Summer vacation! with a monkey wrench thrown in the works

In the grand scale of things, it’s not a big deal I suppose. We are headed to Chicago to visit Andrew and Henriët for a week and see her in a concert. Since I was about 10 years old I wanted to take an overnight train; this was to be the time. In the spring we made reservations on the Empire Builder from Portland to Chicago; we splurged and got a large (well large for a train) room with its own bathroom. I’ve been looking forward to this trip like a kid looks forward to Santa Claus.

Unfortunately, there have been service disruptions this summer. The entire Amtrak route was discontinued for about 6 weeks earlier in the summer. But service restarted in late July and it looked like we would be okay. The train we were to leave on Tuesday August 2 was the return of the Amtrak trip that left Chicago Sunday July 31 headed to Portland. I figured things were going wrong when the westbound train left Chicago over 6 hours late on Sunday. By the time it got to North Dakota it was over 12 hours late. Late last night they cancelled the rest of the trip and worked on getting people on busses to Spokane and Portland,

This meant that there is no train to pick us up this afternoon in Portland. The workaround was to take an 8 hour bus ride to Spokane to catch the train and try to catch the train there. On the train they would have fed us dinner; but not on the bus. Then we would run the risk of another 12 hour delay getting back to Chicago making the kids come pick us up in the wee hours of the morning.

Ummmm; no thanks.

So, we cancelled our reservations. Because of the service disruptions we get a full refund and are working on making alternate arrangements to get to Chicago by Friday.

It’s like Christmas vacation but finding out that Santa isn’t coming.

We’ll still have a blast in Chicago and Wisconsin; but getting there won’t be the fun we had planned.

One thought on “Summer vacation! with a monkey wrench thrown in the works

  1. Sorry the train did not work out; I know you have been looking forward to the ride. Hope your new plans dont cost to much; come on travelosity do Howard right… Take care and keep your blog posting.

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