December 3, 2018

Muzeo & Fullerton Holiday Train Adventure

Someone put the words “Holiday”, “Train” and “Adventure” in the same sentence and I was hooked. Yes, Retirement Practice # 63 found me on DayTripper Tours “Muzeo & Fullerton Holiday Train Adventure” trip with first time Tour Manager Johnny and driver Carolyn. Off we went to pick up some more train enthusiasts. The ride to Oceanside went pretty quick and soon we were on the platform waiting for our train. It finally arrived and we all climbed aboard and up to the top level. The scenery was specular and one could get lost watching the ocean waves. Every few minutes we stopped to let folks on and off and after a couple of hours, it was our time to disembark.

Just a short two minute walk away was the Fullerton Train Museum – Orange County’s first rain museum. At first glance it looked like a couple of rows of train cars, old train cars. Once inside, the stories unfolded as the docent took us on a trip down memory lane. Here is where they slept, here is the kitchen, here is where they hung out and smoked. Remember the days of the huge ashtrays? He shared stories as if he lived them and that made the tour all the more interesting. He had a passion for days gone by of life aboard the Iron Horse and it surely came through as we made our way from one car to the next.

After the tour it was lunch time. Armed with a map of the area we all took off in search of sustenance. I wandered around a bit but settled on pizza. I carried the warm box back to where the old cars were. I just wanted to hang out there for a bit more. It was interesting seeing the contrast of the old cars static on the tracks and the Coaster and Amtrak whooshing by on their own rails.

Carolyn caught up to us in Fullerton and we boarded the bus for the short ride to the Muzeo Museum. I didn’t know what to expect, but it also had the word, “train” in the description so I knew it was going to be good. We pulled up to a building that had paper on the windows. Hum… But Johnny scoped it out for us and found out that the museum was around the corner of the building. Around to the back we went. First thing we see is a miniature train display in the lobby. A docent was waiting for us but once they let us into the big open room with miniature model train sets, it was all over. We scattered like kids at Christmas searching under the tree for our presents. Our eyes and ears couldn’t take it all in at once. There were so many different size train sets and elaborate scenes and lights and train noises. If you were lucky enough to be at a display and the trains suddenly stopped, you got to push the button that brought the magic back and the trains moved again and the lights flashed and the scenes came to life. On one display was a street car that traveled on rails from one end of the display to the other. Each time it would get to the end of the track, it would stop suddenly and the headlight would go off. Less than one second later, it started moving again and the light on the other end would turn on as it now faced in the other direction. Back and forth it traveled, the front would become the rear and the rear would become the front. Back and forth. And I was that five year old kid watching it. Reminded me of my little brother and his train set back in the day. We had a lot of fun with that. They also had a little room dedicated to Walt Disney, his Carolwood Barn and his love of trains! I actually was at the Carolwood Barn on the “A Step Back in Time with Walt Disney” trip a couple of weeks ago. Very cool. A lot of work went into the holiday scenes in the museum and I really had a great time going around to the different displays and checking them out.

All to soon it was time to board the bus for the ride back to San Diego. Thanks Johnny for taking us on an adventure that was a lot of fun and brought back some great memories. You did a great job and handled the unexpected with ease. See you next time on the bus!

~ DayTripper Traveler Donna Grover
Tour: Muzeo & Fullerton Holiday Train Adventure
Date: December 1, 2018


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