August 15th, 2009

Kevin and Lisa

Day 18: Off The Train For Awhile

The Southwest Chief arrived about an hour early -- 38 hours or so after we left Chicago. I had forgot to properly set my alarm, but the conductor's call of "San Bernardino" at 5:30 AM was sufficient to jar us awake, and we bestirred ourselves, cleaned up, and packed everything away. We did not hurry off the train, for there were many other people ahead of us who were in a bigger hurry than us. Lisa took pictures of an Amtrak former F40 locomotive converted to a driving cab and baggage ("cabbage") car on an adjacent platform, and then we went inside.

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The less-than-39-hour trip from Chicago to Los Angeles seemed to go by very quickly. While flying is obviously much faster, taking the train sure beats driving. I don't think we could possibly make that trip at the average speed of nearly 60 mph at which we traveled if we drove. After all, we'd have to stop to eat now and then, let alone sleep or use the restroom.

In a little while, Lisa and I will bestir ourselves from our nice hotel room and decide how to spend the rest of the day. But I don't expect anything too adventurous. After all, our train for Oregon leaves at 10:15 tomorrow morning, which means we have to be out of here early enough to get back down to Union Station at least a half-hour or so before that.
Kevin and Lisa

Night 18: Flashback to Japan

Lisa and I went up to Little Tokyo today, intending to use the Gold Line light rail (after taking the Red Line subway back to Union Station), but discovered the hard way that the Gold Line extension that direction isn't open yet. However, we could and did walk over and have lunch in Little Tokyo. There was a festival happening in Little Tokyo, and aside from the overly-loud music, Lisa enjoyed walking through and looking at all of the booths. On the far side of the performance stage, beyond range of the over-amped sound, there were some travel-related booths. Lisa ended up talking to a nice Japanese woman who was much taken with Lisa and offered her a business card. A man there said "This woman was a famous film star in her day," and we later looked her up: Yoko Sugi, who was indeed in a number of movies as far back as at least 1950.

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Sorry we have no photos tonight. We took lots of them, but got back so late that we don't have the time or energy to process any of them. We may get some done on the train, but thus won't get them uploaded until we get back to Oregon.