ASHLAND, OREGON! Food, Wine and Theatre!

Ashland in Southern Oregon is just across the California border on the 5 freeway.

Ashland, Oregon Visitor's Map

Ashland, Oregon Visitor’s Map

Rogue Valley Spring - Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley Spring – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

Home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Southern Oregon University, the city is a great place to stop and stay overnight or for a few days.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Oregon Shakespeare Festival (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Elizabethan Stage - osfashland.org

Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Elizabethan Stage (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Green Show with Dirty Cello (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Green Show with Dirty Cello (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The OSF theatre season runs February to November, and there are free Green Shows during the summer. There are several other theaters in town and nearby, and the university has a full schedule of music, dance and drama programs as well. The Britt Festival Pavilion hosts great concerts and the Oang Medford Armory always has events scheduled.

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park was just voted one of the best parks in the United States, and is right off downtown. There’s hiking, biking, sports, a playground, a lake for swimming, ice skating in winter and bandshell concerts in summer.

Puck's Donuts! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Puck’s Donuts in Ashland, Oregon! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

There are really wonderful restaurants in Ashland! Amuse, The Peerless Hotel & Restaurant, Beasy’s On The Creek, Omar’s (usually open late), Lark’s Home Kitchen, and Coquina are all exceptional dining experiences and located in downtown Ashland.

www.amuserestaurant.com – www.peerlesshotel.com – www.beasysonthecreek.com – www.omarsrestaurant.com – www.larksrestaurant.com – www.coquinarestaurant.com

Other food places of note are Callahan’s Lodge and Restaurant, New Sammy’s Cowboy Bistro just outside Ashland, Puck’s Doughnuts, Great American Pizza, the Morning Glory Cafe, the Wild Goose and Noble Coffee in town. Bon appétit!

The historic Ashland Springs Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The historic Ashland Springs Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lark's restaurant at the historic Ashland Springs Hotel (copyright 2013

Lark’s restaurant at the historic Ashland Springs Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The historic Ashland Springs Hotel with Lark’s Restaurant is located on Main Street and the Lithia Springs Resort is just north of town. Both are good choices if you’re staying overnight, and there are many other hotels, motels, B&Bs, and other accommodations available in Ashland or any of the neighboring towns.

Rogue Valley, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

View from Grizzly Peak Winery

View from Grizzly Peak Winery in Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

There are great wineries that offer tastings throughout the Rogue, Applegate, Umpqua and Willamette Valleys like Weisinger’s Winery, RoxyAnn Winery and Grizzly Peak Winery, named for the mountain and there’s great hiking at Grizzly Peak Trail and Mt. Ashland Ski Resort.  Take a day trip to Crater Lake National Park or Klamath Falls.

Grizzly Peak Winery - Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Grizzly Peak Winery – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Weisinger's Red Petite Pompadour (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Weisinger’s of Ashland – Red Wine 2006 Petite Pompadour (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Visit historic Jacksonville (Oregon) and drive by Medford, but be sure stop in Central Point at Lillie Belle Farms Artisan Chocolates and the Rogue Creamery cheese shop before continuing north.

Say Cheeeeese! Rogue Creamery (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Say Cheeeeese! Rogue Creamery in Central Point, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley Sunset - Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Sunset – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Travel Answers: Yosemite!

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT YOSEMITE!

HOW MANY DAYS IN YOSEMITE VALLEY? 

It depends on how much of the park you want to explore or if you just want to see Yosemite Valley.Allow at least three days! You should add more days if you want to really see everything! It also depends on how active a hiker you are. There are great things to do and many day trips with varying degrees of difficulty you can experience in and around the park.

WHAT ARE “MUST SEE” SIGHTS AND THINGS TO DO? 

In Yosemite Valley, ride the Shuttlebus, walk the valley paths and bridges, raft or inner tube down the river, tour the valley in an open air tram, hike to Mirror Lake, picnic at Sentinel Beach Picnic Area, hike to the top of any of the waterfalls or around the rim of the valley or to the top of Half Dome, climb El Capitan. Visit Yosemite Village and see the Visitor Center and the Ansel Adams Gallery, shop at Curry Village and be sure to check out the Ahwahnee Hotel.

