I recently had a delightful, relaxing trip to Orange County to visit kids and grandkids. The reason for all this joy was AMTRAK, the best kept secret in transportation. After boarding the train at the beautiful Santa Fe Station in San Diego, I sat back and enjoyed the view. Much different from when I drive the dreaded 405 Freeway, I look forward to a longer trip on AMTRAK.
We passed through canyons and wetlands, and rode the rails next to the beautiful Pacific Ocean. For just a few dollars more I upgraded my coach seat to business class. This included snacks, spacious seats with acres of leg room, a footrest, and slide-out tray. Passengers interested in working on laptops had a power source available at each seat.
On my way to Orange County, I met an attractive widow named Rose. She was on her way to a wedding in Irvine. Nineteen-year-old Jodi was my seat mate on the return trip. A student at the University of San Diego, she was quite a contrast to Rose. Rose was an ultra feminine, beautifully coifed, stylish-looking woman covered with jewelry. Jodi, in sweats and New Balance running shoes, was into fitness and health foods. A former national kayak champion, she enjoys being dropped in the Canadian wilds and kayaking for a month at a time with friends. I learned that her father, an instructor at the Air Force Academy, regularly took her into the woods for survival camping trips.