March 11, 2019

Train Ride Back in Time Aboard the Southern Pacific Railway

Just got home from Retirement Practice # 67 “Golden State Train Ride & Pacific Southwest Railway Museum” with DayTripper Tours Tour Manager Mark and driver David F. After gathering all the other passengers, we took off for Viejas Casino & Outlet Mall. Here we could eat, shop or donate money. I opted to eat and donate. Well, actually the machine ate part of my money and the technician was called. It was going to take almost 10 minutes for the machine to reboot so they reimbursed me, and I was on my way back to the bus.

Next stop was the famous Wisteria Candy Cottage. This used to be a one-room schoolhouse back in the day. They have been making chocolates for almost 100 years. They make everything on site by hand. Daytrippers hooked us all up with a sample bag of chocolates, thanks Daytrippers! Nice touch! But I would have felt guilty if I didn’t go in and check it out so we all took turns going into the tiny shop. And I purchased some more chocolate. Well, I just wanted to be polite, right? And it was soooo good!

Then it was off to see the choo choo train and museum. Wahoo! I had so much fun. We even had a Daytripper passenger who volunteers on the trains, meet us at the station to show everyone around. And I was even able to cross something off my bucket list. I’ll explain that part in a minute.

So, we headed further east and arrived at the San Diego & Arizona Railway and Museum. My goal was to purchase one of those cool blue and white striped railroad hats. Check. Now to find a pin from the museum. Check. Now to ask the most important question of the day… “May I upgrade my ticket to one where I can ride in the locomotive?” And the answer was “yes” and I did and from that point on, my feet did not touch the ground. I was sooo excited. So with my official hat and prized ticket in hand, I walked outside to the conductor who punched my ticket and sent me on my way to the end of the train and to the locomotive. Dick, the engineer was waiting for me. I climbed up the stairs hardly touching the steps and into the compartment we went. There wasn’t much in there, a couple of chairs on one side and of course, “the chair”. I was able to stand and walk around the compartment, so I did, walking from one side of the train to the other, looking down the length of the cars behind us. It was an out and back trip. On the way out, it was all downhill and Dick was occasionally releasing air pressure to keep the train from taking off.

On the way back, it was uphill and we chugged along. Dick even let me blow the horn: 2 longs, one short, and one long. I did that a couple of times. WOW, the little kid in me was totally having a great time. The trip went by so fast but before I left, he gave me a souvenir, his official “San Diego & Arizona Railway Daily Operating Bulletin No 68” dated today listing all the places we passed and, if there were flags out, etc. How cool was that? That was what I crossed off my bucket list. I am still on cloud nine. Hope I can get some sleep tonight. LOL.

I didn’t want this trip to end, but it did. Thanks DayTripper Tours and Mark for an awesome day. Looking forward to my next time on the bus!

~ DayTripper Traveler Donna Grover
Tour: Golden State Train Ride & Pacific Southwest Railway Museum
Date: March 9, 2019


Categories: Blog