Saturday, January 19, 2013

Californication Day 5 (Part 4): Sta. Monica concluded my Day 5 in CA

So we said goodbye to Rodeo Drive, Baby and went straight to Sta. Monica to complete our itinerary of the day. It was a fine sunny day and by this time, it was a little milder compared to the temp earlier.

Sta. Monica Beach is another must-see when you are in California. And at that time of the year I would not pass that rare opportunity just to be near the beach because back in Maine, it was freezing cold and snow-covered.

 The Pacific Pier is one of the attractions around here. This is a playground for kids and kids-at-heart alike.
 And since I was already there, I had to take a shot of the balloons just for the heck of it.
 And I was right on target. A little kitty stuffed toy was a cute reward for the little hard work.

Here are some useful links about Sta. Monica:
1. Visit Sta. Monica Pier
2. What to do in Sta. Monica Beach

This is one of 'MERICA Posts Series. A regular post dedicated to my HOME away from home.

Read more about my 'merica HERE as I share my experiences in this land of amazing People, Culture and Traditions.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Californication Day 5 (Part 3): Rodeo Drive, Baby!

Oh yes, after we got observed or rather we observed the great Griffith Observatory... we drove to one of the famous destinations in California for celebrities like me [wink] - Beverly Hills. LOL
Me at @ Rodeo Drive

It's a tradition. Since when? I don't know. I just made it up, okay. Or maybe I was in my Pretty Woman mode at that time. Well, I remember something - when in Beverly Hills... Rodeo Drive, Baby! Yeah, it's a line in the movie. Or it was just one of my many alibis when I want to go shopping. LOL.
@ Via Rodeo stairs near Tiffany Store

But one thing is sure though. I got a driving force to see the hotel where Edward (Richard Gere) and Vivian (Julia Roberts) fell in love. Why? Pretty Woman is my favorite movie of all time. It's not that I can relate to it... but who doesn't like modern day fairytale stories? So yes, I saw it and it felt pretty indeed.
Me in front of The Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel

And since I was in my Pretty Woman moment I strutted and walked up and down Rodeo Drive admiring the holy shrines of high end consumerism. I walked by the same place where Vivian walked and walked pretty-womanly. hahaha on my way to the sacred shops of Tiffany's and Louis Vuitton. LOL
Me, waiting for the green light as we headed to check out other stores

It was such a wonderful experience to be in a place where everything is beautiful and insanely expensive even just for a brief moment.
The stairs going to Via Rodeo where the grand tree was standing.

Oh well, even just for a brief moment I was in wonderland but reality sank in when I realized I cannot afford any of the merchandise they had in the store. And I woke right up when I noticed that nothing was on "sale or clearance". Whew, what a bad dream.
Carmen, Joey and I - taking a little break from window shopping

Honestly, I didn't buy anything at Rodeo Drive. Why, would I? The "Edward" of my life was left in Maine so "Vivian" had to settle on admiring those pricey purses at LV and beautiful jewelries at Tiffany's. After spending a few more minutes checking out the latest in fashion at different high end stores we hopped in the car and set forth to Sta. Monica to conclude my Californication Day Five.

This is one of 'MERICA Posts Series. A regular post dedicated to my HOME away from home.

Read more about my 'merica HERE as I share my experiences in this land of amazing People, Culture and Traditions.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Californication Day 5 (Part 2): We got observed

The 3 most beautiful roses of the Pasadena Parade of the Roses decided to move on and ended up at the Griffith Observatory.
With Carmen and Joey at the grounds of Griffith Observatory.

One of the most famous landmark in Los Angeles, California... my visit in LA will not be complete without taking a look.
Admiring the Griffith Observatory up close and personal
And taking a look didn't mean just that. It took more than just looking and observing and posing. The observatory is huge. It sits on top of a hill over-looking downtown LA. The view from above is spectacular. And from this vantage point I was trying to locate my cousin's apartment. I failed. LOL
Looking down at Downtown Los Angeles from the Observatory.

The Observatory is quite intriguing to me since the first night of my visit to LA. It was the first thing I saw through my cousin's bedroom window when I opened my eyes in the morning and the last thing I saw when I closed my eyes at night... and the only thing that I used to predict what kind of day it would be... it was but natural for me to get my curiosity checked.
With Joey in front of the Observatory after exploring the facility.