REMEMBER YOU ARE IN BEAR COUNTRY!

There are other areas to see within the park or just outside: Tuolumne Meadows, Mariposa Groveand the Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees, Wawona Point (and historic hotel), skiing at Yosemite’s Badger Pass in winter), Bass Lake, Oakhurst, and many others. You should allow 1-3 days or more for each area depending on how active a hiker/camper/skier/snowboarder you are.

If you want to experience the backcountry as a backpacker/camper you should plan 3-14 day trips. there are great areas in and around the park. I’ve been to the Tiltill Valley above Hetch Hetchy Loop and down the South Fork Merced River in the Sierra National Forest, both of which were excellent backpacking trips! Be sure to learn the necessary skills and the park rules and regulations before entering the wilderness.

You are also close to Lee Vining, Mammoth Mountain and Mono Lake State Preserve which are near the east entrance to the park.

See also John Muir Trail and the Yosemite Park website for more info.

MOSQUITOES? 

Yes, there are mosquitoes in Yosemite National Park! They primarily feed at dusk and dawn, but you should be prepared and use repellent all day and night if you have reactions. From the http://www.nps.gov website:

  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, mainly during the summer. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants or consider staying indoors during these hours. Ticks cling to plants, waiting for a host (you) to walk by; walk down the middle of trails and avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter.
  • Use an effective insect repellent.
    Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection against mosquitoes, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends repellents containing DEET or permethrin to repel ticks.

WHERE TO STAY?

Accommodations in the park range from tent and camp sites, RV sites, covered campsites, tent cabins, and hotel rooms. You need to make reservations for any of the concession vendors a long time in advance at nps.gov and there are lots of rules and regulations you need to be aware of before and during your visit.

In Yosemite Valley, the Ahwahnee Hotel is a luxury resort and the Yosemite Lodge at the Fallsis more of a family hotel/motel. Curry Village has tent cabins and some hotel/motel type rooms as well. There are a few campgrounds with covered camp sites, tent sites and rv sites if you want the full experience of “roughing it”.

The historic Wawona Hotel and Tuolumne Meadows Lodge (tent cabins and campsites only) are both inside the park concessionaires on the rim of the valley. Near Wawona there is the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees and skiing in winter at Yosemite’s Badger Pass and Toulomne Meadows and Tenaya Lake are worth the trip when the roads are open and there is a grove of Giant Sequoias there as well.

There are a number of hotels, condos for rent, cabins and campgrounds just outside the park too.

CAMPING?

Do you have a reservation? Most of the campsites in Upper, Lower, and North Pines Campground for summer are “sold out” before May! If you don’t have reservations, you can try to get a campsite in the valley on the day you are there, or there’s “Backpacker’s Camp” (Camp 4) which is “first-come/first-served”.

From the National Park Service website:

“Yosemite National Park has 13 campgrounds, of which up to seven are on a reservation system. From April through September, reservations are essential and even the first-come first-served campgrounds often fill by noon from May through September.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS?

Reservations are required from about March 15 through November for Yosemite Valley’s car campgrounds and summer through fall for Hodgdon Meadow, Crane Flat, Wawona, and half of Tuolumne Meadows. Campground reservations are available in blocks of one month at a time, up to five months in advance, on the 15th of each month at 7 am Pacific time. Be aware that nearly all reservations for the months of May through September and for some other weekends are filled the first day they become available, usually within seconds or minutes after 7 am!”

Here is the link to the nps.gov site: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camping.htm

NOTE: Check and see if Housekeeping Camp in Yosemite Valley is still available! If you can’t get camping in the valley, there are campgrounds in the park on the rim (about an hour from the valley) and just outside the park as well. Camp Wawona is on the rim near the Wawona Hotel, Yosemite’s Badger Pass, Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Glacier Point. Wawona is also close to Oakhurst which is a real town with markets, laundromats, restaurants, etc. Soquel Campground and Crane Flat Campground are farther away.

COOKING IN YOSEMITE PARK?

