Hello friends! Big travel plans are afoot! Or rather, awheel. I’ve got a lot of vacation time to use up before it goes away, so now is as good as ever for a trip. And where to? Why California, of course!
I haven’t been to California in three years (and before that, five years.) It’s funny, that. I visited Cali at least once a year from 1998 to 2009. And I lived there for a year as well! So this trip is long overdue. In the original planning stages I hoped to go to both Northern and Southern California (where I’d take part in the Redlands Strada on March 18). But the trip got pushed back and I’m not getting as much time off as I had hoped, so this time it’s just a Bay Area concentration. Which is perfectly fine!
You may be wondering how I’ll be getting down there. And I’ll be wondering if you actually read this damn blog, because I always take the train for anything further than a bike ride! (And no, don’t have the time to ride down.) Besides, flying is for the birds.* Also, I don’t own a car.** Anyways, I will be on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight to and from the Bay Area. But this time I’ll be doing it a little differently than my past California excursions.
On the way down I’ll be taking “business class”. It’s still coach-style seating (though supposedly there are less seats in the car), but I’ll be able to use the classy Pacific Parlour Car, which is a lounge usually reserved for sleeping car (first class) passengers. Swanky! I also get to use the first class Metropolitan Lounge at Portland Union Station. All this for $40 more than the regular fare!
And on the way back? I’m going all out and getting a roomette in the Sleeping Car! Actual bed! Such luxury! Yeah, I got spoiled by the sleeper on my last Lake Pepin trip. (And I also cashed in my Amtrak Guest Rewards to get it!)
I take off from Portland on Sunday March 19. Here’s the rough itinerary:
- I’ll be getting into Sacramento the morning of Monday March 20. I have spent little time in the Golden State’s capital,*** so I will spend the day here and crash at the hostel.
- The next day, Tuesday March 21, I’ll head towards San Francisco. On the way I’ll spend a little time in the very bike-friendly town of Davis, a place I have not been to.
- That means I’ll be around San Francisco and the East Bay from Tuesday night through Saturday March 25.
- The last two nights of my stay, Saturday the 25 and Sunday the 26, will be spent at the Marin Headlands Hostel, so I’ll be doing some Marin exploring then.
- I’ll be taking the Coast Starlight from Oakland northbound on the night of Monday March 27, getting home Tuesday afternoon.
What do I hope to do?
- First off, don’t be silly! Of course I’m going to bring my bike. So I hope to have some good rides.
- Critical Mass will fall during my stay, so I should go if I can.
- There are a couple Coffee Outsides I have heard about: one in SF on Friday, one in the East Bay on Saturday, so want to hit those up as well.
- And yeah, I will visit Rivendell in Walnut Creek. Grant, watch out!
- I want to check out the Marin Museum of Bicycling, too!
- And maybe Manny will do one of his crazy-epic rides through the hills while I am there. One can hope!
Are you in the Bay Area and want to hang out during my visit, or want to let me know about something cool going on? Get in touch!
*Ironically enough, the last time I went to the Bay Area, I flew back. This was due to time constraints. I did train down, though.
**Though I have owned cars in the past. I have gotten rides down in the past, but I’d rather be in a train than on I-5.
***Hell, I’ve barely spent any time in my own state’s capital!