Home > life in pictures, visiting > coast starlight thanksgiving (part 4)

coast starlight thanksgiving (part 4)

November 27, 2001 Leave a comment Go to comments

My friend Rhiannon and her little son Trevor live in Portland, where she’ll be graduating from law school soon. (Set the way-back machine to three years ago, to see them when I helped Rhiannon move from Alaska to Portland to start law school.) So it was great to visit with them again, and see how big Trev’s getting!

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Trevor turned 4 in October. I made a little origami bird for him as a belated birthday present. He really liked flapping its wings, so I’d be very surprised if it made it home in one piece :-) but that’s OK.

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Monday morning we had a little time to look around before we’d have to head for the train station, so we walked a few blocks to a nearby shopping area. We did a little Christmas shopping, and noticed this odd/interesting sculpture.

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The B&B called a taxi for us in plenty of time to make our train, which was running almost on time! Once we were back on the Coast Starlight for the journey south, we knew we’d made the right decision to upgrade to first class. The sleeper compartment was just like it appears in the movies, with a private space with two comfortable seats facing each other that folds out into a bed. In first class, all meals are complimentary, there’s a first-class-only movie theater and lounge car, and the sleeper car has showers.

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We didn’t get much sleep that night, though, because we were captivated by the moonlit scenery as we passed though the mountains and snow-covered forest. (Curtains let you make the private space fully dark, unlike in the coach cabin with its walking lights.) We passed Mount Shasta around 1am or so, indescribably beautiful under the almost-full moon, and I think I fell asleep a little after that.

The next morning we spent some time in the lounge car relaxing as we rolled back into the Bay area.

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We knew we were getting close to home when we saw the Golden Gate Bridge!

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We arrived back at the San Jose train station late in the morning, where Eric and Michelle picked us up.

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Nancy and I agreed that so long as you go first class travelling by train is a lot of fun – if you have the time (and can save up the money!) and want to make the journey itself part of the vacation, it’s a whole lot better than flying.

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