Tuesday, November 19, 2013


A few weeks ago, The Captain and I spent a few relaxing hours riding the rails.

We had lunch on the Sacramento River Train located in Woodland, CA.

At first we didn't know what we were in for.  Instead of a grand depot with hustle and bustle going on around it, the train was just sitting alongside a busy city street.

It appeared as if months, if not years, of grit and grime were on the train but the fancy art work painted around the cars still showed through.

We proceeded to the parking lot where we would leave our car and board the train.  As we were the first ones there, we didn't think it looked too safe to leave our car.  There was broken glass on the ground, piles of raked up tree branches and trash and a homeless encampment at one end.

We drove across the street and parked in a shopping center lot.  By the time we returned the lot was full of very nice cars and large elegant tour buses.  Our little three year old Honda would have been in very good company!

We boarded the train at 11:00 sharp, which was right on schedule,
and were ushered to our dining table.  We were up on the second tier of our car and the viewing area was spectacular.

The dining car, although not overly decorated, was roomy and very clean.  The tables were dressed with good linens and looked very proper for an enjoyable dining experience.

At this point, I should have inserted a picture of the food.  But, for some reason most of my food pictures do not show very well, so I deleted them.  But, after seeing Martha's pictures today on the news, I should have shown them.  They would have looked right at home!

We had our choice of salmon or chicken, each served with fancy, amazing sides.  We picked one of each so we could sample them both.  

The food was of excellent quality, very tasty, a very pretty presentation, and we liked both dinners equally well.

The service was the best we have had in any high end restaurant situation.

There was some time between courses, which possibly some wouldn't like, but, for us, it was just right.  I felt it gave us time to savor each course and as we weren't rushed, the experience was all the more enjoyable.

After the main course, we walked down to the open air cars and took in some of the sights from that perspective...

A chocolate cherry mousse with pomegranate reduction sauce,
topped with real whipped cream.
Served in a phyllo cup.
OMG is all I can say!

...then back to our table for a delicious and elegant dessert.

If you were looking for some beautiful scenic views, along with a marvelous dining experience, this would not be an especially must-have trip for you.  But, if you were interested in a slice of nature and good common American way of life, you would love it as we did.

The tracks run along beside dry fields that at times are flooded with water from the river's overflow during heavy rains. Also the fields are used for planting rice to supply a good part of one of the country's staples.

Hay and grain are grown along side...

...apple orchards and...

...seasonal crops as well.

As you sit comfortably in your seats, listening to the click-clack of the wheels over the tracks and hearing the mournful, yet joyous, sound of the whistle, the river comes into view...

...it meanders around and through the open fields and...

...in front of homes that have their own river transportation tied up to their docks.

At times, along the river, the vegetation is thick and green and it almost appears as you could be lost in the jungle.  But, just as quickly, you are once again transported into the middle of a corn field...

...where the farmer is preparing for a new crop...

When I said you wouldn't find beautiful scenic views along the route, I meant in the sense that you might see going down the Rhine or the Amazon. (I'm guessing, as I've never seen either one) but...

...just a glimpse out a window on a simple view of life that shows you a very small part of what makes this country great and...

...how little we really need to have a very beautiful day.


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  1. Judy, what a fun train ride you had and a wonderful dining experience! I think I would enjoy that too. I wonder why the parking lot was so ill kept. Strange. At least it all worked out. It was nice to see glimpses of your countryside. Have a good week!

  2. Oh how I miss that area - the scenery is enchanting. Your dinner and train ride sound like the best trip around. You can take the girl out of California, but you can't take the California out of the girl. I'll compensate by playing with both daughters and both grandsons tomorrow - we're going to make christmas ornaments. Life is give and take - and we've been given so much!

  3. It looks wonderful. I've taken the train in the Napa area and they have a gorgeous dining experience as well and viewing of the grapevines. I'm sure that you've probably taken that one as well. Thanks for sharing this one.

  4. Judy what a wonderful train ride...it looks so relaxing and enjoyable. I have always wanted to dine on a train. What beautiful country you live in! Have a great evening!!! XO Barbara

  5. WOW what a great day trip. IT sure brought back memories of my childhood. My uncle was a conductor on the C & O Railroad and we got to travel a lot on the train from Cleveland, Ohio to Clifton Forge, VA. There was very little air travel in those olden days. Lots of memories.
    It looked like a great trip and the food sounds so wonderful. The pictures were very good to see all the different areas along the way.
    Thanks so much for sharing this post.
    Have a great weekend.

  6. Enjoyed this post, very much!
    Beautiful scenery, and I could just imagine what a wonderful trip it must have been.
    Imagine, if we still traveled by rail; it's all so romantic!

    Warm wishes...

  7. Looks like you had a wonderful dining experience. It's nice to see part of your rural country .I personally love train rides, it is enjoyable to sit there and see the world go bye.

  8. This looked to be a very enjoyable time! Thanks for sharing it.

    Amy Jo

  9. What a comprehensive post on your train journey. Loved the description of your meals and the photos of your views! I have enjoyed going to Boston a few times on the train. Beats driving!

  10. This looks like a perfectly wonderful way to spend a day...and that dessert looks amazing!

  11. What a lovely adventure in the train! We took our local train to Santa Fe for the first time this summer, and even that short ride was so pleasurable. We want to do it again. Enjoy our Thanksgiving away! I miss being home when we go away too. Thanks for the lovely comment on my un-ironed table! *smile*

  12. What a fantastic trip!! It looks like so much fun seeing the scenery and having wonderful meals. Thanks so much for sharing all your beautiful photos too! Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

  13. Looks like you had a wonderful day! That dessert looked so yummy! Have a great thanksgiving, Laura


Your comments are so special to me...Judy