Pomona/Pasadena -- Wed/Thurs 12/28-29, 2016
You always hope for good weather when you go over the Grapevine and cross into the Los Angeles basin. Luckily, the road was clear on Wednesday -- the snowfall from a few days earlier now a decorative fondant, icing the hilltops. Traffic was tolerable till we got to the 210 freeway toward Pomona where we hit the usual LA stop’n’go, but we made it to the fairgrounds at 1pm, the requested time for sign-in to Adventure Caravans. We pulled into our assigned site next to Sue and Mo's rig, kind of dismayed at the closeness of all the rigs; from the air, the lined-up motor homes would’ve looked like shiny carp laid out on a slab of blacktop. Oh well, we can deal with it for a week.
We met our hosts and the rest of the group of folks from all over the country, here to see the Rose Parade on Monday, Jan 2nd this year. In the next week, we’ll tour different venues in and around the Los Angeles area, many of which Jimmy and I have already been to, but we’re game to see what’s changed … and we’re looking forward to seeing new sights, too.
First thing Thursday morning, the coach departed with it's full load of 54 people, aiming for La Brea Tar Pits and the Page Museum. Above, I really don't think these children should be playing so close to the freeway, do you? Nice to see the sun this morning, since off/on rain (boo-hiss) is in the forecast the next couple of days.
The tar pits are one property that hasn't changed since our last visit here, and the museum is always interesting. I remember when Matt used to work at Park La Brea across the street a few years back, which meant we could walk to the grounds, and tour around on our own. Quite a few tourists and probably some locals were taking advantage of the nice weather to be Out and About today. Seems weird, but in some places, the odor of tar is very noticeable. Still.
It's neat that Jimmy and I will be spending our week with our friends, Sue and Mo, along with all the rest of the folks we don't know. Sure you can make new friends, but we four already know how to have fun, and we love a good laugh!
Jimmy examining a Saber-toothed cat family.
Shasta Ground Sloth (Nothrotheriops shastense) -- A small ground sloth with a tubular-shaped snout. Can we compare these fossil ground sloths from today's human sloths, we wondered? Better not.
This wonderful bas-relief sculpture or molding surrounds the entire top of the Page Museum building.
Ginko trees are living fossils, and this golden beauty is in the atrium.
Lined up and waiting for the coach to depart for lunch at ...
... Philippe's (famous) French Dipped Sandwiches on Alameda, which has been around for years and years. Was it crowded? Was it noisy? Was it good? Yes. Mo and I both had the tuna with a side of coleslaw and Jimmy and Sue both had the beef with macaroni sides. We ate every morsel and enjoyed each bite.
Our waitperson was the second from left, a very nice and patient woman, with a winning smile (really, just not showing here). The daily crush is unbelievable. Can you spot Jimmy in the mass of hungry humanity below?
A short walk to Union Station fit the bill after eating those yummy sandwiches. Neither Jimmy nor I had ever been inside the station, where many a movie scene was filmed in those glory days of the past. The station still had a certain cachet, colorful tiles, leather chairs, stunning windows, and even a piano.
I wasn't going to include this picture, but changed my mind. This man was playing a beautiful piano sonata (I can't remember which one). He had no written music on the stand. His belongings were at his feet. The sign at right reads: "Step up & Show us What you Got." On the piano, the sign says, "No tip jars allowed. Max limit of play 20 minutes." Lovely music. He played with his heart.
These two thought they'd rest their feet for a few minutes.
Comfy station chairs; they don't make 'em like this anymore!
Bird of Paradise, always a favorite.
One more stop on the way back to the coach -- ubiquitous Olvera Street, another Los Angeles institution, every bit as famous (or more) as Phillipe's, but much older.
You wouldn't think, would you, that Jimmy and I could each wolf down a taquito after eating at Philippe's? Think again. We managed, but we were officially stuffed afterwards.
Olvera Street doesn't change much!
Next on our day's program was a visit to the Rose Bowl -- you know, where the football game is played on New Years Day. Goodness knows, we never, ever thought we'd see the inside of that stadium, but we did. I'll post that tomorrow.
FYI: Things in the motor home are being contrary. Our dinette slide refuses to budge -- it won't slide out. Jimmy thinks it’s the motor on one side that’s “gone,” and needs to be replaced. We’ve decided to deal with it when we get home. It’s livable the way it is, just not as roomy or convenient.
When we asked our host if we had Internet here at the fairgrounds, he said, nope, not here. Phooey. You’d think in a city this size, and a fairgrounds this huge, that Internet would be available, but apparently not. So, I am now sitting down the street at the KOA, using their net. And maybe tomorrow I'll do it again.