Cross country segment 5 Los Angeles, CA to Chicago, IL via Texas. Part 2.

So after leaving San Antonio there was not much at all to see.  It was just farm land then woods then small towns.  We did go thru Austin. And Dallas. I got a few photos of these areas but nothing spectacular.  During this trip there were 2 little boys that sat in front of me. They were very polite and well mannered. I could tell one was around our daughters age, and he started chatting with me about what he was seeing out the window.  It kept us both entertained for a while.  That family departed the train in the night at some point.  I got pretty lucky and my riding partner for this part was very nice. But spent most of the night in the lounge car. So i had the seats to my self for most of the night so i got better sleep then before.

On this train i didn’t see anyone from my previous trains so i had to try to get to know new people.  Which felt odd to me because i felt like i shared my story like a billion times and was repeating myself.  I did find out that my riding partner for this segment. Paul, he was from London. And him and his wife usually come to the states once a year and travel to 4 city’s or towns that they have not been too. Apparently its a bucket list thing.  Tragically one of his wife’s good friends was killed in the recent attack in Nice. So she was in that area and unable to join him on his trip this time.  He talked a lot about how train travel in Europe is so much more advanced then the U.S. he seemed to be a travel expert .  The staff on this train changed quite frequently, which was very inconvenient because then we had to re tell them were we are going and all that jazz.  It was very disorganized. And chaotic and made the trip less comfortable.  I was amazed at how different each group of staff completed their tasks and duties. The flows were so different.  Not what you would expect when they all go thru the same exact training program.

So while on this segment i saw this younger man maybe in his mid 20’s who was traveling with a very adorable little girl that reminded me a lot of our Daughter. After over hearing some conversations i found out the girl was 3. And the mom was very hurtful to the girl. And the mother gave up custody of the child to the dad. And the dad wanted to be away from her so he used his last amount of money to get his ticket(she was free due to age) and they were going to live with his parents until he could get work and such.  This was a super sad story. I am very observant and notice patterns and i noticed that the little girl would ask for a very small amount of food. Literally and  not very often. (A sign that she had to beg for food at home)  this was so heart breaking. And the dad was not eating at all so there was more food for the girl.  At the next dinner time. The lead service attendant Lucas was taking reservations. And i pulled him aside, and politely and clearly asked if he could take a reservation from this dad and daughter, and tell them not to worry about any payment. And i would pay for it(annomisly). And i pulled a $100 bill out of my pocket.  I was in complete shock when this guy looked me right in the eye and said “that is too complicated”  i asked if he was serious and he goes “i don’t have time for the complications this would cause” i started to push back but then just said never mind i would find another way since your heartless.   All this Amtrak Employee had to do was take this money. Put the kids name on the list. Let them eat then give them the change.  Simple.  No different then the steps for a normal customer. I was disgusted. And ashamed to even be on a train with staff that would act like this.  Before the guy and his daughter got off the train i handed them the money and congratulated him on  doing a great job raising this little girl. And wish him the best of luck going forward.  Needless to say this one incident has put a very sour taste in my mouth about the rest of this trip. And i decided to cut my trip short and just head home. I will do an over all experience post in the next couple of days after i shower and eat normal people food. And sleep horizontally. Stay tuned.


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