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Author Topic: San Diego
ScottC4746
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I am thinking of going to San Diego just for the day arrive in the morning and leave aboiut 5:30 PM traveling from LA Union Station to the end of the line...not San Diego Old Town but the real train station. Only one traveling and no car. This will be this Saturday 1/3/09. Any suggestions? Oh yes, I will be going business...no kids that way.
Posts: 89 | From: Redondo Beach, CA | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cubzo
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Downtown San Diego is one of my favorite places to go on the train. Tons of stuff within easy walking distance from the station. The U.S.S Midway museum,the ferry to Coronado Island and the San Diego Trolley, the Gaslamp Quarter for dinning and boozing just to name a few.
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amtraxmaniac
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Check out the Maritime Museum, just a block away. There are a few malls you can get to easily by Trolley. If you don't mind taking a city bus-walk out to Broadway and you can spend an ENTIRE day at Balboa Park. You can jump on the trolley and head back to Old Town. Old Town is a gem in my opinion; plenty to see and plenty to eat.

--------------------
Patrick

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smitty195
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Balboa Park also has a neat indoor model train museum, complete with a full replica of Tehachapi Loop! Prior to visiting San Diego, when people said I should go to Balboa Park, I always said thank you but decided not to do it.....because I figured a park was a park. You've seen one big green lawn in a major city, you've seen them all. But "Park" is a bit misleading. There is LOTS to do inside Balboa park, including an air and space museum with a Star Trek attraction as part of it. The trolley (light rail, really) to bus out to Balboa Park is fairly simple. It turns out, if you get lost or aren't sure what to do, just ask anyone local....they all know how to get to Balboa Park.

If you don't want to venture out there, the USS Midway is visible from the Amtrak station---that's pretty cool, although I've never been on it. San Diego Amtrak also has free WiFi internet inside if you have your laptop with you.

Take the trolley north to Old Town and walk around. If you like Mexican food, you will find it here.

So much to do....you won't get bored.

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sbalax
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Scott--

Don't count on there not being kids in Business Class --especially this weekend! LOTS of families spring for the extra cost. You will also often find many college students all of whom seem to have cell phones grafted to their ears.

In my experience there are frequently more empty seats in the regular coach cars.

I have never run out of things to do in San Diego. If you have time, do one of the harbor cruises. The Maritime Museum is really interesting. I've always especially enjoyed The Berkeley, one of the SP ferries from San Francisco.

Have a great trip!

Frank in cool and sunny SBA

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ScottC4746
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Well I have officially booked train 564 LAX-SAN 720 AM arrive 1010 AT. (AT = Amtrak Time). My return is on 587 SAN-LAX 520 PM arrive 8:05 AT. I may start taking weekend jaunts here and there around Los Angeles to build up my miles.
Posts: 89 | From: Redondo Beach, CA | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Doc Brown
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Have a great time! We're considering a trip back to San Diego in Feb of 2010. Not sure if we'll be able to take Amtrak, but we'd really like to. San Diego is a great place to visit.

--------------------
Chuck

“Adventure is just bad planning.” - Roald Amundsen

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Railroad Bob
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The 'Sage of Santa Barbara' (our own Frank) speaks the truth...kids WILL materialize in Business Class, esp. on the busy weekend "700" class Surfliners. My personal favorite way to be comfortable on the Surfs is ride in one of the Superliners, which show up in the consists fairly often, but no way to tell when you will end up with one. Generally the Superliner will be tucked in next to the cab car. Way more comfortable than the standard Surf seats; after all the Supers are Amtrak's regular transcon cars.
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ScottC4746
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When you say 700 series...is that route numbers or coach numbers?
Posts: 89 | From: Redondo Beach, CA | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sbalax
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Scott--

Route numbers. I believe the 700's are the ones that start in Santa Barbara (or Goleta) and continue past Union Station to San Diego.

Bob--

Thanks for the honorific! Does any stipend come with that?

