A couple of weekends ago we had the pleasure of taking a complimentary rail tour of the Port of Long Beach. We took a free tour of the Port by boat last summer, so when I learned they were offering free train tours for a limited time, well, of course I jumped at the call to sign us all up (as in, signed up within minutes of seeing the notice posted on the Port’s Facebook page).
T loves trains (as regular readers already know), and he loved that boat tour of the port, too, so this was a no-brainer decision. I also encouraged our neighbor and T’s Auntie to sign up with us, too; it was my way of thanking her for getting us involved in these free Port tours to begin with since she was the one who’d told us about the boat tour in the first place!
What a wonderful hour we had down at the docks! Thanks to passenger cars and engines from Metrolink, attendees rode in comfort through port operations. Port employees provided their usual wonderful hospitality that we’ve grown accustomed to whenever we’ve come in contact with anyone from the Port of Long Beach. Port staff also did a tremendous job educating attendees on how rail has helped with pollution reduction efforts and other programs across the Port and city of Long Beach in general.
The photos tell the story better than I can in this case, so I shall just let them do the talking. Or showing. Enjoy!
Oh, but before I go, I do have something to say about where we went to eat afterwards. After hearing about all the hub-bub in regards to Berth 55, a long-time seafood stand down at the Port in threat of closure, and after riding past the restaurant on the train tour twice, it was settled that this was where we’d go for lunch.
Two words for Berth 55: Local flavor. Or another two words: Yum yum. I got their mixed combo of fried fish, shrimp, and scallops, which came with fries. The scallops were small but very sweet and extremely reminiscent of a fresh, local catch cooked up at a port-side stand, so pretty close to perfect given the environs. The shrimp was very good and their taste brought me straight back to my childhood; fried shrimp used to be a favorite of mine growing up whenever I’d be out at a seafood restaurant (or just on a Friday at home). Auntie Kel got the grilled fish taco plate, which she said was very fresh and tasty (and BIG). C got a fish sandwich, which was the same fish on my combo plate, and he was satisfied (admittedly, the fish was my least favorite of the three items I had, but still was good).
While we’re not quite up to regular seafood consumption yet with T, he devoured the cheeseburger he got, which was your standard pre-formed patty with melty American cheese that you might find at a local seafood stand like this one. However, since it’s just the sort of thing that a five-year-old would devour, we were very happy this was offered.
Berth 55 is also a regular fish market where you can buy fresh fish daily from the counters to take away and prepare at home. We didn’t get any on this day, but it sure was tempting! We’ll be back.
A special note to all my East Coast (USA) RMT’ers… it’s very hard to digest the news coming in this week from the “Superstorm” of 2012. There’s a saying that goes, “Any port in a storm,” and I could not help but think of that saying as I wrote up this post all while this terrible tragedy broadsided the Northeastern seaboard this week. I hope that you and yours are safe and sound post-Sandy and mostly if not entirely out of harm’s way. Thinking of you all, hoping for the best, and wishing for a speedy recovery and clean-up effort.