Holiday Travel on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Holiday Travel on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Smart Tips for Holiday Travel on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Ease the stress of holiday travel with these expert tips for trip planning, booking and saving money on train travel. 
     
LOS ANGELES – Holiday travel can be stressful whether you are going home to visit family or taking a vacation with your loved ones. The holiday season is the busiest time for travel, and for those opting to travel by train, there are many ways to ease holiday travel stress and enjoy the journey to your destination. The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner carries 3 million passengers a year to top destinations from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. Journey along the coast to enjoy breathtaking views, onboard amenities, and conveniently located stations while spending quality time with friends and family traveling to festive destinations.
Here are some insider tips to make the most of a train trip:
Beat the Crowd and Plan Ahead

If you are planning a trip that involves taking the train from Wednesday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Nov. 25, book your tickets as soon as possible as the Pacific Surfliner will be reservation-only during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. While extra rail cars will be added to handle the surge in travelers, tickets sell out quickly. To check availability or book tickets, visit pacificsurfliner.com/holiday.

Also keep in mind that Fridays and Sundays are typically the busiest travel days on the Pacific Surfliner, especially on the 700-series trains between Los Angeles and San Diego. Consider choosing one of the 500-series trains instead, which are typically less busy, or if your travel plans allow, ride midweek or midday when it’s less crowded. With an Unreserved Coach ticket, you can choose to take an earlier or later train at no charge if your plans change.

Pro Tip: If you are traveling between stations with luggage service, you can check your bags (the first two are free) instead of carrying them with you. Passengers are also allowed 2 free carry-on bags, up to 50 lbs and 28” x 22” x 14” each. To learn about bringing other items onboardincluding music instruments, baby items and more, visit amtrak.com/special-items.

Take Advantage of SoCal Savings
California Everyday Discounts offer year-round savings on Pacific Surfliner travel for children, students, seniors, and riders with disabilities. Save 15% or more on Pacific Surfliner trips when you book with a promotion code. Visit PacificSurfliner.com/discounts for more details.Pro Tip: Check the website for more offers and trip ideas, including upcoming events, special service and deals: PacificSurfliner.com/promotions.

Upgrade to Business Class
One of the best ways to enhance your travel experience is by upgrading to Business Class. You’ll have a guaranteed seat and extra space to stretch out, plus you’ll receive a complimentary snack and drink, and bonus Amtrak Guest Rewards points. Business Class tickets provide a seat on a specific train, so if you need to change your plans, call 1-800-USA-RAIL or go online to modify your reservation in advance.

Pro Tip: The number of Business Class seats on each train is limited, so it’s best to book early before they sell out.

Grab a Bite to Eat from the Café Car
Craving a delicious treat? The onboard Café car offers a variety of carry-out style foods including sandwiches, salads, pizza, snacks and beverages, locally sourced from along the Pacific Surfliner route.

Pro Tip: Riders ages 21 and up can also enjoy local craft beers, California wines, and mixed drinks, including Bloody Mary’s, mimosas and more.

Don’t Miss the Ocean Views
Much of the Pacific Surfliner route hugs the coast, with views of beautiful beaches and rugged bluffs between Solana Beach and San Clemente on the south-end, and between Ventura and Surf-Lompoc on the north-end. Try to get a spot on the west-side of the train to have the best opportunities for photos, time-lapse videos and general sightseeing.

Pro Tip: The train switches directions after stopping in Los Angeles. If you are facing forward on the left side when you arrive at this station, you will find yourself traveling backwards on the right side once the train continues its journey! Keep this in mind if you are traveling through Los Angeles and are trying to get an ocean seat.

Stay Connected
Follow Pacific Surfliner (@PacSurfliners) on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest train updates before and during your trip. Browse social media and your favorite websites thanks to free Wi-Fi, and keep your devices charged by plugging into the power outlets – there is one located at every window seat.

