exposing the fill diaper of poop. Gross! I snapped pictures of the water and mountains along the ride since there was nothing else to do.

Tacoma, WA

Museum of Glass

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Anderson Island

Longview, WA

Carrolls, WA

Vancouver, WA


Portland’s train station is very old and has a great look to it. We had to walk to our hotel from the train station. It was about a 13 minute walk and it wasn’t very pleasant. There were a lot of bums, drunks, and druggies around. It was daylight, but it didn’t feel very safe. My mom was not happy. The neighborhood our hotel was in was not very good. A lot of undesirables walking around. However, we were across the street from Voodoo Doughnut.

We checked into our hotel, which was an Embassy Suites. The hotel is historic and JFK was even there once. The lobby was beautiful and our room was quite big. We had a living room, bathroom, and a separate bedroom. There was even a microwave and refrigerator. We were on the top floor, which was nice. Our room wasn’t facing one of the main streets so it was very quiet. I ate some snacks, which was first meal of the day even though it was late in the day at that point.

We then headed out to Voodoo Doughnut. There was a line but it went quickly. We ordered 3 doughnuts and 1 postcard. I wanted to buy more postcards but they were extremely overpriced. I bought a dirt doughnut and a no name. My mom got their famous maple bacon bar. The place was so cool and I wish I could have tried them all! We dropped off our box of doughnuts in the hotel. My mom ate her doughnut and I had one bite of the dirt one.

Dirt and No Name

We walked to the famous Powell’s books. IT WAS HUGE!!!! I felt like the place never ended. There was room after room after room of books. They actually had maps it was so big. Then we went to Buffalo Exchange which is a vintage store. After that we headed to Byways Cafe. It was on the first Diners, Drive-in’s, and Dives episode that I saw. I have been wanting to go for years. I wanted their french toast. However, our timing sucked so we couldn’t go for breakfast. So I just went to take a picture.

After that we headed to Whole Foods where I bought a sandwich for dinner. The neighborhood was so much nicer than the one we were in. We headed back to our hotel for the Manager’s Reception. They had free popcorn, chips, dip, pretzels, and drinks. My mom made that her dinner while I sat with her and ate my sandwich. It was still early and normally we would have went for a walk but the neighborhood prevented us from doing so. We went back to the room and ate our doughnuts while watching a Law and Order SVU marathon.

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Portland, Seattle, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arriving in Boston

April 25 2013

I left work early to catch a 3:30pm train to Boston. In the train station I was approached by a crazy woman, but she walked away once my mom walked over. I wonder what that lady was up to. We used my free birthday Krispy Kreme coupon for my birthday so my mom could get a free doughnut and coffee. We tried to guess what track the train would pull in on so we could be first. That didn’t work, but we were in the first group to be let in.

The train was coming from DC so it was already packed. We got the only empty two seater left in the quiet car, but there was no window and it was smaller. We felt trapped. A woman got off at the next stop so we moved up to her two seater with a window. So much better!!! I listened to my iPod and watched the scenery. The train took forever to get through Connecticut. I was going crazy. The scenery was beautiful when we got to the Connecticut Rhode Island border. The bathroom absolutely stunk in our car so I went to the first class car to use the restroom.

We finally arrived and surprisingly it was on time despite it feeling like it took forever. We caught the bus to our hotel (Courtyard Marriott Downtown). Everyone outside our hotel looked like hookers and drug dealers. I had read that the neighborhood was considered club district. I was very worried about our hotel because most people hated it. We got it using Priceline’s name your own price tool. We only wanted to pay $100 for that night in Boston since that night was a last minute addition to our trip. The hotel was over $300 a night on their website for that night. People complained of paper thin walls, loud traffic noise, small rooms, and loud music. The lobby was nice and they sent us up to our room. We had requested a high floor, not facing Tremont St, and away from elevators, maids’ room, and the ice machine. They gave us a room next to the elevators, ice machine, and maids’ room. We asked for a different room. The next room was on a lower floor facing Tremont. The room was super small, but the bathroom was large. The shower didn’t have a tub. The TV was very small and only got a dozen channels. There was free wifi though.

We decided to go for a walk because we hadn’t eaten in 12 hrs. The neighborhood wasn’t the best. We found a Panera where my mom got a muffin and we found a 7-11 where I bought a water and corn muffin. We went back to our room and ate our food. We watched a Law and Order SVU marathon and settled in for bed. Tremont St was loud and we had noisy neighbors who didn’t go to bed. Yeah for paper thin walls. The reviews were right about this place.



Categories: Boston, Family Vacation, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pictures from my Amtrak Window

A bunch of photos from my Amtrak trip. They are all from Connecticut. 20130425-214746.jpg







Categories: Photos, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Greece Trip Plan

To view the trip plan I created for our 2008 trip click here.

Greece Map


Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, Greece, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at