Dixie Hollywood Hotel, Susan Feniger’s Mud Hen Tavern and The Cure at the Hollywood Bowl

SLUGFEST IN HOLLYWOOD!

The Dixie Hollywood Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Susan Feniger’s Mud Hen Tavern on Highland Avenue in Hollywood and The Cure at the Hollywood Bowl are the subjects of this Blog.

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HOLLYWOOD! (not my pic)

Fun Dinner! Met up with some OLD College Friends from UC Santa Cruz at the Dixie Hollywood Hotel and drove over for dinner at Susan Feniger’s Mud Hen Tavern in Hollywood before The Cure concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday, May 24, 2016.

The Cure Crew

Ann, Diane, Ber, yours truly and Tracy in Hollywood (the valet took this one)

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And THIS GUY!

First, a little History and Backstory:

Our very good friend Ann loves The Cure. She has for as long as we’ve known her… and that’s over 30 years. We met at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the mid-80s.

We became friends, shared many experiences together with a larger group of friends at Kresge College and UCSC, graduated together in 1987 and threw a legendary blowout party at “The Big Yellow House” on High Street to celebrate. To celebrate her wedding to Stevo, we returned to Santa Cruz with our fiancé, along with the rest of the “K-Town Crew” and later she and Stephen were guests at my wedding in Los Angeles.

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The “K-Town Crew” at Ann & Stephen’s Wedding in Santa Cruz (not my pic)

We had a “K-Town Crew” Reunion in San Jose in 2014 at Ber’s house (see the Previous Blog) and they had a gathering last year in Santa Cruz that we did not attend. We often visit Ann in San Jose when we road trip to Oregon and we were present last year when her daughter graduated from high school (see the Previous Blog).

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UC Santa Cruz “K-Town Crew” Reunion 2013 at Ber’s in San Jose (not my pic)

Now among that larger group of friends were Diane, Ber (short for Kimberly), Tracy and Jason. They too are all big fans of The Cure. Jason lives in Los Angeles, Tracy in Rancho San Mirage, Ber and Ann live in San Jose and Diane lives near Sacramento. And so, they all planned a trip to see The Cure at the Hollywood Bowl. Ann arrived on Monday in the afternoon. Jason picked her up at the airport and they went to the concert on Monday night. Then they went out drinking and Ann was hungover on Tuesday afternoon when we called her at the hotel. Also, Ann dropped her phone and broke the screen, so we were lucky she was able to answer her phone at all when we called sometime after 1pm!

Diane flew in early too and she and Tracy partied down in Laguna Beach the day and night before. So, Tracy and Diane were picking Ber up at Burbank airport and they were going to come to the hotel. And so it was decided that we would drive to Hollywood and meet them all and then go to dinner and drinks before the concert.

And so, we ventured out onto the 101 freeway to east Hollywood, and with only a little afternoon traffic, arrived at our destination on Hollywood Boulevard.

The Dixie Hollywood Hotel

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NOW: The Dixie Hollywood Hotel – Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California

Located on Hollywood Boulevard just east of Western Avenue, the Dixie Hollywood Hotel is the perfect example of the gentrification of Hollywood. Previously it was a Days Inn and the neighborhood around Hollywood and Western was run down and dangerous.

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THEN: Days Inn in Hollywood (not my pic)

Now, the old motel has been cleaned up, painted, some upgrades to the rooms have been added and the neighborhood has undergone significant changes in the past five years. There is and has been major development all along the Metro line, and Hollywood has seen  tremendous growth and new construction. Across the street is a new residential over retail building that used to a “crackhead motel” and there’s another large residential over retail building under construction just next door.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

There’s a restaurant on Hollywood Blvd that is part of the hotel, but it wasn’t open, so we just took a picture of the “A” rating and the chef mannequin in the window. Then we found Ann’s room and knocked on the door. It’s wonderful to see a very good friend you haven’t seen in a long time. We caught up while we waited for the girls to arrive from picking Ber up at Burbank airport.

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Tracy, Ber and Diane Arrive! Let the Party Begin!

It wasn’t very long before the girls joined the party! They unloaded the car and brought their luggage and stuff upstairs to the room. Diane was hung over too, Ber was sober and she and Tracy were ready to go. It was decided that we would hang out for a little bit and then drive over to the restaurant on Highland.

Susan Fenigar’s Mud Hen Tavern in Hollywood, California

There’s Valet Parking in the Rear! Very important to know, because there’s not a lot of parking during peak traffic hours or anywhere in the neighborhood after 6pm. We arrived early enough on a Tuesday evening and self parked in the valet lot and kept the keys. There’s an entrance in the rear lot that leads onto the restaurant’s patio and into the main dining room/bar.

