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Destination is Only Half the Trip Experience

In Search of Charles Schulz

by Zack Markowitz

San Diego, California

As a fan of the Peanuts gang, I have always worshipped their late creator, Charles Schulz. I learned of his great museum one Christmas when my mom's present to me was a biography of Schulz. Through the book I discovered more about the museum and ice arena, aka "Snoopy's Home," where he played his favorite sport of hockey and worked on ideas for his famous comic strips.

I also learned the museum was located in Santa Rosa which was so close to my college town at San Jose State, some 90 miles north. I wondered how I was going to get there — if I flew, it would be a somewhat expensive connecting flight as very few passenger planes fly into Santa Rosa.

Charles Schulz

Then my stepdad told me to look at Amtrak. It had been years since I traveled long-distance by train, and I learned it was cheap and comfortable — part of my first ever vacation experience on my own.

Nearly a year passed between when I learned of the museum and when I finally saw it. I particularly loved the ride there and back, almost as much as I enjoyed my point of interest. It was the furthest I have ever been away from home and on my own.

The Capitol Corridor was comfortable and scenic, with the beautiful plains and farms of rural Northern California passing by. Unlike the boring, awkward accommodations of airplanes, I had plenty of legroom and space to walk about the train car and stretch my legs while catching glimpses of the new places I'd seen.