Along the Coast Starlight, we see some of the most stunning views between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo: bluegreen ocean, pristine white-sand beaches, dolphins, seals. There are massive kelp visible off the coast, and I discover that there are people employed as kelp cutters.
We arrive in Oakland at night. We reserved a room at a budget hotel, Jack London Inn, and expected less-than-stellar but livable accommodations. I did not expect a bullet hole in the glass window and a dilapidated room on the 4th floor. The hallway smells like cigarettes even though we asked for non-smoking. There are stains on the carpet. The curtains and chairs are about 30 years old. The bathroom was mildewy and smelled like stale body odor. Our theory is that because we are young, and we did not look professional, we were given the run-down rooms. The Youtube video on the website is beyond misleading.