Y'all...I truly can't believe I just typed those words. I've always wanted to take a trip across the country, I've always wanted to visit San Francisco, and I've never had the opportunity to do it. Until now!
A few weeks ago, I saw this article on StumbleUpon that claimed you could use Amtrak to go across the country for $213. In my head I thought it was impossible, but I was intrigued so I clicked on the link. While the author decided to take a longer trip and spend more, his way was still ridiculously affordable. I still wasn't sure what the cost would be from Hampton Roads but it couldn't hurt to check, right?
Turns out it costs about $250 to take a train across America. That's right, I can leave from a station about 20 minutes from my house and go to San Francisco for much less than it would take to drive. Plus, I'll have wifi and I don't have to do the actual driving. I called Nathan to ask what he thought, and he said "Go for it. Have fun." So the next day I booked my tickets.
To answer ALL your questions - yes, I am going by myself. Nathan doesn't have time to take from work. I'm leaving next Monday and I will arrive in San Francisco on Thursday. There will be two stops - a short one in Washington, DC, and a 5-hour layover in Chicago, so I get to explore the windy city a little! The last train will take me straight from Chicago to just outside San Francisco.
I bought a Clipper pass so I can take the bus over to the Golden Gate Bridge, grab a bite to eat, and then head over to my hotel right next to the airport. The next morning, my flight leaves before 9am and by 6:00 that night, after a LONG day of travel (think time change!) I'll land in Richmond where Nathan will meet me for dinner.
Truly, I can't believe I did this. Sometimes when I think about it, I feel a little nuts. The logistics of being on a train for days and trying to pack as lightly as possible have been swirling in my mind. The fact that I'm going across the country for no reason other than the adventure is crazy to me.
Yet, that's exactly why I'm going. I crave adventure. I love travel. Right now, we haven't yet been blessed with a child, so why not go while I still am able to do crazy things like this? That long of a train ride sounds both miserable and appealing. I'll have so much time to sit, think, pray, read, write, and do absolutely nothing.
So yes. I'm going to San Francisco, and I leave a week from today. I will absolutely be writing about my adventures, so keep up with me next week especially! Until then, here's to a lot of travel and a little bit of crazy to keep me sane :)