Back on Track

I’ve been slacking on my training for the Avon marathon.  The same walk routes get old, walking takes too long, I have too much work to do… all the usual excuses to avoid any kind of exercise.  I’m supposed to be walking 14-17 miles a week at this point, and I think I’ve been doing all of… 3.  Maybe 4, if I push myself.

Well I managed to get off my lazy booty and push myself  (or, rather my mom pushed me) over Memorial Day weekend and I think I’m getting back on track.  Kind of.  We took the train up to Monterey to get out of Los Angeles for a couple of days, and the main event of our trip was a 9-mile walk from Asilomar beach to Sand City, with a lunch break at Fisherman’s Warf (mmm clam chowder in a bread bowl, the big draw that pulls me to Monterey).

Walk along the beach

Asilomar Beach

The miles go by pretty quickly when you have gorgeous scenery surrounding you.  And it was nice to get away from looking at the same old houses in my Eagle Rock neighborhood, as much as I enjoy seeing which neighbors like to keep their homes’ decor close to their trailer park roots and which strive for a more aesthetically pleasing modern style.

Leavin\' LA...

Escape from LA

And as much as I love exploring the city of LA, this train trip up the coast of California was one of the best things I’ve done since moving back here.  The train goes through parts of the coast that you can’t see otherwise, and there is not one mile that fails to show how beautiful the Golden State really is — from the striking mountains in the background to the vivid green valleys stretching along the tracks, and the sparkling shoreline running along next to it all. 

This is California

This is California…

Besides the gorgeous backdrop, being on the train is such an enjoyable way to travel.  On the way up we took part in a wine tasting in the Parlor Car, complete with cheese, wine from the Santa Barbara area, and conversation with other passengers (which would never happen on a plane where the main goal is to avoid the snoring guy with B.O. sitting next to you).  We had our meals in the Dining Car, which definitely beat out airplane food by a long shot.  And the trip is just relaxing, sitting in the big chairs reading, chatting, or just staring out of the window.  No hurrying through security lines, being crammed into a tiny seat with no leg room, or trying to take a nap while a baby screams in your ear.

The route takes you through Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, the San Francisco Bay area, and on up to Seattle, Washington (the entire trip takes about 40 hours, something I’d love to be able to do someday).  From Union Station to Salinas was about 9 hours, and the trains surprisingly ran pretty much on schedule.  For a leisurely trip away from the rat race of Los Angeles, this is definitely the way to go.

Link to the Great Escape:

Coastal Starlight Train Trip 


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