I boarded the Coast Starlight Wednesday morning in Davis, California, and spent quite a few of the next 14 hours relaxing in the Pacific Parlour Car. You see, there was a wine tasting around the middle of the afternoon and I found myself seated with a young Canadian couple from Edmonton, a retired executive who divides his time between Orange County and Vail, Colorado, and a very hip, very brash young Hispanic guy who works in film production in LA.
After the wine tasting, the Canadians bought a bottle, then I bought a bottle, then … Well, suffice to say we had a grand time all the way to Los Angeles.
We all got along famously, quizzing each other on classic movie lines, talking a bit of politics, and then each speaking about people in our varied backgrounds who had in some way changed our lives. The Hispanic kid – well, he was not quite 30 – topped us all when he said the most influential teacher in his early years, gave him a priceless piece of advice:
The key to a successful life is learning to deal with Plan B.
I always seem to come away from train rides with something worthwhile. That heads the list for this trip.
More about the trip tomorrow.