Foolishly, I didn't spend the time on the train writing up what the day was like, which is a pity because it's nearly midnight here in Bakersfield and I really need to get to bed because I have to be up early enough to get breakfast and get back to the train station for a 10 AM train to Oakland.
Holiday Inn has been both bad and good. Their web site for this hotel claims that there is a complimentary shuttle to the hotel. When I called the hotel this afternoon, they said they knew nothing about shuttles, but would call me a cab to meet my train at 10 PM. When the San Joaquin got to Bakersfield, the ordered taxi wasn't there. I waited until the scheduled arrival time (the train was about fifteen minutes early) and took the taxi that was there prospectively (not from the company that had been ordered). While on the way to the hotel, I got a call that I assume was from the cab company, but they didn't leave a message or answer when I called back, but I would have told them, "You were late; you missed your chance." But in any event, I plan to ding Holiday Inn about this and say they should reimburse my cab fare since I took their word for it on their web site.
This is a Holiday Inn, not an Express, so there's no free breakfast, but my Platinum membership got me a suite upgrade and a $10 coupon good toward breakfast, so that's sort of a wash, I guess.
Aside from the hiccups with the hotel, I've had a great time today and enjoyed the train travel immensely. I'll try to remember to write up the more interesting parts while riding back to the Bay Area tomorrow.
And I'm glad I'm riding in Spring rather than Summer, as it's already getting warm out here in the Valley.