When planning my trip for teacher training, I decided to make the most of the opportunity to be on the west coast and do as much as I could out there. I'd only been once as a teenager with my family and had always wanted to go again. I was recently divorced, the job I loved and had been doing for seven years was ending so I'd have some time on my hands (and would appreciate distraction from that sadness), and I saw this as a moment that I needed to seize. I worked at home and rarely went anywhere outside my house, certainly rarely left the state, and it was time.

I'd seen a Facebook post about the "Coast Starlight" train from LA to Seattle that looked amazing and I'd always wanted to take a train trip. I started researching and planning. I'd also always wanted to see Seattle, so I thought I might as well extend the trip and spend a day there, too.

So instead of flying home to Florida the morning after the class ended, I boarded a train in San Diego and spent the next 40 hours or so riding up the west coast, taking blurry pictures through the window of the speeding train. The first few hours of the trip were along the coastline and I enjoyed views of the water and rocky cliffs and people surfing (with scuba suits because it was October!) and lovely places along the water. After that though, the train moved inland and the views were of farms and fields and forests and many, many other things. It was a wonderful trip and I thoroughly enjoyed sitting by the window and relaxing after all of the excitement of the class. I will say though, that as much as I enjoyed the train experience, if I were to make that trip again I would drive so that I could stop and actually spend time in some of the lovely places I was only able to glimpse from the train.... and maybe take some non-blurry pictures.

I arrived in Seattle very late Saturday night and spent Sunday exploring that wonderful city. Given another opportunity to visit Seattle, I hope to have more than one day. I definitely made the most of the little time I had and visited the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, Pike Place Market (the fish tossing is very cool to see), and rode a ferry to Bainbridge Island - as any Grey's Anatomy fan would have to do! I stopped often that day, taking deep breaths and really being thankful to be there. One of the things I did on my first day at home was watch the Grey's Anatomy episode that aired while I was gone and when I saw the shots of Seattle I thought, "I was just there yesterday!" which sounds silly now, but it actually felt amazing. I still enjoy seeing Seattle on TV and in movies and remembering how happy I was in that moment to "seize the day" and stretch my comfort zone, learning to enjoy being on my own.