Thursday, September 15, 2011

More Memories from My Closet - Trip Out West

On August 5, 1962, my grandparents, Grandpa & Grandma Smith, took my sister Cindy and me on a train trip to the Seattle World's Fair, Disneyland and the Grand Canyon. I was 13 years old. We boarded the Santa Fe train in Chicago. We had a car that we slept in and we were on the train for three days, as it went through the northern states to Seattle, Washington. I remember waking up one morning as we went through Montana and hoping that the train wouldn't fall off the tracks into one of those huge valleys! We got to move around the train and my sister and I remember sitting in the Dome car. I also remember talking to a lady who had a ladybug pin on. I admired that pin and she gave it to me. I would still have it, but in 1998, our house in Dallas was robbed and all of my jewelry was stolen.

We stayed at the Doric New Washington Hotel in Seattle and we went to the World's Fair. I don't remember much of the fair. I do remember that Cindy and I wanted to go up in the Space Needle, but the lines were very long and someone told our grandparents that there was a three hour wait and they didn't want to wait in line. So, we never went up in the Space Needle. We were there for two days.

While we were in WA, we went to Puget Sound. Cindy and I remember getting frozen bananas that were covered with chocolate.

We boarded a bus that went to Portland, OR where we stayed at the Imperial Hotel. I don't remember much about Portland. Cindy remembers that at some point during our trip, we saw a vending machine that dispensed drinks in cans (or maybe they were in bottles). We had never seen a vending machine, but we wanted one of the drinks. We got ginger ale or Club Soda. It was awful, but we felt we had to drink it since Grandpa spent his money on it.

Bob was surprised that I was 13 and I had never seen a vending machine. I grew up in Lovington, IL, where the population was 1,200 people. I didn't know about many things until we moved to Springfield, IL around December 1962.

From Portland, we went on to San Francisco. We saw the Golden Gate Bridge and we stayed at the Belleview Hotel.

Next, we went to Disneyland in Los Angeles. I don't remember anything about Disneyland, but I'm sure we rode on some of the rides. We went to the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. I remember this was a bus tour and the guide pointed out famous people's homes. We also went to Knott's Berry Farm and Ghost Town. We stayed at the Biltmore Hotel.

We got back on the train from Los Angeles and we took the southern route on our way back home. I remember stopping at the Grand Canyon.

We arrived in St. Louis, MO, on August 18th, Cindy's 12th birthday.

If you would like to see more photos of this trip, here is the link --

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