Thursday, March 1, 2007


Our trip to Reno got derailed. As it turns out, they had the heaviest snow storm of the season last night and when we arrived at the station to get our tickets the agent said the snow plow train had derailed and they were seeing if they could get buses. We had arrived a couple of hours early in order to avoid any traffic problems.The commute from the house in Palo Alto to Emeryville going up Highway 280, through San Francisco and across the Bay bridge on Highway 80 was easy. We were on the road at 6am. We arrived in Emeryville in about 50 minutes. If we had started out at 6:30 am, it could have taken an hour longer due to the commute traffic.

We enjoyed a breakfast at Denny's nearby after getting our tickets. While there the railroad agent called and said there wouldn't be any buses. A couple of minutes later we received another call from Amtrak somewhere else advising the same. After an unexpectedly good breakfast, we went back to the station and got our refund for the tickets and then called the hotel and canceled. All went well with the cancellations and refunds.

Amtrak does provide a telephone number to check on the status of the train but it wouldn't have helped. It the train were to go, we'd need to be there as we were, anyway. It does seem like our train trips to Reno are doomed to failure. Last time, many years ago, a similar storm and cancellation. We were younger and more determined then and caught a flight to Reno and then the train back. Since I don't fly anymore, that's out this time.

One of the nice things about not living life to a schedule is that there is no real schedule. We tend to do things on the spur of the moment most often. So, since we were in Emeryville, we looked around Emeryville around the station. There is a lot of shopping, all closed this early. There is the nice Public Market food court, all closed this early. We looked around until about 9am and then headed across the bay bridge and to the Coit Tower in San Francisco. Lou has been complaining that she has been to the base of the tower but never to the top so up we went. Great views there.

We then went over to Golden Gate Park to the Strybing Arboretum. We stopped for lunch of Gyros at a place across the street from the park at Lincoln and 9th then went through the arboretum. We explored many out of the way areas of the gardens we have either passed by or missed before. Very nice.At Coit Tower San Francisco,  Bay Bridge At Coit Tower San Francisco, Alcatraz
View fro top of Coit Tower in San Francisco.

At Coit Tower San Francisco, Golden GateAt Coit Tower San Francisco, Golden Gate 3317 At Coit Tower San Francisco, Skyline
More views from the top of Coit Tower.

At Coit Tower San Francisco, Lou and Don Coit Tower San Francisco
Here we are at the top of Coit Tower.

Golden Gate Park Strybing Arboretum Golden Gate Park Strybing Arboretum
Nice views of Strybing Arboretum in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

Golden Gate Park Strybing Arboretum Golden Gate Park Strybing Arboretum Squirrel
A nice pond at Strybing Arboretum and a friendly squirrel.

A little shopping on the way home and then we stopped in San Mateo at Heidi's Pies, El Cmino Real near Highway 92 for a piece of the best pecan pie we've had. A final stop at one of Lou's favorite thrift stores and we finally arrived home about 5:30.

We had fun even though we missed the train. We may try to reschedule later but may just hit the road soon instead.

We are still having a lot of rain here. The backyard is saturated. It will be nice when the sun starts drying things out, hopefully soon.

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