Column: Surfliner’s up! He coasts on Amtrak to San Diego

I took a three-day weekend at the end of June to go to San Diego, but not by car. Instead, I went by Amtrak, after first getting to L.A. via Metrolink. This double dose of trainsmanship (not a word, but should be) is the subject of my Sunday column.

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  • SAWZ

    David, you already know that I share your love of train travel so, of course, I enjoyed this column. In the early 2,000’s, before we retired, my husband and I used to spend six days snd nights every year in a hotel on Shelter Island. In those days we had discount books called, “Entertainment”. We would go on Labor Day when the fall prices kicked in and we could also get a 5o% discount off the regular price. We had stayed in three different hotels over the years–my favorite was the best-western “Island Palms Resort”. The last time we were there, prior to 2007, we paid $145 for a second level, bay-view suite–I have no idea what it would be now–parking was free. In the bay-view suites you can see every thing that travels through the bay to the ocean–everything from personal boats to cruise ships and military ships.. There is an excellent outdoor concert venue at Humprhey’s resort and we saw many big-names there. The trolley also came to Shelter Island and I took it to downtown, Old Town, the Coronado Hotel, etc. There are excellent restaurants on Shelter Island. One year I learned that my favorite LA band, Ozomatli, would be playing a noon concert at CA Plaza on Grand Ave. while I was stuck in San Diego. So I arranged to travel to LA by Amtrak, meet up with a City of Montclair colleague for that noon show and return back the same day. I took the trolley from Shelter Island to the Amtrak station and back to Shelter Island that late afternoon. I had to do a “double-take” when you said what your Amtrak fare was–$73! Wow—–my round-trip Amtrak fare for that trip (which was prior to 2003) .was $20. (Guess I should not be surprised–was in LA last night, walking from Union Station to Philippe and seeing the price of gasoline at the station near Olvera St.–$5.17 gallon!)

    Well anyway, if you take any more trips to San Diego in the future, I highly recommend Shelter Island, unless the cost is now so high it is not affordable Its a crime!

    • davidallen909

      $20! That was quite the deal. At that price, I can see why you went to the trouble of going to LA and back.