This is what part of San Diego looks like at 4:45 am. Yep, that’s the time we had to pack up our bikes and head over to the Amtrak station. It was a little freaky biking in the dark, but there weren’t a lot of people out there and we made it okay. It was a little hairy getting our bikes packed into boxes. At first Dad had trouble getting our pedals off but when Mom came over she was able to hold the bikes still so he could really wrench on them. Two down, one to go. That one though proved a bit too much. The pedals were rusted on to the frame. Dad ended up just taking off as many parts as he could and then folding it up and walking it on to the train as his carry-on. We barely made the train so Mom and Dad were sweaty messes once we boarded!
The first 3 hours of our ride we rode in a regular train car. We were able to snag a four seater spot which worked out great because as the train rolled toward LA we picked up more people and the train was full to capacity.Once we got to LA we transferred over to the Coast Starlight for the other 31 hours of our trip home. I was so excited to ride on a double decker train! Mom and I were in a sleeper car on the upper level and poor Dad had to ride in coach. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone but he did come join us a couple of times in our sleeper. We found out that when you are in a sleeper car you are in first class. How awesome is that! We have never gone first class on any kind of public transportation before. While Dad had to fend for overhead compartment space we got bottles of sparkling cider to start our journey off right.We did join Dad in the club car where coach and first class passengers could mingle. After seeing this dome car I decided that I wanted to have a train and it was going to have to have a dome car. (Since then my desire to own a train may have cooled some, but I’m sure when I ride again I’ll be just as hot and bothered to get one.)One of our campgrounds as seen from the train! Kind of fun seeing our sleeping area from a different perspective. I was a pro going through the doors between cars. There was one time that the train really got bouncing (right after Portland) and I just about got knocked off my feet. Thank goodness Mom was there to catch me! Loved how our sleeper car really turned into a sleeper! We pulled my loft bed down and pushed the lower seats together for mom’s bed. I was surprised at how comfy the beds were. Not only that but the attendant comes and makes your bed for you at bedtime and then in the morning. Sweet! Dad wasn’t quite so comfy. He had to try to sleep in the coach seats which are not comfortable at all. We ended up sneaking him into our room so he could sleep in the loft bed for a few hours while we sat down below reading books and looking at the passing scenery. The train ride was one of the highlights of our trip, I’d say!