Tuesday, August 30, 2016

rollin', rollin', rollin ...

Keep those doggies rollin' ...

Okay, so keep those trainies rollin' ...

The hallways weren't much bigger than the rooms.  Although this photo makes it seem grand compared to what it really felt like.

And everything I needed seemed to be on a different floor.  Of course it did.

This was our hallway.  It was a little more glamorous that the hallways leading downstairs.  But just a little more.  And little it was!

First order of business on Saturday morning?

Yup, ye ol' dining car.

It was good enough for Lucy Ricardo ... so it's good enough for me.

Wanna see what we were offered?


It was easy to diet on this train.  Not just because they listed all of the calories ... but, um, well, it just was.  Railroad food?  Think airplane food.


And Dinner. 

Don't get all excited over that steak you see there.  I did ... and it really wasn't all it was cracked up to be.  FORTUNATELY I didn't have to pay that price for it, either.  It was included in my fare.  So, that made it free.

Sure it did, Kris.

They did offer dessert.  Think airline-sized dessert.  Except without the peanuts.

Alcohol was definitely needed on this train trip.  Although I don't know how anyone could drink and walk on a train.  It's hard enough just walking on the train while not imbibing.

And so concludes our food tour of the Superliner, headed from Union Station in LA to Union Station in Dallas.  

Oh, wait.  Forgot about these.   They're delicious, too.

Rule of thumb:  Don't spill your meds ... on a tiny, tiny train and think you're going to collect them all in one fell swoop.

It can't be done.


Monday, August 29, 2016

buckets o' fun

So, this whole California adventure idea began when I decided that I MUST, I JUST MUST take a trip from one side of the country to the other.  I've watched many (read: ALL) I Love Lucy episodes and since she rode on a train, well, IIIII had to ride on a train.   And she ate in a 'dining car' so IIIII had to eat in a dining car.

So on my bucket list it went.  One train trip to go, please.

I didn't actually take it from one side of the country to the other, but I did take it halfway across.  I planned it to take me home from California, all the way to Texas.  Far enough, I thought.   And looking back, it really was far enough.

We (because I drug Elizabeth along with me) boarded in LA at the famed "Union Station" on a Friday night at what was supposed to be 10:00 pm.  Yep, I drug my daughter to LA ... the pit of LA ... on a Friday night.  LATE on a Friday night, no less.  We stepped out of our Uber car and into a world of sketchy, sketchy people lining the sidewalks of LA.  At 10:00 pm.  Because we're crazy.

And once we entered the actual Union Station, well, it was a different world.  Restaurants, nice seating, etc.  I am no longer afraid of Union Station.  Just don't take me outside, though.  Different world out there.

We found (and this was not easy, especially dragging four suitcases behind us) where we needed to be and stood in line to check in.  Of course it was the wrong line.  Of course it was.  But we dutifully stood in it.  Eventually we were moved to a different line where we could check our baggage in.  It was also the wrong line.  But we happily gave up our baggage, hoping, just hoping that it would make it to Texas.  SPOILER ALERT: it did.

And eventually we were directed to a different hallway, up some stairs and into a little room for ... FIRST CLASS PASSENGERS.  Finally someone figured out who we were!  Just kidding.  It was a room for people who had paid for beds on the train.  I was one such person.  So was Elizabeth.  We needed beds for our three day journey.

And into the little room we went, and into the little room we stayed.  And stayed.

Apparently ... some smart aleck had decided to commit suicide on some train tracks somewhere in California and it affected EVERY train trip in the country.  So our train was still sitting in Burbank and we were sitting in LA.  Great.  Fortunately the mess (pun intended) was cleaned up in a reasonable short period of time and Elizabeth and I boarded our train ... in LA ... across from a men's jail ... MEN'S CENTRAL JAIL ... at 11:30 pm.  Only 1 1/2 hours late.

And off we went.  Into oblivion.  On a very small train.  On a very small rickety train.

This was the wrong window.  No one was at it anyway, which should have been my first clue.

We had to be briefed, first.  And this was important information, I guess.  Trains moving?  Who'd of thought?

Oh, great.  Police have to be involved in my trip.  Must be because we left from downtown LA.

Hey, can I have a bigger window, please?  I want to see more than just a porthole's view ...

These people are in a hurry.  They don't know that there's a delay ahead.  They must not know about the suicide.  Slow down, peeps!

And ... the jail.  Good to know it's just a stone's throw from Union Station.  Good to know there's men in there that I don't want to meet up with.

And finally ... boarding time.  Do you know that I never once made it downstairs?  I'm only just now figuring out that there's a downstairs to our upstairs.

