We were scheduled to leave Monday morning. My bags were packed, my snacks were stocked. My laptop was loaded with movies and the kids' backpacks were filled with toys. I had my final To Do List, which included things like bring the camera, toothbrush, and cell phone charger. We were as giddy as children on Christmas Eve.
Around lunchtime on Sunday, we got A Call. A Bad Call. Amtrak had cancelled our trip because of this:
My aunt, who is taking the trip with us, called me sobbing. Sobbing! I had to break it to my kids that we weren't going on the Big Choo-Choo. Talk about utter disappointment! We all stood as if frozen in time, unsure of what to do next. We had a flight TO Chicago and a flight home FROM San Francisco. What good was that going to do us?
My uncle immediately got on the horn with Amtrak and tried to fix things. They offered us the same trip a week later. That was no good because it was the kids' first week of school and Hubby had to go back to work. He doesn't have a normal kind of job where he can switch vacation. He picked this week nearly a year ago and that's that.
My kids were fighting tears but I told them we would find something to do. We had flights to Chicago...we could go there but just couldn't get back home.
My uncle was on the phone for a little over four hours while my aunt and I paced with nervousness and tried to decide if we should continue packing, along with intermittent crying. Eventually, he got our trip turned around. We would fly to San Francisco on Tuesday evening, spend only two days there, and take the trip back home. It was less than ideal, and there were change fees involved, but it was something. So now we had Monday and part of Tuesday with nothing planned but I was OK with it. At least we would still get our train trip.
Who knows, maybe there was a reason we weren't supposed to be on either of those flights or on that train. Obviously, you've seen what trains can do.
I'm writing this post a week ago while still anticipating the trip. I hope I'll return back to tell you all about it and won't end up sitting on a sideways train.