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An Evening of Train Rides

May 23, 2018

aka Kellisa's 19th Birthday

Sacramento, CA

We went all out for Kellisa's 18th birthday last year, so we didn't plan anything crazy this year. In fact, we didn't really have a plan until Lisa suggested taking Kellisa for a ride on Sacramento's Light Rail System since she loves trains so much. The plan evolved to riding the train downtown where we would find a place to eat dinner, have cake, and then ride the train back. Since her birthday was a Wednesday and it was also a school and work day, we planned her train adventure for the evening.

Kellisa's birthday started with getting ready for school in her birthday dress before catching her bus. A little later, Lisa dropped off a dragonfly birthday cupcake so Kellisa could celebrate with her teachers and classmates. Even at 19, it can be hard picturing Kellisa going off to school and living a huge part of her life without mom and dad. This hit home when Kellisa's teacher sent a picture of Kellisa taken at McDonald's for a birthday lunch. We had no idea she was going to McDonald's for lunch. A little mind blowing when we think about it.

We didn't really have a plan, just drive to the nearest light rail train stop closest to our house and take a ride downtown. We'd pick a spot to get off and hopefully find a restaurant close. Since this was our first ride, buying tickets from a machine was a little confusing, especially not being able to really see the screen due to the glaring sun, but it all worked out when we hopped on the train at Watts/I-80 West. We got off at the Cathedral Square stop in downtown Sacramento.

Right across the street was a Bennigan's and since it was already past our dinner time, we decided to eat there and as a bonus, it didn't look crowded. Getting a table was no problem, but ordering something they had was a huge problem. Kellisa wanted mozzarella sticks, but they were out. They were also out of the fritters and glazed chicken Laurel wanted and the eggs, nuts, and bacon for Lisa's spinach salad. After making a Peach on the Beach for both Lisa and Laurel, they were out when Laurel tried to order a second. Lastly, they were out of the Death by Chocolate we tried to order for Kellisa's birthday cake.

All was not lost, Laurel ordered the ribs and we had a nice dinner followed by two giant chocolate brownies covered in ice cream. Instead of hopping on the train and riding it back to the car, we decided to keep going and ride it to the end of the line (Consumnes River College stop) before riding the entire line back. Both kids enjoyed the rides, especially the bumps, twists and turns, and all the sudden stops and starts. 

We had to disembark at the end and board the same train at the other end because the back was becoming the new front and the wheelchair spaces were in the front car. No problem and we found the trains to be highly accessible. Kellisa was excited to see at least five other wheelchair users on her evening of train rides.

Once home, Laurel wrapped Kellisa's presents which she enjoyed and did an awesome job. Kellisa sat on the couch and was thrilled when her presents turned out to be a remote control snake and lizard. The snake even uses its eyes to hunt for prey as it slithers across the floor. I was impressed that Laurel knew "Red on black, friend of Jack", probably from our time in Florida when we had "Yellow on black, kill a fellow", although she remembered it as, "Kill a Jared" for some reason. Going into Kellisa's room got a lot creepier...just the way she loves it!   

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