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Los Angeles Times Travel Show - Using a Train, Subway, and Light Rail to get there. By Carl Morrison

Los Angeles Times Travel Show

Using a Train, Subway, and Light Rail to get there.

January 18 and 19, 2014.

By Carl Morrison,

--Yours Truly with camera and Media Credentials at the LA Times Travel Show

The LA Times took photos (above) of visitors to the show and gave them a print and they could e-mail copies to themselves and friends.

Table of Contents
  1. Surfliner and Los Angeles Metro Lines to the LA Convention Center
  2. Train-related Vendors - Verde Valley Area, Arizona and
  3. Arthur Frommer, Author of more than 340 travel guides, notes
  4. "Postcards from the West"  New perspectives on the West's most-visited spots.  Chris Reynolds and Mark Boster

Surfliner and Los Angeles Metro Lines to the LA Convention Center

My goal for this rail destination adventure was to attend the Los Angeles Times Travel show at the Convention Center downtown.  I live 35 miles from the downtown Los Angeles Convention Center and did not want to drive California Freeways on Friday and Saturday to attend the Travel Show.  Therefore, my mission was to use Amtrak and the subway/light rail system in Los Angeles to get there both days.


Fullerton Station where I started my trip to Los Angeles at 9:13 a.m.


Both Surfliner and Metrolink trains pass through Fullerton on their way to Los Angeles

From my home station, Fullerton, California (in Orange County, south of Los Angeles) I purchased a round trip ticket to Union Station for about $20, senior price (aged 62 and above).  I departed about 9:13 a.m. and arrived at LA Union Station about 9:50 a.m.  I took the escalator (or elevator) downstairs, loaded $6 on my TAP card and caught the subway (Red or Purple Line) ($1.50)


Machines in the back are for purchasing a TAP card and loading money onto it.  Machines in the foreground are where you touch the TAP card before boarding the subway.

I rode the subway three stops to the 7th Street/Metro Station. There I stepped off the subway, went up an escalator (or elevator) to Platform 2.  I tapped my card again ($1.50) and boarded the (Blue or Aqua Line) and rode one stop to the Pico Station.  From there I could see my destination, the LA Convention Center, a block away.  The Convention Center is to the left (south) of Staples Center. 


The subway rises above ground just before the Convention Center stop at Flower Street.


The Staples Center, with the convention center to the left, is just across a parking lot from the Light Rail Station.


From the south platform, you can walk a block to the southern part of the convention center.


The Los Angeles Times Travel Show was held in the West Hall.

Of course I retraced my steps to get back to Fullerton.  I had a choice of the following times to board the Surfliner at Union Station for Fullerton:  12:30, 3:00, 4:10, 5:10, and 7:30.  The final train south is10:10 p.m.

Two Train-related Vendors - Verde Valley Area, Arizona, and was setting up their booth on Friday.


"The glamorous life of a Private Rail car Owner"

(Left to Right:  John Caestecker, owner of the Silver Splendor, Doug Spinn, owner of the Pacific Sands, and John's son.)

How their booth looked on Saturday. (Photo on their Facebook Page)  Please check their website for the many public excursions they offer. Upcoming Trips include:  Santa Barbra Vino Train, monthly; Luncheon by the Sea, quarterly; San Diego Weekend, July 12 - 13; Flag Day Troop Train, June 14; Portland Rose Vino Train - June 4 - 10; and A Colorado Adventure, June 24 - July 2, 2014.  Further information at:

Verde Valley Area, Arizona, had a booth that combined both the Verde Canyon Railroad and the Blazin' M Ranch.  I enjoyed talking with Teresa Propeck of the Verde Canyon Railroad in Clarksdale, Arizona, and Lori Mabery of the Blazin' M Ranch in nearby Cottonwood, Arizona.  In February, 2011, I visited both of these venues and wrote a rail destination report at and  After chatting with both ladies, I decided to visit their attractions again to write an updated report which will include Jerome, Arizona, and the wines being made in their area nowadays.


