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 8, 2016

Grand Central Market – Los Angeles

Ain’t It Grand! Grand Central Market – Los Angeles Visited: February 5, 2016 Los Angeles has so many cool spots to visit, and last week I had some time before a business meeting to check out a venerable old establishment that has undergone a recent transformation from past to present, […]
January 23, 2016

Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden – Pasadena

Pasadena’s “Secret” Japanese Garden Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden – Pasadena Visited: January 21, 2016 Always on the search for new gardens, I was alerted by a Facebook post about a garden I had never heard of and only located only ten minutes from our house in Pasadena.  Far from being new, […]
June 29, 2015

Santa Anita Park “Seabiscuit Tour” – Arcadia

Getting To See An “American” Icon Santa Anita Park “Seabiscuit Tour” – Arcadia It’s not often (if ever) you get to see a Triple Crown winner up close (especially since there is only one horse currently alive who has accomplished that feat), but Tracy and I hoped we would get […]
May 12, 2015

Battleship USS IOWA Museum – San Pedro

 “The Battleship Of Presidents” Battleship USS IOWA Museum – San Pedro My dad was a naval officer who served in World War II on Guadalcanal, so the Navy (and especially naval vessels) have always held a special interest for me. Tracy and I toured the USS Midway in San Diego […]
July 6, 2014

Comfort Women Statue – Glendale

Controversial Statue Comfort Women Statue – Glendale During World War II, it is estimated that up to 200,000 Asian women and girls were forced to be sex slaves by the Japanese Imperial Army, although Japan disputes that fact.  In July 2013, the city of Glendale unveiled a statue of a […]
January 10, 2014

Pasadena Playhouse – Pasadena

The Curtain Rises Pasadena Playhouse – Pasadena On a small street off Pasadena’s famed Colorado Blvd. you will find the Official State Theater of California, the Pasadena Playhouse. I have been lucky enough to see a plethora of plays there since I was a little boy growing up in the […]
January 1, 2014

The Rose Bowl Game & Tour – Pasadena

“The Granddaddy Of Them All!” The Rose Bowl Game & Tour – Pasadena Since I have attended 30 Rose Bowl games in my 60+ years (including the 2014 Stanford-Wisconsin contest…the 100th), it only made sense that on the first day in its 91-year history that the famed Rose Bowl held […]
December 3, 2013

The Gamble House – Pasadena

Going Greene (and Greene) The Gamble House – Pasadena Located about a mile north of the Wrigley Mansion, just off of Orange Grove Avenue’s former Millionaire’s Row, is the crown jewel of homes designed by famed architect brothers Charles and Henry Greene. The home was commissioned by David and Mary […]
September 15, 2013

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library – Simi Valley

Visit One For The Gipper Ronald Reagan Presidential Library – Simi Valley Located about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles is the “other” presidential library in Southern California. Having visited The Nixon Library in July, Tracy and I (along with friends Lenny and Susan) decided to drive out to Simi […]
August 21, 2013

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels – Los Angeles

Controversial Cathedral & Gregory Peck Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels – Los Angeles I must confess (pun intended) that I can see why there was some controversy when it came to the construction of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels that serves as the Mothership for […]
August 19, 2013

Flight Path Learning Center & Museum – Los Angeles

Up, Up And Away! Flight Path Learning Center & Museum – Los Angeles Looking for something fun, informative and free (yes, FREE) to do in Los Angeles? Then I’ve got your ticket! Stop by the Flight Path Learning Center & Museum located adjacent to Los Angeles International Airport where you […]