S: Dec 28-Jan 4 2010 Pasadena
FC: Rose Parade Pasadena, CA Dec 28, 2009 - Jan 4, 2010 | Hutchens Adventure No. 1001 Southern California
1: We arrived at the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) in the afternoon. We chose a bright red rental car so we could find it in the parking lot. You'd be surprised at the number of red cars in Southern California. Since it was early, we decided to drive up the coast - through Marina del Ray, Santa Monica and Venice. | Dec. 28, 2009
2: We visited the docks at Marina del Ray. There's a little Fisherman's Village with shops. The weather was so beautiful, we could have stayed there all day.
3: Marina del Ray
4: We drove up the coast to Malibu. It's become a tradition that every time we're around LA, we drive to Paradise Cove and visit the parking lot where Jim Rockford's trailer was parked in The Rockford Files. We ate at the restaurant that was there in the 70s and 80s. It's still there, but not called the Sand Castle anymore. It's still a trailer park, however. The pier was in disrepair, and they shortened it. You can still easily recognize the spot.
5: Paradise Cove
6: We were greeted by young lasso experts at the Equestrian Show. It started with the color guard. All of the horses in the parade did a routine. | EquestFest | Dec. 29, 2009
7: A lady sitting in front of us was very excited. She kept jumping up and yelling for the riders. We think it embarrassed the lady behind here, who looked like her sister, because the sister kept telling her to be quiet. She was quilt a sight.
8: Big Horses - Clydesdales and Shire horses. Shire horses are taller than Clydesdales. The two draft horse breeds are the largest horses.
9: Many faces from the parade. | Wild tiny horse
10: Dec. 30, 2009
11: Float Decorating | It was raining, but we could still see the float decorators. Flowers, flowers everywhere | Tuskeegee Airmen
13: Beautiful Flowers. It was rainy, but a great day to look at flowers. It was fun to compare these unfinished floats to the finished ones in the parade.
15: January 1, 2010 | Rose Parade
19: Jackie Chan | We ate our lunch in the stands while the crowd thinned out.
20: January 1, 2010 | Santa Anita Race Park | The finish line
21: After the parade, we went to the Santa Anita Park. The weather couldn't be better and we wandered around the park. It was at the foot of the mountain which was a great backdrop for the manicured lawns. It was interesting to see how the races worked. Cindy bet $8 and got back $10.60 which didn't even cover the admission and parking. But it was a nice afternoon | This horse was getting ready to race. | SeSecretariatcr
22: Streets of L.A. | Peterman's Auto Museum | We started the day slowly, drove around and went downtown L.A. to Peterman's Auto Museum. It is a very interesting museum and starts on the first of 4 floors with very old cars in chronological order. The cars are all set in small vignettes so they show the cars in context. There were cars from the beginning to futuristic ones. Match Box has a display showing all of the matchbox cars in order. They take the car shows newest cars and use those for models - which is why I never recognized some of the cars Chris and Clint had. | January 2, 2010
23: After the museum, we had some time, so we drove up through Laural Canyon. The road was very full of expensive cars and very curvy. On the way back, we stopped at a small general store and deli. It had peace symbols painted on the sides. It turned out to have been there since the 60s when the canyon was full of hippies, rock singers and wannabes. Jim Morrison lived next door to the store and the owner said that a former owner allowed Mama Cass Elliot to stay in the basement when she was in town. In the evening, we went to the old Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood is very lively after dark and you could see any kind of character you wanted. The theater was built in the 20s or30s when a pharoah was unearthed in Egypt and Hollywood wanted to exploit the idea. A non-profit group runs it and plays independent and classic films on a huge screen. The ceiling is beautifully carved and original. Even though the theater had been remodeled, it still had the charm of yesteryear. The theater was showing a James Bond retrospective and the audience were serious Bond fans. A Bond expert introduced the films and had a trivia game. One very obscure question was answered by a nine-year old girl who watched 4 movies and read 6 books to get ready for the movie. It was a double feature with Goldfinger and Thunderball, both with Sean Connery. We lasted until half-way through the second one, but our energy ran out before the movie. It was a very pleasana evening. We went back to the hotel to rest before our Whale-watching trip planned for the next day.
24: Whale Watching Ventura, CA | Jan 3, 2010
25: We drove up the coast to Ventura and found a whale watching tour. The weather was just beautiful. There weren't many people on the boat, so there was a lot of room to move around. | We saw lots of dolphins and sea lions on the way out. The sea lions kept their arms up to keep their temperature constant. but they look like they're waving.
26: We didn't see any whales for about an hour and a half. Then someone saw a spout that means a whale has surfaced. The excitement aboard went up quickly. Everyone went to the sides and started looking The spouts are 6ft high. | Gray Whales
27: 'Thar she Blows!! | We followed 4 whales until it was time to go. A fluke is the tail coming out of the water. That means the whale will dive deeper, so it may not resurface for up to 7 minutes where a normal dive is 3-4 minutes
28: Back to the pier, back to the hotel and back to the airport to go home. We thought getting to the airport 3 hours early would be enough, but no. It took over 2 hours to go through line after line before we got to the gate. We didn't have to wait to board. We were glad we'd gone early. One of the greatest things of the trip was something that DIDN"T happen. Cindy did not once go to the hospital or clinic. A record for trips to the west and AK. To the next Hutchens Adventure!