When my brother and Alex found out that I took the train down to see my parents, after already spending last weekend with them, they asked why. Firstly, I am not ashamed to admit that I like hanging out with my parents. I had fun with them bbq'ing, watching a movie, and picking out new plants for the backyard. And they give me my own space to read, work on my laptop, and nap. Best of both worlds.
Secondly, I like riding the train. In addition to being a general supporter of mass-transit for environmental reasons, I also like the communal aspect of train. Sure you might be surrounded by people on the freeways, especially in California gridlock, but everyone is separated in their own car. Here, you have a cross-section of the population sitting together.
As an avid people-watcher, I love watching all the different people who get on: families taking a trip to the beach, teenagers with mo-hawks and skateboards, Girl-Scout troops, college kids going home for the weekend, marathon runners coming back from a race, and I could have sworn I saw Harrison Ford riding in Car 3. I am probably wrong since there is no reason that Harrison Ford would be in a coach class seat on an Amtrak train unless he is like me, and just really likes riding trains.