But boy am I annoyed about having had to drive.
When it came to choosing a way to get to San Diego from Tucson, it was pretty much a no brainer, Frankie’s car phobia notwithstanding. It’s not a terribly long trip — a total of about 7 hours — and long stretches of I-8 are pristine desert. Until we got close to San Diego, there was very little traffic. And although flying would have been faster, it also would have been far more expensive. Trying to deal with the insulin and needles that Frankie requires — not to mention having to inform him that he is carry-on baggage — would not have been much fun either. Once I got to San Diego, I would have had to rent a car, which would have added to the expense.
Besides I was really, really excited about stopping at Dateland and having a World Famous Date Shake.
But the much-dreaded trip from San Diego via the L.A. freeways sucked as badly as I anticipated. Despite all the calming aids I gave him, Frankie reverted to his stand-and-pant stress mode when we got stuck in LAX traffic and when I missed a freeway turnoff and had to do a lot of complicated things to get back on track.
And here’s the thing, speaking of getting back on track. I’ve taken Amtrak on this route several times. It’s relaxing, scenic — we’re talking a train called the Pacific Surfliner — and not terribly expensive ($40 each way). I love train travel. But because Frankie was with me, the Surfliner was not an option.
That’s right. With the exception of service dogs, pets are not permitted on Amtrak. Not even little ones, placed under the seat. What’s with that? They were allowed in the past. And the airlines can figure out how to make traveling with small pets not only feasible, but profitable. Why can’t Amtrak?
I’ve ranted about this before, but it was abstract. Now I’m pissed. Not only for me but for Frankie, who deserves better than the L.A. freeways.