Pro Tip: While the trains feature free basic Wi-Fi for general web browsing activities, the Wi-Fi does not support high-bandwidth actions such as streaming music or video. Instead, download your favorite Netflix show before-hand and binge watch on the train without Wi-Fi!

Do and See More
Ride the Pacific Surfliner to countless holiday events and attractions this season including parades, light displays, and waterfront fireworks. Enjoy a train ride along the coast while spending quality time with friends and family as you travel to these festive events.

Pro Tip: Many stations are central to great restaurants, shops and attractions. And you can also use your train ticket to connect to bus and transit services at most stations for free or at a discount. This makes it possible to go more places without needing a car.

With daily service to San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, the Pacific Surfliner is a great way to experience the best of Southern California. Plan ahead and keep these tips in mind to make the most of your trip

For train schedules, special offers and more, visit pacificsurfliner.com. To stay up to date on the latest announcements, breaking news, and information for Amtrak Pacific Surfliner visit news.pacificsurfliner.com/.

About the Pacific Surfliner
The Pacific Surfliner travels along a 351-mile coastal rail route through San Diego, Orange,
Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, serving 27 stations. It is the busiest state-supported intercity passenger rail route in the United States with 24 daily trains and annual ridership of nearly 3 million. To learn more and plan a trip, visit PacificSurfliner.com, like Pacific Surfliner on Facebook, or @pacsurfliners on Twitter.

About the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency
The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency is a joint powers authority composed of rail owners, operators and planning agencies along the entire LOSSAN rail corridor.  In addition to working to improve passenger rail ridership, revenue, on-time performance, operational flexibility, and safety, the LOSSAN Agency assumed management responsibility for the Pacific Surfliner service in July 2015, following the execution of an interagency transfer agreement with the state of California. For more information, visit lossan.org.

Dine L.A. Taco Trek Oct 4 – Oct 31

Dine L.A. Taco Trek Oct 4 – Oct 31

dineL.A. TAKES A BITE OUT OF NATIONAL TACO DAY AND LAUNCHES dineL.A. TACO TREK ON OCTOBER 4, 2018

Foodies Are Invited to a dineL.A. Taco Party at Guisados Burbank and to Join in the dineL.A. Taco Trek Challenge for a Chance to Win Prizes from American Airlines

LOS ANGELES, Calif. –– dineL.A., a Discover Los Angeles program that exists to discover, support, and promote L.A.’s culinary scene, launches dineL.A. Taco Trek on National Taco Day (October 4) with a taco party at Guisados Burbank. Throughout the day, beginning at 8:30 a.m., diners who go to Guisados Burbank and say, “dineL.A. Taco Trek” at the counter, will receive one free Bistek an Salsa Roja taco each, courtesy of dineL.A. while supplies last.

The dineL.A. Taco Trek features a guide to the 25 best taco spots and must-order items at each location across the city from The Valley to San Pedro and LAX to Downtown L.A.

“In Los Angeles, the taco is king,” said Stacey Sun, dineL.A. Director. “What better way to honor one of our favorite food items than launching the dineL.A. Taco Trek during Latino Heritage Month to shine a spotlight on 25 locations – including taco stands, trucks and shops – that do them best. Through the dineL.A. Taco Trek, we look forward to inspiring excitement about L.A.’s dining scene year-round, while encouraging locals and visitors to explore L.A.’s diverse neighborhoods.”

To encourage foodies to participate in the dineL.A. Taco Trek, dineL.A. and American Airlines are hosting a Taco Trek Challenge from October 4 to October 31, 2018, exclusively on the webby-honoree DiscoverLA app from Discover Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Participants simply download the app for free on Android or iPhone and click on the scavenger hunt icon to check in to as many taco spots during the Taco Trek Challenge. Participants can check in to each location once. Each check-in will serve as one entry for a chance to win 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® Miles. Two winners will be selected after October 31, 2018. The Taco Trek Challenge is open to U.S. residents only

dineL.A. enlisted L.A. artist Luke Pelletier to illustrate the dineL.A. Taco Trek map and L.A. Taco to select the must-order menu item at each location.

