Metrolink Adventures – San Juan Capistrano

Kelli’s Take

What do you do with a free Saturday and $10 dollars in your pocket? You get an all day pass on the Metrolink. Hop on and take the train as far as it will take you. You may actually take the Metrolink all the way to San Clemente, but on the day of our adventure the end of the line was San Juan Capistrano.  It was a first for me, and such a fun adventure.

DSC_0137 weekend pass

DSC_0138 burbank station

We started our journey from the Burbank station and headed to the hub, Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles.

DSC_0167 metro rail

Have you been on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland where your comedic tour guide shows you the “back side of water”? Well on our way to Union Station we experience the “back side” of the city. It’s ugliness is actually pretty. I love the colorful graffiti and the urban warehouses along the way and entirely different view of the city you don’t see from the freeway.

DSC_0173 graffity

DSC_0184 dtla train

Now enter the grandeur of one of the last great railway stations. Union Station was built in the 1930’s and is on the register of historic places. A beautiful destination itself, especially if you’ve never been there. Traxx is the lovely white table cloth restaurant within the station. Across the way is a comfortable swanky lounge for cocktails.

DSC_0193 union station

DSC_0217 union station floor

DSC_0216 87 miles of rail

DSC_0218 union station mosaic

DSC_0198 trains and bus plaza

DSC_0224 plaza

DSC_0233 pic out of the train

DSC_0228 metro plaza

DSC_0241 train stop

Here is one of the unique train stations along the Orange County Line. Each one with it’s own personality. Did you know you can take the Metrolink from Union Station to an Angels game?

DSC_0258 san juan capistrano

We’ve arrived at our destination. Now we feel miles away from Burbank. We only stay for a few hours, but as you can see there is plenty to see and do once you get to San Juan Capistrano.

DSC_0377 san juan sign

 

DSC_0262 train

DSC_0263 bikes

Bring your bike on the train with you and you may add another layer of sight seeing. We just walked because the center of the town is very walkable.

DSC_0265 san juan downtown

DSC_0267 winery san juan

Wineries, food and music are dotted up and down the streets directly adjacent to the train station. You just step off the train and you’re there!

DSC_0271 ortegas

20151017_173832 indian

DSC_0272 mission san juan

At the heart of the city is the Mission San Juan Capistrano. It was a gorgeous Southern California day and the mission just begs to be photographed and lends itself to wedding, senior pictures and family photo shoots, all of which were going on in and around us. So many beautiful brides.

DSC_0274 boug

DSC_0279 purple mission

DSC_0296 mission arches

DSC_0302 lotus pond

DSC_0308 mission horse

DSC_0311 misson hall

DSC_0314 madonna tile

DSC_0317 mission candles

DSC_0318 altar

DSC_0322 bells

DSC_0330 original chapel

DSC_0337 bride and groom

DSC_0338 church

DSC_0351 arches

DSC_0354 lotus pond 2

This beautiful place is also used for concerts under the stars (bring a picnic) and “Christmas at the Mission” complete with carolers, food and shopping. Another event is Battle of the Mariachi’s Festival. Music, food and bands battling for cash prizes!

DSC_0358 mission grill

DSC_0361 ipa

Right across the street from the mission is an oasis for $5 Margaritas and my favorite IPA’s. It’s called The Mission Grill. I found  great fish and calamari tacos. You can’t beat the price, and the outdoor patio had a football game on for my husband. We always say we love five (well maybe four) star food for one dollar sign $. It felt like we were on an episode of Rachel Ray’s $40 a day.

DSC_0362 calamari taco

 

20151017_173719 margarita

DSC_0370 Hidden House Coffee

DSC_0385 metro link train

It was the perfect short getaway. We even saw a flock of swallows. We were lucky, because today October 23rd is the “Day of San Juan” the day the swallows take flight and leave the mission after the summer months. They fly to their winter home in Argentina. The “miracle” of their return is on Saint Joseph’s Day March 19th. Do you know the classic song “When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano“?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *