Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Lots of catching up to do

Sunday was checkout day from the con hotel. They gave me a 12:30 late checkout (I'd wanted 3 pm) so I rushed a bit. Kicking myself for that now. First order of business was to get to the art show and take down my photos. Nothing sold. I was disappointed mostly because it meant I had to haul everything back home. Had I set the minimum bid lower, things probably would have been different. I think I promised reddheart her photo if it didn't sell. Happy to send it, just need an address. lemmozine, Break Time For Xena is yours if you still want it, and we can figure out a fair price. Message me here or on FB.

Whatever. I was out of there by 10:30, back to the hotel and packed and checked out by 11, which was their original check-out time. I parked my bags with the bell desk, and headed to the con, where I heard figmo, Moira Greyland and Cecilia Eng concerts, then back to the Atlantis and their Al Fresco cafe. I ordered this WTF dish, shrimp and scallops Alfredo spaghetti. The shrimp, spaghetti and sauce were great but the scallops were undercooked. I should have sent it back, but I thought I was in a hurry. It was gatting close to 3 pm, which is the time the previous day's train left Reno. Amtrak's info line said my train was not due till 4:30, which meant I really ought to be there around 3 for baggage check.

Which I was. Caught a cab from the hotel, which took 10 minutes because the outbound cabs sat around the corner out of sight from the inbound cabs. Got a valet to find one for me.

This time there was someone at the window and I was the only one in line. The attendant tried to talk me out of buying the Emeryville-San Jose bus ticket, he had not read the memo that the bus was a connecting one for the Reno train, and it would wait for us. I checked the portfolio of unsold photos and my carry-on filled with dirty laundry. Put my knapsack on my back, which had some snacks, my laptop, the new Kindle and some minor camera gear and headed down the street to Harrah's, where I played my favorite slot machine, Wizard of Oz themed, but it needs all 4 seats played to get the full effect, and I was only joined by one other person for most of it. Put in $45, got out $30 in an hour of play.

Back to the station, the train was now due in at 6:15 pm. At one point what looked like the delegation from Conflikt walked into the waiting area. Tony & Vixy, hsifyppah and a couple of others whose names escape me at the moment. And in a few minutes they heard something on the speaker, took the elevator upstairs and vanished. I see they took the Amtrak bus to Sacramento to connect to the Coast Starlight northbound.

A new author from Colorado Springs struck up a conversation with me, name of Alastair Mayer. He said he was a new writer, but he's not a young person. We chatted till my train arrived, he was going the other way, it was also late but only by 2.75 hours.

The train did arrive at 6:30 or thereabouts, and there were plenty of empty seats, thanks to the chronic lateness of late. We had about an hour of daylight, boo hiss. I like this train because normally it is a daylight trip through beautiful country both ways, but not anymore.  The snack bar guy said it was not Amtrak whose rails were washed out, it was freight lines in the north (MT, WY) and the freight trains were hogging the rails, and making a mess of things for Amtrak. Congress recently outlawed this, but I guess the freight companies are using a bogus emergency clause. We kept losing time, a lot of long stretches at 20mph which usually are 90 mph. Frustrating.

We got to Emeryville at about 1 am, it took 20 minutes for them to bring the bags around. There was a bus to SF but none to SJ. No problem, I took my ticket to the agent, he took the Amtrak part and pointed me to a pre-paid taxi which got five of us to SJ by 2 am. Had I taken the Reno agent's advice, I would have been paying $75 or more for a taxi. :-(

Drove home, had some cat petting and housekeeping to do before I could go to sleep. Set my alarm for 7, Moto orientation in SVale at 8:45. More about my first day in another post.

Tags: cons, filk, trains, travel

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