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Susan Feniger is a James Beard Award winning American chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and radio and TV personality from Toledo, Ohio. She has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the California Restaurant Association. She is also known for the cooking show “Too Hot Tamales” on the Food Network and opening several influential restaurants including City Cafe/Restaurant and The Border Grill in Los Angeles. Feniger has published five cookbooks: City Cuisine (1989), Mesa Mexicana (1994), Cantina: The Best of Casual Mexican Cooking (Casual Cuisines of the World) (1996), Cooking with Too Hot Tamales (1997) and Mexican Cooking for Dummies (1999/2002).

In April 2009, Feniger opened her first solo project: Street, a multi-ethnic eatery of street food in Hollywood. In December 2013, Street was replaced in the redesigned space by the Mud Hen Tavern and with Executive Chef and Partner Kajsa Alger and mixology consultant Tricia Carr.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

It’s a very nice space. The Dining Room/Bar is open and airy, so even when it’s crowded and there are a lot of people it’s doesn’t feel cramped and it isn’t as noisy as some places. There’s a long bar and bar seating as well as table seating inside and on the outdoor patio.

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The Bar at the Mud Hen Tavern in Hollywood, California

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Party on the Patio at The Mud Hen Tavern in Hollywood (our waiter took this one)

We chose a big table on the empty patio because it was a beautiful evening and so we could be loud and festive without disturbing everyone inside. Our friend Jason arrived and joined us at the table and then we ordered drinks and a lot of food to share.

The Food and Drink:

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

On The Menu: deviled eggs, hangover toast, Berliner pizza, tuna crudo, chicken & waffle croquettes, crispy brussel sprouts, special Burger with bacon & garlic fries, and shrimp and grits. And there were some cocktails (a couple of Cosmopolitans, Long Island ice tea, Ketel One Seabreeze, a double Absolut Bloody Mary, a beer and some wine) too.

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Double Absolut Bloody Mary at the Mud Hen Tavern in Hollywood, California

NOTE: We were our friend’s “designated driver” and so we did not drink alcohol. We drove a car of happy drunk women through gridlocked Hollywood traffic and dropped them off at the Hollywood Bowl. We did not attend the concert but we watched parts live on Periscope.

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Selfie Time! Tracy, Ber and Diane at the Mud Hen Tavern in Hollywood

After dinner and drinks, Jason was going home and the girls were going to Uber to the Hollywood Bowl, but instead we offered to drive them and drop them off. So we got in the car and off we went into Hollywood!

Traffic was beyond UNBELIEVABLE! The gentrification of Hollywood has added thousands of residents to the immediate neighborhood without any traffic improvements. The Metro (Los Angeles’ subway and bus system) brings hundreds more to the neighborhood creating pedestrian traffic that gridlocks the street intersections. Add an event, concert or premiere at the Hollywood Bowl, Kodak Theatre, El Capitan Theatre, Arclight Cinerama Dome, Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Chinese Theatre or any of the studios or nightclubs and it creates a daily traffic nightmare!

So, at 7pm to get from Highland and Melrose to the Hollywood Bowl we had to get creative! Highland was a parking lot, so we cut over and took Las Palmas to Fountain, cut over and turned right on Sunset, and made a left onto Cahuenga which was a total parking lot (we saw later on that there was a major accident at the intersection of Cahuenga and Franklin). We cut through the Jack-in-the-Box parking lot and turned left onto Ivar and crossed Hollywood Blvd, turning left again at Yucca, then right at Cherokee and left at Franklin and back to Highland. A right on Highland and little more traffic we dropped the girls at 7:40pm across the street from the Hollywood Bowl and then got on the 101 freeway back to the San Fernando Valley.

The Cure at the Hollywood Bowl

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From Wikipedia:

The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex, in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member. The Cure first began releasing music in the late 1970s with their debut album Three Imaginary Boys; this, along with several early singles, placed the band as part of the post-punk and new wave movements that had sprung up in the wake of the punk rock revolution in the United Kingdom. During the early 1980s, the band’s increasingly dark and tormented music was a staple of the emerging gothic rock genre.

After the release of 1982’s Pornography, the band’s future was uncertain and Smith was keen to move past the gloomy reputation his band had acquired. With the single “Let’s Go to Bed” released the same year, Smith began to place a pop sensibility into the band’s music and their popularity increased as the decade wore on, with songs like “Just Like Heaven”, “Lovecats” and “Friday I’m in Love”. The band is estimated to have sold 27 million albums as of 2004 and have released thirteen studio albums, ten EPs and over thirty singles during their career.

