Los Angeles to Seattle (Via the Coast Starlight)
Seattle to Vancouver (Via the Norwegian Sun)
Vancouver to San Pedro (Via the Norwegian Star)
The Train! The Train!
Most days I travel to Union Station on my way to work. This morning Alex and I hopped on the DASH, got to Union Station and hopped on to the Coast Starlight. Our accommodations included a sleeper car, which included our meals, wine and cheese tasting, movies. If I had to do this again, I’d go running towards the train as fast as I could.
Our first day we spent looking out the window as we headed up the coast, seeing parts of the Pacific you couldn’t see by car. The guides that hop on at Santa Barbara and hop off further north.
The food wasn’t anything too earth shattering. I had envisioned this gourmet kitchen down below, china plates, and large glasses. In reality, plates were plastic. Food was a little bland. And,the drinks were over-iced - so you went through your plastic cup of Iced Tea pretty quick.
What made up for this? Oh...really cool co-travelers. The first couple we met was from Garden Grove. Married for 30 years, business partners for 25. They are taking the cruise that’s right behind us. The second couple - we met during the first wine/cheese tasting - now that I think about it - we didn’t ask them where they were from. But, we had a great time talking about the Hapa book and showing at the Japanese Art Museum. We were late for dinner so we ate all by ourselves. I don’t remember what we talked about...I had a fruity white wine.
At breakfast, we ate with two people who had come on board at Emeryville. The “Emeryville People” boarded the night before, and they were full of energy. I don’t know if they recognized if they were boarding at 11 p.m. - but the rest of us had been on the train the whole day, up since 7 a.m. First thing we heard was “Where’s the Parlor car? Where’s the club? Where’s the bar?” Then, someone went up the hallway yelling “have you seen my cell phone?”
And, we ate breakfast with the guy who lost his cell phone. At his table, a large bottle of champagne. I don’t know if he ever learned how to use an inside voice, which is funny. We sat across from a lady who works with autistic children.
Lunch was with a Houston couple, mid-trip. They took a flight from Houston to Los Angeles, the train to Seattle, a bus to Vancouver, and a train across Canada, and then...
3 weeks of travel in total.
We enjoyed talking with them so much, that when we saw them eating alone at dinner, we asked to be reseated so that we could enjoy dinner with them - again. We talked about traveling, the other cities we’ve been to, how they met (because they were married for 50+ years). They were just a neat couple!
We got into Seattle at about 10 p.m. It was a bit surreal, as every time I go back it feels like I never left. We walked from the train station to the Pioneer Square Best Western. I had the map to the hotel on my Palm Zire, and I had the whole walk almost memorized. We got into the hotel room and just crashed.
One thing about this hotel- it’s right across the street from one of my favorite Italian restaurants. While in college, I would eat there one every three months. After a couple of classes of chianti, I’d look over and see the hotel and think to myself - I should just stay the night rather than hop back on the ferry.
The next morning, Alex and I were down in the breakfast nook and Dad and Mark appeared. They were about 30 minutes early, but it was welcomed! We walked over to the Uyajama grocery store, had breakfast (spam, eggs, rice, and macaroni salad) and shopped. We walked over to the Elliot Bay book store, and the Toy Store. Then, we checked out of the hotel, and headed over cruise terminal.
Seeing Mark was great! Markie will be 16 in January. OMG! He’s taller, but still looks like Markie! He and Dad did come over to see us, however there was more pressing matters - the Science Fiction Museum! I was the added bonus!
Before we headed up to the terminal, Dad left us with 6 jars of jams and jellies. I’m not 100% positive he didn’t leave us with some sauces or vegetables, but I had to carry them onto the boat. I got a little cranky because the bag was heavy and unwieldily. But...we got onto the boat and repacked the bag so it was easier to maneuver. Can’t wait to get those home and redistributed them properly. Thanks Dad!
Our one night cruise to Vancouver was exactly what I needed - a night of rest. Alex was ready to hit the casino, but midnight? I was tired and ready for bed. :-)
However, I did stay up long enough to see the duty free store before bed.
We woke up in Vancouver - the first time for both of us! I was in charge of the day, and I had this huge list of activities planned. First, the Harbour Center tower, Gastown, Chinatown, closing with the Pacific Center.