My vacation began in Olympia, WA where my patient and long-suffering mother missed breakfast to take me to JoAnn Fabrics to buy reading material for the trip. I got Craft Stylish and Paper Crafts. Good stuff. After dropping the sweet little doggies at PetSmart (PetsMart?) for their haircuts, we headed for the train station. The train was right on time. I had a "roomette" on the top level of the sleeping car. I was across from a couple ladies from Alaska and down one from a South African guy. It was pretty cool and I settled in for a good trip. I was sick, though - so I didn't take many pictures on the way down. I didn't even sleep that well, but I did remember to take a picture of the falling asleep. :)
The prettiest part of the way down was south of San Jose - lush green, bright sunshine, etc. I was ready for some sunshine.
Then, I arrived. It was sooo warm and delicious. I walked around Salinas while waiting for Phillip - there is nothing within walking distance of the train station.
In Monterey, I found this:
Sweet beautiful sunshine! I walked around without needing a coat - and it's a good thing, since I left it on the train. (I got it back as I was leaving.)
Friday afternoon I spent sight-seeing while The Bro finished work. Then we high-tailed it to Santa Cruz for a book at Borders that he couldn't find anywhere else and HAD TO HAVE IT NOW. I was happy to see Santa Cruz, and I got a great book for using my serger called Sew U: Home Stretch. It's a really helpful book and I'm planning to make my own underwear (more about that when it actually happens - might be never). Then, it was dinner at the best Thai restaurant around. The sweet and sour was surprisingly good. No red food coloring in sight. Then, because of my sickness and the nyquil I took to battle the sickness, I fell asleep sitting up in Phil's room.
Next day we went to church - a lively fun church, although the guest speaker couldn't seem to get any cohesion to his sermon. He was all over the map, but luckily didn't go on and on. In the afternoon I got to see the Pacific Grove butterfly sanctuary. There were soooo many butterflies. Then! To the beach! Phil and I were both reading really good books, so we found a park bench facing the ocean and sat until the mosquitos showed up. That evening was killer. Pizza, Coldstone, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Need I say more? (The movie was silly, yes, but I enjoyed it.)
Sunday brought a downhill mountain bike race for Phillip and pit crew duty for me! He came in 5th in his class and I nearly burst with pride. Afterward we had some delicious food at a local restaurant where the dessert case nearly killed you just looking at it. HUGE cakes with chocolate and frosting and peanut butter... Mmmm....
Finally it was back to the train station and time to begin my trip back home.
The trip takes 24 hours and on the way back every stop was warm and the Amtrak employees were really friendly. Here's southern Oregon, making me want to move there:
What a fun trip! I recommend it to anyone wanting to relax and get some warmth!