California Dreaming: Tom and Tracy’s California Journal

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From The Maitai Vault

What’s great here in the Golden State? There are some stops in California that demand extra time and energy to explore.  Others require just a quick stop.  That’s what we’re here to do.  From magnificent museums to gorgeous settings to events unique to our great state…and even a fork in the road…this section gives you a unique cross section of California, and the places you should spend some time exploring while visiting.  My most recent posts are at the top as we keep adding places that we travel, and add additional information to spots we revisit more frequently.  Hopefully this will give you some ideas on what to see in our great state.


July 6, 2018

Angels Flight Railway – Los Angeles

Taking Flight Angels Flight Railway – Los Angeles Tracy and I had not visited Angels Flight Railway since 2010, a time long ago when I was skinnier, had darker hair and actually not embarrassed to wear San Diego Padres gear in public.  Angels Flight has an interesting, and even tragic, […]
April 18, 2018

King Tut Los Angeles: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh

“He Gave His Life For Tourism” King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh – Los Angeles (EXHIBITION CLOSED) Visited: April 2018: Although no “condo made of stone-a” could be found, Tracy and I recently had the opportunity to witness more than 150 ancient Egyptian artifacts from the tomb of the […]
April 2, 2018

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Tour – Pasadena/La Cañada Flintridge

… Where No Spacecraft Has Gone Before! Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Tour – Pasadena/La Cañada Flintridge Visited: March 2018 One can’t talk about the “Space Age” without including the major accomplishments and innovations created by the brilliant minds at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s research facility.  That’s why I was so […]
March 8, 2018

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park

I Am Woman! Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park – Richmond Visited: February 2018 On a drive from Southern California to Bodega Bay, our route took us over the San Rafael Bridge.  We diverted a few exits short of the bridge to check out a museum I had […]
February 28, 2018

Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park/Vallejo’s Petaluma Adobe – Petaluma

Beware The Pear! Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park/Vallejo’s Petaluma Adobe – Petaluma Like so many visits to our friends Kim and Mary in Bodega Bay, the four of us used the weekend to hike along the beautiful Sonoma Coast …                     […]
February 15, 2018

Hollywood Museum – Hollywood

Hooray For Hollywood! Hollywood Museum – Hollywood Visited: February 2018 Wham!!!  Pow!!!  Bam!!!  Holy Campy Hollywood History Batman! Once we heard there was a special exhibit featuring the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder Robin, Tracy and I carefully slid (not as young as we used to be) down the MaiTai […]
January 31, 2018

Autry Museum of the American West – Griffith Park (Los Angeles)

Back In The Saddle Again Autry Museum of the American West – Griffith Park (Los Angeles) Visited: January 2018 Four years ago, Tracy and I visited the Autry Museum of the American West (then called the Autry Museum National Center) in Griffith Park, but before I could write anything about […]
December 13, 2017

Griffith Observatory – Los Angeles

Star Trekking Griffith Observatory – Los Angeles Visited: December 2017 If you want to see some real stars when you visit the Hollywood area, forget Hollywood; this place is it!  The Griffith Observatory is one of Southern California’s most famous landmarks, and millions of visitors have gotten spaced out here […]
November 10, 2017

Thien Hau Temple – Los Angeles

The Tao of Tom Thien Hau Temple – Los Angeles Visited: November 2017 Entering Chinatown in Los Angeles, Thien Hau Temple beckoned me on a unique journey, where, unbeknownst to me at the time, I would eventually experience the “Tao of Tom.”  Once again, this was a Southern California landmark […]
October 25, 2017

Church of the Angels – Pasadena

England Comes To Pasadena Church of the Angels – Pasadena Visited: October 2017 It’s not often I mistake Southern California for the English countryside, but a few days ago while driving in the Pasadena, South Pasadena, Highland Park Triangle, for a brief moment I felt like I’d been transported to […]
October 13, 2017

Lincoln Memorial Shrine, Redlands Bowl & A.K. Smiley Public Library – Redlands

California’s Lincoln Memorial…and more! Lincoln Memorial Shrine, Redlands Bowl & A.K. Smiley Public Library – Redlands Visited:  October 2017 No score and three days ago, and dedicated to the proposition that all museums are created equal, I donned my stovepipe hat and traveled out to Redlands to check out the […]
September 26, 2017

San Secondo d’Asti Catholic Church – Ontario & Madonna of the Trail – Upland

Accidental Treasures San Secondo d’Asti Catholic Church – Ontario & Madonna of the Trail – Upland Visited: August 2017 It all started innocently enough a few weeks ago while I was researching our 2018 trip to the Piemente region in Italy.  Specifically, I was looking at the town of Asti […]
June 3, 2017

Arlington Garden – Pasadena

Pasadena’s Dedicated Public Garden Arlington Garden – Pasadena Last Visited: April 2017 On a beautiful Sunday morning in Pasadena (and aren’t they all), our corgis were feeling a bit restless. Luckily, we live very near to one of Pasadena’s beautiful hidden secrets, Arlington Garden, a three-acre site that also happens […]
April 14, 2017

The Bunny Museum – Altadena

Hoppy Days Are Here Again! The Bunny Museum – Altadena Thanks to their adoration of everything bunny, Candace Frazee and Steve Lubanski have taken hare raising to a new level. What started as a gesture of love by two people exchanging bunny gifts has turned into the largest collection of […]
April 10, 2017

Greystone Mansion & Gardens – Beverly Hills

Intrigue, Scandal, Ghosts & Deaths In The Mansion Greystone Mansion & Gardens – Beverly Hills Visited:  April 2017 Lights!  Camera!  Murder!  The historic Greystone Mansion & Gardens, nestled above Beverly Hills, which is now primarily used for private events, weddings, and filming, has a history that includes scandals, at least […]
March 14, 2017

Los Angeles Police Museum – Los Angeles (Highland Park)

An Arresting Museum Los Angeles Police Museum – Los Angeles (Highland Park) This is the city…Los Angeles, California. The story you are about to read is true.  None of the names have been changed to protect the innocent (or guilty).  It was Wednesday, March 1…another warm, winter day in the […]