The Cure LIVE on Periscope (Screenshots):

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

And a very good time was had by everyone we’re told. They all enjoyed the concert and made it back to the hotel and then home again on Wednesday morning. It was great to see our old friends and spend some time reconnecting. We made good time going back to the San Fernando Valley and caught the sunset on our way. It was a fun time.

Dixie Hollywood Hotel5410 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90027
323-463-7171 http://www.dixiehollywoodhotel.com

Mud Hen Tavern742 Highland Ave., Hollywood, CA
323-203-0500 http://www.mudhentavern.com

Hollywood Bowl2301 Highland Ave, Hollywood, CA
323-850-2000 http://www.hollywoodbowl.com

All photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel unless otherwise noted

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Going Home on the 101 Freeway North to the San Fernando Valley

The Cure “The Love Cats” Live in Japan 1984:

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TOWEL DAY!

TOWEL DAY!

May 25th is TOWEL DAY! Don’t Forget Your Towel!

TOWELDAY BUTTON

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“Somebody who can stay in control of virtually any situation is somebody who is said to know where his or her towel is… a towel has immense psychological value.”Happy-Towel-Day

 

 

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From Wikipedia.org:
“Towel Day is celebrated every year on 25 May as a tribute to the author Douglas Adams by his fans. On this day, fans carry a towel with them, as described in Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, to demonstrate their appreciation for the books and the author. The commemoration was first held in 2001, two weeks after Adams’ death on 11 May 2001.

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Douglas Adams

March 11, 1952 – May 11, 2001

“You Live and Learn.
At Any Rate, You Live.”

 

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” originated in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before it developed into a “trilogy” of five books that sold more than 15 million copies during Douglas Adams’ lifetime and generated a television series, several stage plays, comics, a computer game, and a 2005 feature film.

According to Adams, the idea occurred to him when he was drunk in a field in Innsbruck, Austria, gazing at the stars. He had a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Europe, and it occurred to him that “somebody ought to write a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“. Later he said that the constant repetition of this anecdote ruined his memory of the actual event.

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Read our previous Blog
“Towel Day! Don’t Forget Your Towel” from 2014>

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Our Periscope videos from Katch are now on YouTube:
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24 May 2016: Travel Tuesday!

24 May 2016: Travel Tuesday!

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another
must wait till that other is ready.”
– Henry David Thoreau

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Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California

For Travel Tuesday: Where do you want to go? VAMOS A LA PLAYA!

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Sentinel Beach – Yosemite Valley, California

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Waikiki Beach – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

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Kilauea meets the sea. Volcanoes National Park – Big Island Hawaii

Hawaii 33 Hana Maui

Hana Bay – Hana, Maui, Hawaii 

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Venice Beach – Venice, Los Angeles, California

LET’S GO TO THE BEACH!

All photos copyright 2010-2016 JoshWillTravel

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The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
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Malibu Beach – Malibu, Los Angeles, California

 

The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California

The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California

Down on Main Street in Cambria, on the ground floor of the historic Bank of Cambria building is The Vault Gallery. It’s a really cool art gallery with lots of cool art!

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The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California

We wandered into the space, housed in the restored and historic brick building built in 1928, on an overcast Sunday afternoon while walking around downtown Cambria.

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The Vault Gallery in the Historic Bank of Cambria Building – Cambria, California

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The Vault Gallery on Main Street in Cambria, California (not my pic)

The Vault Gallery is a large “U-Shaped” space partioned into smaller spaces by walls and art pieces on display. There are paintings and sculptures and other types of fine art exhibited and available for purchase.

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Laylon, the Owner of The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California

Enter through the front door and then left into the gallery. The paintings on the walls of the reception area, a front office work desk, a smaller room filled with art, and a shelf of handcrafted items (jewelry, small ceramic pieces, etc.) from local artists greet you along with the the owner, Laylon.

Walk farther into the gallery and you will see more beautiful paintings on the walls, fantastic glass art sculptures, the larger ceramic pottery pieces and other special works of art created by a community of artists that has called the Central Coast of California home since before the 1950’s.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

Some of Michael Courville’s other work! Click on Pic to See Larger Pic!
Pics from The Vault Gallery’s fb page, these pieces have been sold:

NOTE: We took some good pictures of some of the art pieces. It was impossible to photograph everything and we were enjoying the work as well as “documenting” it. Pictures of art don’t do the art justice. We always recommend you experience the artwork first-hand in person to fully experience the artist’s creation and intent!

From The Vault Gallery’s facebook Page:

The Vault Gallery was Estab. in 1991. Celebrating 25 years representing 45 established artists in Plein Aire-Contemporary-Sculpture -Assembledge.

