May 11th, 2013


It seemed longer this time

The trip on Amtrak to Santa Barbara was on time or early at every stop, but somehow it felt longer then the last three times, which weren't. I guess when you have seen the same scenery so many times, there isn't much left to hold your interest. One thing which surprised me is there is a huge hangar at Edwards AFB which has what may be the world's largest American flag painted on the side. Last time I passed by it had a NASA logo, no it sports a SpaceX insignia. weird that an allegedly commercial endeavor is given a building at government facility.

There were way too many small children on the train, but they didn't cry or scream, and mostly kept close to parental units.

I brought plenty of snacks, only made one run to the snack bar for a soda. I had a bulkhead seat, no tray, so I stayed in the lounge car until I was done. Should have also picked up a bottle of water. There was a water dispenser near my seat, but no cups. :-(

Oh wait, I know why it was boring. This is National Train Day, but there was almost nothing on board or at any of the stations. The first year, there were exhibits and live music at SLO and gifts for kids at SBA, but this year nothing at SBA (in the morning there was a free ride on one of the short spurs, but that ended by noon) and at SLO there was a lemonade stand, hidden in a corner.

It was a long slog from the train to the motel with a backpack and a carry bag with leftover snacks and my jacket, in the hot sun. The street which i usually take which cuts a couple of blocks off the trip is all dug up at State Street so I had to go the long way. Several jerks riding bikes on the sidewalk despite clearly marked bike lanes. Lots of smokers here too.

without the baggage and after it cooled down some, it was an easy enough walk back to State Street for dinner. There is a place on the corner with the. Perfect. Location, and it was almost empty. On a Saturday night! The prices are somewhat elevated, but reasonable for the location. I had th grilled salmon hollandaise with steamed spinach, and it was great. So was the house salad  and the coffee ice cream sundae. $38 after tax.

Plans for tomorrow:
10 am whale watching cruise
Wing it, staying overnight, returning Monday