And ... it's time to enter.  These doors are actually quite pretty.   Wish the rest of the train were this pretty.  Wish I realized there was a downstairs.

Wish I'd never taken a train.

Wanna see my room?

No, seriously.  THAT'S OUR ROOM.   That's my bed.  It was RIDICULOUSLY TINY.

It did have a window, though.  

Liz slept up above me.  Good thing, too, 'cuz there weren't no room in MY BED!

We did have a door on our room, though.  With a lock.  That made the room feel EVEN BIGGER.  Yeah, no.

My toes ALMOST fit into the room.  Sitting on my bed, I almost fit into the room.  Good luck standing up, Kris.  Yeah, good luck with the whole trip.

And, of course, Liz did the required study of how to get out in an emergency (what?  jump out?) and learned about oxygen masks and how to buckle a seatbelt.

Wait.  Wrong mode of travel.  Okay, so Liz read about the emergency exits.  I'm sure she read more to me but I was too busy trying to stay upright in my own room.

NEXT UP:  Off we go!


Thursday, August 25, 2016

still bummin'

 I wasn't the only one at the beach that day.  There were others ...

And some of them even brought friends.

These two don't seem to be speaking to each other.  I'm guessing their vacation isn't going so well.

I got to visit my birthplace on this trip, too.

Well, I wasn't born at a state university ...

... nor in a car.

But I was born in Long Beach.  Or so I'm told.

And while in Long Beach, I visited my friend Katie.  She was born in Long Beach, too.  We were even born in the same hospital.  Just not at the same time.  Although I don't know that for sure, I'm just going by what I was told.

Katie and I met at a funeral.  Who knew that a funeral could bring people together.  Usually it's just the opposite.

And speaking of funerals ... I didn't go to one, but the next day I thought I'd be planning one.  


Ever ridden on a train?


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

more bummin'

With weather like this ...

... why not continue to hang around the beach??  

Hey, I even found a fun ferry and a ferris wheel.  

I didn't do the ferris wheel, but I did do the ferry.  

So did my car.  Although this isn't my car; it was my car's view.  Yep, my car got to view a BMW.  It's probably never seen one before so it was good for it to get up close and personal with it.

And because I'd seen my car before, I got out of my car to see some other sights.  Perhaps I just wanted to see the BMW a little closer.  Or the water.  Yeah, the water.  We don't have water in Texas.  Well, we have water ... just not water.

We don't have no streets named this in Texas ...

Nor any cities named this ...

We do have welcome centers ... but they're not as cute as this one.  I like being welcomed in California.

So, welcome to Oceanside, Kris.  You are officially 'side an ocean.

And loving it.


Monday, August 22, 2016

beaching it ...

I've been into real estating again lately.  Got my eye on a couple of these little beauties.  You think someone would want to sell me one (or two or three) pretty cheap?

No?  Why not?

I like the first one that comes with a little Solvang-type bike for tooling around the beach in.

I think I could stand waking up to this view every day.  

Texas is short on beaches.  California has plenty.  I made sure I headed out to see the edge of the world while on my California junket.  

Yep, this view'll do.  Especially aboard the little bike that I want.

I look thinner at the beach.  

Well definitely taller.

Hey, look.  My legs got shorter.  That's not so good.  They're short enough.

Elizabeth and I also saw this on our beach outing.  

Found it at the Fashion Island Mall in Newport Beach.  Didn't buy it, so I'm kicking myself now.

It doesn't hurt much, though.  My legs are too short to do any real damage and high kicks are out of the questions with my new stubby legs.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

time for chaos

Wanna see some chaos?  

My daughter put together a cute little "slide show" about what the day held for me, but first I'll show you where we were.  It were swanky.  Swanky swanky.

It were the Larchmont.


Yep, The Larchmont.

 I can now say that I filmed a TV show in LA.  Of course I can say I did that in Texas and in Idaho, but there's something a bit more glamorous to doing it in LA.  

Here we go ...

 Photo Bomb

Here's what I look like on a monitor.  It's the first time I'm seeing this, too.  Remind me to wear a necklace next time that lays down a bit better.

Liz was bored and got a little fancy with this slide ...


And the author of this new book ...

See?  I told you you were in for some chaos...

Pic of the day:

My lunch ... that the crew bought for me.

Sure beats that reunion meal, eh?

And it didn't cost me $120!

This one only cost me $560!!!  The exact price of a train ticket that SOMEONE was insistent upon travelling on.   Yep.  

More chaos tomorrow, if you're up to it.