Gallerist Laylon’s career in the art business has transcended over 30 years. In 1991, after moving to Cambria from Carmel, CA, she saw a “For Rent” sign on the old Bank of Cambria building and established The Vault Gallery. After almost 22 years, the gallery has thrived with outstanding painters, photographers, and sculptors that reside on the Central Coast. The works of the over 30 artists represented reside in the two side by side locations and an outdoor sculpture garden completes the harmony.

The represented artists are some of the most recognized Plein Air painters in the country. They are members of Oil Painters of America and the California Art Club.
Photographer Arthur Tress, a resident of Cambria, just finished a three month retrospective at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. Artist Tracey Sylvester-Harris was selected as the feature artist in an upcoming film starring Ed Harris and Annette Bening. The luster glass creations of Carl Radke, a gallery exhibitor for 18 years, has found homes for his lamps in restaurants, homes, hotels, wineries, and corporate offices.

We hope you enjoy visiting our gallery and invite you to explore our newly launched website. 

The Vault Gallery – 2289 Main St., Cambria, California 93428
805-927-0300 http://www.vaultgallery.com http://www.facebook.com/thevaultgallery
Mon-Sat 10:30am-6pm, Sun 11am-6pm

Unless otherwise noted, all photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Flashback Friday! B-25 Restored Mitchell Navy Bomber Maiden Flight

FLASHBACK FRIDAY!
North American B-25 (Restored) Mitchell Navy Bomber Maiden Flight

Camarillo Air Field LIVE on Periscope (thanks to the Periscoper)
These are screenshots from the tarmac:

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From Wikipedia:
The B-25 Mitchell is an American twin-engine, medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation. Named in honor of Major General William “Billy” Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation, they served in every theater of World War II and after the war remained in service for four decades. There are more than one hundred surviving North American B-25 Mitchells scattered around the world, mainly in the United States. Most of them are on static display in museums, but about 45 are still airworthy.

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Recently restored, according to the scope, this was the maiden flight and first time back in the air for this veteran aircraft. The plane flew three fly-bys, so here are a few good screenshots of the plane in the air:

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And here are a few historical shots from WWII of other B-25s (not my pics, obviously):

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WWII North American B-25 Mitchell Twin Engine Medium Bomber

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

 

Unless otherwise noted, all photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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North American B-25 Mitchell Twin Engine Medium Bomber (not my pic)

NOTE: We are not a military aircraft expert, so we apologize if we made an error…

MOZZA! Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

MOZZA!  Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

Tuesday evening and time for another Dinner Party!

At one of the finest restaurants in Los Angeles, California, the USA and the World!

101 Freeway to Hollywood. Exit Highland and down to Melrose. Valet Parking $12…

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Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

Nancy Silverton is a co-owner, with partners Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, of Osteria Mozza Italian restaurant and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, San Diego and Singapore, as well as Mozza2Go and Chi Spacca in Los Angeles. She also founded the La Brea Bakery and the recently closed Campanile Restaurant before opening Pizzeria Mozza.

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Osteria Mozza Co-Owner Nancy Silverton (CherryBombMag)

Early in her career, Nancy was named Food and Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chef”. She was also awarded “Pastry Chef of the Year”, “Who’s Who of Cooking” and “Outstanding Restaurant” for Campanile by the James Beard Foundation. Bon Appetit awarded Silverton Best of Food & Entertaining “Food Artisan”. She recently received the James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Chef” and is listed as one of the Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink by Fortune and Food and Wine Magazine. She has authored eight cookbooks: Desserts (1986), Breads from the La Brea Bakery (1996), Pastries from the La Brea Bakery (2000), Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book (2005), Twist of the Wrist (2007) and the Mozza Cookbook (2011).

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Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

We’ve been to Osteria Mozza before and thoroughly enjoyed eating here previously, but we haven’t been back in a long time, and they have a new Executive Chef. The decision was made and once again we are happily just a passenger on a “foodie journey” to Hollywood.

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Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

We arrived early. The restaurant was pretty much empty, but they have a policy to not seat a table until the entire party arrives, so we waited at the bar and ordered cocktails. Our bartender was very friendly and very patient, and since we were the only customers she had time to explain the single malt scotch selection and suggest a tequila-rum punch drink with cucumber and jalapeño for the guest of honor. We declined a pre-dinner cocktail knowing that there would be a lot of great food and a little wine coming soon.

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The Bar at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

The restaurant is a beautiful space. Osteria Mozza is next door to Pizzeria Mozza, and in addition to the alcohol bar, there is a mozzarella bar in the large front dining room. There is a smaller adjacent dining room and a larger dining room (often used for private events and parties) with a wine bar and many stored Italian wine bottles in the back.

