Some bubbly to start off the train trip with.
MAY 2010 COASTAL REPOSITIONING CRUISE ONBOARD THE GOLDEN PRINCESS - LOS ANGELES TO VANCOUVER BC MAY 9 - 14 2010
PART ONE - THE TRAIN RIDE FROM VANCOUVER TO LONG BEACH CALIFORNIA MAY 6 - 7, 2010
Having decided to take this trip only a week earlier after having received a super offer fromPrincess Cruises I put together my transportation part of the trip rather quickly.
It would entail a bus ride to Seattle - overnight on the train to Sacramento then by bus to Stockton and then coach rail to Bakersfield and then bus to Long Beach - by doing it this way I saved over $100.00 by not needing the sleeper for the second day and also arrived about 5 hours earlier as this is a more direct albeit a much less scenic way.
I took a taxi to the train station in Vancouver because of the 5:30 AM bus departure - having to detour around an accident on the Knight St Bridge added a few minutes to the trip - the border was quick - I used my new enhanced driver’s license instead of my passport to see how the process worked - other than the usual questions there were no problems and we were clear of the border in less than fifteen minutes and on our way to Seattle.
Arrived in Seattle on time and after only a few minutes wait it was boarding time on the train - it is a full train as there is a large travel group on it.
The Wi-Fi wasn’t working on the train and other than a one hour delay outside of Eugene Oregon to fix an engine problem which put us almost 90 minutes behind schedule it was an uneventful ride to Sacramento - we made up most of the time overnight - I slept well - we were only fifteen minutes late into Sacramento. Was able to use free wireless there.
Originally I was to have a four hour layover but I saw another couple from the train who said they were taking a bus in thirty minutes to Long Beach - after enquiring from the station master I was able to change my times - Amtrak likes to keep a certain amount of time between scheduled times because of lateness etc thus the longer lay over.
So it’s onto the bus and the short 45 minute ride to Stockton where our train was thirty minutes late to arrive because of switching problems - we did make up most of the time and arrived in Bakersfield only ten minutes late - then it was onto the bus one last time for the trip into Long Beach with stops in Glendale and downtown LA’s Union Station before being dropped off at Denny’s in Long Beach.
I then walked the 10 blocks to my room at the Vagabond Hotel and the first leg of the trip was complete.
Bakersfield California station
View coming into LA on the bus from Bakersfield.