My dad and I travel by train almost every summer, specifically Amtrak (http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/HomePage). One train trip that stands out in my mind was my dad’s and my trip by Amtrak in 2009. We traveled from Tulsa to Oklahoma City (http://www.texaseagle.com/stations/OKC.htm) by Greyhound (http://www.greyhound.com/) bus (there is no train that leaves from Tulsa), then from Oklahoma City to Ft. Worth on the Heartland Flyer.
In Ft. Worth (http://www.texaseagle.com/stations/FTW.htm) we got on the Texas Eagle which took us on to San Antonio (http://www.texaseagle.com/stations/SAS.html) . Riding on the Texas Eagle is where the real fun began. We didn’t have a sleeper car for that part of the trip, nor did we have one when we boarded the Sunset Limited in San Antonio, which we road all the way to Los Angles. For the first part of the journey (about 2 days) there were a lot of sink baths.
Being in coach class (seats only, no bed, no shower, no meals included) is a hard way to travel for days but it was a great experience anyways. We met amazing people and ate great food in the dining car. To save money we chose to eat dinner only in the dining car. Both my dad and I chose to get the half of a chicken breast. It was very filling and delicious. In the train’s dining car it was so interesting because if a group is 3 or less the rest of the 4 person table is filled with people you don’t know. My dad is one to talk to people so he chatted with the people tons and there were many great conversations.
When the Sunset Limited arrived in Los Angles (http://www.texaseagle.com/stations/LAX.htm), we had to switch trains to the Pacific Surfliner. We rode business class on the Pacific Surfliner. Business class is nicer than coach because each seat has a plug by it, there are complementary snacks, and the seats are slightly larger. Our time on Pacific Surfliner train seemed to zip by as we passed beautiful beaches and scenic views.
When we arrived in San Diego (http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=am/am2Station/Station_Page&code=SAN) a friend of my dad’s picked us up from the train station. We were staying with the friend so we could save money by not having the cost of a hotel or hostel. My dad did consider a hostel (http://www.sandiego.org/listing/Visitors/945) but we ended up staying with friends.
In San Diego we did so many things in just 3 short days. One day we went to the beach in the La Jolla area, which was amazing. We also went to a great, little, local bookstore in the La Jolla area called Warwicks (http://www.warwicks.com/). It was charming and had great booksellers who were helpful. Another day visited the USS Midway Museum (http://www.midway.org/) which was great for my history-buff dad and I. We loved being in a place where history had taken place. The last full day we spent in San Diego, we went to the San Diego Zoo (http://www.sandiegozoo.org/). The animals were very lively and their cages looked well kept. The best part was the panda bears. It was a unique experience all around and wonderful.
After all our fun in San Diego my dad and I boarded the Pacific Surfliner to begin our long trip home. When we arrived in Los Angles we got on the Sunset Limited once again, but this time we had a sleeper room. That meant we had a public shower we could use, beds, and meals were pre-included in the price. It was a wonderful way to end a spectacular trip full of bonding, scenic views, shopping, zoo time, and of course train travel!
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