Posted 30 December 2011 - 12:29 PM
Well, it is possible to take a return trip in a day from SBA to SAN, but it's a long day. Nevertheless, I had fun. Saw some spectacular ocean views from the train, but boy, SoCal uses every inch of the beach -- I've never seen beach houses so closely packed. And there seemed to be miles of RVs parked in every conceivable location. The weather was very nice -- sunny and 70 -- which was a pleasant change from winter Seattle weather.
The morning southbound train was pretty much on time. In the afternoon, it was announced that our train, which normally would be a through train, would terminate in LAUS, and we'd have to make a cross-platform transfer to continue north. We did, although we kept getting stuck behind Metrolink trains, and ran 20-25 minutes late for most of the run.
Business class on the Surfliner was nice. In the morning, we got coffee, juice, muffins and pastries; in the afternoon, it was wine, sodas, water and a snack pack with what I can only describe as "new age" snacks -- gluten-free potato chips, a nut/dried fruit mix, and so on. Because of being a holiday week, the passengers didn't seem to be the usual business types, but it was a jovial bunch nonetheless -- especially a couple of ladies who had a bit too much wine (and I think beer from the cafe car as well).
Of course, I had to spend my time in SD riding the San Diego Trolley to the border and back, which was a fun excursion. Lots of people of all ages -- kids, families, teens, retired people. Many folks seemed to be using the trolley for shopping; the stops with malls were very popular.
The trolley parallels I-5 for some of its route (one exit: "Miles of Cars Way" -- no joke!) and I'm just puzzled why an area with pretty decent transit is still up to its eyeballs in cars. But as the saying goes, it's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.