Sunday, February 22, 2009

Riding the Rails: Amtrak Better Know the Way to San Jose

I'm getting ready to take my first non-family-generally-emergency-related trip in over 18 months this week. Yay!

Ostensibly, I'm going up to the San Jose area to check out Stitches West 2009, but that's just an excuse to go somewhere. Firstly, I decided to take the Amtrak Coast Starlight route. It runs from Union Station up to Seattle, with a convenient stop in San Jose. I'd never actually taken Amtrak further than Santa Barbara, and that was a long time ago. Ok, the trip is about 10 hours long each way, but I'll bring my laptop and some DVDs and some books and those multiple unread issues of Scientific American I have piled up. And, according to the Amtrak page,
The scenery along the Coast Starlight route is unsurpassed. The dramatic snow-covered peaks of the Cascade Range and Mount Shasta, lush forests, fertile valleys and long stretches of Pacific Ocean shoreline provide a stunning backdrop for your journey.
So I will probably take lots of blurry pictures from the train.

The San Jose area has what looks like a very convenient system of light rail. I made sure to book a hotel near a rail stop, so I can take the light rail from the Amtrak station up to the hotel, and then take the same line to a stop near the Santa Clara Convention Center, where the Stitches show is taking place.

Kitty Back Pack I get in Thursday night, and I'll check out the show Friday. I haven't decided if I'm going to wear my "Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts" t-shirt or my "I Knit So I Do Not Kill People" shirt (in pink). I will, of course, pack both. I will also carry my newly-finished kitty back pack.1

Saturday, assuming I can drag my butt out of bed after all that overwhelming excitement, I'm thinking about checking out the Winchester Mystery House, also located in San Jose, although it looks like that will require a bus in addition to the rail. After that, I may check out the San Jose Kinokuniya location, which looks to have a larger selection than the Los Angeles store. The San Francisco store is supposed to be huge, but at over 40 miles from the hotel, it would involve three different rail services and at least one bus. I'm not sure I'm up to that much adventure! Then, on Sunday, it's back down to Union Station.

And I will of course be blogging about it the whole way!

1Slightly modified version of the "Punk Rock Backpack" by Heather Barnes.

No comments: