Wow, 30 years of marriage? I hear that a lot lately. Yep, and to the same guy. Well, what do you do that is special for that special day?? Hmmm, party? Nah. Stay at home and look at each other lovingly all day? Do that all the time. Go on a trip? Hmmm………. sounds good. But where? How about somewhere you have never been to, at least together? Even better! But where? Okay, San Francisco! And, that is how our trip began, with my planning it and booking it, with the help of my sisters. Okay, we had it planned out, now to wait for the big day to arrive.
Well, Saturday, March 19th dawned. Actually, it wasn’t dawn quite yet when we got up at 5 a.m. in order to catch the train. Doug insisted that we be there early in order to be on time. Good thing, but come on, there is such a thing as being too early. That’s Doug, and after 30 years, you just live with it. I like to be early, but not that early!
Everything had been packed the night before, ok, a couple of days before. An was set to come and take us to the Amtrak that morning. I had everything all set out and ready to go, had fed and petted the kitties, and just about ready to leave and An showed up, early. Now, that’s unusual for him! Doug, as usual was anxious to go, and I was finishing in the bathroom and wanted to grab my hairbrush, but of course, with my memory, forgot it as soon as I went in there, and remembered it in the car.
At this time, there are no pictures, as I need to take them in and get them developed and put on CD. My regular camera decided to go on strike, so I looked around for a good price on instamatic cameras before we left, and didn’t find any. So, we now had 2 things to look for in SF. A hairbrush and cameras. Off to a good start so far.
As I was saying, An came a little early, about 5:45 am. The train was to leave at 6:50 am. He left Kathy and little Sam to sleep. And we were on our way. An really is a sweetie, and will do anything to help out. We arrived at the train station just at 6:00 am and it was just then beginning to break into dawn. A very cold and soon to be wet dawn, but pretty. If you watch really closely, you will find that there is a theme here, early….. Need I say more?
We went into the train station. A really nice one here in Fresno that has just been redone in the past few years, nice, clean and plenty of seats. We had already purchased our tickets and didn’t need to check in as Doug had a backpack with all our belongings, and I had my big purse and a blue carryon bag with all my makeup, etc., minus a hairbrush. LOL! We sat down and relaxed for a bit. A very short bit…….. kids were starting to come in. Turns out they were part of a church group of preteens that were going to be on the same train. I think there were about 30 of them including adults. We decided to move to another bench to give them room and also, they were, not intentionally, getting a little loud. Doug has trouble hearing from being in the Navy, and really loud noises hurt his ears. We decided to go outside for a bit and just walk around, after all, the train ride and bus ride was going to be at least 4 hours. It was cold out there, and I was glad to have my sweater and a jacket on, as the wind was really cold. If you have ever been on a train, you know that they start to announce the arrival times about 15 minutes before they are due. At first, it started off at being on time, 6:50. Then, it slowly went to 6:51, then 6:55, 6:57, and almost up to 7:01. Of course, it then came to 6:55, and the train arrived 5 minutes late. LOL! We had fun guessing if it was going to be on time or not.
We boarded the train, thinking that we could get a seat by ourselves and it would be quiet. NOT!!! The train was full, and then add in 30 teenagers, plus others waiting, and ourselves, there was very little space available. We had to go to another car to find a seat, and we wound up across from a young woman going back to university and another gentleman. It was so full, that the conductor was threatening to charge double for people who left their baggage on the seat next to them. We forgot to take into account that the train was one for people wanting to go to the Bay area and SF for the weekend, and catered to them. Also, being a weekend….. (catching the theme?)
We got our stuff settled in around us, a little crowded but ok, enough room to sit but not stretch your legs. I had given Doug an early anniversary present, an MP3 player with songs downloaded, courtesy of Kathy. He settled in with that, and I sat and read my book that I had brought. The train ride was otherwise uneventful, except for the teens getting up and down, people getting on and off. I believe at the next stop, Madera, the gentleman who was sitting across from me (Doug wanted the window seat) left and we were able to stretch for a bit. Still very full. We had a few others sit across from us at different stops, but otherwise pretty good trip. It rained all the way up there, it seemed that the rain decided to follow us. A few hours later, we arrived at Emeryville, where the bus would take us to SF. Since the bus leaves right after the train arrives (supposedly) we rushed out the station like a bunch of lemmings to the other side, outside, in the rain, to wait……….. There were dozens of us lemmings waiting for someone to tell us what bus to get on, but the bus drivers didn’t seem to know. Oh, I forgot to mention that there was another group that were on the train with us, a tour group, and they had a chartered bus they were waiting for. Actually 2 buses. The church group got off earlier. Finally, there were on board. Now to wait for the right bus for SF. Apparently, they have about 4 buses that go to different stops and those stops only, in SF. We finally boarded the bus that was to drop us at the Moscone Center, and boy what a contrast to the crowded train. Plenty of seats that were padded and leaned back, and room to sit down and stretch! I think Doug was a little happier with that, though you couldn’t tell on the train. He was just bee bopping along to the music. Me, I didn’t have an MP3 player, as I have headphones all day at work, and my ears were sore from that. We drove across the Bay Bridge into SF and tried to look at the sites, but there was a lot of rain, and the water was really rough underneath the bridge. But there it was, SF in front of us, and just in our grasp! It felt so good to have finally arrived! Big sigh of relief!
Well, I’m taking a break from this story for a bit, but will be back soon. I promise!