Great Weekend in Portland!

November 15, 2009

Grandpa Ron and I had a great weekend in Portland with Austin, Bella, Madison and family! It had lots of surprises, twists and turns, yet it was a whole lot of fun and very insightful for us.

Austin is so much taller and so much more vocal! Bella is so much more a young lady as well – she’s four. I had fun one-on-one time with Austin on Friday while Grandpa Ron was serving jury duty. Then Austin, Bella and I went back to the Portland airport and picked up Grandpa Ron – practicing counting to a hundred and twenty five along the way.

Then on Saturday Bella and I went with Mommy to her Baby Shower while Grandpa and Austin went to the Vancouver, WA train station and watched trains move around.

Back in the hotel room Austin used the portable luggage holder as his own train. He climbed in, sat on the middle straps and showed us how he was moving his train – with air brake releases, clunking and sssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhh-ing and all. Sometimes he was the conductor and sometimes he was the engineer. It was a lot of fun watching his imagination at work. I do have pictures so I’ll get them posted – maybe tomorrow night. Now it is time to unpack and get to bed for bright eyes for work in the morning!!

More info on

Vancouver Washington Railway Station

May 23, 2009

The illustration of Grandpa Ron and Austin watching big trains in my book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too! is from a photo I took at the Vancouver Washington Railway Station while we watched trains ( called rail fanning ) after Austin woke up from his nap on his 3rd Birthday Party Day. The Vancouver station is special because it is on a “wye” so it has two front doors – one on the northwest side for North-South traffic and one on the southeast for traffic turning East. There are two major Amtrak trains that stop daily each way here: The Empire Builder and The Coast Starlight, and then there are also eight Amtrak Cascades. Here is an interesting article from 2002 about the renovation plans for the station. It is fun to see how it compares to what is happening now (2 more Cascades are going through it!)

There is also a lot of BNSF, Union Pacific and Portland & Western Railroad freight traffic coming and going – and local sorting in the yard, so Grandpa Ron and Austin had lots of trains to watch!

Reports Are Starting To Trickle In

May 8, 2009

People are getting Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too! delivered and they are loving it! Yes!! I’m so happy!!

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