Friday I took my last 2L exam (hopefully, barring a spectacular FAIL). It was a miserable test. The MC questions were full of typos and poorly written. Real crap shoot and not the best way to end the exam process, but still, it was the last one.
Saturday, I got up and went to the train station. A photog/friend of mine was coming to town from LA and asked me to meet him for the few minutes he’d be here. He was shooting (for a potential personal project) this tour that is done where they hook some WWII-era cars on the Surfliner and people ride in period attire, etc. It’s a private venture–individuals own the cars–so it’s not an Amtrak thing and had the potential for some interesting material.
Sadly, he said it wasn’t done as well as he’d hoped and he and his intern weren’t getting much good stuff. You’d think for the price they could do better–the dishes were plastic, for example. Still, some of the outfits were wonderful. The cars were pretty cool too (click pic for larger version). The second car is an old observation car. I snuck on briefly and got a peek, but sadly, have no images since I was rushing. One thing, though, the upper level was not made for anyone in my family. Over 6′ and you have to hunch.
***Update*** My friend has kindly sent me one of the images he made of the “Vista Dome” car, so now you can see what it looks like (it’s a big image, if you click on it):
Still, I can imagine worse things than riding the rails up the beach on one of those classic cars. The tour group does other trips, like up to Santa Barbara. That might be fun, even with cheesy plastic plates.
This morning I got up and took an extra long walk to try and burn off some of the bread/cheese/tapenade indulgence I permitted myself the day before (after my time at the station and running some errands). I decided to go over to La Jolla, the village, not the shores where I usually walk. LJ is on hills so I could get some extra exercise this way. Plus, there is still the ocean.
I stopped and took a breather here, about a half-mile south of the Children’s Pool (where the seals hang out) and, using the timer app I have on my iPhone, took a really pretty shot of the edge of the cliff, and me on it, looking at Dana Point in the distance. It looks much closer than it is, the point, I mean. It was a lovely moment.
For all my complaints about being out here (in the recently listed 6th most expensive city in the US), there is a lot of good here, too. Some real beauty, like this spot. And although the exams are a bear and my life has been rather difficult over the last year, I feel like I’m coming out of the worst of it. Getting to stand here, and breathe, and hear the ocean roar below, while the east coast gets hit with a blizzard of Rudolphian proportions, well, it’s one of those days when I feel pretty lucky.