Verde Canyon Railroad features a wildlife tour along the Verde Canyon by vintage rail cars.  Note the eagle in the photo above.  They average about 390 guests per day on their excursions - a very popular attraction in Clarksdale, Arizona.  I took the Southwest Chief from Los Angeles to Flagstaff, rented a car and enjoyed the Verde Canyon Railroad and Blazin' M Ranch and back to Flagstaff in one day.


2010 Western Music Association Winners Jim and Jeanne Martin perform at the Blazin' M Ranch.


You can even have your portrait taken in authentic western attire at the Blazin' M Ranch before the chuck wagon dinner and cowboy show.

Check out their websites and put both venues on your future travel itineraries.

Arthur Frommer, Author of more than 340 travel guides, notes

I feel that anyone who has published 340 travel guides is worth listening to when he talks about budget travel.  Arthur who is over 80 years old, speaks without hesitation and with authority.  He is interested in more than travel by the way.  But on this day I scribed a few of his ideas:

Mr. Frommer mentioned that one travel problem for the budget-minded traveler is the increased cost of air travel.  This has been caused by the mergers resulting in only 4 airlines controlling 80% of US travel.  Each of the four, American, United, Delta, and Southwest, has its own area and can raise rates at will. 

It takes up to an hour to make your air reservations nowadays.  Use aggregaters such as Momondo, Viama, Do-Hop, Kayak, and  Save money by selecting one-stop on your journey, or even a plane change to get the lowest fare.  This increases travel time, but saves you money.

Follow your airline's twitter feed for bargains. airline).  Also use their credit card to accumulate mileage.

To save money, use alternative lodging such as renting an apartment for a week at a destination.  Some hotels list apartments as an alternative.  Some countries are trying to stop tourists from renting an apartment by requiring that the owner be there when the tourist is.  Suggested apartment renter is or or

He says hostels in the USA and Europe have no age limit now and senior citizens use them during school time.

Use to locate budget hotels.

Save money on meals by ordering and sharing one appetizer and one meal for the two of you.

A second problem for the budget traveler is a decrease in the quality of the travel experience.  There are more Chinese tourists in Venice in April and October because of the increase in their standard of living and favorable exchange rates.

Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruises are adding such things as bumper cars, basketball courts, roller skating rinks, and vertical wind tunnels to simulate sky diving.  He says, "Why should a cruise ship leave the port and go to sea?"

To improve your experience, check the country's Tourist Bureau and Institutes.  Also prepare for your trip with advanced reading.  You can choose 'academic vacations' since all English speaking universities offer July and August classes and rooms and food with excellent instructors such as the Oxford Experience.  $1,200 a week for the class, room, and board.

Top destinations not destroyed by overbooking:  Mexico's "Rivera Najarit" north of Porta Vallarta.  Bali is cheap now because of the collapse of their currency, the Indonesian Rupia.  Japan is cheap because the yen has dropped to 104 yen to $1.  India is also cheap, but there is a question of safety for females.  Mediterranean Cruises on premium cruise ships (to avoid the bumper cars and such), but the problem is air fare. list discounted cruises to $80 to $90 per day per person.                                                                                                                                             

"Postcards from the West"  New perspectives on the West's most-visited spots.  Chris Reynolds and Mark Boster


Chris Reynolds (left) and Mark Boster, photographer (right).


Mark spoke extensively about this Monument Valley photo.  Fellow photographers' shadows were captured at sunset.


Mark stressed staying beyond sunset for interesting images.  Here he captured headlights of vehicles returning with other sunset photographers within the Navajo Park.


Mark said that there are plenty of red rocks in Monument Valley, but try and look for something different like this tree which was a nice border for the Right Mitten.

Chris and Mark gave a quick 45-minute presentation of their "Postcards from the West" series they did for the LA Times.  They visited these seven places and did a written, video, and still photo report of each: 

8:21 AM PST, November 26, 2013
Los Angeles' Union Station

L.A.'s Union Station, the 'last of the great train stations' has been moving people and freight for more than seven decades.
At San Diego Zoo, stare down giraffes, breakfast with pandas

(My readers at TrainWeb would be interested in this Union Station report by Chris and photos by Mark.  Click Here to read that report and see the photos and videos.)

