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How I almost missed the train

March 1, 2018

On Feb 17th I participated in day 2 of Wine Over LA 2018 with Zuri Wine Tasting.  I was super excited because I would be able to knock off a small item on my bucket list (riding the Amtrak) and I would sample new wine all day as part of the Vino Train ride to Santa Barbara.

 

Now, we were given clear instructions that 'the train is leaving at 9am with or without you', so I made certain that I left my house in plenty of time to arrive at Union Station by 8:30.  But LA traffic happens and I don't get there until 8:45. 

 

I park and low-key power walk it into the terminal cause I want to cut time but still remain cool.  I stand in line for what seems like forever and finally get to the counter and tell the Amtrak agent that I am looking for the Vino Train to Santa Barbara. He says make a right and up to platform 9A (got it!).  Now it's about 8:52 and I'm trotting to 9A... I get up the stairs and NO ONE IS THERE!

 

So I call my friend Jasmine (why didn't I do this first?) and the crew is all seated and ready to go at  9B.  Now I am full on running cause I am NOT about to get left!  I barely make it on board with a couple minutes to spare - but I'm in there!  I catch my breath and get ready to enjoy this awesome trip....

Ms Tuanni Price- the gracious owner of Zuri Wine Tasting - put together a fantastic day trip!  We headed out of LA on one of 2 vintage rail cars.  The 2 hour ride to Santa Barbara consisted of:

*endless mimosas

*breakfast buffet of pastries, waffles, sausage and frittata

*history of the rail cars by Conductor Bill Hatrick

*games and prizes

*smooth tunes and wine tastings by Jazz Musician & Wine Maker Marcus Johnson

 

Once we arrived, we hit the first tasting room with the group and then broke off to wander the city:

1. Grassini Winery- beautiful tasting room hidden in the back of small plaza.

 

2. Sanford Winery - super friendly staff that allowed us to order a fruit and cheese platter from the corner restaurant to have delivered while we sipped wine!

 

3. Enterprise Fish Company - stopped for lunch and had tasty crab cakes, lobster bisque and tuna tartare.

 

4. Headed to the pier for a little shopping and sight-seeing.

 

5. Paradise Springs Winery - this place was kinda popping (hey) with the music and the open air vibe! 

 

We were back at the station at 6:30pm sharp.  Our group was on the last train back to LA leaving at 7pm and I had done enough running in my good clothes for the day.  The ride home was so chill!  They served us mashed potatoes, asparagus, tri-tip (cheese & tomato topped portabella mushroom for vegetarians like me) tiramisu, apple pie and unlimited wine.  After the porter took my plates, I reclined my seat and was out like a light until the train stopped!   

 

This was my second trip with ZWT and I highly recommend her events.  Glad I made it cause it was first class all the way!

 

 

https://www.zuriwine.com/

https://www.flobrands.com/

http://www.larail.com/railtrips/vino-train/