We are up early to catch the Amtrak Coast Starlight. It arrives and departs exactly on time and we settle into our seats. I like to think of the seating on Amtrak as a Barcalounger on wheels. These comfortable chairs recline, have raise-up foot rests and drop down trays. We watch DVDs, gaze out the windows, chat, snooze and enjoy the changing scenery through the central valley. The southern leg of the trip runs along the beach and I manage to grab some beautiful shots of the sunset from the moving train. At the cocktail hour we toast the ride and settle in for the last few hours on the train.
We arrive in LA's Union Station a good half hour ahead of schedule. It is possible to transfer directly from the Coast Starlight to the Pacific Surfliner to San Diego and arrive after one a.m. in the morning. We elected to stay overnight in LA and continue into San Diego the next morning. After standing in line and watching everyone else getting their checked luggage, I look at my luggage tag and realize that our bags are on their way to San Diego! I contact the luggage agent and she and her crew spring into action and rescue our bags from the San Diego train. Thanks to them, I get to brush my teeth before bed.
During the luggage rescue April had the sense to secure a Subway sandwich and two drinks for $7. After a short cab ride to the Westin Boneventure (booked on Hotwire for $103) we are amazed at modern towers and are given a fantastic room on the twenty-fifth floor. A quick check of the hotel dining scene validates the Subway choice, a similar meal would have been over $50! We sink into the most comfortable king bed I have ever slept in and drop into a sound sleep.
Southern California Sunset from Amrtak Coast Starlight.