INFO FOR WAWONA (AND OTHER) CAMPGROUNDS?

From the NPS.gov website: “Each campsite contains a fire ring, picnic table, and food locker [33″(D)x45″(W)x18″(H)], and is near a bathroom with potable water and flushing toilets. You are required to store food properly in order to protect Yosemite’s bears.

In out-of-Valley campgrounds, fires are permitted at any time. Fires must always be attended and put out completely with water when not attended (do not let them smolder). Firewood collection (including pine cones and pine needles) is not permitted in Yosemite. We discourage visitors from bringing firewood from more than 50 miles away to prevent spread of forest pests. You can purchase firewood at stores near most campgrounds.

Camp wastewater must be disposed of in designated utility drains.”

The fire rings may have a grill, but you should plan on bringing EVERYTHING you want to have for cooking. There’s lots of information online about camping and camp cooking, so spend a little time researching “camp hacks” etc. so you’ll have some ideas.

Plan your meals, bring your ingredients and spices, if you’re car camping and you have room, bring the comforts you want. Keep it simple! Things you can cook in and with boiling water, things you can grill over a fire, things you can wrap in foil/cook in the fire, and things you don’t have to cook are best.

Remember to bring bottled WATER, cooking and eating utensils, can opener, corkscrew, trash bags and cleaning stuff that isn’t harmful to the environment!

HOW TO GET THERE?

If you’re flying in, you’re going to have to land in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland or Los Angeles. Each has it positives and negatives, so base your decision on the cost of airfare and then determine the best mode of transport from your destination city.

Rent a car (get unlimited mileage plus insurance) or take Amtrak (train and bus combo) from Los Angeles or San Francisco/Oakland. The bus will take you right into Yosemite National Park and drop you atYosemite Lodge at the Falls and it’s both less expensive and cleaner than driving! www.amtrak.com/san-joaquin-train

The drive from Los Angeles is about 6 hours, and you’ll travel the 5 freeway to interstate 99 through Bakersfield, Fresno and the Central Valley to interstate 41 into Yosemite.

The drive from the Bay Area is about 4 and 1/2 hours (could be longer with traffic) on highway 580 through San Leandro and Livermore to highway 205 through Manteca to interstate 120 into Yosemite.

NOTE: If you’re driving in the Sierra Mountains in the Fall, be prepared for rain and snow at higher elevations, some roads may require tire chains (sometimes a problem with a rental vehicle).

There are also tour companies that have chartered buses that will take you into the park, or backpack/bus adventure travel companies like Green Tortoise from San Francisco that include more than just transport: www.greentortoise.com/adventures/yosemite-national-park-tour-3d.php

NOTE: If you’re going to take a chartered bus, make sure the company is CA state licensed and check their safety and consumer record before buying a ticket!

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THE EMPEROR OF LANCASHIRE by George Formby Jr. OBE

THE EMPEROR OF LANCASHIRE by George Formby Jr. OBE

430px-FlagOfLancashire

I’ve got a feeling it’s my lucky day, send me fellers I’m on my way,

Going right up to the top of the tree, so come right in and have a drink with me.

Won’t be long till I make my pile, then I’ll live in the grandest style.

You’ll be a Cotton King? 

No sir! I’ll be the Emperor Of Lancashire.

I’ll have a retinue ten miles long, and an army ten million strong.

Big white elephants, by the score, and a fleet at anchor off the Wigan shore.

Don’t you recognise who I am? You’ve got to give me a big salaam. 

Got to end with a vote of thanks, to the Emperor Of Lancs.

Bow down everyone here I come! Bang that cymbal and hit that drum!

Bow down everyone! Yes sir, I’m the Emperor Of Lancashire.

Who’s this gentleman flashing dough?

Is he somebody we should know?

Is he somebody? Whoa sir! I’m Emperor Of Lancashire.

Who’s this gentleman talking loud?

Is he one of the usual crowd?

Who’s this gentleman? La-Dee-Dah! I’m the Emperor Of Lancashaw.

Don’t you recognize who you’ve seen? He’s the boss of the whole chabine.