For more information on the dineL.A. Taco Trek, please visit www.dineLATacoTrek.com.

About dineL.A.

dineL.A. exists to discover, support and promote Los Angeles’s dynamic culinary scene. As part of Discover Los Angeles, dineL.A. produces its eponymous dining event that takes place twice a year and showcases the city as a premier dining destination. dineL.A.’s programs are designed to stimulate business and introduce new customers to restaurants located in the many neighborhoods throughout L.A. County. For more information, news, and updates, visit dineLA.com and follow dineL.A. on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Gary Numan

Gary Numan

Gary Numan at BLUE DOT FESTIVAL UK: Photo LEANNE BOLGER LEANNEBOLGER.COM

Gary Numan – Iconic British new wave singer/songwriter/recording artist and record producer, has had a career spanning 5 decades, and he’s still going strong.

Numan recently released “Savage: Songs from a Broken World” – a new album contemplating a world devastated by climate change.

Catch him in concert during his  “Savage European/US Autumn Tour”.

If you reside in Los Angeles, you can see Gary Numan perform at the Fonda Theatre on October 6th.
Visit his website for more info, or buy tickets here.

 

SoCal Magazine’s Niki Smart caught up with Gary Numan for a quick interview.

  1. Dennis Morris told me that you were once detained in Russia for accidentally flying over military airspace (or something along those lines) – can you tell us a little more about that experience?

GN: It was in India actually. I was put under house arrest in India on suspicion of smuggling and spying in 1981 when flying around the world in my own little airplane. The smuggling charge was based on the fact that I was wearing two watches at the time. I did try to point out that flying my own airplane all the way to India to smuggle one cheap watch was a bit pointless, they didn’t seem to get that unfortunately. The spying charge came about because apparently we had flown over a Russian submarine base North of where we landed, which we had no idea existed until they told us. They then kept us for four days in a place on the beach (not as nice as it sounds) and the other rooms were all filled with Russian families, presumably from the base we’d supposedly been spying on. It was like being in a Keystone Cops movie but for real. They then blamed me for the rules they were following as they said they were left over from the days of the British Empire. So it was all my fault apparently

  1. Your career has impressive longevity with numerous hit songs. Do you have a favorite—and why?

GN: Favorites change depending on mood to be honest but a song on the new Savage album called My Name Is Ruin is a big favorite because my daughter Persia sings on it with me. She joins us on stage when school allows and sings with us all over the world as well. I love that.

  1. What’s the best thing about being Gary Numan?

GN: I get to do live my life the way I choose to for the most part, not the way I have to. If I wake up and it’s a beautiful day, I don’t have to work, it’s up to me. That freedom is very special to me.

  1. What’s the worst thing about being Gary Numan?

GN: My touring work takes me away from my children for months at a time. That’s a real problem for me. Apart from that though there is no ‘worst’ thing. I love my life. I love living in Los Angeles, being in a band, I’ve been happily married to Gemma for 21 years and my children are all healthy. I have no complaints.

  1. What do you have coming up that you’d like our readers to know about?

GN: I have a show at The Fonda on October 6th, which I’m very excited about, plus a special edition version of the Savage album coming out in late October

  1. And I know this is a bit of a curve ball but…do you have any thoughts on climate change?

GN: The Savage album is all about a world devastated by climate change, so yes, I have lots of thoughts about it. I believe it’s very real, very dangerous and I could hardly believe it when Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Accord. It was a level of ignorance that was hard to fathom.

