An adventure

One that began two days before we left when I learned that Amtrak has not joined the 21st century.


You cannot buy valid Amtrak tickets online.

Oh you can ORDER them online but then, get this… they MAIL them to you.

MAIL them to you! 

No printable ticket, no emailed ticket. Nothing. You have to have an official printed by Amtrak ticket.

If you order them 4 days before departure you can pay an additional fee to have them rush delivery.

Our local station is an unattended station- meaning no ticket booth. And for reasons we don’t understand, no ticket kiosk either.  You MUST order online or by phone to get tickets.

DH ended up calling their customer service & explaining the situation. Turns out we can reserve them on the phone & then pay the conductor on the way up for that part.  However we MUST purchase the return ticket to get home because Union Station has a ticket office & the conductors won’t take payments.

I feel Amtrak is not only not that interested in my business but also is testing to see just how challenging they can make it before I give up.

These guys stowed away in my bag


They missed the trip a few years back & would not be left behind this time.

So naturally we went to the Natural History Museum first & right to the hall of dinosaurs.

Unfortunately they photographed badly in the low lighting so I only have this shot of the orange guy getting bad ideas from reading the signs


They were helpful in getting Mayhem to slow down, they wanted to read up about their ancestors but they can’t read English so he had to explain things to them.

The boys took a bunch of photos in the first half hour and I think that got them both calmer. They lost interest in the photos then but were taking longer looking at things & interacting with them.

The Hall of Human Origins was new for us & it was great. It was full of information & much of it interactive & kid friendly. I love the bronze statues they have scattered around


It’s also where I learned this


I think that explains so much about people really….

I like the gems part best. I took photos of all the ones that reminded me of food. Not sure where my mind was on that one. I was not hungry.

This one looks like chocolate chunk ice cream.


We also went to the Air & Space Museum, which has far fewer planes than I remember now that they have another museum out by Dulles Airport but it had a great interactive area for kids & lots of space stuff. We only had about an hour to spend there & most of it was in the kid area. There was a paper airplane contest going on when we arrived with explanations about how wing span & shape effect flight. They had stations that showed how things fly in a vacuum, how heavy planes get off the ground & how much you weigh on different plants. It’s really well done.

The lighting was enough of a challenge I have hardly any photos. I need to work on that before we go again.

Havoc got to get into a Cessna this time. It was his favorite part of the trip.


Guess what Mayhem’s favorite part was?

All you saying “the dinos” are wrong.


Mayhem’s favorite part of the trip was riding on all the escalators.

We don’t have escalators around where we live.

Please note the stuffed blue dino he is showing how to get off the escalator safely.

We had a great time & now that we understand the train schedule better we’ll be doing this more often

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6 comments to An adventure

  • Jennie Hart

    I loved this the first time round, but I prefer it with the added text. I have just been uploading the first blog post I did which I did describe the photos in then went back and read the prompt properly and went back and took the text out!
    I love the dino pics and the trip sounded fab, except the trains, sounds like amtrak is about as logical as british rail or whatever they are called these days!

  • Rinda1961

    We used to love traveling by train when the kids were little. We went from San Francisco to Seattle, Washington a couple of times. Plus, we took a great trip to Glacier National Park via Amtrak and even used it when we "moved" to Ann Arbor Michigan for a semester.
    Have you thought about installing an escalator in your house? Kindof surprised the hippy stoner builders didn't do that for you . . .

  • Michelle Saunderson

    Looks like a great trip. I think I know some people that resemble bananas.

  • SciFi Dad

    Personally I think it's awesome that of all the things at the museum he liked the escalator best.

  • Andrea @ The Creative Junkie

    I absolutely love your sense of humor and your take on things – especially the banana tree comment.

    And WTF, Amtrak?

  • Smart Ass Sara

    I've never taken a train but have always wanted to! Well, we have done the 30 minute tourist train… but that doesn't really count.