So Carmen drove us back up to LA and on to Griffith Observatory as soon as we got our way out of Pasadena. We explored one of LA's iconic architectural wonder and one of the Southern California's most visited and popular attractions.We went inside the building but didn't get the chance to take photos. I really don't remember if taking photos is not allowed or if we were just overwhelmed by the great architecture and everything inside it.
With Joey at the spiral staircase around the side of the building.

We went up some stairs and saw some cool stuff that I really don't know what they are for. Well, they are for astronomical reason of course, LOL we just didn't spend more time reading signs because there were hundreds of people inside.
Posing with the Hollywood sign in the background.

Griffith Observatory sits on the southern slope of Mt. Hollywood and from the park's ground, you can see the Hollywood sign from the distance. We didn't waste more time in the observatory because we still have 2 more places to go to in our itinerary for the day.
We headed back to our car as soon as we got out of the building and headed straight to our next destination - Rodeo Drive, Baby!

Important Links about the Griffith Observatory:
1. A History of Griffith Observatory
2. General Information about Griffith Observatory
3.Griffith Observatory Calendar

This is one of 'MERICA Posts Series. A regular post dedicated to my HOME away from home.

Read more about my 'merica HERE as I share my experiences in this land of amazing People, Culture and Traditions.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Californication Day 5 (Part 1): The 3 most beautiful Roses at Pasadena

I dreamed about the Rose Parade for as long as I can remember! I have watched it on TV every year when I was still in the Philippines. When I migrated here in the US, I promised myself that one day I will go see it in person. And in 2010 while I was watching the Pasadena Parade of the Rose on TV [just like every New Year's Day in the past] I told my Sweetest... "next year, I will watch that... for real!" And I did!
Yes, this is a long overdue post about that special event. Don't judge me! LOL. I was caught up with something... or I was plain lazy to follow through with this Californication Posts Series that I planned to do a couple of years back.
So after my TSS Mini Reunion in SD and New Year's Eve in LA where I had a traditional [sort of] Filipino Medya Noche with Carmen and Joey, the Pasadena Parade of the Roses finally took shape as we planned how to get there early without losing our senses.
Carmen, Joey and I left the house a little past five in the morning. The two straight nights of lack of sleep made me feel light-headed. We were early, I thought. When we reached the street where the parade will pass by, it was already lined with people... in sleeping bags, folding chairs, mattresses and whatnots. We were already late, I supposed because those people evidently were there a day ahead.
The crowd. There was no way I can see the parade from where I was standing.

Finally, after almost a couple of hours of waiting, the Parade of the Roses came alive before my very eyes. I was happy though I can't get a clear view of the parade because of those people who made their sacrifices just to be in front of the line.
Carmen and Joey sipping hot cocoa.

So we just amused ourselves with the crazy crowd over hot cocoa since the weather was kinda chilly too and enjoyed some photo shoots here and there.
Me and Joey not minding the passing float.

That year's Honorary person was Paula Dean. Though I am not really a big fan, it was nice to see her waving at the spectators.
Paula Dean
A total of 47 floats joined the parade but we were not able to see them all or I probably lost count.
There were 22 bands participants...
and 22 equestrian entries for that year's event.
Building Dreams, Friendships, and Memories was that year's parade's Theme.
Me and Carmen

The parade experience was just I expected. It was a nice sunny day with blue cloudless sky but a bit chilly. It was a wonderful experience and something to remember. And it was such a wonderful experience to share with two of the most beautiful roses - Carmen and Joey.
The 3 most beautiful Roses - Joey, Carmen and Me

We didn't finish the parade and we didn't even plan to go where all the floats will be parked to see them closer and for more photo shoots. We had a few more things in line for the day that we need to accomplish. This was only my 5th day in California so I need to accomplish as much as we could before - we get observed!

For more Info and Guide on the Pasadena Rose Parade:
1. How to watch the Roses Parade
2. Tournament of the Roses Parade
3. The 2011 Tournament of the Roses Parade

This is one of 'MERICA Posts Series. A regular post dedicated to my HOME away from home.

Read more about my 'merica HERE as I share my experiences in this land of amazing People, Culture and Traditions.