Traveling – Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Traveling from our home in Traverse City, Michigan by plane is not always easy in the winter. Last year we were delayed three days with separate trips to the airport before finally hanging out over 6 hours and even sitting on the runway unsure if the flight would go (it did!) and we made it to Chicago near midnight. Of course, by that time we had missed our connection and had to spend the night before catching another flight, but at least we were on our way.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Early morning flight out of Chicago

Looking for cheaper, easier, alternative modes of transportation on our recent trip traveling out west, we tossed around several ideas before deciding to literally go the route of planes, trains, automobiles, and busses.

The first leg started with a cab ride to the bus station, and a bus from Traverse City to Lansing, Michigan. Overall the ride was great – aside from a couple who had to be removed from the bus halfway there – interesting characters to say the least.

After a lovey evening visiting with family near Lansing, we headed to the train station the next morning. A long, but relaxing 10 hours later Amtrak arrived in St. Louis, Missouri with nice views traveling through the midwest countryside along the way.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Sunset view of the arch and downtown St. Louis as we crossed the Mississippi River into Missouri.


After a few days visiting friends and family in the St. Louis area we caught a flight to Portland – one of our favorite cities! There we were able to use the wonderful public transportation available in and around the city.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

TriMet is Portland’s primary mass transit provider; it runs the Portland MAX train and the bus system in Portland.


Two days was not enough time in Portland, but we did get to eat at one of are favorite restaurants Tasty n Alder, spend a few hours in Powell’s Book Store, and hike around Washington Park and The Japanese Garden. If you’ve ever thought of going to Portland – just go! It’s a unique town full of art, great food, and lovely parks. If nothing else, it’s a fun place to people watch. It does live up to the popular slogan “Keep Portland Weird”. For more tips on visiting Portland check out the link below.

Our modes of transportation came full circle with a car rental in Portland and a drive to the Oregon coast where we rented a great two bedroom house on the beach in Yachats. It was a steal for only $168 a night through Airbnb. If you’re looking for an alternative to staying in hotel rooms, click here for $25 off your first night’s stay with Airbnb.

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

This cute little house in Yachats was the perfect location to spend time with family from Eugene before continuing our journey down the coast and into California.


The automobile portion of our trip continues down the Oregon coast and into California before hopping a plane back home. Last fall’s road trip was so amazing, we’re excited to see more!

Travel Photography/Cathy Fitz

Oregon is an amazing state for a road trip. Plan plenty of time to breathe in the fresh air, beautiful scenery, and nature along the way. Views like this happen around every bend – Ben Jones Bridge in Lincoln County, Oregon


Sometimes when traveling, like everything in life, it’s hard to think outside the box. But, when you open yourself to possibilities, amazing things happen. The decision to switch up our modes of transportation led to some great experiences and stories along the way. It’s those crazy unexpected moments that make the best memories!

What’s your favorite traveling story?  Please share in the comments below.

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    Cathy Fitz Photography





    Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer