Train Travel: OC to LA

In Features
Jaryd Lucero/ Daily Titan

With her hand in mine we eagerly stepped onto the train, the doors shut quickly behind us and we soon felt the Metrolink train jerk. We started to make our way through Orange County before we were even able to find a seat. After searching through two cars, we finally found a pair of seats facing another couple. They didn’t seem too friendly, but they were kind enough to let us sit on their foot rest.

We sat there looking out the window in excitement. We weren’t seeing anything new; we were leaving our hometown for a day to spend it in a city we have been to multiple times. But this time it was different; we wanted to see Los Angeles in a way we haven’t before. We took the train out of OC and we were destined to experience LA on foot.

Mass public transit is an unfamiliar means of transportation to me and probably to most of us living in Southern California. Traveling via car is the much preferred way for getting around for SoCal residents. So when we think about a train taking us to our next family day trip or our spontaneous date, there’s that little extra bit of excitement.

Way of travel really changes the experience of a trip. Even though the destination is a place you have been multiple times before, getting there by train creates a whole new environment you will be available to soak in.

Experiencing the thrill of flight in your seat on a jet or the refreshing sea breeze from the deck of a cruise ship are both unforgettable sensations. Seeing your surroundings zip by through your cabin window, constantly changing in front of you, is a memory that will be etched in your mind for some time.

As we made our way through Orange County and into LA County, I was able to catch a glimpse of all the cities in between home and our destination. Even though I’ve driven through a lot of those streets, it was different.

When we got to Los Angeles Union Station, it was a perfect 78 degrees and the warm weather felt comforting after making our way through the chilly terminal.

We finally arrived at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and found ourselves lost in the canvases, photographs and sculptures that filled the wings of the museum. After making our way through the entire building, I found the works I admired most were of the most simplistic style–just blotches of black, abstract oils on white canvas that left my curious imagination without rest.

After exposing our minds to some of today’s finest arts, we traveled to a spot that has been gaining popularity over the past few years after appearing in the film 500 Days of Summer.

Angels Knoll houses the iconic bench and view of the city from the movie that many wait in line to take a picture with.

This relaxing hillside park gives visitors the chance to rest from the busy streets of downtown LA and just enjoy the view.

Hunger had taken over and Little Tokyo was just a few blocks away. We figured we could satisfy ourselves with some sushi. We soon found ourselves in the middle of Little Tokyo in the Japanese Village Plaza. In the plaza, the familiar blue-roofed Japanese architecture first caught my eye, but my attention swiftly shifted to a sign for $4.90 spicy tuna rolls – we stepped straight into that restaurant.

After stuffing ourselves with authentic Japanese food, a final stroll around Little Tokyo was the last thing we did before heading back to Union Station.

The beauty of the setting sun and deep, orange sky added that end-of-the-day point. We walked with her arm around my waist and mine over her shoulder, enjoying the scenes of the city. “I wish the last train home didn’t leave so early,” I thought to myself.

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