Our trip got off to a horrible start, but it turned out pretty well. You may remember the ticket mix-up at the train station, which had us shaken enough. We were glad to get back to the station early, but significantly less glad to see that our train was delayed. Then another Amtrak train arrived earlier than the one we were scheduled to be on--turns out it was going the same route and was also delayed. The conductor said there was room so we could hop on anyway, and that's just what we did, because we did not want to miss our bus, and because we tend to be a lot less nervous about travel when we're on a vehicle (assuming it's going the right direction, which this one was).
So we got to LA early, which was good, and we were able to get on our bus as soon as the driver started letting people on. And then we waited for an hour and a half for the train we were originally scheduled to ride arrived. The good part about that is that now we know that the thruway buses will always wait for you, even if your train is an hour and a half late. (We also heard the bus driver say they had sold one more ticket than bus seats, and we wondered if that was our fault, since we bought our tickets at the last minute, and the guy who sold them to us seemed to have a hard time realizing there were two of us. Fortunately, Amtrak came through and chartered a separate bus for the people getting off at Bakersfield. That's how we know Amtrak cares about their customers.)
The bad part of that is that we didn't arrive in Fresno until one in the morning. It was a very long bus ride, but I'm glad we went on the earlier train, because I'd rather be on the bus waiting to go than on the train wondering if we're going to make it on time.
Mom and Steve met us at the station, and we all went to Mom's house and straight to bed. And I will report more on the Christmas festivities tomorrow.
Today I'm thankful for making it safely to Fresno, Mom and Steve not being angry at having to pick us up so late, not having to deal with the train again for a while, fascinating conversation with the friend who drove us to the station (turns out he's actually a 911 call dispatcher; he told us all about what they do when they get calls from people who can't speak English, and what they do when people can't tell them where they are (this area gets a lot of tourists)), and getting lots of cookies at the grocery store.