These Days, Nothing Comes Easy.

It’s 140 miles, more or less, from Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia. I’m here in Vancouver because my daughter and grand daughter live here. And I have some friends here. Besides, this is a nice town, with some amazing city parks, and lots of very good restaurants featuring every possible kind of food.

Unfortunately, I have to leave in two days. And, these days, that’s not as simple or as easy as it sounds. I have to get another COVID test which means finding a lab that will generate results for me within a few hours. I haven’t started looking for a lab that can do that, but the one in Seattle hit me for $160 and the results will have to be negative.

This will be my 5th such test: there was one before leaving home, another before getting on the plane for London, another before getting on the plane coming back from Paris to New York, and another in Seattle before coming up here. I don’t know what the tests in Europe cost, but the one the other day in Seattle was $165. Assuming they all charge about he same, by the time I get home, I will have spent almost $900 proving to several different governmental agencies in five countries that I don’t have this damn disease.

So today I will have to find a lab that will give me the test and get the results back before I leave here. Some can; some can’t.

And then there’s the issue of meeting my ride. Since Amtrak isn’t running up here from Seattle and most of the bus companies have stopped their service, I hired a limo—actually a Lincoln Town Car—and a driver to bring me to the border where my daughter would meet me.

It turned out that my driver, a young man originally from one of the countries controlled by the Soviet Union, had driven someone up here to the Canadian border on a prior occasion and  the experience left him fearful of the Canadian authorities and literally terrified that he might accidentally cross the border into Canada and disappear forever into a Canadian gulag.

Two days hence, it will be my task to locate this young man before his paranoid fear of the Canadian border patrol gets the best of him and he turns tail and makes a mad dash back to the safety of Seattle, thus stranding me here in Vancouver. 

Ain’t travel grand?

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Just Released!

A New Book by

Fifty stories from life and 350,000 miles of train travel.

  • Across the U.S. and Canada by train.   
  • London to Paris at 187 mph.      

  • An unexpected performance of Cats in Mongolia.
  • Goose bumps on a warm night in Red Square.
  • Spotting wild camels in the Australian outback.
  • Finding real cowboys in Hungary.

Now available in Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon.



This new book by Jim Loomis is a quick and easy read, full of interesting information about Hawaii that most people don’t know and are surprised to learn:

• There were actually two attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor during World War Two

• There were real cowboys working on ranches in Hawaii *before* there were cowboys in Texas.

• Outdoor advertising (billboards) has been illegal in Hawaii for 100 years.

$6.95 per copy6
6Order direct from the publisher, and use the code: FASCINATEME and the publisher will pay for the shipping.




All Aboard: The Complete North American Train Travel Guide

Fifty stories drawn from 300,000 miles of train travel. The latest version of Jim Loomis's acclaimed All Aboard: The Complete North American Train Travel Guide (4th Edition, 2015) is available in stores and online in both printed and electronic formats.
Chicago Review Press, 4th edition (Jan 2015)

Available in four formats:
Trade Paper, EPUB, PDF, and Mobipocket (for Kindle)
ISBN 9781569761823

Learn more about the book or order it now directly from Chicago Review Press.


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