At our request, the manager made an exception to the rules, and we were seated at a table in the “private” room before our remaining dinner guests arrived, and we were the only table seated in the back room for the entire length of our dinner! We didn’t have to wait very long before our party was complete and the food service began.

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Mozzarella Bar & Front Dining Room at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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The Wine Bar in the “Private” Back Dining Room at Osteria Mozza

The Menu:

They have a very fancy and creative menu! Start with a nice selection from the Mozzarella Bar, then have an appetizer, followed by a first course (pasta), and then a second course (meat or fish) and finally dessert with coffee drinks and/or aperitifs. We chose to have only the appetizer and not the first course, instead eating bread and mozzarella before enjoying our entree choice and saving some room for their wonderful dessert.

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Wine, a Coke and the Menu at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

NOTE: The menu changes daily depending on what fresh ingredients are available!

The Meal (Wednesday May 17, 2016):

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Mozzarella Tasting (3 Kinds), Burrata & Grilled Asparagus with Garlic Bread

On The Menu: Mozzarella tasting (3 kinds: bufala, smoked and burricotta) with salted garlic bread, Burrata and grilled asparagus in melted butter with toasted almonds and bread crumbs, Mozzarella with stewed zucchini sampler, Grilled Octopus appetizer, Porcini-rubbed Rib Eye Bistecca (charred & medium rare), Fried Potatoes with rosemary, Snap Peas & Romano Beans, bread & butter, a coke, Aetneus Etna Rosso 2008 red wine, espresso and Cannoli di Gelati (pistachio, caramel & espresso) for dessert. Yeah baby!

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Porcini-rubbed Rib Eye Steak, Fried Potatoes, Snap Peas & Romano Beans

Other members of our party ordered tequila-rum punch, single malt scotch, the rabbit con salsiccia, grilled yellowtail, roasted beets, squid ink pasta, another pasta, the grilled whole orata fish, cappuccino, coffee, chocolate cake and the sautéed strawberries.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

NOTE: As usual, we try to take quality pictures of our food quickly and without interfering with the service or disturbing other diners. We managed to get a lot of good pics without being annoying, but didn’t get pics of all the dishes due to the size of the table.

We also ordered a fine bottle of wine, an Aetneus Etna Rosso 2008 red that was recommended by the sommelier. She “primed” our wine glasses by lightly washing the inside with a small splash of the wine before bringing them to our table. It was “fruity”, “mellow” and complemented both the grilled octopus and steak very well.

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Pour the Wine! Aetneus Etna Rosso 2008

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS DINNER!
EXCELLENT FOOD! TASTY WINE! SWEET DESSERT! GREAT SERVICE!

We really enjoyed the dining experience at Osteria Mozza. The only complaint we had about the food was that the octopus was a tad overcooked and a little too chewy (and it could have used more lemon). It was still good, but just a touch overdone. We shared the “market price” rib eye steak ($105.00) which was really delicious and cooked perfectly to order, but it’s also a lot of money for a plate of grilled meat for two. We realize how lucky we are and we are truly thankful for the privilege to enjoy such fine and expensive food!

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Dinner Party at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood

BIG THANKS!!! Thank you to the Staff, Kitchen Crew, Managers, Hosts, Servers and Bussers who made this meal and party possible. Special thanks to our server Kelly, who did an excellent job and was extremely friendly and personable.

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Osteria Mozza Executive Chef Elizabeth Hong (Brian van der Brug/LA Times)

Elizabeth Hong’s family settled in Los Angeles and opened Park’s BBQ, a Korean barbecue restaurant in Koreatown in 2003. Hong enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena and completed her cooking courses. Needing an externship to graduate, she applied to Osteria Mozza. Now Hong is 31 and has been at Mozza for as long as she has been cooking professionally: she first worked at the mozzarella bar, then moved to Pizzeria Mozza, where she became sous chef and then chef de cuisine. When longtime chef de cuisine Matt Molina left Osteria Mozza last year, Hong took over and she is now the Executive Chef.

From the Osteria Mozza website:
Hong’s first (paying) kitchen gig was alongside Nancy Silverton behind Osteria Mozza’s mozzarella bar. By quickly mastering each station in the kitchen, Hong worked her way to Chef de Cuisine at neighboring Pizzeria Mozza. As Executive Chef of the renowned and beloved Osteria Mozza, Chef Hong carefully adheres to Nancy’s words of wisdom: “Make it nice or make it twice.”

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Executive Pastry Chef Dahlia Narvaez (Mozza website)

NOTE: Big Congratulations to Executive Pastry Chef Dahlia Narvaez for recently winning a James Beard Award. The desserts were excellent! She has been thrice-nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Pastry Chef” Award. Her work has been celebrated in the LA Times, LA Weekly, New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, GQ and Metropolitan Home.

