Defeat ignites thought, action and reaction. Whether that journey is positive or negative is completely up to the individual. Personally, I am inspired by defeat as it leads to necessary change and innovation.
After a week of woes making me feel like a dart board, I was exhausted and unproductive. I needed to cleanse my mind of the emotive debris and inflate my spirit until it floated like a pure white billowy cloud on a summer day.
That shift began with a Sunday Rail.LA Tour Event that was part fun, volunteer, and business. One single conversation with Chairman Jeremy Stutes stuck with me as the next three days hammered me with more unwanted and undeserved experiences. By the time Thursday evening arrived I had purchased a round trip train ticket from Los Angeles Union Station to San Luis Obispo, California for a respite.
Inspired by Mr. Stutes’ jubilant retelling of his affordable trip to San Francisco on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, I went online to schedule a day trip but was left baffled by the effort. Coming to the rescue, Mr. Stutes advised me to call 1 800 USA Rail; a wise and perfect option. The gentleman who answered my phone call, happily, fixed all my errors and made sure I was booked for dinner and a sleeper on the return trip. The Pacific Surfliner was scheduled to arrive in San Luis Obispo on Friday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. and the Coast Starlight was scheduled to depart at 3:25 p.m. returning to Union Station at 9 p.m. Enjoy the video to see how my spur of the moment adventure played out…
Train Station: Arrival
Waking up on Friday morning at 5:00 a.m., I washed my hair, donned my apparel, and zoomed off toward the 101 freeway via Cahuenga north of the Hollywood Bowl. I was met with a road block. Refusing to grumble and mumble I reacted quickly chugging back up the eroded mountainside in search of another route while engaged in deep breathing to relax my muscles while listening to music to soothe my ruffled soul.
I knew I was not going to miss my train because, unfamiliar with the entire process, I allotted an extra hour knowing that mishaps are, always, possible evidenced by the recent onslaught of unwanted events I had just endured. There is no limitation to the number of bad days one might suffer, but, no need to discuss the details. Reliving mental anguish isn’t good for anyone’s well being.
Knowing several routes to the 101, I was delighted to actually enjoy traveling through LA at maximum speed limit, a rarity on our freeways during the day. Parking was effortless because I called the night before and confirmed the details while viewing an enlarged map online. I settled on the most affordable parking lot near Union Station.
Union Station: Boarding
Finally walking through the Union Station tunnel with stairs on each side at regular intervals leading up to train platforms, I absorbed the sites. Sheriffs, Homeland Security Officers, and LAPD were on patrol. I was relieved to see no dogs sniffing for bombs. I certainly did not want to add that experience to my single day of solace. Tickled by so many blank expressions as hands gripped capped paper coffee cups, I realized that few people can wake up bouncing off the walls with excitement like I can. I was in the mood for Fabulous Fun!
After checking in and learning that my departure platform was 9B, it was my turn for hot black coffee and a scone. Once sated, I freshened up and decided to hangout above ground by the trains. Waiting for the train doors to open up and welcome us in, I listened to people fretting about which platform to stand on. After 15 minutes had passed we had to persuade 3 people that the announcement-blast clearly stated their train was about to depart from 10B. “RUN!” I shouted at their backs the moment comprehension filtered into their dazed minds and they turned to go.
Solutions To Consider
I am blessed with the ability to let things unfold with out clogging my mental maze with preconceived notions or expectations. Therefore, when 3 trains had the priority to pass by before we could continue our journey, along with a medical emergency creating delay, I was able to occupy myself with either a book to read or cameras to record whatever captured my attention. There are always ‘solutions to consider’ when there is something to overcome or accomplish.
Traveling by Train
Someday I’ll take the train to Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach, CA. I have to admit, I won’t go on a long California train ride because whoever was in charge of the train from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles made no effort to keep the bathrooms clean and functioning…that’s quite an irritation!