He’s the fellow who broke the bank.

That’s me, I’m the Emperor of Lancs.

Who’s that fellow they’re crowding round?

Who’s that sucker the boys have found?

Who’s that sucker? My dear sir….I’m Emperor Of Lancashire.

I’m going back to my native town, with my millions I’ll knock ’em down.

I’ll have everything in my power and I’ll build a palace on the Blackpool tower.

On my birthday the crowds will cheer, all the fountains will flow with beer.

Blackpool wakes will run all year…FOR THE EMPEROR OF LANCASHIRE!

I’ll hold a banquet for fifty score, tripe and onions and whelks galore.

Stewed pigs trotters and mutton shanks…FOR THE EMPEROR OF LANCS.

Bow down everyone, here I come, bang that cymbal and hit that drum.

Bow down everyone, yes sir, I’m the Emperor Of Lancashire!

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Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Lancashire is sometimes referred to by the abbreviation Lancs, as originally used by the Royal Mail. The population of the ceremonial county is 1,449,300. People from the county are known as Lancastrians.

Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Lancashire is sometimes referred to by the abbreviation Lancs, as originally used by the Royal Mail. The population of the ceremonial county is 1,449,300. People from the county are known as Lancastrians.

Lancashire emerged during the Industrial Revolution as a major commercial and industrial region. The county encompassed several hundred mill towns and by the 1830s, approximately 85% of all cotton manufactured worldwide was processed in Lancashire.

George Formby Jr., OBE 26 May 1904 – 6 March 1961

George Formby Jr., OBE (26 May 1904 – 6 March 1961) entertaining the troops in France during World War II

George Formby Jr., OBE (born George Hoy Booth)  26 May 1904 – 6 March 1961

British actor, singer-songwriter and comedian who became known to a worldwide audience through his films in the 1930s and 1940s. He sang comical songs and played a banjolele. He was popular on stage, screen and records, and became the UK’s highest-paid entertainer at the time. During the Second World War Formby worked extensively for the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA), and entertained civilians and troops; by 1946 it was estimated that he had performed in front of three million service personnel.

Bow Down Everyone, Yes Sir!  For the Emperor of Lancashire!

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Happy Birthday Simon Bolivar! See the Statue at United Nations Plaza at the Civic Center in San Francisco!

SAN FRANCISCO! (Part 1)

On my last trip to San Francisco, I stopped at the Civic Center and walked around downtown taking pictures. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Here are a few of the pictures:

San Francisco Civic Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

San Francisco Civic Center and City Hall (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Asian American Art Museum in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 

State of California Building in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

State of California Building in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I’ll be posting more pictures from this trip and telling stories in future Blogs, so be sure to FOLLOW us! And please LIKE our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIMON BOLIVAR!

Simon Bolivar Statue at United Nations Plaza at the Civic Center in San Francisco

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

As I was walking around Grosvernor Square, I came upon United Nations Plaza and the statue-monument of Simon Bolivar. Now you’re probably wondering who he was…

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

WHO WAS SIMON BOLIVAR?

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Simon Jose Antonio de la Santisima Trinidad Bolivar y Palacios Ponte y Blanco aka Simon Bolivar  24 July 1783 – 17 December 1830

He liberated Venezuela, Colombia (including Panama at the time), Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia (a country named after him) from the Spanish Empire and helped lay the foundation for democracy in Latin America. He was President and Dictator of the Gran Colombia Republic from 1819-1830.

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

NOTE: There is a statue just like this one in Bolivar Plaza in Caracas, Venezuela. There are other statues, monuments, plazas, squares and streets in honor of him all over the world.

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

United Nations Plaza at the Civic Center in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

WHAT SAN FRANCISCO DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SEE:

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“Wha’Cha Need?” at the Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

There’s a HUGE homeless population in the city of San Francisco! Go back to the first picture and you’ll see people sleeping on the lawn and hanging out on the plaza. Everywhere you go in the city there are homeless! Many of them are in need of serious mental health services!

