Catching up on Monday
Checked out of the Dragon Gate hotel at 11, cab arrived in 10 minutes. He spent the whole trip speaking with a Middle Eastern accent at a customer service rep who had a thick Asian accent, trying to validate a credit card. He must have spelled his name 6 times, she never got it right, and he should have hung up and called back when he wasn't driving, and escalated the case. I should have yelled at him.
What should have been a $5 trip became almost $7.
Baggage storage was supposed to be open at 10:30, but had a be back at 11:15 sign. 11:30 someone showed up. Two people behind me kept trying to open the keypadded door. Idiots.
Checked my two bags, after taking out my camera and 50mm lens.
Tried the Metrolink ticket machine, but it was the wrong service. I wanted Metro. Found that machine and bought a day pass.
After two trips in this very NYC subway-like system to where I thought Google maps said the dash bus to Griffith was, but wasn't, I told myself fogettaboutit and took myself to Hollywood & Vine. Chatted with some interesting people, the only tour being solicited looked shady, and I didn't think I had enough time (turns out I had more than enough, if I bothered to look up the nice looking buses.
Took lots of walk of fame star photos, but there were thousands. Up & down Hollywood, up and down Vine, and at least one more street. Did not find the Chinese theater but the metro comes out right in front of the historic Pantages. On one corner is a Starbucks,and as it was 85 degrees and 90% humidity, I parked myself in there with an iced mocha and watched lots of eye candy both in and out. My seat was by the window looking at the Vine crosswalk across Hollywood. It's one of those all-way X crosswalks.
A transit map showed me where Thai Town is, so back to Metro for one stop. There was a sign for a farmer's market which had Thai and Native American symbols on it, but all the vendors were Mexican.
Three blocks down Hollywood there was Silom supermarket and maybe three blocks of Thai places. Got photos of lots of Thai signs. Sadly, too early for dinner, not hungry enough for lunch.
Back to Metro, and to Union Station to claim my bags, but it was a LONG walk, the working escalator went to the opposite side of the station from where I boarded.
Claimed my bags, took them to the baggage check, but there is no personnel at Williams AZ and it would have been too short a time in Flagstaff to claim them. But she said to come back at 4:30 to get a seat assignment.
I waited it out in the luxurious Amtrak waiting area.
They called for us to get seat assignments at 4. The guy gave me notorious seat 5 - I went back and had him change it to 9, a true window seat not a solid panel between windows.
5:30, got a ride with the golf cart to the train, checked in, got into seat 9, but then a ticket jerk moved me back one car to seat 69, same kind of seat but further from the lounge/snack car. He claimed that he wanted all the Flagstaff people in one car.
That worked till the next stop where lots of people going to the end of the line in Chicago were seated on the aisle by Flagstaff window people. Stooopid, because Flagstaff was at 4 am.
At Fullerton, we were stalled for almost an hour. First they had delays getting passengers to the train, so we stayed in the station as BNFS freight cars went by forever. Then as I was heading for the snack bar, I had to wait as several conductors escorted a woman off the train.
And that takes us to a sleepless night and will continue to Monday.
Plans for Monday:
Arrive in Flagstaff
Bus to Williams
Check in for the buffet breakfast, wild west show, grand canyon train, south rim bus tour and room at the Maswick Lodge