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Brooks Cherries al Forno, Perugian Tart, Yogurt Gelato & Dried Cherry Brittle

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Cannoli di Gelati: Pistachio w/cherries, Caramel w/marshmallow & Espresso w/chocolate

NOTE: Seriously, save some room for dessert!

After dinner we picked up our leftovers at the host desk and made it to the valet just in time! Three large parties exited just after we did and there was a sudden rush on the valet stand after we got there. Also, $12 is pretty steep for valet parking at a restaurant even in Los Angeles! There is street parking nearby, but it’s difficult to find a space and there have been some unpleasant “incidents” in the immediate neighborhood after dark, so we recommend valet or street parking on Highland or Melrose.

Osteria Mozza6602 Melrose Ave (at Highland) Hollywood, California
323-997-0100 http://www.osteriamozza.com
Open Mon-Fri 5:30-11pm and Sat & Sun 5-11pm

Unless otherwise noted, all photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

Our Periscope videos from Katch are now on YouTube:
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We took a couple pics of the interior of Pizzeria Mozza through the window while we were waiting at the valet.

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Party at the Culver Hotel in Culver City

Graduation and Dinner Party at the Culver Hotel in Culver City on Sunday night!

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The Culver Hotel in Culver City, California

A beautiful Sunday evening in Los Angeles and an invitation to a Graduation and Dinner Party at the historic Culver Hotel in Culver City, California.

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The Culver Hotel and The Lion’s Fountain in Culver City

The party was called for 6pm, so we left the San Fernando Valley a little after 5 o’clock, and drove the 405 freeway to the Venice Blvd exit and into Culver City. We decided not to valet park or park in the public parking structures, so we drove around for a little while and finally nabbed street parking at a metered space. The meters don’t run on Sunday, so we took a short walk and arrived at our destination right on time.

The 405 Freeway south (through a dirty windshield):

Downtown Culver City (founded 1917)

The intersection of Washington Blvd and Culver Blvd in downtown Culver City.

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View of Washington Blvd & Culver Blvd in Culver City from Harry Culver’s Office

Parking Sucks! There is metered street parking and there are public parking structures in Downtown Culver City (first hour free, then $1.00 every 30 minutes) in case you don’t want to valet park. However, you don’t have to pay to park at the meters on Sunday, so if you can find a space on the street, you’re golden. Be sure to check the signs carefully, because there are many restrictions and some other strange valet parking rules.

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW ON YOUTUBE> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVSLpa6OdQ8
Walk With Me: Sunday Evening in Downtown Culver City!

 

The Historic Culver Hotel 1924 Six Story Flatiron Brick Building

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The Culver Hotel in Culver City, California

National Registry of Historic Places 1997

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The Culver Hotel in Culver City, California

 

 

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Built by Harry Culver, the founder of Culver City. Originally named the Hotel Hunt and later known as the Culver City Hotel. Culver had offices on the second floor of the hotel.

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Harry Culver’s Office (Then)

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Harry Culver’s Office (Now)

Culver City became a movie-making mecca in the 1920s and was the home of MGM Studios. Many legendary Hollywood stars maintained private residences and cast members from classic films like Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz  (including the 124 actors who played the Munchkins) were guests of the hotel.

The hotel was later owned by Charlie Chaplin. Legend has it Chaplin lost the property in a poker game to John Wayne, who owned the hotel for several years and eventually donated it to the YMCA.  The property fell into disrepair, was boarded up for a time and almost demolished in the 1980s.

Dwight D. Eisenhower had a Presidential campaign office in the hotel in 1952.

The Culver Hotel was restored and reopened by Lou Catlett in the mid 90’s and was then purchased by Abraham Hu who ran it for several years until 2007, when he sold it to the Mallick family. Since 2007, the entire plumbing and electrical systems have been upgraded and the guestrooms and the public spaces have been redone, all 140 handmade windows in the guest rooms have been replaced while maintaining the property’s history and architectural integrity.

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ICP Graduation 2016 and Dinner Party on the 2nd Floor

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Diplomas were awarded and Speeches were made before Dinner

6pm Reception, Cocktail Hour & Hors d’oeuvres
7pm Welcome, Introduction, Graduation Speaker & Graduation
8pm Dinner & 9pm Dessert (with a brief award presentation in between)

On The Menu: Tray passed appetizers: mac’n’cheese, tuna poke with wasabi cream cheese and bruschetta with cream cheese & tomato; red wine, Buffet: chicken, salmon, pasta in red sauce, roasted cauliflower/broccolini/root vegetables and a coke; Dessert: mini cannoli and macaroons….didn’t stay for coffee.

