July 2020 Check-In's

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Chris Guenzler Bachelor Party, Friday, July 3, 2020

Metrolink Train From Orange To Fullerton, California

The bachelor party was to be held on a Metrolink round-trip from the Orange Metrolink Station to the end of the line at the Oceanside Metrolink Station and back again. Since there is no food sold on the train I was planning to have lunch at The Streamliner Lounge, a railroad themed bar connected with Ruby's Diner, right on the platform of the Orange Metrolink Station. It is housed in what used to be the building of the Santa Fe Depot. But, because of the renewed ban on indoor dining due to the China Virus and no patio, I was not able to have lunch at The Streamliner Lounge.

Instead, I decided to have lunch at The Twisted Vine in Fullerton which does offer dining on their outdoor patio. I parked my car at the Orange Metrolink Station and waited for the train to take me to Fullerton. Unexpectedly, Chris Guenzler was at the platform with a couple of friends. They were taking the same train, but they would be taking it all the way to Los Angeles Union Station and back. In that way Chris could clean and disinfect where the Bachelor Party would be sitting when they boarded the train when it returned to through the Orange Station.

Above is Chris Guenzler cleaning and disinfecting using Lysol.

Passing by Angel Stadium at the Anaheim Amtrak / Metrolink Station.

Reminders in the train to wear a mask and do social distancing.

Lunch at The Twisted Vine, Fullerton, California

The Twisted Vine has an outdoor patio and a few tables on the front sidewalk so their were able to continue serving during the indoor dining ban. Above is a photo of their patio and their food and wine menus. Even though the patio was all in the shade it was still really hot in the shade.

Above is the Wine Flight they were featuring this week. As you can see above, that is what I purchased. Being the Independence Day Holiday Weekend they were featuring Hawaiian Sliders which used Spam as the sandwich meat. I know that Spam is extremely popular in Hawaii, but I hadn't had Spam in decades, even during the times I've been in Hawaii. They were actually quite delicious. There were four sliders but I had already eaten one before I remembered to take a photo.

Boarding The Metrolink Train at The Fullerton Amtrak / Metrolink Station

On my walk back from The Twisted Vine to the station, a plant leaf from the landscape of one of the Fullerton restaurants was hanging out into the sidewalk and my arm brushed against it. That leaf must have been razor sharp as it made a cut right across my arm. I felt brushing by the leaf but didn't realize I was cut until I felt the sticky wet blood on my arm. The cut was barely skin deep but it bled like it was deeper. I put some hand disinfectant on it which was all that I had on me.

Above are photos that I took while waiting at the Fullerton Station for the train. You can see four windows upstairs in the middle of the station building. That used to be the office of my business, TrainWeb, from 1996 to 2003. The building where you see a white van in front is what used to be an "Ice House". It was where blocks of ice used to be stored before refrigeration came into widespread use. Barbara and I once took a tour of this building with a real estate agent as a possible new location for our Midcom Corporation business. Midcom ended up moving to somewhere else instead. The building with the Union Pacific logo is part of The Spaghetti Factory Restaurant. This used to be a Union Pacific Railroad Station in Fullerton, but the entire station building was moved from its original location to this location.

The Metrolink Train Ride To Oceanside, California

The Metrolink and Amtrak trains travel right along the shore for much of the route from Orange to Oceanside. The Metrolink trains end in Oceanside but the Amtrak trains continue all the way as far south as San Diego. The Amtrak trains, which are called the Pacific Surfliner, travel along more of the shoreline as they continue south. There were a lot of people on the beaches along most of the entire route. Starting tomorrow a ban goes into effect closing most of these beaches due to the China Virus. As you can see, almost everyone is social distancing. The only clumps of people are families or friends who have come to the beach together. There is plenty of room for everyone to social distance with the thousands of miles of California shoreline. I don't see why there is any need to close the beaches. Being outdoors in the sun and fresh air is supposed to be the best thing for avoiding and killing the China Virus.

Photos taken while waiting for the Metrolink Train that would take us back to Orange. This would be a different train than the one we rode down. The train we came down in started from Los Angeles Union Station. The train would be taking back would be heading out to Riverside, California. It would not be going back through Fullerton which is why I had to park my car in Orange rather than Fullerton. A couple of the above photos show a light rail train that starts in Oceanside. It is a different type of train than the heavy rail Metrolink commuter trains.

One of the many beach piers along the train route.

