Jan 4, 2013

The Skinny on "the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" from Our Vacation

Waiting for the Train at Fullerton, CA
Hello again!

The Kim's just returned from vacation.

Here's the skinny on "the good, the bad, the ugly" from our vacation.
Kids Passing Time and Playing Cards in the Lounge Car
The Good:
  • Family, family, family. It was so good to see grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins. God has truly blessed us with an awesome family.
  • Food, food, food. One of the first things the girls did when they came home was to get on the scale, and the scale testified that every single one of us did in fact really, really enjoy the food, and it's time to get back on the treadmill.
  • It was wonderful to get time away. The break from the normal routines does a mind and spirit good.
  • Amtrak - It's a far more comfortable and leisurely way to travel than by plane or car. 
  • The weather was gorgeous! It was sunny, blue skies. We don't get that much around our neck of the woods in the winter. It was nice to walk around in shorts and a t-shirt again.
Amtrak Lounge Car on Coast Starlight

The Bad:
  • Christmas holidays are a terrible time to go to theme parks. We only managed to make it to Knotts Berry Farm due to illness issues. I've never seen the place so crowded. It took an average of two hours to get on a two minute ride. You do the math. Was not a fun experience.
  • Illnesses. Helen wasn't feeling well when we left Washington, and her cold only got worse on the train ride down to California. Took her to Urgent Care in California where the doctor confirmed she had a sinus infection. The antibiotics did wonders for her. But as soon as she started feeling better, Kaleb got sick. With two people down, and with how busy Knotts was, we decided not to do Disney. Finally, as Kaleb started feeling better, I got sick. 
  • Amtrak - It's so slow!!! It took 38 hours to get to California. 38 hours on the train...
Amtrak Coast Starlight
The Ugly:

Absolutely, without a shadow of doubt, Amtrak. 

It wasn't that the service was terrible. In fact, the service was better than what one normally receives on the airlines. 

It wasn't that it wasn't comfortable or pleasant. In fact, the seats are comparable to domestic first class airline seats and have more leg room and space than first class seats. 

It wasn't that the food was terrible. I was pleasantly surprised by the food on the train.

What made it terrible was how long it took to get to California. 38 hours. That's four vacation days on the train. And even though you can walk around and move on the train, one gets kind of stir crazy (at least, this one does). That's just too long to spend on a train. 

The other factor for parents to consider is that, at least in the coach section of the trains, the people traveling on it are not necessarily the types that you would normally want around your family. We'll just leave it at that. 

Things may be different with folks in the sleeper cars and first class, but that's my take on the situation on the coach section of the train. 

It was a fantastic break for the Kim family. Much needed time away, time for family, time for rest. But it's sooooo good to be back. 

As soon as we got home, Kaleb was running around the house saying, "It's so good to be home. I can run around. I can play. I love my house!" 

That's exactly how I feel about being back home and being back at the Little Church on the Prairie. 

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