10:05 AM PDT, October 25, 2013
At San Diego Zoo, stare down giraffes, breakfast with pandas

Postcards from the West | The venerable San Diego Zoo invites long and repeated visits. There are, after all, more than 3,700 animals to get to know. Plus, the Australian Outback area was just updated.

5:30 PM PDT, September 27, 2013
Monument Valley: A stark beauty deep in Navajo country

Postcards from the West | Commanding buttes and mesas plus a complicated history mark the spectacular Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.
Portland's quirky comeback kid

1:28 PM PDT, August 23, 2013
Portland's quirky comeback kid

Postcards from the West | Grab a beer and a movie at the grand old Bagdad in Portland, Ore.
San Francisco's famed cable cars

12:04 PM PDT, July 20, 2013
San Francisco's famed cable cars

The expensive and outdated mode of transportation remains the heart of San Francisco.
A different view of Yosemite's Half Dome

7:00 AM PDT, May 16, 2013
A different view of Yosemite's Half Dome

Half Dome in Yosemite National Park is a California icon, and there's more than one way to look at it — from the unrounded side, for example.
Standing before the Lone Cypress

May 16, 2013
Standing before the Lone Cypress

The famed, granite-set Monterey Cypress along 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach is oft-photographed. But is there still something to be seen in it?

Chris Reynolds was kind enough to e-mail me the

"link that takes you to the videos (and stories and still photos) we did for each of our seven “Postcard” destinations last year. (The first video we showed at the Travel Show was a boiled-down combination of those seven videos.)

They also showed an outtakes video at the end of their presentation.  Here is a link to that video from Chris:

"Here’s a link to the outtakes video Mark Boster and I made in the course of our reporting for the Postcards from the West series:,0,5924424.story (then click the image).

Some notes from Chris and Mark:

Best time to photograph is early morning and late afternoons for that horizontal light.

Think about the foreground in your photos.  Consider putting the horizon 2/3 up or down.

Take photos of other tourists.  Take photos of souvenirs or signs to remember where you were.  When the light is bad at midday, go for inside shots such as cathedrals.  Shoot your food.

Chris Erskine


Chris is a favorite writer of mine and I had a chance to tell him how much I enjoyed his writing and that he seems to be in about every department at the newspaper.  He said he will write about anything, it keeps him fresh.

Random Photos Around the LA Times Travel Show


The first photo in this report was taken at the Los Angeles Times Booth, above.  The Times also had photographers reporting on the show.  Two were taking photos of the booth photographer in action as I passed by.

I believe the girl on the chair is Marie Gonzalez for the LA Times Media Group.  I will place a group of her photos at the end of this report.  They are MUCH better than mine.



There was a booth for Ely, Nevada.  I've have enjoyed the Nevada Northern Railway there a couple of times.


This poster caught my eye since Central Coastal California is a favorite area of mine.


I have not heard of Curacao as a travel destination, but it looks like it has Dutch architecture.


I took the Metro Blue Line downtown.


I enjoyed a lunch at Anitas on Olvera St. before taking the Surfliner home


Amtrak Pacific Surfliner at Fullerton, California, Station with the Santa Fe Cafe unbrellas on the right.

Why not take the train and Metro to the Los Angeles Times Travel show next January?

The following are photos taken at the
Los Angeles Times Travel show by  Marie Gonzalez for the LA Times Media Group. 

Used with permission here by Manning, Hillary (


About 1/3 of the convention center floor for the show.


An artist in the Guam booth.

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Arthur Frommer


Arthur's followers


"Postcards from the West"  New perspectives on the West's most-visited spots.  Chris Reynolds and Mark Boster



Hey, that's me in the front row, left.


2014 TS SUN 02-200.jpg


For a Slide Show of all the photos in this report by me and Marie Gonzalez for the LA Times Media Group, Click Here.

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