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Party at the Culver Hotel in Culver City

RIGHT CLICK AND OPEN IN NEW WINDOW TO VIEW LARGER PIC AND GALLERY>

 

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The Ground Floor Lobby and Bar are used for special events. There was a wedding in progress and we took a couple pictures on our way out.

Culver Hotel9400 Culver Blvd Culver City, CA 90232

All Photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California

Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California

Saturday Evening and Sunday Afternoon at the Pacific Ocean in Cambria.

THIS BLOG IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

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Pacific Ocean View, Big Sur, California (not my pic)

We have combined the pics from previous blogs and added new pics into this one.
This Blog was just UPDATED April 9, 2017.

Hearst San Simeon California State Park owns and controls most of the waterfront property along the 20-mile segment of Highway 1 north of Cambria on the Central Coast as well as Hearst Castle and the surrounding land. There are thirteen different beautiful, uncrowded and remote “hidden gem” beaches in northern San Luis Obispo County and southern Monterey County between Cambria and Big Sur.

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

Moonstone Beach is a California State Park and part of Hearst San Simeon State Park. It runs along Moonstone Beach Drive and parallels Highway 1 in Cambria. The shoreline is made up of brown sandy beaches and coves separated by rocky headlands. On the beach, there are a number of natural ocean tide pools filled with marine life, and in the park there are easy hiking trails and an abundance of natural flora and fauna.

NOTE: Dogs are allowed on-leash on the trails and the boardwalk, but not on the beach!

SATURDAY EVENING

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Marine Layer Rolling In Over Cambria and the Pacific Ocean on Saturday Evening

Moonstone Beach was the end of a long road trip from Ashland, Oregon. We left in the morning without a destination and arrived in Cambria at sunset. The marine layer and heavy fog had rolled in as we were coming down Highway 46 from the mountains, so there were gray skies and it was chilly outside the car when we reached the ocean.

NOTE: Read the previous Blogs about our Spring 2016 Oregon Roadtrip, Historic Cambria, the Vault Gallery and the Bluebird Inn in Cambria (see the links below)

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Sunset at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

We parked the car at the Beach next to the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk. The marine layer was over the ocean and there was only a thin line of orange on the horizon as the sun went down over the ocean, but it was really beautiful as we watched the sunset.

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Sunset at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

The one and a half mile long boardwalk runs the length of Moonstone Beach along the bluff top and walking it is a great way to experience the beauty of the Pacific Coastline.

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The Boardwalk at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

There is easy access to the sandy beach via stairs down from the bluffs and there are many wooden benches along the Boardwalk to just sit and enjoy the view.

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

As the sun set, we called and found a room was available at the Bluebird Inn. We had a very nice dinner at Robin’s restaurant and went for drinks afterwards at the Cambria Pub and Mozzi’s Saloon and then stayed the night at the motel.

Read the Previous Blog! (RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”)
Saturday Night at The Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria 
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3gi

NOTE: There is not much to do after 9pm in Cambria. There is no real nightlife, except for a few bars and restaurants that stay open late.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

After a good night’s rest and the morning breakfast buffet at the Bluebird Inn, we spent the early part of the day walking around downtown Cambria exploring historical sites and visiting shops and galleries (Read our previous Blogs).

Read the Previous Blogs! (RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”)
Sweet Offerings Confectionary in Cambria, California! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3ik

It was still overcast, so we decided not to drive north to Big Sur. Instead, some time after noon, we walked back to the car at the motel and then drove down to Moonstone Beach and the Pacific Ocean.

Moonstone State Beach in Cambria, California

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

SEAGULLS!

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

 

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

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Moonstone Beach – Parking Lot and Picnic Area

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SQUIRREL! “Hey, nice marmot!”
They Have No Fear! Please DO NOT feed the wildlife!

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SQUIRREL! No Fear! Please DO NOT feed the wildlife!

This little squirrel tried to “panhandle” us in the parking lot!
It came right up (not even 3 feet away) and posed for these pictures exhibiting little fear of people and obviously looking for some food from the tourists…
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, consisting of small or medium-size rodents. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots (including woodchucks), flying squirrels, and prairie dogs.

That word “squirrel” first specified in 1327, comes from the Anglo-Norman esquirel which is from the Old French escurel, the reflex of a Latin word sciurus. This Latin word was borrowed from the Ancient Greek word σκίουρος, skiouros, which means shadow-tailed, referring to the bushy appendage possessed by many of its members.

