New Years' in California  

Posted by Rachel in , , , ,

Happy New Year from sunny (well, not so much today...) Californ-I-A. My roommate Kimberly and I decided a while back to take a nice trip to California to ring in the new year, and of course, to take in the Rose Parade and bowl game. So, needless to say, yesterday was a great day. But, before I get ahead of myself, let me go back to the beginning of our adventure.

It started with Crystal taking us to the airport (by the way, if you are reading this Crys, you need to blog from TX) and having to say goodbye to her for good as she is moving to TX before we return from our trip. Sad. But, we actually got to see her again since Kimberly forgot her phone at home and Crystal had to go back to get it and then back to the airport. Perks of living near the airport! So, our trip was off to a great start.

When we arrived in Los Angeles, the friend picking us up from the airport couldn't get there for about 2 hours later. So, we decided to go in search of a coffee shop, which was actually closed once we walked all the way there. But, the perks of being picked up late? A star siting. And not just ANY star. Meredith, from The Office. And so, we saw her while walking to the closed coffee shop, but were too shocked to do anything about it. Then, we found her again in baggage claim, waiting for her bags, so we stalked her (and her family?) for a bit until they were leaving and we rushed for a picture. She was in a rush, but very nice and gracious enough to take a picture with her adoring fans. We withheld all questions about her flask or her near rehap experience with Michael Scott...

Then, I thought I saw a man being suspicious, so Kimberly went to check it out but after walking towards him (assuming him to be stealing something and that she was about to stop him), she saw the dog he had let out of his bag to pee around the corner...just out of our line of sight. But, at this point, she had gone too far towards him and was too close not to say anything, so she awkwardly asked him, "Is that your dog?" Yeah, she got a weird look for that OBVIOUS question and I laughed. A LOT.

Now for Wednesday. We got up (after a very late night at the airport) and went to Pasedena to the Rose Palace, one of the locations where they build the floats for the Rose Parade. We got there just after 12, not knowing that they stopped selling tickets at 12. The viewing area was open until 1 though, so along with a few others, we protested them not selling us any tickets and somehow ended up going through without paying a dime. Awesome. And, it was cool to see a few of the floats up close! Traffic was crazy and kept us from doing much else besides heading home in time for the New Years' Eve party that Kimberly was hosting with lots of her Cali friends. That was a good time, but after watching the ball drop in NYC and realizing we still had 3 hrs to go until California's midnight, we went to bed to prepare for our early and long New Years' day activities. 5 am came early, but it was worth it.

New Years' day was spent in Pasedena. We started by going to the Rose Parade (one of our favorite floats is pictured to the left), where we had a great viewing location with our new friends Adriene, Pam, and family. Pam had been out on Colorado Blvd since 5am...on the 31st. That's over 24 hours waiting on this parade. And, she has been doing that for 30 years! WOW! We got there at about 7am, found a great coffee shop, and meandered our way down the street until we found a place we could watch with no obstructions. It was such a great experience - I've ALWAYS wanted to go to the Rose Parade! Then, we walked (for what seemed like hours) to the game site, and enjoyed "tailgating", which for us really just consisted of a picnic lunch and lots of people watching. People were throwing drinks and food at us left and right though, since most outside drinks are not allowed in the game, and of course, people had way too much.

The game was great. We sat near some fun people... some USC fans and then the Penn State fans that I wanted to take duck tape to their mouths for the first half of the game, but ended up being OK once their team was clearly beyond a come back. And to those of you wondering, no I have not forsaken the Gators, but I did have to make the day fun by cheering on a team with Kimberly. It was for her that I chose USC and not Penn State, and as she said... I can be a hottie fan without being a USC fan. Go Mark Sanchez.

After the game, we met up with Nicole (see the contrasting picture to the left) for dinner at Fred's. It was so good to see her, even though I just saw her in Orlando. But, she is always a joy to be around, and it was fun to see her in her new home area... and to visit Scoopers, or Squeeze'ems, or whatever that place was called. Squeeze and Scoop maybe? I don't know - I could never get it right.

This morning has so far been a relaxing day full of sleeping in, running on the beach (yeah!), eating a late breakfast, and sitting by the fire reading my Bible and journaling. I've decided that it would be my dream world to be able to have days like this muuuuch more often. But, I'll just enjoy them while I can since that dream world doesn't exist. It has been crazy to make sense of yesterday's weather - bright, sunshiney, 80 degrees at the game - and today - overcast and cold enough for a fire. Weird, but it is a great day to be lazy before another full day tomorrow with a day trip to San Diego. Can't WAIT! Now off to more relaxing, and perhaps an afternoon beachside hike. I love California.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 2, 2009 at Friday, January 02, 2009 and is filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


so BEAUTIFUL!!! I'm jealous. :) Looks like fun.

January 2, 2009 at 6:52 PM

So, so fun! I just love reading about your fun travels. Also, thanks so much for the adorable Christmas card! It's hanging on my fridge!

January 2, 2009 at 9:11 PM

Are you actually wearing a USC shirt in these pics? I know you had to cheer for them at the game, but to purchase a shirt and wear it? I expected more out of you than that.

January 5, 2009 at 10:11 AM

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