Thursday, August 01, 2013

Bye Bye, July!  We hardly got the chance to know you and already you are gone.  We sure had fun while you were here.  You got started with a *bang*  Fourth of July fireworks have a way of making that happen.  You closed out with a little getaway - one that didn't work out exactly as planned, but was fun just the same.
Hubby and I took the Amtrak train north to Paso Robles, CA in hopes of a little R&R and to fulfill a long held 'bucket list' item for me to ride the train over Cuesta Grade.  There are series of tunnels that the train travels through.  As a little girl, I was awed by the long long freight trains that worked their way over the grade stretched out so far that the cars were going through multiple tunnels all at the same time.   I would think, 'Someday, I'm going to ride a train up there to see what that is like.'  Sadly, that 'someday' may never come.
Our original train was on time leaving the station.  We changed trains in Los Angeles and that train was just over an hour late leaving the depot.  About an hour into the trip, the unthinkable happened -  our train hit a pedestrian!  A teenager who was walking too close to the track and did not respond to the warning horns.  Luck was on his/her side though and the accident was not a fatality. (We found a newspaper article that stated the victim was still hospitalized in serious condition)  But the accident further delayed our journey by more than an hour an a half making it impossible for us to stay on the train to Paso Robles.
You see we had planned on renting a car to then drive to a neighboring city for our accommodations,  but the late arrival meant that we could not get their before (or anywhere near) closing of the rental office.  Instead we just hopped off in the city we were staying in and made arrangements to pick up a car in that city the next day.
No worries - the chance to ride over that grade would still be possible on the return trip.  I did get a couple of nice photos of coastline that are only seen via the train.
I do love that 'wall of fog'.
While we were on the central coast we got to go to the Mid State Fair - The Biggest Little Fair Anywhere. What a nostalgic tour for us - I had not attended for 25 years and the last time for Hubby, well, we were on a date!  We also went to Farmers Market in San Luis Obispo.
Then came the time for the train ride home on Friday.  We dropped off our rental car and walked the few blocks to the train depot with about an hour to wait for departure.  That's when I got the email from Amtrak that the train was running late  . . . about 2 hours late.  That would have left us sitting in depot for a minimum of three hours.  By car we could be halfway home by then.  So back to the car rental agency we went.  We re-rented our same car and headed home.  No Cuesta Grade tunnels.
We did have a nice bag of carrots, sugar snap peas, green beans, plums and apricots from Farmers Market.  So we stopped in Santa Barbara for a little picnic and a walk on the pier. 
I pulled out the camera again -
This van was drawing a LOT of attention in a nearby parking lot.
This just seemed like a funny collection of sights.
I am always mesmerized by kelp.
Back on land, this fella was offering lessons in walking a rope. 
And this fella was a willing student.
Willing but reluctant....

A crowd gathered.  Just as he was about to make his first step, some little kid shouted, "He's going to fall."  He didn't fall, but he did jump down.  Still I give bonus points for trying.  We headed back to the rental car.  We got home about the time our train would have arrived in Los Angeles  . . . if it had been on time.
Whatever adventures may come in August, they will come without the aid of public transport.


WoolenSails said...

This must be the summer of vacation mishaps, lol. I cannot imagine being in a train that hit someone, ugh. I think vacations that we plan, we drive and do what we want are the best;)


Quilts And Pieces said...

At Emily's college a ton of kids can walk on this rope. It is so fun to watch!

Doniene said...

So glad you had a "good" time on your little trip! So sorry you couldn't ride through the tunnels. I too have always loved going through tunnels and have been able to do it once in a train! May have to add that to my bucket list!! Hope yours is fulfilled!


Loris said...

Sounds like two know how to improvise! I'm sorry your trip had some sad points in it but you were creative in how to keep going!
I hope the fair was fun! I still have not made it over there to see it. It always sounds too hot! Ya know...we fog people have a hard time leaving it! :-)

AnnieO said...

Well, one part went bust but you two managed to kick it up a notch in other areas. I've never been to the Mid State Fair but it sure is popular.

Looks like regular California scenery to me :)

Glad it all worked out even if your one dream had to remain so this time!

pembrokeshire lass said...

What a trip!! Sorry about the pedestrian but it fairly spoilt your seems that you weren't meant to make that trip! When I first saw that flower van I thought it was your rental cart!! Joan

Kim said...

What a story! Life here is dull in comparison. You made a fun trip of it in spite of mishaps and misfortune.