Frank in sunny but cool SBA

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ScottC4746
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I am just hoping I selected a time painfully early for most families with little screamers...uh...children.
Posts: 89 | From: Redondo Beach, CA | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ScottC4746
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Oh I forgot to ask...I am thinking about doing breakfast and dinner on the train. Based on my itenerary (see post 6 above), will the cafe car be available during those hours and I already know not to expect a real restaurant or diner. I know it is a grab and go meal.
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Railroad Bob
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quote:
Originally posted by sbalax:
Scott--

Route numbers. I believe the 700's are the ones that start in Santa Barbara (or Goleta) and continue past Union Station to San Diego.

Bob--

Thanks for the honorific! Does any stipend come with that?

Frank in sunny but cool SBA

Right, the 700s are the ones that "go farther" than SAN/LAX/SAN. 774/775 goes between San Luis Obispo and San Diego.

As to your stipend, Frank-- maybe I can crunch the numbers with the financial guy from Clarendon Hills, but can't promise much, due to our current economic doldrums! [Wink]

To Scott-- sure, the LSAs (lead service attendants) will generally be open whenever you ride, unless they are putting out stock or waiting for the crew to lift the tickets. There are actually some pretty good selections on the Surfliner menu; my personal fav. is the jalapeno cheeseburger. Just don't forget to take your Lipitor after that one! [Wink]

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ScottC4746
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I went train spotting today in FUL and decided to splurge the $18 and go FUL-LAX-FUL. Was pretty nice.
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sojourner
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Scott, just bring ear plugs and/or a music device and you can blot out any screamers. When I went to California I made a CD of California songs to listen to, plus a CD of beach songs. And sit on the right side (ocean side) when you head south (you probably know that!)

There is so much to do in San Diego. Of course, I'm from a cold eastern climate, so my tastes might be different than yours. For me, my very favorite thing was the ferry to Coronado Island; I then caught the little shuttls bus over to the Hotel Del (Coronado, but everyone calls it jut the Hotel Del) and walked around in the hotel and by the beach. I then actually walked back across the island the catch the ferry back, but I was there longer than 1 day and had the time to do that!--nothing much to see walking across, just some nice homes, lotsa retired military folk in them. . . .

Balboa Park is great but not right downtown . . . I esp enjoyed the cactus garden and the free tour they gave of the Alhambra Garden at 1 PM.

You can eat in the Gaslight area, which is right downtown, very nice but most places to eat there rather expensive; or in Little Italy, which is sort of in between Balboa Park and Downtown (but closer to the water).

The trolley is also good to take, and can help cut down on times. I took a trolley up to Old Town, which is a restoration, not really great but some good Mexican restaurants up there.

Too bad you cannot overnight in SD, you would enjoy another day for sure!

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ScottC4746
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Was a very nice trip. Family of 2 kids in Business but mom and dad ensured they reminded them that they were in Business and they needed to use their little voices and behave...they did. We had pastries and coffee on board going down. Only difference in coach and business seats was the backs were a little higher and had a tiny attached pillow by velcro you could move up or down as you needed and curtains in the window.
We went to Harbor House Restaurant for lunch and then walked through the Gaslight area and then took Bus 7 to Balboa and saw the train museum. Apparently it is the San Diego Model Railroad Club that does it as they were doing alot of track work. The running models were awsome as was the huge trellis. I can imagine how many hours that took. They had one room darkened with an O scale layout. They really needed to stop blowing the horn in there. The horn on those trains sounded like the train had a cold. Many people said it was annoying. Walked to the UN area where they have international cottages set up and then went to the Tea Garden for tea before heading back.
On the way back we received a snack pack and beverage. No kids going back. Had a couple of Gin and Tonics $7 each with tip ($6 without) and slept all the way back I was so tired. The Coach/Cafe card the seats in coach looked pretty beaten up. On time departure and arrival round trip...in fact I was following going down and we were pulling out of stations 1 or 2 minutes early. I did wake up in Anaheim and noticed when we got to Fullerton there were 5 - 6 trainspotters.

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George Harris
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottC4746:
On time departure and arrival round trip...in fact I was following going down and we were pulling out of stations 1 or 2 minutes early. I did wake up in Anaheim and noticed when we got to Fullerton there were 5 - 6 trainspotters.

Your watch may have been a minute or two slow compared to "railroad time" Leaving early is prohibited, except at detraining only stops.
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ScottC4746
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That is true. Now the 17th I am thinking of going to San Diego Old Town.
Posts: 89 | From: Redondo Beach, CA | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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