Trip By Train To Yakima Washington
Jean had a vacation coming up and he thought it would be good experience for the kids to go by train to see their grandparents in Yakima Washington. Train travel was beginning to loose its appeal for travelers. Cars were readily available by this time and most people preferred to drive. Many trains were being retired. We thought, it's now or never.
I started sewing, trying to make some new clothes for the girls. It was a fun time. We were all getting excited about the trip. I bought a new purse for each of the girls and gave them a silver dollar so they could by a souvenir along the way.
We drove down town to the train station and parked our car in the parking assigned for people who were traveling out of town. We went inside the station, bought the tickets, and waited for the call "All Aboard". As we approached the train the porter set a little step stool at the foot of the steps. The first step onto the train was pretty high. I think Pat was about nine or ten years old, Mickie was seven, Judy five, Carole three and Bill a year and a half.
We rented a sleeping compartment to sleep in but it wasn't equipped for day time travel so we had to find seats wherever we could. The train wasn't too crowded so we usually found seats pretty close together so we could keep an eye on the kids. After the initial excitement the first day was pretty uneventful. After lunch the clankety, clankety clank of the rails put all the kids to sleep. We were heading for Minneapolis Minnesota so the scenery was not much different from the scenery back home in Houston.
That evening we went to our compartment It had two beds which hung on each side wall. A porter came to let the beds down for us. I don't remember who slept with whom but I do know we all got a good nights sleep.
The following day we went to the dining car to eat breakfast. Jean never ate breakfast so he went ahead to the observation car. After breakfast, with all the kids following me I also headed to the observation car. A porter stopped me and said" Is you Catholic?" I thought my rosary must have fallen out of my purse but I said "Yes, I am." "He said "I thought you was. I'm a catholic to and I tries to look out for us." He took us to the two front seats across from each other in the observation car. The best seats in the house. We could either look at the scenery or play games. We were traveling through the beautiful rocky mountains so there was a lot to see. We spent one more night in the compartment and arrived in Yakima at ten the following morning. As we were greeting and hugging mom and dad, the train was slowly pulling out of the station. Judy was tugging on my arm. saying "Mom I left my purse on the train". There was nothing I could do, I couldn't stop the train. Judy remembers the purse to this day. It was a little red plaid purse with a black poodle on the side. I gave her another dollar but it wasn't the same.
I don't remember much about our trip home. I think we all wanted to stay in the beautiful rocky mountain country.