Tuesday, October 09, 2012

31 Days of Flashbacks: Train Trip West: Day #12

Monday, August 15, 2011
In which we go out to lunch with Grandma, check out her apartment, drop some off at the airport to head north, almost leave some at the train station and head east on the train.

We got up and re-packed our carry-ons by the ships and prepared to leave while Steph, Kendra, and Debbie went to wash the sheets and towels we'd used at a laundrymat. We also took a walk around the marina and looked at some of the other boats.
The kids with their art work
a fun boat we saw at a nearby dock
We repacked the 12 passenger van for the last time and headed back down to visit Grandma one last time at her place.
 She took us out for lunch at Cappy's Cafe which had yummy food and huge portions.
A display of hats that the knitting group that Grandma is part of made.
Mom's big salad!
Caleb's big burger
walking with Grandpa and Mommy
 We took Grandma back and got to see her little apartment and took a few more last minute photos then headed north to start drop-offs.
Grandma and the Steve Maas grandkids
I think the kids were tired of camera by this point!
Debbie, Grandma, and Steve
 We hadn't mapped the train station but we got off at the Alameda exit of 405 and assumed that it would be right there. It wasn't.
we did get to see these cool dragons at some point though
Thankfully Doug has a GPS service on his phone so we used it and got to the train station much later than we planned. All luggage heading out by Amtrak and Debbie, my kids, Brody and I got out of the van. We got one of those little cart things ($4 well spent!) and headed into the station while Steph and Steve took the van back and dropped Kendra, Doug, and Jack off at the airport.
 I checked our luggage and got us seat assignments then we went outside to play in the little park area.
 At about 5:30 we headed inside and we found out we had to buy tickets for Steve and Steph for their bus ride over from the airport so Debbie ran to do that and I bought the kids Wetzels' Pretzels and we prayed that Grandpa and Aunt Steph would make it.
These things are yummy - no wonder everyone was buying them!
 The train then started boarding and we had news that the bus was going to take about an hour from the airport when they got on at 5:15 and our train was leaving at 6:15. I decided to take my kids and our carry-ons and board the train. If we missed the train we were out of luck getting back home. Everyone else had a few days left on their 15 or 30 day passes.

My kids cried and cried when they realized that Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Steph and Brody might not make the train but I tried to explain the circumstances to them as best I could. I got the kids settled and found out that Steve & Steph had made it to the station and were headed our way. I went downstairs to talk to the train attendant and she told me to talk to the conductor. He told me that they were closing the doors and headed out in 5 minutes, if the rest of our group made it great but they were not holding the train for them! I kept looking down the way hoping to catch a glimpse of them. I finally saw them way down the way behind a couple of those cart thingies but knew I couldn't run to help them and risk the train leaving with my 4 minor children on board without me. When they were just 2 train cars away I decided to make a run to help them. When we got to our door we were told "1 minute, whatever's not on the train gets left." Thankfully all luggage and carryons and, most importantly, PEOPLE made it on huffing and puffing as we tried to find places for the luggage to go amazed at the wonder that God did it! He got them on our train!!

We ate crackers and peanut butter for snack then slept. My seat mate wanted the aisle seat and he was going all the way to Chicago which made this trip a bit more difficult as we'd have to crawl around him regularly. We most often sat 3 people in 2 seats anyway to play games. For a while Grandpa had 4 of the kids sitting with him playing golf that night.
A pretty Southwestern train station we saw before falling asleep on the train.
 To read about the rest of our trip check out these links to read about Day #1, Day #2, Day #3, Day #4, Day #5, Day #6, Day #7, Day #8, Day #9, Day #10 and Day #11.

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