Category: 2012 – San Francisco

Day 10

We got up early and went to have our final breakfast on the train.


We all had our usual, Railroad French Toast!


Everyone was still pretty tired after breakfast so back to our rooms to take it easy.

We arrived into Albuquerque and hour early so we had quite a bit of time to kill at the station.


All of the walls at the station have these spike things on the top. I assume it is to keep people from sitting on them.



We started lunch while still in Albuquerque. There were slow orders between Albuquerque and Lamy so we went slow for a long time. It was to bring us to our final stop almost and hour late. We waited in the lower vestibule for our arrival.


We got off the train into a little rain. Nothing much, but it was nice to see some precipitation.

And we watched our train disappear…

So ends another great trip. Hopefully we can do another one next year. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Day 9

We started the day early by dropping our bags at the train station. Then we rode the Metro to Hollywood.



Jackie Chan’s Star



After walking around for a while, we rode the Metro over to the Universal Citywalk for lunch and to look around.



After checking that place out a while, it was time to return to Los Angeles Union Station to wait for our final train, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief #4.

You might recognize this station from countless TV shows, commercials and movies.


Our train backed into the station around 5:45.


We boarded and settled in for our last ride of the trip. Soon after pulling out of the station, we went to dinner. After dinner, it was already getting dark. The boys and I went to the lounge for one more game of Monopoly on the iPad.


After I won the game, we all turned in for the night. It was a beautiful night out my window. I drifted off as the very bright moon soared across the sky as the train turned back and forth.


Tomorrow our journey will end.

Day 8

The day started early for us. We had to pack up and leave town. While getting ready, we heard on the news that there was some police investigation of a shooting on the Eastbound Bay Bridge. That is exactly where we needed to go.

After arriving at the San Francisco Amtrak station, we waited patiently to find out what would happen. We were relieved to find out our bus that was suppose to take us to Oakland would now take us to San Jose. We could definitely live with that.



Yes, Stephen bought himself some dorky glasses with clear frames.

Took about an hour to get to San Jose where we had to wait about 40 minutes for our train.



Our train arrived and away we went towards Los Angeles. We had sleeper rooms for this trip but we would not be sleeping on this train.



Had some great coast views!



I tried the dorky glasses. I think it may be my new look.


Tomorrow evening we depart for home. But first, some time in Hollywood.

Day 7

The day started on a Streetcar…


Then went to an underground MUNI train…


To get us to the San Francisco Zoo






After returning back to the hotel area, we had a late lunch. Then we chilled out in the hotel room for a while. We were all pretty tired and some rest was welcomed.

We traveled out to find some dinner and realized then how crowded the Fisherman’s Wharf area has become. Everything had very long lines and the areas transit was shut down. We walked around a while. Came upon a concert…


We finally decided to pick up a pizza from the place across the street from our hotel and we took it back to our room to eat.

Around 8:30, the boys and I ventured out to walk around and see all the interesting stuff going on. Close to 9:30 we climbed to the top of the parking garage next door and enjoyed a San Francisco fireworks show. They actually had two going on. The exact same show at the exact same time and we could easily see both. It was very impressive!


Now it is time to get packed up and ready to move out and begin the journey home. We leave early in the morning.

Day 6

We slept in a little to start the day. After a quick breakfast, off to the Exploratorium.









We spent a good long time there. Lots to do.

After grabbing a quick lunch, we chilled in the hotel room for a little bit. Then we hit BART to Oakland for an A’s game.


The A’s pulled out a 9th inning win against the Red Sox.

After the game we had fireworks!


It was a late ride back from Oakland…



Got back to the hotel around 12:15am.

Only one more day in San Francisco.

Day 5

We started early this morning leaving our hotel at 7:45.

San Francisco tip: Go to ride the cable cars EARLY. No lines!



Then we went to the Maritime Historical Park.


This one is for our good friends, the Nash’s…IMG_1378

After that we explored Fisherman’s Wharf…



We then ran back to the hotel for a few minutes to get ready for our evening. Stephen and I also had a nice pillow fight. Of course, I won.


We hopped on one of the F Line Streetcars…


And off to Alcatraz!



Tempting. Very tempting…






When we returned to San Francisco, it was late so we caught the Streetcar back to our hotel…


So a long day, but we had fun. More tomorrow!

Day 4

Wow, day four and we are still talking about trains. Is that a vacation or what?

I woke up early because we gained another hour in Pacific time. We were all up by 6:30 where we again went to eat.

Soon after breakfast we arrived in Reno where we stepped off for a few minutes.


Well, we all almost stepped off…


Back to our rooms to enjoy some nice scenery. Course, Stephen is watching a movie and Michael is playing on Vicky’s iPhone.

Around 11:00 we headed to the lounge to play another game of Monopoly and wait for lunch. We all had burgers.

After lunch, things went fast. We started arriving early at stops and before you know it we were pulling into Emeryville (across the bay from San Francisco) where we got off the train for good with all our luggage. We then boarded a bus for a quick ride to SF.


While everyone else waited to get our bags, I ran to Walgreens to by our MUNI pass. We then boarded a streetcar and went to our hotel. It was nice to finally dump all our luggage.

We then went right next door to In-N-Out Burger for dinner. Then to Walgreens for a few items and back to the room to rest up and prepare for our next four days of San Francisco!

Day 3

We started early again going to breakfast at 6:30. However, the dining car was packed with people who had found out they would be off the train at Denver. All of the stops between Denver and Salt Lake City would be missed by the train so they would be on buses.

The trained stopped in Denver for about 30 minutes where we got off and walked around. A lot of people got off here to go get on a bus because the reroute was missing some big stops. By the way, they washed the windows right after this pic.


We finally got into breakfast around 9:00. Again, French toast for everyone.


The boys and I once again went to the lounge car to play Monopoly and I also met a guy from my online Amtrak forums ( who happened to be on the same train. We played and visited until lunch.

After lunch we retired to our rooms where everyone else took naps while I caught up on the blog.



For dinner, we all had steak except Michael who had a hot dog.

We arrived into Salt Lake City right around 10:00. We had over an hour there so Stephen and I got off to explore a little while Vicky and Michael went to bed.

Our train…


Salt Lake City commuter train…


We reboarded around 10:45 and turned in for the night. This was to be the best night sleep yet for me.

Day 2

We started the day early somewhere in Kansas. We went to breakfast at 6:30. French toast all around.

Soon after breakfast we stopped in Kansas City where we got to step off the train for 20 or so minutes.


After we reboarded, the boys and I went to the lounge and played Monopoly on the iPad.


I won, of course. Then more hanging out in the room.


Because out train was running an hour late, we had time to get lunch on the train. I had a Cuban sandwich and everyone else had a burger.


Soon after lunch, we arrived in Galesburg, Il. This is when we heard the nasty rumor that we would be on a bus from Denver to Salt Lake City due to wildfires in Colorado. I demanded positive thoughts.


Just so happens there is a small rail museum right next to the depot and since we had about about three hours to kill, the boys and I went to check it out.



Stephen and I trekked to a local store to get a few items and it was way HOT. But we survived. After that, we hung out waiting for our next train, the California Zephyr #5. It arrived right on time at 4:18pm.

No one on board knew anything about a bus or a possible reroute. I guess that was good news.

After dinner, I decided to go ahead and take a shower. There is nothing quite like taking a shower on a train moving 79mph. Needless to say, you use the grab bar. After me, the rest of the family showered as well.


By the time we got to Omaha, the news was in (from my online sources). Our train was to be rerouted so there would be no bus for us. While we do miss out on the Rockies, at least we will stay on the train.

I think we all slept better the second night, I know I did.