Well that was an interesting sleep. I’ve had better and I’ve had worse. It’s now 8:30AM and I’m going to check out the cafe car in a little bit. Some guy wanted to move seats and had the girl next to me hold his beer. It’s not even 9AM dude what are you doing?? It’s 5 somewhere I suppose. For breakfast I had a plain bagel and chream cheese microwaved. Nothing special. It was $2.75 which is around the price I paid for one in college.
I am now hanging out in the observation car during the daylight because I can. As annoying as the 6.5 hour delay was, if the train was on time, it would have been pitch black through most of Northern California and maybe even part of Oregon. I definitely would not have seen Mount Shasta without the delay, so yay for everything happening for a reason!
Something to note: In addition to delays due to mechanical issues and people getting themselves hit by trains, there is another major factor causing delays. Freight. These are called Z trains, and they actually own the tracks…Amtrak just rents them. If a freight train is coming, Amtrak trains have to pull over and wait for the Z trains to pass through. It happens…a lot.
Apparently the train was also stopped because there was a suspicious bag or two bags in separate locations? They had to call the bomb squad just to be sure.
Let’s talk food! You do not need a reservation for breakfast in the dining car, but you do for lunch and dinner. (Some trains are better at coming around to you than others…and some actually get annoyed if you go to the dining car to make a reservation)…not consistent customer service. Also if you are not with a group of at least 3, you will be eating with other people at your table. Sometimes people are awesome! Sometimes they take care of your meal! Sometimes they are…not so awesome or boring or racist or whatever the f$ck. It does make feeding time much more interesting and entertaining, even if it is not so entertaining at the time. I don’t recall having any awful experiences with anyone I sat with, but others I have sat with told me stories of their unpleasant experiences. I got off lucky in that regard!
We are near Mount Shasta now at 12:16 PM. We are in the mountains and you can feel the chill seeping through the spaces open to the outside atmosphere, and can even here the rapids like the ones shown in the above photo.
I got to eat lunch while having awesome views of Mount Shasta. The hamburgers here are actually not bad! Bacon and cheese is optional. But when bacon is involved…is it reeeally optional? I didn’t think so. I had lunch with an older guy named Norm and an older woman who had no teeth. They were both really nice. Norm occasionally made some sexual comments…not about me, just in general. Still though, I don’t really need to hear about your fetishes or see certain types of videos that fill your Facebook newsfeed when you scroll through to show me a video of a jazz band we both like. He did end up paying for my lunch though, so thank you very much for that!
I went back to the observation car, took a nap, and admired more scenery as we travel north up through Oregon. There is a little kid unattended, running around like a maniac…after there have already been 7 announcements about not running and parents having to keep an eye on their children. Stooooooppppppp.
I am now talking to another woman about her life. She was married for ten years and then decided she didn’t want to be married anymore, so is now in a long term relationship of six years with a guy in France. She still doesn’t want to be married though. It seems to be working out well for them as they are both happy, so all power to them! We were talking about societal norms and relationships still working even if they are not conventional, and then the lady from lunch randomly blurts out “I’ve been married to the same guy for 34 years!” Cool? I am sorry, she was nice, but ummm….we were kinda in the middle of a conversation and not only was it not ideal for you to interject that way with one comment, we certainly didn’t really want the rest of the conversation to revolve around your life. Conversation is about balance…and it would have been fine if a balance existed.
Fifteen minutes before dinner so I have just enough time to do some “laundry” in the sink with my biodegradable laundry soap sheets.
It is my first dinner of many on a train so why not go big or go home. Steak and red wine it is! The wine was gone well before the food came haha ooops. The steak was actually perfect, the rice was delicious, and the veggies were much better with a little salt added. The woman with the French boyfriend joined me for dinner, and we sat with a dad and daughter. The daughter spent dinner drawing a really cool cross section of a ship! She then proceeded to explain everything, which was all normal until the very bottom of the ship where there was a slide and a pool of mud noodles. Yum? The woman with the French boyfriend is allergic to corn….which is in everything. EVERYTHING. It was kind of ridiculous hearing the list of everything she can’t eat or even use.
This is chocolate mousse topped with chocolate flakes encased in an edible chocolate bowl. I cannot even begin to describe how freakin delicious this thing is. I had one almost every day I was on the train haha.
The corn lady is also a theater person! It was really cool talking to her more since I don’t know many people where I live who can actually hold a knowledgeable conversation about theater.
We got pushed aside by 1 maaaybe 2 Z trains, so that isn’t tooo bad I guess. But it is now 2:13AM and I’m less than ten minutes out from the train station. Yay! I get to hangout with Aunt Jody during the twenty or less minute car ride then we are both going to sleep. She is leaving at 5 AM to go to the airport, headed for Baltimore…and yet she still is picking me up. Thank you so much Aunt Jody, I really appreciate it and am very glad I still get to see you. Any amount of time is worth it!
Tomorrow is family time and exploring downtown Seattle! 😀
Train name-Coast Starlight
Train quality- No complaints that stand out. The bathrooms were clean and orderly.
States covered- California, Oregon, Washington