Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. I’ve been away from the computer for an entire week, although not away from my iphone, so I did take plenty of photographs of our West Coast travels which I will post in my next blog. But of course when you travel, not everything goes smoothly all the time. So we did have a little “drama”.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a busy day for travel. My daughter Alex, a sophomore at CalPoly in San Luis Obispo, had purchased her Amtrak ticket online so as to meet us in Los Angeles. (We’d flown in Tuesday night). She got to the train station around 6:15 and got in line to procure her actual ticket from the scanning machine. But so did scores of other students. The long lines could not print out the tickets in time for the purchasers to have an actual ticket to board the train.
So what did Amtrak do at 6:40– five minutes before scheduled departure time? Instead of allowing the passengers with evidence of a purchased ticket to board the train, the conductor announced “You must have an actual ticket to board. The train is leaving in five minutes.” The result was pandemonium, according to Alex, with lots of pushing and shoving. It’s a surprise no one was injured. My daughter was one of approximately 30 people who had purchased tickets, but were unable to board the train.
Unlike the East Coast schedule, which has trains running north and south every hour, the next train was not due to arrive until 2:30 p.m. and the only available seats were business class ($35 more!)
So what happened? Well, fortunately one of the students with a purchased ticket had a car (actually a double cab pick-up truck) and with funds donated toward purchasing gas he drove my daughter and three other passengers down to Fullerton, on his way to Riverside. We met her at the train station there, and gave one of her classmates a ride to San Diego, which was where we were headed for the holiday. (So we were able to avert disaster for another family as well.) The good news was they actually arrived in Fullerton earlier than scheduled to reach Los Angeles, and we were a little closer to our destination. If Alex wasn’t fortunate enough to wangle a ride, well that would have been a disaster. The photo is of husband Peter at the Fullerton train station taken while we were waiting for Alex. All’s well that ends well.