 

Featured photo credit to LEANNE BOLGER www.LEANNEBOLGER.COM

Game of Thrones Live Experience

Game of Thrones Live Experience

GAME OF THRONES at the Forum – Sept 9th

You may not have heard of Ramin Djawadi, but I’ll guarantee you’ve heard his music, because this 44-year-old, German/Iranian composer has produced over a hundred soundtracks and scores for major films and TV shows, including HBO’s “Game of Thrones” for which he recently won an Emmy.

Following the smash success of their TV series, HBO launched the ‘Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience’ with Djawadi performing his masterpieces in massive arenas throughout Europe and America. The show features a live orchestra & a 20-piece choir (all dressed for the part), giant screens with stunning visuals, pyrotechnics, changing stage design, and a plethora of unusual instruments, all serving to give the audience an immersive musical experience of all seven seasons of Game of Thrones.

On the screen, horses charge and dragons shoot out fire, while above the stage, real fire blasts out, and on the stage, musicians build to a heart-pumping climax. You can’t help but get Goosebumps all over your body. It’s a thrill, and judging by the roar of the audience, they all feel it.

The music breathes life into the characters –  as Djawadi says: “The White Walkers have a mysterious, icy sound from a glass harmonica. The cello and violin for the Starks and the Lannisters. The Dothraki have the duduk – an Armenian ethnic wood wind instrument. Arya has a hammered dulcimer.” And Djawadi not only conducts his talented orchestra, but also, at various points, plays piano, the hammered dulcimer and electric guitar, each with impressive prowess. It’s as if the music has become a character of the series – I mean, what GoT fan can’t hum the theme tune?

It’s more than a performance, it really is an experience. A thrilling ride to Westeros, King’s landing, or the Wall. It’s a visit with your favorites – Jon Snow and Egret, the Starks, the Lannisters, and Daenerys, plus, half the fun is hearing the audience scream every time Jon Snow appears. Even if you are not a huge GoT fan, this show might make you one. It made me want to go home and re-watch all 7 seasons of Game of Thrones. “Music is Coming” and you should absolutely go hear it.

End note: There was a downside that had nothing to do with the show, only the venue, which was the Forum. I arrived 10 minutes early in my car, but the utter chaos that the parking created, meant it took almost 45 minutes to get into an actual parking spot. I was made to weave around several blocks, in a snail-paced, endless line that was excruciating, and was then directed to park in a dirt lot, far away from the entrance. This resulted in hiking through thick dust, missing the beginning of the show and paying $25 on top of it. I can’t find enough swear words in my vocabulary to express the annoyance I feel at the Forum’s lack of parking organization and unholy price. Shame on you Forum – Shame! Shame! Shame!

(photo credit – Ralph Larmann)

SEVENTH ANNUAL “SUNSET & DINE” SEPTEMBER 27 

SEVENTH ANNUAL “SUNSET & DINE” SEPTEMBER 27 

TICKETS ON SALE FOR SEVENTH ANNUAL “SUNSET & DINE” SEPTEMBER 27 PRESENTED BY KILROY

Food festival to feature 20+ Hollywood restaurants and concert; event previously sold out 

WHAT: Guests to the seventh annual Sunset & Dine food festival will sample food, wine and beer from more than 20 restaurants located near the famed intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street. A wide variety of cuisines will be featured, from chef-driven menus to local favorites, alongside entertainment curated by Amoeba Music.   The event regularly sells out.  The $40 tickets include food, beverages and entertainment. Children under 12 attend free of charge. Proceeds benefit The Center at Blessed Sacrament.
WHO: Participating restaurants include:

WHERE: Columbia Square, located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street, 1538 N El Centro Avenue, Hollywood, Calif.
WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, 6-9 p.m.
MORE INFORMATION:   Visit www.SunsetAndDine.org for tickets and an up-to-date list of restaurants.
SOCIAL: #SunsetAndDine
 
ABOUT: The Central Hollywood Coalition, the nonprofit board that manages the Sunset & Vine Business Improvement District, hosts Sunset & Dine to shine a spotlight on the vibrant creative community in Hollywood.