• Doc Mele

All Aboard...to the Fair


When I was a young child, I’d visit friends whose parents bought a newly built home in Anaheim, CA. This was the early 1970’s and Star Trek was trending. One of the bathrooms in their new house had a shower that appeared (to us kids) like it was a space capsule, which could blast us off into another dimension. All of us little tykes would crowd inside, and in our minds, we really did blast off to another world.

Not so much has changed with me in the wanderlust department. I still yearn to go off on little excursions (this time in a real vehicle) where I can leave my reality behind, even for a little while and enter some kind of fantasy land (not necessarily in Disneyland).

I live very close to San Juan Capistrano (home of the world renowned Mission San Juan Capistrano), which has a train station. I’ve always wanted to take a train from that depot to somewhere close, but never had. Last Sunday would be the day. Los Angeles (County) was just too manic for my taste on that particular day, but North County San Diego was just an hour away and the fair was happening in Del Mar. So, I decided the fair would be my destination for the day via the train!

I had about 40 minutes before the train arrived, so I had a bite to eat at the quaint and inviting Hummingbird Café. I told the hostess that I had to board the train in 40 minutes so she made sure to let the server know I had a schedule to keep.

For a fare of $56, I received a round-trip ticket in business class and was able to sit back, relax, and see sites on the coast, traveling south, that I’ve never seen before. When I arrived at the Solana Beach Train Station, I boarded a bus that took me and other passengers straight to the fair. No searching for a parking space and no parking fees. What a deal!

Once I purchased an adult ticket for $18, and security checked my purse, I entered another realm. Like many Southern California June days on the coast, it was sunny one minute and gloomy another, but all the more reason to be at the fair. It lifts our spirits and we begin to forget about the weather and life's other concerns. For a moment in time, no matter how old we are, we can be transported to a place of wonder - mesmerized by sights, sounds, aroma, and excitement, which provokes our senses into revelry.

Like the Fourth of July, the fair comes to town once a year, and most of us look forward to it like any US American tradition. It is the one time of year that the community comes together to laugh, play, and bond in animated festivities.

Time seemed to fly so fast that day. Before I knew it, it was time to board the bus back to the train station. A one-hour ride back to reality…and already planning my next get-away.

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