The California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi), is a common and easily observed ground squirrel of the western United States and the Baja California Peninsula. “Beechey’s Marmot” (named after Frederick William Beechey, an early 19th-century British explorer and naval officer) is common in Oregon and California and its range has relatively recently extended into Washington and northwestern Nevada.

California ground squirrels live in burrows which they excavate themselves. Some burrows are occupied communally but each individual squirrel has its own entrance. They readily become tame in areas used by humans and quickly learn to take food left or offered by people. They spend most of their time within 82 feet of their burrow and rarely go further than 160 feet from it. The squirrel’s fur contains a mixture of gray, light brown and dusky hairs; the underside is lighter, buff or grayish yellow. The fur around the eyes is whitish and around the ears is black. Head and body are about 12 inches long and the bushy tail an additional 6 inches.

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Squirrel! No Fear! Please don’t feed the wildlife!

 

TRAVEL ALERT!
Highway 1 IS CLOSED! Pacific Coast Highway from Cambria to Big Sur!

 

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HIGHWAY 1 NEAR BIG SUR IS CLOSED DUE TO STORM DAMAGE!

There are currently temporary closures on Highway 1 after winter storms damaged the coastal road again. The highway north of Big Sur has reopened but a full closure due to landslides (Paul’s Slide) near the town of Lucia will continue for at least four to six more weeks. The highway continues to deteriorate at Mud Creek near the town of Gorda as slide activity continues. It is currently closed there and it is also closed at Ragged Point, 24 miles north of Cambria. They remain closed to travelers according to Caltrans as of April 4, 2017. Caltrans completed demolition on the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge just south of Big Sur Station on March 20 after the bridge failed in mid-February and is planning to build a replacement bridge. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, the only road that cuts through the Santa Lucia Mountains from Highway 101 and allows access to Big Sur, reopened in late March.

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Big Creek Bridge and Cove – Big Sur, California (not my pic)

Moonstone Beach at Hearst San Simeon State Park
6216 Moonstone Beach Drive, Cambria, CA
Free parking along Moonstone Beach Drive and in the park parking lot.
NOTE: Bring a sweater or jacket! It can get cold, even in Summer.

Read the Previous Blogs!
(RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”)
Master Blog! Spring Roadtrip 2016 to Ashland Oregon! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-35M
Seagulls! Moonstone Beach in Cambria http://wp.me/s3dhVM-seagulls
The Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria 
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3gi
Historic Downtown Cambria, California http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3yI
The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California http://wp.me/p3dhVM-4lQ
Sweet Offerings Confectionary in Cambria, California! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3ik

Hearst Castle website: http://www.hearstcastle.org

All Photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Pacific Ocean at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

 

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California


Wine Wednesday! The Aftermath!

Wine Wednesday! The Aftermath!

Wine and cheese party in Ashland Oregon: South Stage Cellars petite syrah, Chateau Lorane sauvignon blanc, Grizzly Peak tempranillo, a Margerum M5 and more.

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The Aftermath! Wine and Cheese Party in Ashland Oregon!

There was cheese and plenty of other appetizers too.
It was a lovely evening with friends and family!

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Say Cheeeeese! Rogue Creamery in Central Point Oregon

TRAVEL TUESDAY! Where do you want to go next?

TRAVEL TUESDAY!
Where do you want to go next?

What’s the DESTINATION, Kenneth?

“I’ve got Two Tickets to Paradise!
Pack your bags and we’ll leave tonight!” 
~Eddie Money

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Duke Kahanamoku Statue – Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu 

“Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again…”
~John Denver

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Limo and a Private G-4 LearJet at Santa Monica Municipal Airport in Los Angeles

“I have a limo, ride in the back
I lock the doors in case I’m attacked”
~Joe Walsh

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Your Limosine is Waiting!

“VEGAS BABY! VEGAS!”

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The Venetian – Palazzo – Las Vegas Blvd “The Strip” at night

“If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there”
~Scott McKenzie

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Golden Gate Bridge in the Fog – San Francisco, California

We might need to go to Yosemite soon.

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Yosemite Valley, California 

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Picture Point – Yosemite Valley – First snow of the season!

“Here today, gone to Maui…” (or maybe Hawaii)

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Hana Bay – Hana, Maui, Hawaii

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Rainbow Falls – Hilo, Hawaii 

Where do you want to go next?

“Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man,
Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can.
And when it’s time for leavin’,
I hope you’ll understand,
That I was born a ramblin’ man.”
~The Allman Brothers Band

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Road Trip! Mount Shasta from the I-5 Freeway – Shasta, California

All Photos copyright 2010-2016 JoshWillTravel

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Yosemite 33

Yosemite Falls – Yosemite Valley, California