Dream Vacation

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Dream Vacation to the Rose Bowl Parade - Cruise and Tour Planners

That is what just happened to my husband and I.  We went to the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California.  For well over 50 years we have watched it on TV and said every year it would be fun to go.  So this was the year.

But we didn’t just “go to the parade”.  I booked a tour with a fabulous company called City Escape Vacations.  They have been taking people on this tour for over 35 years and they do it the best.

The Story of my Dream Vacation….

On Dec. 30th, we checked into the Westin Hotel at LAX airport.  This is the headquarter hotel for City Escape.  Before this we had received a large packet with total details of what the tour would include.  Almost moment by moment steps so there were no surprises (only to those who didn’t read their docs!!).  There were over 500 people booked with this company and each person had many choices of what to do for the 2 days.  This first night was a buffet dinner at the hotel with Bo Adams, the president of City Escapes, explaining all the details.  He accompanied us the whole time.

Dec. 31st we started with a 4:15 AM wake up call.  This early start was to miss the hordes of tourists who would come later.  And it was well worth it.   We had breakfast and then onto motor coaches to view the float pavilions.

Our Dream Vacation feature millions of plants - Cruise and Tour Planners

We arrived at 7 AM and toured 2 pavilions where the floats are made.  For some, this is a year long project.    There are about 24 pavilions scattered all over the Pasadena area where the parade is held.  We only had time for 2.  What a huge job!!!  Every float MUST have roses.  Thousands and maybe even millions of live flowers, grasses, seeds and any other living plant must be used on these floats.

 As we walked overhead to see the floats under construction it was hard to believe that in 5 hours they had to be finished and lined up for the voting.  But it did happen.

After leaving the pavilions and wondering what these would all look like, we were onto some other wonderful places.  Next stop was Grauman’s Chinese

Graumanns Chinese Theatre

Theatre where the Star’s Walk and the Academy Awards are each year.  I thought it was Halloween all over again.  Panhandling has taken on a new face at this theatre.  People dressed in all kinds of costumes waiting for visitors to take photos so they could ask for money.

 Now we are off to the Getty Museum.   The structure is very unique and well laid out.  Filled with painting from hundreds of years back, furniture and sculptures as well as beautiful gardens. 
 There was another stop at the Farmer’s Market and as we went along through Hollywood and surrounds we heard lots of stories about famous people and their lives.  But that was a huge day and we have the biggest day tomorrow so back to the hotel and to bed.

This the THE DAY!

I feel like 10 years old again.  Our 3:15 AM wake up call sure came early.  In order to beat the crowds, we need to be on our way.  It is cold here so we are bundled up in coats, hats, gloves and blankets.  We arrive at our parking place and are the 4th coach at the curb.  Only have to walk 2 blocks to our grandstand seats.  City Escapes is the best!!!  We stayed on the coach, complete with restrooms, boxed lunches, drinks and heat!!  Then about 1 hour before parade time, we casually walk to our seats.  At exactly 8:15 AM HERE IT COMES!!. The bands, horses, floats and all the dignitaries who make this the best of pageantry.  It is a thrill!!!  Just a few of the photos are here.

Enjoy and call me to book your next year’s dream trip.

Beautiful horses in the Rose Bowl Parade - Cruise and Tour Planners

Rose Bowl Parade During our Dream Vacation - Cruise and Tour Planners
**originally published 1/3/13

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