Saturday, July 4, 2020
Independence Day Dinner At Old Crow Smokehouse, Orange, California

Due to the China Virus all of the restaurants without outdoor patios were closed on 4th Of July, especially our favorite restaurants. So, we started searching for restaurants that were open and had outdoor seating. The Old Crow Smokehouse looked interesting. We were trying to locate a BBQ restaurant to stick with a popular food theme for 4th Of July. It turns out they usually have live music on the weekends though weren't having it today due to their closed indoor dining room. Randy and Cheryl joined us for the BBQ 4th Of July dinner. The food was delicious and the quantities huge!

They also have a very extensive whiskey list which is great as I've been into whiskey's lately, especially Bourbon, Rye, and Scotch WHisky from Islay. Barbara and I each had a different whiskey flight and shared each others.

Guenzler Wedding, Sunday, July 5, 2020
on a Metrolink Train to Oceanside!

Chris and Elizabeth were married on a Metrolink train as it headed towards Oceanside. Don Roe, an ordained minister, officiated and Carl Morrison took the photos. Both along with Chris Guenzler and many attending are members of our Rail Travel Meetup Group.

Click the above play button to view the video.

Since a beach ban went into effect due to the China Virus we saw far less people on the beaches today than two days ago during our Bachelor Party train trip. There were a few beaches that still had quite a few people. Some of the restaurants on the piers were open. The two dome buildings are the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant which is now shut down.

Guenzler Wedding Reception,
Logan Meeting Room, 5th Floor,
Santa Ana Train Station

Sunday Is Jazz Night At ProAbition Whiskey Bar,
Riverside, California, with Scotty.
July 5, 2020

Unfortunately ProAbition is working off a limited menu. They did not have any whisky flights that I was looking forward to. I just had to order one of the rye whiskey's they had available. They also did not have my favorite Thai Curry so had to settle for something else, but that was quite good. The jazz was good, but not as good as when "The Jazz Junkies" play on Sunday evening.

Live Music at Vino Nostra
Fullerton, California, Sunday, July 12, 2020

Vino Nostra usually has live music on Sunday afternoons from 4PM to 7PM. They often feature Nelson Cade III on Sundays who was featured as a contestant on "NBC The Voice". We purchased a bottle of Brady 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon which we've had before and rated as an excellent wine. We are huge Cabernet Franc fans ("Francophiles") and have purchased a few cases of Brady Cabernet Franc from Dena at Vino Nostra. But since we have so much of it at home, we wanted a different wine to drink with our dinner. Above you can see I'm jotting down some notes in my new "33 Glasses Of Wine" wine tasting notebook.

We purchased a flatbread from Vino Nostra and a Board Of 5 Cheeses from the "Let It Brie" cheese shop next door to Vino Nostra. They have connected patios in back of each shop and do many combined events. Above left is the Cheese Board which you can see comes with a lot more than just cheese. On the right is the flatbread from Vino Nostra.

Mexican Dinner at Rodrigo's Mexican Grill
Anaheim Hills, California, Monday, July 13, 2020

Rodrigo's did not have a patio prior to Covid-19. California re-opened indoor dining for a short while but then again banned indoor dining. Rodrigo's set up tents and tables in their parking lot in order to create temporary outdoor patio dining. Though it was a hot day in the 90's, it turned out to be a great evening after the sun set.

Picking Up Kunde Wines For Zoom Virtual Wine Tasting
at Vino Nostra, Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Live Music Entertainment at Trevor's At The Tracks
at the Amtrak / Metrolink San Juan Capistrano Station
Wednesday, July 15, 2020

We drove to San Juan Capistrano to have dinner and pick up our monthly wine club bottles from the Rancho Capistrano Winery. However, there was a 30 minute wait before they'd have a table ready for us due to Covid-19 social distancing. While waiting I wandered over to the tracks and took some photos.

Regency Movie Theater and Five Vines Wine Bar
both across the street from the Rancho Capistrano Winery
Wednesday, July 15, 2020

More photos taken while waiting for a table to be available for us at the Rancho Capistrano Winery.

Rancho Capistrano Winery
We Had A Burger As It Was Burger Week!
Wednesday, July 15, 2020

One of the benefits of being a member of the Rancho Capistrano Wine Club is that you can get two glasses of wine or two wine flights whenever you stop by, with a limit of one per day. If only we lived closer, we could stop by for a couple of wine flights for free every day! While we were waiting outside for our table to be ready, they brought our two free glasses of wine out to us so that we could enjoy them while waiting. I wish some of our wine clubs closer to our Anaheim house would offer this club benefit! They only offer discounts on purchases.

We could hear the live music from Trevor's At The Tracks right on the other side of the patio enclosure across the street, but the recorded music playing on the Rancho Capistrano Winery patio speakers mostly drowned out the live music.

