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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day Three of Our New Life

I couldn't post Day Two because the WiFi was not working on the Coast Starlight. Many passengers were going though internet withdrawal.

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip on this Amtrak train and wondered why we have never taken it before now. We did the Seattle-San Francisco leg, but it does run on to Los Angeles.

As soon as we were settled in our Superliner roomette, our attendant arrived with two glasses and two personal sized bottles of champagne. Although it was only 10:00 am, we didn't want the champagne to get warm, so we toasted our adventure.....and the trip continued on in the same vein.

Lunch in the parlor car, wine and cheese tasting at 4:00 pm, dinner at 7:00 pm. Dinner was wonderful, partly because at that time we were climbing the Siskiyou Mountains, the coastal mountain range in the northern Klamath Mountains in southwestern Oregon and northwestern California. We were still in Oregon at that time. The sun was setting, and the view was incredible. There was snow on the ground and also the pine trees at that elevation. Also, the halibut I ordered was excellent.

We met lots of interesting people and enjoyed learning about their reasons for being on this train at this time.

Woke up this morning to views of flooded rice paddies and palm trees - we were in California. I think they were rice paddies - the fields were arranged so precisely with dikes between each one. Had breakfast, then unfortunately it was time to leave. The Coast Starlight does not go into San Francisco, but stops at Emeryville and the Amtrak through bus took us to our hotel.

The only thing we would do differently if we were taking this train again is to reserve two roomettes, one across from the other. Lance unfortunately drew the upper berth straw and he did not find it comfortable. He woke me up four times: can you turn off the night light, what time is it, can you turn down the heat, what time is it ..... can't turn off the night light, it is 1:30 am, it is 3:00 am, the heat is off so I'll open up our door to get some air. The night light on the ceiling above the upper berth would be really annoying. I found the room quite stuffy but it improved after I opened the door. The curtains can still be secured so nobody can look in.

He finally got up at 4:00 am and went and sat in the lounge car. So if we had two roomettes, we would both have a lower berth and more room during the day, plus views on both sides of the train. Neither of us really had a good sleep last night, but we sure enjoyed the train ride. I would take it again any time, plus any other train.

Now staying at the Hotel Whitcomb on Market Street. This hotel was established in 1916 and it is on the hotel Historic Register. It's really beautiful - and our room is quite large with king size bed. After last night, we will sleep very well tonight. I love the high ceilings and old fixtures.

We spent the afternoon at Fisherman's wharf, the aquarium, etc. I wanted to go visit Alcatraz but this is Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. so the lineups were very long and the trips sold old.  Maybe tomorrow. After returning from the sights, we sat in the lounge and watched the world go by, ordered drinks and later prawns, plus clam pasta ..... not a bad way to pass the day.

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