Riding the Amtrak Rails

The first big adventure of the trip was a train ride on Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner  to Carpinteria, with the prospect of lunch with dear friends, Betsy and Jane!

Carpinteria is an oceanside city located in southeastern Santa Barbara County, California, east of Santa Barbara and northwest of Ventura, with a population of about 14,000. Jane lives there and Betsy did for several years while her daughter was in high school.

Wouldn't you know? The day dawned gray and rainy! Much like Washington and chilly, too. But it didn't make an iota of difference, as I waited at the Burbank Amtrak station for the train. The ride up was so pleasant. Sure makes a change from driving it, and so much more relaxing.

Snaking through the hilly, rocky terrain gives an idea of how big California is - and how much open space there still is. I sat on the sea side and as we headed out of the hills, the coast came into view. The ocean looked wild, kicked up with the fierce wind that was howling! Easing into Carp, Jane met me with hugs - it's been a while since we saw each other. Betsy joined us and our planned walk on the beach didn't happen. The wind had turned the beach into a sandblaster! So we opted for a wander around town instead.

Surf shop on Carpinteria

Jane bought herself her Christmas present,  a lovely outdoor, iron etagere and we browsed stores filled with trinkets and "stuff" before heading to lunch.

Of course, there was non-stop chatter and catch-up over Thai food at the Siam Elephant which led to a lovely glass of wine at Corktree Cellars.

But our day didn't end there. Betsy works with Sharon Green, the photographer behind Ultimate Sailing and we had been invited over for a bit of Christmas cheer. It would be the first time for me to see where Betsy works (when she is not on the road). I love being able to visually place someone when I talk or text them, so this was a great opportunity for me. As is wont to happen, it turned into a little party at Sharon's, always a fun thing.

It was a good thing I was spending the night!

Back to Burbank

The next morning, Betsy took me to the Santa Barbara train depot, a lovely old building built in 1902 Mission Revival architecture and restored in 2000. I was happy to see the train almost fully booked, an indication that rail travel is becoming more popular and I think, if more people realize how easy it is and how relaxing, it would be even more so. The only issue with it is that freight trains have right-of-way, so we got stopped and shunted onto sidings several times, which made us about 45 minutes late getting to Burbank. But thank goodness for technology! I was able to text Ryan so he didn't have to sit in the park-and-ride and wait.

My carriage awaited, and top down, we zipped home, where I had time to recover before the next adventure.


[su_box title="Carpinteria Connect" style="glass" box_color="#cde3ed" title_color="#0f0d0d"]



Siam Elephant

509 Linden Ave. Carpinteria, CA 93013

Ph: 805.684.2391

Corktree Cellars

910 Linden Avenue, Carpinteria, CA 93013

(805) 684-1400 (P) • (805) 684-1414 (F)[/su_box]

[su_carousel source="media: 2393,2392,2391,2390,2389,2388,2387,2386" height="600" items="4"]