Archives for June 7, 2021

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Will Require Reservations for Peak Travel Weekends This Summer

Photo provided courtesy of LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency.

Reservations will be required on select weekends for Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® trains that travel between San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. Additional train cars are being added when possible to increase the number of available seats on select trains. However, the number of seats onboard each Pacific Surfliner train is limited. To safely manage capacity during periods when more travelers are anticipated, customers will need a reservation to travel on the following dates:

  • Fourth of July Weekend: July 2 – July 5, 2021
  • Opening Weekend of Del Mar Races: July 16 – July 19, 2021
  • Labor Day Weekend: September 3 – September 7, 2021

Additionally, the Rail 2 Rail program will be suspended on most of the dates above, during which monthly Metrolink and COASTER passes will not be accepted onboard Pacific Surfliner trains.

Amtrak monthly and 10-ride passes may still be used. However, multi-ride ticket holders will be required to confirm each trip (train and date) through the Amtrak RideReserve program on, the Amtrak app, or an Amtrak agent prior to traveling during the reservation period; thus, ensuring travelers have the safest and most comfortable journey possible. 
Passengers are encouraged to follow safety measures and any important public health orders in place during their trip and at their destination. This includes wearing a mask at stations and onboard trains at all times, washing hands or using sanitizer often, and staying home if they are feeling sick. Per federal law and Amtrak policy, all customers and employees must wear a face mask or covering that fully covers the entire mouth and nose, fits snugly against the side of the face, and secures under the chin at all times while onboard and in stations.  

More dates may be added where a reservation is required, depending on travel demand throughout the summer. For the latest information, please visit

Credit: Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner ® and LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency.

Passport to the Arts Offers Unlimited Admission to Famed Laguna Art Festivals for Summer 2021

Access to 500 artists, live music, entertainment, and more at Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, Laguna Art-A-Fair and Sawdust Art Festival

Make Laguna Beach your summer destination all season long with a 2021 Passport to the Arts for only $29 per passport (a $66 USD value). This triple-value Passport to the Arts pass provides unlimited entry to the three premier art festivals located in Laguna Beach throughout the entire 2021 summer festival season: Festival of Arts Fine Art Show (July 5 to September 3), Laguna Art-A-Fair (July 2 to September 5), and Sawdust Art Festival (July 2 to September 5).

Re-discover the arts and artists in Laguna Beach with a 2021 Passport to the Arts pass. Delight in Laguna’s booming art scene and relish in the beauty of the beachside community with this single ticket that in essence acts as a season pass providing unlimited admission to the three popular art festivals.

“From the laid back atmosphere to the prestigious art, live performances, and perfect weather, Laguna’s art festivals offer families experiences you won’t find anywhere else,” shared Sharbie Higuchi, Director of Marketing/PR at Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach. “We hope patrons with a Passport to the Arts have a wonderful, memorable, exciting summer experiencing all the artistry offered in Laguna Beach.”

The 2021 Passport to the Arts special offers include:

  • Unlimited admission all summer long to all three Laguna Beach art festivals
  • Access to more than 500 artists and their work
  • Art workshops
  • Live music and entertainment at all three festivals throughout the season
  • One-time free parking at Lot #16 (Act V), 1900 Laguna Canyon Road
  • FREE Trolley service all summer long

The Festival of Arts, Sawdust Art Festival, and Laguna Art-A-Fair not only foster arts education, and creativity, but each festival also creates jobs and contributes significantly to the local and state economy. Each summer the festivals draw crowds from within and around the community, as well as attract new and visiting populations annually, creating economic support for the arts and overall local community. Together the festivals continue to provide a competitive edge improving Laguna Beach’s ability to attract economic activity and creating a climate in which innovation can flourish.

The 2021 Passport to the Arts may be purchased online at or at any of the three art festivals. Some restrictions apply. Offer excludes Pageant of the Masters. For information about overnight stays and things to do while in Laguna Beach visit

Credit: Laguna Art-A-Fair.

Christmas in July 101

Christmas is a fantastic holiday, and a favorite time of year for many. A lot of people, especially children, wish that it came around more than once a year. Christmas day will only ever be on December 25th, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience that holiday joy more often. If you celebrate Christmas in July, you and your kids can have winter fun in the summer sun. Here are a few ways to celebrate.

One way to celebrate is to throw a Christmas party in July with family and friends. Summer is the perfect opportunity to party, and adding in a little holiday season joy will only make it more fun. For food, you can have eggnog, iced hot chocolate, hot dogs with cranberry sauce on the side, or peppermint shaved ice. You can also set up a side table for the kids to make their own desserts. They’ll love making smores gingerbread houses, or mini shaved ice snowmen they can decorate with sliced fruit. Both options make for a great treat when they finish making them. There are a ton of fun winter themed games you can play in summer. If you live near the beach or a desert, you can have everyone try sand sledding. Alternatively, you can have a tree decorating competition in your backyard, but use palm trees instead of pine trees. If you don’t have any live trees to decorate, you can also pick up a couple inflatable palm trees to use instead. Everyone will have so much fun at your Christmas party in July!

While you’re celebrating Christmas in July, you may also want to start thinking about Christmas and holiday cards. It may seem a bit early, but if you get your holiday cards ready now, you’ll have one less thing to worry about during the busy holiday season. Plus, with perfect sunny weather, you’ll be able to take amazing outdoor family photos. Or you can use some of the pictures from your summer vacation in your holiday cards. Once you’ve got your photos picked out, you’ll need to find holiday card designs you love. Basic Invite has a ton of options, you’ll definitely find the perfect card. All of their designs are customizable, so you can make sure the color scheme and font styles are just right. Their christmas cards and holiday party invitations are super cute. Check them out!

If you’re celebrating Christmas in July with kids, you’ll also want to make sure you remind them of the true meaning of the holiday season. While the holidays are fun, they are also a time to think of others and give back to your community. Ask your kids what volunteer activities they want to do to celebrate Christmas this summer. A few options are picking up trash at your local park, fundraising money to donate to an important cause, or spending time with an eldery neighbor or family member. Older kids can also try volunteering at an animal shelter, or working with a local organization to mentor younger children. Decide as a family how many hours in July you want to dedicate to service. If everyone does their part, you can do a small gift exchange as a family to finish out your summery Christmas plans.

However you decide to celebrate, I hope your Christmas in July is wonderful. Have fun doing service, getting a jump on holiday cards, and partying with your loved ones. Merry Christmas in July!

Credit: Basic Invite.