Traveling from Minnesota to Kalispell Montana
I still can’t believe I got to do this! Last month my girls and I went on an Amtrak train trip traveling from Minnesota to Kalispell Montana to visit my friend Jennifer and her family. Her husband, Nick, had been conspiring with me since November to make this happen and we arranged the trip for Mid-April, shortly after Jen’s birthday! Believe me, it was hard to keep a straight face when I talked to her on the phone a week earlier. “I haven’t had a chance to mail your present yet… it’s going to be a little late, sorry!” Thankfully that didn’t clue her in and she was totally surprised!
This was the first longer trip I’ve taken with my girls, parenting solo. Since Jonathan is sick and needs to be home we haven’t traveled a lot. Who wants to travel alone with a baby and another kid?! Now that Eden is older everything is easier and it was time to give it a go! We booked a Superliner Roommette on the Empire Builder Train, a tiny room usually reserved for 1-2 adults. I read a ton of blogs and details online about traveling this way, and it ended up being perfect for one adult and two kids!
We boarded the train at 2:30 a.m. and after sleeping a little while, we watched the sun rise across the plains.
Traveling by train is an experience in and of itself. No one is in a hurry. People linger over meals in the dining car and strike up conversations with anyone nearby. Totally different than flying in every possible way. It’s truly the perfect way to travel with kids!
Excuse my happy, disheveled appearance. Remember we boarded in the middle of the night!!! It was lovely to take a break from computers and brain work and just BE with my kiddos.
I packed plenty of supplies to pass the time. Have you seen these paint-by-sticker books on Amazon?! Anika and I worked on this one for quite a while.
We got into Kalispell late that evening and here’s a video of the big surprise!
The next day we got to visit Glacier National Park! What a beautiful spot. I took family photos for Jen & Nick with the mountains as a backdrop. (You’ll see those at the end of this post!)
We had a lot of fun and a little excitement when my favorite North Face parka BLEW OFF the dock and into the lake! The water was freezing cold and it was floating too far from shore for me to reach. Ahhh!!! A really kind person waded in up to his chest to get the coat for me. I was so grateful!
It was fun to see my kids making friends with Jen’s kids. ♥
Jen’s baby, Silas, and I had some bonding time. He told me a joke, and then we both laughed.
Jen and I took an amazing walk through their family property. I spied a deer!
Our last day in Kalispell we visited a local park and went out for some supper. The kids loved climbing trees and chasing geese!
We boarded our return train mid-morning, which allowed us to see the stunning scenery on our way out of the mountains.
Before long we traded mountain ranges for prairie, yet again.
Already miss this crazy fun friend of mine!!!!! (And her really good pie and puppy chow) Love you Jen!!
Of course I need to share some of their family photos at Glacier National Park! I wish I could transport this place to Minnesota. I love our lakes….but these Mountains are sooo pretty! ***
Abby Anderson is a Wedding & Portrait Photographer in Fargo, ND + Moorhead,MN
Vibrant Lovestories, Modern Fairytales | www.abbyanderson.com