Getting Our 2016 Tesla Model X P90DL
Serviced in Brea, California, Thursday, July 16, 2020

We had to have the 12 volt accessories battery replaced in our 2016 Tesla Model X P90DL. Not the big huge 90 kW battery that powers the car, but just the little 12 volt battery that operates the accessories. In a Tesla, the 12 volt battery is only about the size of a motorcycle battery, not the size of a regular gas powered car battery. Since the 12 volt battery is not used to start the engine, it does not have to be a very big battery. It is just used to run the 12 volt accessories in the car and powers the cigarette lighter outlets.

For about a week there had been a warning on the dash panel to replace the 12 volt battery soon. The soonest appointment I could get to take care of this was at the end of July. However, a strong rotten egg smell started to fill our house. At first we could not figure where the smell was coming from. Eventually we located to be from the 12 volt battery that had gone bad. Searching the internet I found that this has happened to a number of Tesla vehicles. We could not have the car staying this way smelling up everything so we called Tesla service. They told us to bring it right in and they would replace the battery even without a service appointment. So, that is what I did. Just about everything in the Tesla Model X is covered under an 8 year / 80,000 mile extended warranty that I purchased with the car. But a replacement battery is not covered. It is considered an expendable item like tires and windshield wipers.

The battery cost about $150 to replace along with another $150 for labor for a total of about $300. I could have just purchased a new battery and replaced it myself for a lot less which many Tesla owners have done. But, I figured it was worth having Tesla do it right. After 4 years and 40,000 miles of owning this car, this is the only maintenance expense we have had other than replacing tires once. We've had similar experience with our 2015 Tesla Model S P85DL. After 5 years and more than 50,000 miles, the only maintenance expense we've had is replacing a faulty door handle mechanism for about $200 plus replacing tires one time. So far they have both been pretty maintenance free vehicles.

Live Music On The Patio At Vino Nostra
Fullerton, California, Thursday, July 15, 2020

Click the above play button to view the video.

Stopping At A Tesla Supercharger
On The Way To San Diego, California,
For My Semi-Annual Dental Cleaning
Friday, July 17, 2020

With a battery range of about 250 miles I can easily drive the 160 mile round trip from Anaheim to San Diego and back without charging the Tesla. But, I usually leave around an hour early as I never know what kind of traffic I might hit on the way down. Once I started getting close to my dentist's office I saw that I was going to be almost an hour early for my appointment having hit no traffic this time. Rather than just sitting in the dentist office for an hour I pulled into a nearby Tesla Supercharging station in San Diego and plugged in. I hung about listening to the radio and doing some things on my mobile phone for about 30 minutes. In that time my battery charged back up to well over 200 miles of range. Since we were early purchasers of our Tesla vehicles we are allowed free Tesla Supercharging for the life of our vehicles. I only charge at Tesla Superchargers when I go on longer road trips like this as the Superchargers are really only meant to be used by Tesla vehicles when you are too far from home to charge at home.

Dinner At Kenos Restaurant
On Their New Improvised Patio
With Live Music by Gary D. Hughes and Guest Singer
Friday, July 18, 2020

Click the above play button to view the video.

Click the above play button to view the video.

Live Jazz On The Sidewalk Patio
At ProAbition, Riverside, California
Saturday, July 18, 2020

Listening to the Jazz Junkies while having dinner on the patio at ProAbition Whiskey Bar in Riverside, California. The building you see in some of the above photos is the historic Riverside Mission Inn. That hotel occupies an entire city block. The above photos only show one corner of the hotel.

A New Distillery Coming To Fullerton?
Ostrich Egg Distillery?
Monday, July 20, 2020

A distillery coming to Fullerton? We'll have to keep an eye on this as I'm really into Bourbons and Scotch Whiskys from Islay. This building is right next to The Twisted Vine in Fullerton.

Dinner and Wine Flights
at Twisted Vine, Fullerton, California
Monday, July 20, 2020

Live Music At Vino Nostra
Fullerton, California
Thursday, July 23, 2020

Live Music At Kenos Restaurant
Anaheim Hills, California
Saturday, July 25, 2020

Live Music at Vino Nostra
Fullerton, California
Sunday, July 26, 2020

Live Jazz at ProAbition
Riverside, California
Day, July ??, 2020

Weekly Wine Flight At Twisted Vine
Fullerton, California
Monday, July 27, 2020

Live Jazz At Cedar Creek Inn
Brea, California
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Photo From Years Ago
Provided by Linda Lopez
Barbara With Her Dad And Mom

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