You know when you plan for "travel" you hope that you've everything "taken care" of. I can honestly say, I've never had planning that just worked. It's kind of funny in a lot of ways. First, I managed to talk my sons into driving me back. In payment for their services, I offered to pay for all the gas and food for their "round-trip" driving. I also went ahead and got both guys vehicles tuned up, even tho we are only taking one vehicles. If you got more than one kid, you understand this. If one gets, they all get!! No strange feelings floating around, if you know what I mean. I also got a "Motel 6, for 2 of the 3 nights that I am here. My youngest was a bit "overly protective" about that. But, hey, Josh has 2 room mates and well, I didn't want them feeling uncomfortable with a female around. And a Mother to boot. I told him that hey, I've stayed in much worse places. Try "tent camping" in the back of your pick-up during an all night rain storm in the desert, in the middle of "nowhere"!!!! Ah the joys of being an amateur astronomers wife. But, these are just a speck of what the travel has been like so far.
So, I booked Amtrak, and for the first time I got a sleeper. Usually, I go coach. After getting off the commuter to the Starlight, one now has to have a boarding pass. So, down the ramp all the way to Union station proper. No really good signs ether. I waited in the line that said Sleepers to discover, wrong line. Over to another shorter line and get a boarding pass. I'm "OK-ed" and all the way back and up the ramp to the other side of the tracks all the way up to the 3rd car from the Engine. The tiny rooms are great. 2 beds, upper and lower. The lower is also 2 seats. The porter, takes care of making up the beds if you request and putting them back in the morning. Free coffee, tea and juice. All meals are included in your ticket, plus the parlor car where wine tasting and other fun things for sleeper car passengers. Sure was nice. Tho the dinning car was 6 cars back. Due to holiday they put on an extra sleeper! It's ok as I don't really eat dinner. 2 meals and maybe a piece of fruit in the evening. Great scenery, private space, slept most of the time!! I really needed the rest and 37 hours on a train is a great way to get it. But, I really stress that I GOT A SLEEPER. My own tiny space!! Coach doesn't get that. Sleepers also have showers down the hall also.
Arrive in Seattle at 11 pm, about 2 hours late. This train is never on time! I hail a taxi and go to my hotel for the night. Commuter doesn't leave till the next morning. I'm getting my ticket then. Great room, little pampering touches. Great nights sleep after I let everyone know I was safe and sound via text messaging. I check out at 6am and request a taxi back to the train Depot. Get in line, up to the counter and "REALLY" was the response I gave to finding out that train was full and the next one wasn't until 6ish that night. Out the glass doors, hail a taxi, off to the bus Depot. You just gotta love the "doggy bus". Plus we were leaving the same time as the commuter. What a breath of fresh air in stepping off the bus into Bellingham's Alaska Ferry/Amtrak/ buses depot! Went pee, had a smoke, and voila, the city bus arrived. $.75 cents got me to the top of the hill and into Haggens market I went to surprise my sons who work there. Josh was doing produce and turned his head and "MoM!!!! He was waiting for my call from the bus depot. I said, I just caught the bus. I told him to just do what he needed to do, and I would be in the mini-cafe. Good coffee. The water up here tastes great, plus no bitter tasting coffee. Saw Rob, my other son. He wasn't having a great day. 2 cookies and a cup of coffee later, Josh comes around the the cafe, we're off to the house. He would later that day take me to the Motel 6. Tho, I would catch the bus during the mornings and check in on the Internet. I mean how much more perfect could this be. REALLY alone time to see what and how one handles things that come up. I plan and save over my budget for travel. Then if I don't need to use that extra, "SHOPPING". I love the handmade glass, wood and pottery up here. Most things down south are just to much alike. But, I will describe those later in another blog with photos!!
I also, got Josh to let me take a couple of the smaller rocks I liked. A "tuffet" looking one round with a smooth flat top. Weighs about 30 pounds. Then some of the greet granite broken ones for accent. It's nice to have a few memories, and "only the rocks live forever"
So, today, when Josh gets home, we're going for some "man-meat" (Steak) for him to cook on his monster grill!!!Watch some fireworks, then leave about O dark 30 in the morning!!! So, we should be on the road for 2 days. I am making Josh stop at night to get some rest. Not really to good to be over tired when doing L.A. traffic on a Fri. Tho, with he holiday, most won't be leaving for home till Sat. Cross your fingers the traffic isn't to bad. We are going a tad over 1500 miles south, thru that record heat in the central valley and over the grapefine in to the L.A. basin, a touch west, down the shore line to Newport Beach and up the mesa to Costa Mesa.