The picture of the homeless at the statue (above) is actually a picture of an open-air drug market! While I was walking around taking pictures, I witnessed deals going down here and at other locations at the UN Plaza. Although not unexpected, I was surprised by the obvious nature of their unlawful enterprise and the lack of police presence and attention. While I did see a pair of cops walking down by the fountain, you can see in the picture that the dealers operate without concern for keeping it undercover….

San Francisco is a beautiful and historic city, but the terrible traffic, the huge homeless population and the current urban blight really takes the shine off the city by the bay.

Simon Bolivar Statue in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Simon Bolivar Statue, “California” and City Hall in San Francisco (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

As a final note, I didn’t know it was Simon Bolivar’s birthday when I started this blog, so that’s either a happy coincidence or something else….

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Beethoven at the Hollywood Bowl! Box Seats! Life is Good!

We went to the Hollywood Bowl again last night! – Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – sign on the hill (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – entrance and box office (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – Bowl Store (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – Search and Turnstyle (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – escalator going up (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – dining al fresco on the patio (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – are you ready for some Beethoven? (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

It was a warm Los Angeles summer evening, and after enjoying a wonderful middle eastern picnic and a little red wine:

On The Menu: Shwarma sandwich (pita stuffed with lamb/turkey meat, rice, hummus, taboule, avocado, tahini and spicy sauce), baby carrots, celery, cheese & crackers, watermelon, strawberries, cherries, red grapes, white peach slices, coke and red wine.

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – picnic dinner (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I sat in my Box Seat listening to Gustavo Dudamel conduct the L.A. Philharmonic through  Beethoven’s Concerto in C Major for Violin, Cello and Piano and then the 5th Symphony. The Capucon brothers and Jean-Yves Thibaudet were tremendous! And from the opening notes of the 5th, it was a robust and wonderful rendition of one of Ludwig’s finest.

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – warm summer night (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – the program and ticket (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

And while sitting there enjoying the concert, relaxed, fully sated and comfortably entertained, I gave thanks for my good fortune and the fact that no one was shooting rockets at me, and thought “Life is good.”

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – Behave yourself, you’ve been warned! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Don’t you wish this happened in everyday real life? People might behave better…

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Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl Parking – going home (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 

Alien Warning Message: the voice of Gramaha from the Asta Galactic Command

Alien Warning Message Broadcast Live on TV!

On 26 Nov 1977 at 5:12 p.m, a strange unknown voice spoke slowly and deliberately, with a strange inward authority and British accent, calm, serene, never scolding as it overrode, took over, or super-modulated the TV signals from five transmitters that were monitored by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) in England. IBA did not detect the intrusion. The message overrode a scheduled newscast read by Ivor Mills on Southern ITV, England and was heard by listeners as far away as Andover, London, Newbury, Oxford, Reading, Southhampton, and Winchester.

“This is the voice of Gramaha, the Representative of the Asta Galactic Command speaking to you:

For many years now you have seen us as lights in the skies. We speak to you now in peace and wisdom as we have done to your brothers and sisters all over this, your planet earth. We come to warn you of the destiny of your race and your worlds so that you may communicate to your fellow beings the course you must take to avoid the disasters which threaten your worlds and the beings on our worlds around you.

This is in order that you may share in the great awakening, as the planet passes into the New Age of Aquarius. The new age can be a time of great peace and evolution for your race, but only if your rulers are made aware of the evil forces that can overshadow their judgments.

Be still now and listen, for your chance may not come again. For many years your scientists, governments and generals have not heeded our warnings; they have continued to experiment with the evil forces of what you call nuclear energy. Atomic bombs can destroy the earth and the beings of your sister worlds, in a moment.

The wastes from atomic power systems will poison your planet for many thousands of your years to come. We, who have followed the path of evolution for far longer than you, have long since realized this — that atomic energy is always directed against life. It has no peaceful application. Its use, and research into its use, must be ceased at once, or you all risk destruction. All weapons of evil must be removed.

The time of conflict is now past and the race of which you are a part may proceed to the highest planes of evolution if you show yourselves worthy to do this.

