Surfliner heading under Hwy. 101 between Del Mar and Torrey Pines State
As a railfan/tourist,
I like to go places and do things without a car, like the old Greyhound
commercial said, "Take the Bus and Leave the Driving to Us." And,
as an old Amtrak commercial said, "There's Something About a Train
That's Magic." Plus the 7th Inning Stretch song, "Take me out to the
Ball game..." We combined these thoughts for an enjoyable, relaxing
trip along the Southern California Coast, taking the Train to the Game
This journey began by getting tickets for the June 7, Thursday evening,
San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers game at Petco Park in San
Diego, followed by reservations at the "500 West Hotel" on Broadway in
San Diego. Finally, we purchased tickets on the Surfliner,
round-trip, Fullerton to San Diego.
We perused the schedule and decided, of the 12 daily trains between
Fullerton and San Diego, to take Train #572. We left Fullerton at
a.m. and arrived in San Diego at 1:55 p.m.
Where to Stay:
500 West Hotel, 500 West Broadway, San
Diego, 92101, (619) 124-5252 or (800) 500-SLEEP (7533)
short block from the Santa Fe Station, so we walked there and checked
into our $79 room, which was ready for our occupancy even at this
early hour in the afternoon. We found our two-single-bed room
compact, but comfortable. Sparsely furnished with two single
a small table with TV, and an armoire, it would be sufficient for two
guys to crash after the night baseball game. There are 14 private
key-entry bathrooms on each floor which have a sink, commode, and
shower. Because their website had mentioned DSL, I brought my
laptop and there was an Ethernet connection in the room, but the desk
clerk said it was not available "yet." There was free wireless
Internet in the three-room lobby area with some electrical
outlets. Each time I took my computer to the lobby, there were
many other guests using their laptops for Internet and
Internet-phone. One gentleman with headset and microphone was
talking with someone in Europe for 1.5 cents a minute and had talked
with someone else in Europe, computer-to-computer, for free.
Where to Eat:
The Grand Central Cafe,
located in the southwest corner of the first floor and is a popular
restaurant, being the closest restaurant to the Train Station. We
had breakfast there (Corn Beef Hash and eggs for $6.95 and coffee for
$1.65). They are now open until 9 p.m. Having eaten here on
my Pacific Sands private car trip, I knew their breakfasts were a good
value and delicious, but did not know they were now open for lunch and
dinner as well.
After checking into the 500 West Hotel
we walked south and east to the Hyatt towers where the 40th Floor
Cocktail Lounge opens at 3 p.m. We were early enough to get a
window table on the east (shade) side and each ordered a glass of wine
and appetizers for about $20 each. We enjoyed the food, wine and
view on this sunny San Diego Day.
Casually walking to the ballpark, we arrived a bit before the 5:30
opening so stopped in Trophies for some liquid refreshment.
We were on time for the 5:30 opening of the ballpark and found our
seats for batting practice. It was our hope to catch a fly ball,
but only got close enough to touch one as it went by. Our seats
were directly above the Padres bullpen, so that provided alternative
recreational viewing between innings.