Yes, it is!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Coronado Fun & Amtrak Business

Coronado held their July 4th parade today. Tim and I walked the kids a block to watch the parade. It was a long one but the kids really enjoyed watching. It was a such a beautiful day for a parade. People were out riding bikes, skateboarding, roller-blading, walking their dogs, everything. We even met an unusual parade spectator, a bearded dragon. One could tell that she was well-loved as her owner even brought her pink crate along in case the lizard got too tired or bored. People can be weird for sure. After the parade, we came back to Aunt Glen's house where we all enjoyed lunch outside. After awhile, Jackie went with her cousins Leslie and Sydney to the beach. She was ecstatic to wear her new swimsuit from her Mimi & Poppy.
While Jackie was at the beach with her cousins, Tim and I took Ben with us to take care of business with Amtrak. Tim dropped me off at the train station while he drove around with Ben and I went inside to get a refund for our return trip tickets. Thankfully, the man behind the counter was very helpful, in fact, he was the most helpful person so far whom I have dealt with at Amtrak. He explained that usually the roomettes are not refundable (nearly $400!) but that a voucher is issued. Oh, no, this was not going to work as we are done with Amtrak. But this very helpful employee asked me to explain everything from the beginning. After explaining Tim's terrible experience and then my horrific experience (including further injury to my knee), he explained that because he did not want to lose us as a customer, he was going to work around the system and provide a refund for not only our coach tickets, but for the roomette, too. Whew! I almost cried because this man was so kind and helpful and so apologetic. So, we got a refund minus 10% of our total ticket purchase. He also implored me to write a letter explaining EVERYTHING, including my injury, the lack of baggage help, and the horrific transfers (yes, plural) from trains to buses to trains and back to buses. He was pretty certain that we would be given a voucher that would cover more than half of what we originally paid for the entire trip. So, I will be busy writing letters when we finally get back home.
After taking care of that business, we did a little bit of browsing/shopping at the brand new PX at the San Diego Navy Base. Wow! It was so nice, including the commissary. The commissary seems like it's more than double the size of our commissary at Scott AFB. But, the people are just as crazy there as they are at Scott. They still block the aisles with their carts, push their carts in the wrong direction or right in the middle of the aisle, and are just plain rude. If there was not such a cost savings at the commissary, I would never go there. But alas, grocery shopping at our local grocery stores can cost us more than twice as much.
After arriving back at Aunt Glen's house, I got back onto the computer to finalize our car rental for our return to St. Louis. We considered flying back home but I need valium or something like it to get onto a plane. I do NOT fly well at all. Just ask Tim about my neurotic tendencies. We ultimately decided to just do the car rental so that we can see parts of the country that we were unable to see from Amtrak. We are also hoping to make a side trip to the Grand Canyon. I have been there but Tim has not. If you have been to the Grand Canyon, then you understand what a sight it is. It is something that I have yet to forget. Visiting the Grand Canyon is incredibly breathtaking. Now that we know that we will have more control over our trip back home, we are now breathing easier. It's really a shame that the Amtrak deal did not work out. That was something that we had discussed for a few years and really looked forward to.
Later in the evening after a very casual dinner, I took off on one of the bikes here to do some riding around the island. It was starting to get dusk but it was still a very nice ride. I met a couple more very friendly dogs and the owners were very friendly, too. One of the best things aside from the scenery that I just LOVE about Coronado is that it is so bike friendly and best of all, it is very pet friendly. I am in awe of the many well-behaved dogs that I have seen around here walking with their owners. Gee, Dugan needs to learn good manners from these good dogs here.

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