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Pullman Adventures San Diego 2007

Taking the Pacific Sands along the Pacific Sand to San Diego

Part 2.  Riding the San Diego Trolley System.

(Click any photo for a double-sized copy, click BACK in your browser to return to this page)

Armed with Chris Guenzler's "Trainriders San Diego Trolley System" Travelogue from:
we bought our day passes across Kettner Street from the Santa Fe Station, and awaited the Blue Line to Old Town.  Unable to find a system map anywhere, we had studied the map next to the ticket machine and posted inside all the trolleys we boarded.

The first leg was to take the Blue Line from the America Plaza to the Old Town Transit Center, where we would transfer to the Green Line.

Our first ride was on one of the 1,000 series trolleys.  At Old Town Transit Center, we transferred to the Green Line and followed the Mission Valley elevated trolleyway eastward toward Santee Town Center.

San Diego Chargers QualCom Stadium (above).  We passed some of the 2,000 series trolleys along the way (right).

We began watching for places to have lunch along the way, but the best choices were at the Santee Town Center, the end of the Green Line.  There was a new shopping center here, with lots of choices.  The closest were Panda Express and Quiznos.  We had Honey Mustard Chicken Salads at Quiznos.  While having lunch, we could see the trolley stop, and noticed trolleys came every 15 minutes on this Saturday.


Our only ride on a new 3,000 (left) was for one stop, to get from Santee to Gillespie Field where we would catch the Orange Line back into San Diego.  I liked the lower model 3,000 with fewer steps to board.  We made a quick connection at Gillespie Field and were on our way southbound.

Trolley Driver's View.


At the 12th and Imperial Transit Center, we transferred to the Blue line for a ride to the US/Mexico Border south of San Diego.  This was the first San Diego Trolley line to open.  It is still the most crowded.  I stepped off to take a picture of the border area.


If you plan to ride the San Diego Trolley System, keep in mind that it takes only about 5 hours, including lunch, and can be done easily after you reach San Diego.  The trolleys run about every 15 minutes and we never waited more than 2 minutes at any transfer point.  Remember to buy an All-Day Pass, $5 for Seniors, at the America Plaza Transportation Center, on the east side of the station, just across Kettner from the station, and you will return to this station to end your tour and can walk back to the Pacific Sands.  Lunch is closest at the Santee Town Center.  See Chris Guenzler's report above for other details on riding the system.

We returned to the Santa Fe Station on the Blue Line, and saw the Pacific Sands spotted for the night across the tracks.
We began taking photos of the Pacific Sands.  The splotchy reflections on the shade side of the car from the glass buildings nearby made interesting light patterns on the car.  The cruise ship was close enough to include in the same photo of the car.  I entertained the thought of titling this report, "Land Cruising on the Pacific Sands."

Seeing us taking pictures of his car, Doug came out to chat in the pleasant San Diego weather (average yearly temperature is 71.5 degrees!).

Doug says he often teams up with Bill Hattrick and his Overland Trail for trips since the Pacific Sands sleeps 22 and the Overland Trail seats 21 for dinner, it is a good match.   A friend who had traveled on the Pacific Sands before said that  since there is no lounge area, there is a lot of congregating and talking in the hallway, but teamed with the Overland Trail would solve this situation.  Since there were only 2 of us traveling together, and since we had two adjoining bedrooms, we had Porter Doug open the wall both days and that made for seating for 6 so we could have guests in for a nice livingroom environment.

Currently there is only space for one car to be spotted in the San Diego Station (note the yellow line on the track), because of the location of the fueling truck for the Surfliner locomotives. 
This means that arriving Surfliners come pretty close to the end of the Pacific Sands, awaiting their next compliment of passenters before heading back north.


We moved to the west/sun side for more photos.


Wouldn't it have been nice if the palm tree was a little to the right?!

We decided, about 5:30, to go to The Fish Market for dinner.  I like their mesquite grilled fresh fish and have eaten here and at their Del Mar restaurant many times.  They do not take reservations, so go early to this always-crowded restaurant.  Their address is 750 N. Harbor Dr. at the end of the G Street Pier in the Embarcadero.  It is approximately 4 blocks from the Pacific Sands spot.  Walk west on Broadway two lights, then turn left and walk past the Midway flat top carrier and the adjoining warehouse, turn right into their parking area.  At that point you will see the large statue of a WWII soldier kissing a lady in Times Square (below left), a replica of a famous photo taken for Life magazine at the time.  The photo below does not indicate the size.  If I were to stand next to the lady, perhaps my six foot height would reach to her knee!  You will see the restaurant next to the water to the left of this photo.

As we walked toward The Fish Market, we could see people waiting outside, inside the waiting room, and even lined up to put their name in!  I remembered eating here at a crowded time earlier and spotted two stool-seats at the cooking bar beside the line to put in their names.  We walked over and took the open stools and learned from the cook-waiter that they served a full menu at the bar!  We enjoyed our dinner and wine and got to watch the cook prepare our meal (below right)!  I enjoyed the red snapper and Dick had the salmon.  Including wine and tip, the bill was $26.

Read about the original V-J Day photo that inspired this sculputre at:

As we left The Fish Market, the sun was setting behind an active flat top carrier across San Diego Bay(below left).  The buildings took on a beautiful golden glow at dusk and the full moon rose between the high-rise buildings as we walked back to the Pacific Sands.


Finally, I went back to my room to read or download and work on photos on my laptop taken during the day.  I was pleased to find that the free Wi-Fi signal available in the station reached my computer in the Pacific Sands, so I caught up on e-mail first.

The best part of the trip, visiting with Doug

We weren't in our rooms long when Doug came by our rooms and said, "Come outisde a minute, I have something I want you to see...and bring your camera."  We quickly followed and saw what he was referring to:

Doug's friend had brought a drum head from his home in the area and they plugged it in and turned on the running lights.
Doug and Dick Hutchins (above right) discussed the Rock Island Line, and other train-related subjects as I took more night shots of the Pacific Sands.  Hint:  take a tripod.


A couple of towers downtown have green neon halos which can be seen above the Santa Fe station sign.

Sunday morning, we awoke to the smell of freshly brewed coffee.  After a shower, we prepared to take Doug to beakfast at the nearby

Taking the Pacific Sands along the Pacific Sand to San Diego