Monday, December 7, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Adventure

Shiloh and I chose to spend Thanksgiving (for my International readers who may or may not be familiar with this American Holiday) with my parents and some friends. I decided to take the train instead of driving, because the last time I drove up for Thanksgiving I got stuck halfway back because they closed the freeway due to incredibly heavy snows! Due the busy holiday Amtrak added buses to get people to Portland, so Shiloh and I took a bus partway and were supposed to be on an actual train (See Tails of Trains for details on taking a train for the first time with a service dog or service dog in training) for the rest of the journey.  Due to the chaos created by the increase in traffic for the holiday, what should have been a two hour bus ride with an hour layover in Portland turned into a four hour ride.  Amtrak had made plans for another long distance bus company to take the passengers on the late buses north; sadly, the did not include Shiloh and I in their plans (despite the fact I have called them 48 hours in advance to let them know about my reasonable accommodation requirements). So then, beleiving I would have to stay in Portland overnight (since that's what the Amtrak operator told me) I called my parents. They then got on the phone with Amtrak and started to raise hell. By the time I actually pulled into the station I had five staff looking for me!
I told them I need to take, myself and my dog to the restroom and find something to eat --as I had planned to eat on the train--. They told me they would have an accessible taxi drive me the rest of the way to Tacoma! By the time all was said and done Shiloh and I arrived in Tacoma two and a half hours later than we should have. We travelled by foot, city, bus and taxi. Moral of the story be prepared for anything when you travel and always carry at least two days worth of food for your service dog as you never know what will happen!


Mimi and CC Cabana said...

Your parents were great, going to task for you that way. Sounds like they kicked some bureaucratic butt! Glad you and Shiloh got to your destination safe and sound, although with bumps along the way.

Melissa Mitchell said...

It's helps my Dad worked in TV news for 20years and still has friends!

Katie Dwyer said...

I'm so glad that the story ended (relatively) happily. Would sending an email to Amtrak thanking them for their relative helpfulness be a good thing?

You know you've always got an advocate waiting to spring into action.