The Tournament of Roses Parade etc.

I’ve been back from California for a  few days now.  I haven’t felt like writing a post until now; actually, I still don’t really feel like writing but I know I really should prior to leaving for next vacation.  So, this may not be terribly thorough.

The trip didn’t get off to a great start with a very turbulent flight from Buffalo to JFK.  Otherwise, the trip did go fairly smoothly.

I really enjoyed the parade but I hadn’t anticipated how cold it would be waiting for it to begin.  We also went to see the decorating of the floats before the parade at all three venues: one venue was really good, one was decent, and the other didn’t seem too worthwhile as they were really trying to rush everyone through.  At the post-parade float viewing, we were right near the front of the line but had to wait for a very long time to actually get in because the fire marshal hadn’t decided to let people in that entrance; however, they let people in the other two entrances.  So, by the time we actually got in things were getting pretty crowded.  We didn’t stay there all that long because after a bit we were actually further away from the floats than we were in the stands watching the parade!  I’d gladly go to the parade itself again but I’m not so sure about the other events.

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Float decorating.

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One of the amazing floats in the parade.

We spent two days in Pasadena.  Along with going to the parade, we saw a bit of the city which is really nice.  I was shocked at how fancy their  city hall is!  While the number of people at the parade-related activities was enormous, the number of people elsewhere in the city was surprisingly low.

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City Hall in Pasadena.

Our hotel was in downtown L.A., so we explored that area a bit.  Union Station is beautiful and Olvera Street is very nice.  We are really enjoyed Angel’s Flight, a short funicular railway, which was only one cent the day we took it.  Overall, downtown L.A. was much nicer than I”d expected.

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Union Station.

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Angel’s Flight.

We also looked around Hollywood.  A small area was quite crowded and we couldn’t walk for more than a few seconds without being bugged to take a half-price tour of stars’ homes and such.  Why would anyone care where they live?  It also seemed like these tours were competing to see how much they could cram into a two hour tour!  The mall there was very nice but otherwise I wasn’t too impressed.

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The mall in Hollywood.

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Santa Monica.

We also spent a day in Santa Monica which was really nice and pedestrian-friendly though a very long bus ride from our hotel. We did fair bit of shopping there and went on the world’s only solar-powered ferris wheel.

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