Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fantastic Father's Day

 Venus* had long ago told us about this amazing train trip for preschoolers. She and her son Barclay* did it years ago with his preschool class. I surprised Techman and Starboy for a Family Father's Day adventure.

We left the stunning Union Station early in the morning.

I always imagine what it would look like filled with travelers from the 1920s.

 About an hour later we arrived at San Juan Capistrano to......

 Visit an amazing petting zoo!

 We got to feed the sheep, goats, guinea pigs, llamas, bunnies, turkeys, chickens and zedonks.

 And they had a giant corn pit!

We had an amazing lunch nearby. It was beautiful, but we all gobbled it before taking any photos. Spicy gorgonzola shoestring fries, that's all I'll say on that topic. Based on one particular review on Yelp, I had actually intended to go somewhere else, but I confused my notes and we had a delicious experience there anyway.

We timed things so that we'd have two hours at the petting zoo and about an hour for lunch. As it played out, we could have stayed about an hour at the petting zoo and taken an earlier train. Starboy was really cooked by the time lunch was over, and we still had a couple of hours before we'd be home. He soldiered on, however.

Starboy liked choosing snacks in the caf√© car on the way home.  

The trip was outstanding, though not wholly inexpensive. The train tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for kids, the petting zoo admission was about $8, lunch was a little fancy (look around for alternatives —there is a Ruby's diner within walking distance, for example), and then poor research on parking at Union Station led to a $15 parking tab. Yeowch. For a special occasion, though, it was a home run. 

*Nearly everyone gets a code name to help with privacy.

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