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.


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 […]
February 17, 2017

All Saints Episcopal Church – Pasadena

“Pasadena’s Stained Glass Marvel”All Saints Episcopal Church – Pasadena Last Visited: February 2017 For those who have never read anything I’ve written about (you have lots of company), although not a religious person per se, I am very fascinated with places of worship.  It’s has been nearly a year since […]
August 16, 2016

Sports Museum of Los Angeles – Los Angeles

“Cooperstown West” Sports Museum of Los Angeles – Los Angeles Visited:  August 2016 (in October 2016, it was announced that the museum would be closed until they find a new location) Although it is not officially dubbed “Cooperstown West,” the Sports Museum of Los Angeles could, in reality, use that […]
July 28, 2016

Pasadena Museum of History/Fenyes Mansion – Pasadena

“Downsized” Mansion Pasadena Museum of History/Fenyes Mansion – Pasadena It’s not often that when a family plans to downsize, they decide to build a 21-room Beaux Arts mansion, but that’s exactly what Dr. Adalbert and Eva Fenyes did back in 1906 (well, a few rooms were added in 1911).  Recently […]
July 14, 2016

St. Andrew Church – Pasadena

An Historic Pasadena Church St. Andrew Church – Pasadena Visited:  July 2016 Thanks in part to a lost necklace and a good deed by yours truly (yes, I’m as shocked as you by this random act of kindness), I was able to glean much more information about an historic Pasadena […]
June 28, 2016

Walt Disney Family Museum – San Francisco

The Wonderful World of (Walt) Disney Walt Disney Family Museum – San Francisco If Walt Disney wasn’t the most innovative and creative person on the planet in the 20th century, he’s certainly close. So when Kim and Mary told us about the Walt Disney Family Museum at the Presidio in […]