You have but a short time to learn to live together in peace and goodwill. Small groups all over the planet are learning this, and exist to pass on the light of the dawning new age to you all. You are free to accept or reject their teachings, but only those who learn to live in peace will pass to the higher realms of spiritual evolution.

Hear now the voice of Gramaha, the representative of the Asta Galactic Command speaking to you. Be aware also that there are many false prophets and guides operating on your world. They will suck your energy from you — the energy you call money and will put it to evil ends giving you worthless dross in return.

Your inner divine self will protect you from this. You must learn to be sensitive to the voice within, that can tell you what is truth, and what is confusion, chaos and untruth. Learn to listen to the voice of truth which is within you, and you will lead yourselves on to the path of evolution.

This is our message to you our dear friends. We have watched you growing for many years as you too have watched our lights in your skies. You know that we are here, and that there are more beings on and around your earth than your scientists admit. We are deeply concerned about you and your path towards the light, and will do all we can to help you.

Have no fears, seek only to know yourselves and live in harmony with the ways of your planet earth. We of the Asta Galactic Command thank you for your attention. We are now leaving the planes of your existence.

May you be blessed by the supreme love and truth of the Cosmos.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Television_broadcast_interruption

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Happy 59th Birthday Disneyland!

Happy 59th Birthday Disneyland!

Opening Day & Dedication Ceremony! July 17, 1955

Opening Day & Dedication Ceremony! July 17, 1955

Disneyland Fireworks!

Disneyland Fireworks! The Happiest Place on Earth!

 

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Another answer: Places to stay for Anaheim Convention Centre? Places to stay in L.A., preferably with a pool?

NOTE: This was a question with a very particular requirement, but the information in the answer can be helpful to anyone visiting Los Angeles or Anaheim!

Q: Best places to stay for Star Wars 2015 Anaheim Convention Centre? 

Q: Looking for suggestions of places to stay in L.A., preferably with a pool?

“My son is travelling to California (from Jersey, Channel Islands, United Kingdom) in April 2015 to attend the Star Wars Convention. He and his friends are arriving into LAX around 4 April and leaving the day after the convention on 20 April – the convention runs from 16-19 April….Rather than being stuck out at the convention centre, however, it seems that it takes 2 hours and many changes on public transport to get to convention centre area from Long Beach which is too long. Due to ages of travellers (16-22) hiring a car is probably going to be a no no! Could maybe consider staying in LA for the first part and moving to a hotel near the convention centre for the 2nd part. I’m sure a trip to Disneyland will be on the cards too. My son is blind and has some mobility issues so its useful to bear that in mind. Any info on places/areas to stay and getting around would be very appreciated. Thanks, Emma” ~ Emma T., Jersey, United Kingdom

LAX - Theme Building (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

LAX – Theme Building (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

A: Special Needs Travelers shouldn’t worry about visiting Los Angeles or Anaheim. It just takes proper planning and a good companion. Your son’s blindness and mobility issues shouldn’t prevent him from having a great time in California.

Pico Medical Supply – 6035 W Pico Blvd, L.A., CA 90035 (323) 936-4104 http://www.picomedical.com  If you need a wheelchair (electric or standard), they have the best rental rates. They can also supply other mobility and special needs equipment.

Braille Institute Of America is a good resource if you need information about Los Angeles for the blind. (it’s FREE!) 741 N Vermont Ave, L.A., CA 90029 (323) 663-1111 email: la@brailleinstitute.org http://www.brailleinstitute.org/los-angeles-home-page.html 

Los Angeles Visitor Info: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com

City of Los Angeles Dept on Disability: http://disability.lacity.org

LAX has a Guide for Individuals with Disabilities and provides transportation from gate to curb for Special Needs Travelers 310-337-5005 http://www.lawa.aero

4 April – Arrive LAX Los Angeles International

Free Shuttle to Custom Hotel from LAX, they have accessible rooms if required, and there are places to eat and shop within one block of the hotel. Custom Hotel: 8639 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045 jdvhotels.com (310) 645-0400

Custom Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Custom Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Taxi or use Lyft or Uber car service. The Bus Stop is one block away. Journey up Lincoln Blvd to Marina Del Rey, Venice Beach and Santa Monica. (see my other answers for things to do) Culver City has lots of restaurants and things to do as well.

Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (“the Metro”): Metro Bus & Rail http://www.metro.net – http://www.metro.net/riding/riders-disabilities

Metro strives to ensure that its services (over 200 bus & rail routes) are fully accessible to those with disabilities. To assist those with visual impairments, Metro provides Braille-encoded and large type “Metro Flash Cards” for signaling the correct bus. For information please call 213.922.7023.

Metro is also the primary funding source for Access Services Incorporated, the federally-required ADA paratransit service. This service is offered to individuals whose disabilities prevent them from independently using regular bus or rail service. It’s comparable to fixed-route service and offers 24-hours curb-to-curb service. For information, call Access Services Incorporated at 1.800.827.0829

8 April – 14 April: 6 more days to relocate to another hotel and explore other areas of the city (Hollywood or Downtown L.A. are two good options for destinations, see previous Blogs for details and answers)

Transportation from Los Angeles to Anaheim: Greyhound goes from Union Station via Downtown L.A. to Anaheim for under $20.

Greyhound Bus Lines 1716 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021 (213) 629-8401 http://www.greyhound.com

14 April – 15 April Disneyland & California Adventure

16 April – 19 April Anaheim Convention Center

Hilton Anaheim, Anaheim Marriott and the Disneyland Hotel are good choices and close to the Convention Center and Disneyland

Disneyland Guest Services: 714-781-4565 https://disneyland.disney.go.com/guest-services/guests-with-disabilities/  Visit the website for “Guests with Disability” info and downloadable guides to the park and services.

Disneyland Fireworks!

Disneyland Fireworks!

Transportation from Anaheim to LAX: return to Union Station via Greyhound and then take the Metro train direct to LAX.

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ADA AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2008

An Act To restore the intent and protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/ada.cfm http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adaaa.cfm

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board shall issue minimum guidelines that shall supplement the existing Minimum Guidelines and Requirements for Accessible Design….supplemental guidelines issued under subsection (a) of this section shall establish additional requirements, consistent with this chapter, to ensure that buildings, facilities, rail passenger cars, and vehicles are accessible, in terms of architecture and design, transportation, and communication, to individuals with disabilities.

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SNG CERTIFIED ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL ADVOCATE

SNG CERTIFIED ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL ADVOCATE

Birthday! Labor Day Weekend in Vegas…where to stay?

Q: Birthday weekend in Vegas…where to stay?

My friends and I going to Vegas for my birthday over Labor Day weekend! We need a place to stay that isn’t outrageously expensive, but has a lot going on. We’d like to stay in a hotel that has daytime pool parties. There are 5 of us and we’re open to getting two rooms or a suite, if it’s worth it. Any suggestions? – Talia H. Seattle, WA

Welcome to Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Welcome to Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A: Las Vegas on Labor Day Weekend?

Try The Cromwell, the newest boutique hotel on the strip. It used to be Wild Bill’s and before that it was the Barbary Coast. Located center strip at Flamingo and Las Vegas Blvd. Drai’s is located in the hotel, so you get your choice of pool party, club night or after-hours. Just fully renovated! Everything is fresh and new.

You’re across Las Vegas Blvd from Caesars Palace, the Forum Shops, The Mirage and the volcano. Next door is Harrah’s, the Flamingo, The Venetian and Palazzo, The Quad soon to be renamed The LINQ after the giant ferris wheel next door. Across Flamingo is Bally’s, Paris, Planet Hollywood, the Bellagio Hotel and fountain, and The Cosmopolitan.

There’s lots to see and do within “walking distance”, which will save you on cab fare and waiting. Great restaurants, spas, clubs, shows and other diversions at any of the above resorts. You can also access the monorail at Bally’s or the Flamingo.

Make reservations in advance (do it by telephone rather than online and always get the name of the person you talk to!) because everything will be crowded!

NOTE: Bring sneakers for walking and then switch to heels when you arrive at your destination. Use a Big purse and plastic bag.

Avoid the MGM, it’s too big and the service is only ok.

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