Pasadena City Hall and All Saints Episcopal Church

Saturday, April 18th (part 2) ~ Pasadena, California After completing our 5K walk to support Autism Speaks, Tim and I along with our dear friends, Laura and Michael headed a short distance to have lunch at California Pizza Kitchen in Pasadena. Our service could not have been any better! Eating on the nicely shaded outdoor patio, we could not help but admire the setting with the water features, unique metal statuary, stone church with its long tiled wall and beautiful stained glass windows.

View from the patio of California Pizza Kitchen in Pasadena

View from the patio of California Pizza Kitchen in Pasadena

The All Saints Episcopal Church current building was built in 1923 and was dedicated in 1924. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.   Continue reading

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Autism Speaks 5K Walk at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena

Saturday, April 18th

We tried to pack three events into one day and did a pretty good job of it. Starting out our morning with a drive to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena so that we could participate in a 5K walk to support Autism Speaks. We had been invited to join our friend Samantha and her family on Team T-Rex.

Our T-Rex team for the Autism Speaks 5K walk at the Rose Bowl

Our T-Rex team for the Autism Speaks 5K walk at the Rose Bowl

Did you know:  Getting pregnant again quickly after having one child has been linked to autism. One study published in the journal of Pediatrics found that second-born children conceived within 12 months of a child were three times more likely to be diagnosed with autism, although no one knows why. The farther apart pregnancies were spaced, the lower the risk.  Continue reading

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Wawona Hotel and Mariposa Grove

Good Friday, April 3rd ~ Last day inside Yosemite National Park

Wawona Hotel

Wawona Hotel

Our final night inside Yosemite National Park was spent at the Wawona Hotel. Located outside of the Village, but still within the park boundaries, this historical lodging has a few quirks, but the ambiance and location more than make up for them.

Wawona Hotel

Wawona Hotel

For the second time ever, we booked a room with a shared bathroom. Kind of seems to be a theme here at Yosemite. This Victorian era hotel is listed as a National Historic Landmark.  Continue reading

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Yosemite NP continues ~ Mirror Lake and Glacier Point

Thursday April 2nd ~ Mirror Lake and Glacier Point

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake

“None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree.” ~ John Muir

Well, not quite as rested this morning, but I did stay warmer. It got cold the last two nights in the tent cabin. We had already pushed the beds to the middle, so we zipped the two sleeping bags together and piled several blankets on top. I have realized that YES, I can go all night without getting up to go to the bathroom with the incentive being not freezing to death or getting eaten by a bear :-)

Our neighbors were chatting away until what seemed like the wee hours, but in reality was only 11:00 pm or so. Sound carries through canvas tents, and they were maybe three feet away from me if that. I wanted to ask them to please be quiet, but I bit my tongue and eventually we all drifted off to sleep.

Just FYI, they do offer free foam ear plugs at the check-in counter.

But today is another day, and I was thrilled to walk outside and once again be greeted by an astonishing display of grandeur. Did you know that El Capitan is the largest monolith of granite on the planet?

Trees in bloom

Dogwood trees in bloom

Even more of the trees are in bloom. Spring has come to Yosemite!  Continue reading

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Yosemite Falls and Ahwahnee Hotel

April Fools Day (April 1st) ~ Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

I woke up this morning feeling surprisingly rested, invigorated, and ready to get out and do some exploring. After my initial apprehension of staying in a tent cabin with no bathroom, I found that it was really not a big deal. The shared bathrooms and showers were convenient, “relatively” clean, and we managed just fine.

In fact, we enjoyed ourselves and the setting so much we hustled to the office first thing this morning to see if there were any cancellations that would allow us to spend one more night here in the park.

Our morning view

Our morning view

The answer was YES, so we grabbed the opportunity and will stay put. And since there was nothing else in Yosemite Village available, we simply gave thanks that we could enjoy more time here.

Yay! One more night in a tent!  Continue reading

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Staying in a tent cabin at Curry Village in Yosemite National Park

March 31 ~ Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley taken from Tunnel View Point

Yosemite Valley taken from Tunnel View Point

There are few places on this planet that have been more written about, photographed, admired, loved, and longed for than Yosemite National Park. Covering over 1200 square miles, you could easily spend weeks here and not see everything.  Celebrating it’s 125th anniversary this year, we were keen to spend some time exploring the main part, Yosemite Valley.

Since this was a holiday week here in the USA, we knew that lodging inside the park may be impossible. We had been forewarned that everything was booked solid, but we were optimistic that we would figure it out.

As luck would have it, Tuesday afternoon, Tim spotted an opening at Curry Village for a tent cabin. Always up for an adventure, we booked it immediately.  Continue reading

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Road Trip! Highway 395 through the Mohave Desert

Monday, March 30th ~ On the road again!

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Joshua Tree ~ Mohave Desert

Tim and I decided rather spur of the moment to take off on a road trip. It also coincides with Spring Break for some schools, so we are not sure if things will be crowded or not, but off we go…

We had some business to attend to this morning in Rancho Cucamonga, so we did not really get on the road until early afternoon. We are headed toward Yosemite National Park, but wanted to take some less traveled roads.  Continue reading

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Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Sunday, March 22nd ~ Yorba Linda, California

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Only a 25 minute drive from Disneyland, you can travel from a world of fantasy to one of honesty, deception and sometimes harsh realities.

The Richard Nixon Library is located in Yorba Linda California on the former site of the Nixon families citrus farm. Here you will find the repository of both the personal and political memorabilia that traces the life of one of our most controversial presidents

President Richard and Pat Nixon

President Richard and Pat Nixon

Often the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about President Nixon is the Watergate scandal that eventually led to his resignation from office on August 9th, 1974. There is an entire section devoted to the events that led up to this disgrace, the wire tapping, and the missing tapes. It was not candy coated.  Continue reading

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Train ride on vintage cars to Santa Barbara with Inspirato

Saturday, March 14th ~ Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, California

We were told to arrive at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles no later that 7:15 in the morning.

Union Station, Los Angeles

Union Station, Los Angeles

Ceiling inside Union Station, Los Angeles

Ceiling inside Union Station, Los Angeles 

Not sure how the traffic might be, we allowed plenty of time, and were blessed with that golden light that photographers get goofy over.

Los Angeles in the early morning light

Los Angeles in the early morning light

This had been a last-minute invitation from our traveling buddies, Dick and Karen. In fact we were hiking on top of the mountain overlooking Palm Springs when the phone call came in…

“Do you want to join us for a special train ride and lunch in Santa Barbara tomorrow?”

Continue reading

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Palm Springs ~ Tramway to the top of the mountain

Friday, March 13th (Friday the 13th)

Mt San Jacinto State Park, Palm Springs

Mount San Jacinto State Park, Palm Springs

With my mother-in-law in tow, our first big outing was a drive to Palm Springs to take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of the mountain and visit Mount San Jacinto State Park.

It had been windy at the cabin and we had already delayed this trip a couple of days, knowing that if the winds exceeded a certain level, the tramway would be shut down for the duration.

But by Friday, the winds had calmed down, and we set out for some adventure and sightseeing…  Continue reading

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