Sunday, March 18, 2012

Home again, home again ...

We are in one piece, and I think everyone is still speaking.

On Wednesday evening, we were supposed to be on the Amtrak #1 - Sunset Limited heading to Los Angeles.  It got to the station after 11.  The shooting at the court house in Beaumont held it up.  The FBI, we were told, shut down the tracks.

We got on - found our seats.  G had the foresight to reserve lower coach. It was a new experience, and we did love it.  There are only 14 seats in this lower area.  The restrooms are right there, and there is a door that isolates us from the rest of the train.

While we were a loose large group, Amtrak treated us as a group here in Houston.  The train club was all on one car.  We being down below.  It was good with one exception.  Since there were seven - that left one man odd.  G was to sit with this other gentleman (a term used loosely here).  The other man was a little odd to say the least, and G, trying to be friendly, irritated the fire out of him.  But that worked itself out.

The next afternoon we arrived in Alpine.  We were all exhausted - there really is no sleeping for adults in coach.  My seat must have been resurrected from the 1900's.  Sleeping was good that night - even when  I went to bed not speaking to G.

The next day we went to Fort Davis.  I had not been there since we married.  It was our honeymoon destination then.  The kids loved it, and became Junior Rangers.

We dined like Continental folks.  American, Italian, Mexican, Chinese.  We hit the gamut.  The Italian was to die for.  Who knew??

Getting on the train yesterday was fairly uneventful - if you call an overbooked train uneventful.  But we had the only reserved seats in out large group. All the others had to split up completely.  There were only scattered single seats on that train that came from LA.  We did have reserved seats, but I worried they weren't together.  For some reason there were only two cars with lower coach though.  

The first car was the one splitting off  in San Antonio to go to Chicago.  They put us on the second.  It was great for the kids.  There was another family with three kids of similar ages on that one.  Great fun was had until we reached San Antonio.

When they de-trained, a wheel chair person was put on.  The lower coach is really for the handicapped - so I qualify!  Three gentlemen got on, but at midnight, I didn't care for them spending the trip talking.  And they say women talk.  Ladies, we couldn't hold a candle!

All went well.  From midnight in San Antonio until just on the outskirts of Houston (Sugarland to be exact), the engineer poured on the coal, and we sped through the night.  We would have been on time for out 4:45 arrival except ...  We stopped.   We stayed stopped. And we stayed stopped.

Finally at 6:30 the conductor told us we would be stopped even longer.  The freight ahead of us hit a pedestrian.  It was an ugly hit.  I won't go into details.  The police were doing a thorough investigation.  We got underway at about 8.   

The trip to the station was uneventful, but then how do you follow that. I just hate that four hour delay may have ruined the trip, but it could have happened if we were driving.  When we got in Alpine, there were tv reports about IH 20 being completely shut down between Odessa and Midland because of a three truck accident with four deaths.  It was closed for hours.  So it wasn't just the train!!





I meant to tell you while you were in Alpine to ask about H. Allen Smith..he used to live there and is responsible for the chili cook offs..he was in the first one..he also made fun of Alpine and they don't like him much, which cracked him up..

JuJu said...

It sounds like it was a successful trip; no broken bones, no screaming matches!

What in the world did those geezers talk about in the middle of the night??

Marti said...

I love your train trips. Sorry about the delay, and for such a tragic reason too. So was a good thing for family bonding?