**Goodbye 2014! Hello 2015!** – My Year in Review.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015! Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?

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“It is a new year!
What will you do different?
Will you be the same?”

Happy New Year! Balloon Drop San Francisco Civic Auditorium 1983

Happy New Year! Balloon Drop at Midnight – San Francisco Civic Auditorium 12-31-1983

Goodbye 2014! (Wow, this year went by fast!) Hello 2015!

“Wet earth and sunshine
You can smell it in the air
After the rain.”

Here’s my year in review. My Blogs (see previous blogs) and Facebook posts (Joshua Weisel & JoshWillTravel) have stories, details and cool pictures for most events! Please check them out by following the links at the bottom of the page.

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January

LA Times Travel Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center

Los Angeles Times Travel Show (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Los Angeles Times Travel Show (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Hosted Reception at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City

The Sportsman's Lodge in Studio City, CA (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City, CA (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“Buy Tuscany” Event at the Italian Cultural Institute in Westwood

"Buy Tuscany" event at the Italian Cultural Institute (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“Buy Tuscany” event at the Italian Cultural Institute (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

February

GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

GUNG HAY FAT CHOY! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

IsramWorld and Israel Tourism Event at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills

IsramWorld and Israel Tourism Event at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills

IsramWorld and Israel Tourism Event at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills

Japan Tourism Event at the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Los Angeles

Japan Tourism Event at the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Los Angeles

Japan Tourism Event at the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Los Angeles

Mexico Tourism Event at the Universal Sheraton Hotel in Universal City

Mexico Tourism Event at the Sheraton Universal in Universal City

Mexico Tourism Event at the Sheraton Universal in Universal City

Los Angeles 9th Annual Travel & Adventure Show at the Long Beach Convention Center

9th Annual Travel & Adventure Show - Long Beach Convention Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

9th Annual Travel & Adventure Show – Long Beach Convention Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

March

Four Seasons Event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills

Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

On Rodeo on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze with Carrie and John in Moorpark

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

Dinner at Cafe Firenze (photo by Carrie Smith)

Sunday Brunch at On Sunset Restaurant at the LUXE Hotel On Sunset!

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Travel Massive Los Angeles Event at The Roof on Wilshire

The Roof on Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Roof on Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Italian Dreams at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills

Beverly Hilton (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Beverly Hilton (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Joshua Weisel Departs Willett Travel (effective March 31st)

NOTE: Willett Travel was bought by FROSCH. I became JoshWillTravel (Luxury Travel Advisor, Lifestyle and Travel Writer, Independent Consultant) full time! Read my Blogs!

April – May

Passover

Passover Seder (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Passover Seder (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinners at Le Sanglier French Restaurant (celebrated two birthday parties there this year)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Le Sanglier (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Mother’s Day “The Lion in Winter” Matinee at the Colony Theatre in Burbank and Lunch at Bow & Truss in North Hollywood

Colony Theatre in Burbank (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Colony Theatre in Burbank (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven in Downtown L.A.

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Fifty Seven (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Memorial Day “Chef” at the ArcLight Sherman Oaks and Dinner at Versailles in Encino

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sherman Oaks Galleria (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

June

World Cup! United States - One Nation One Team!

World Cup! United States – One Nation One Team!

Phyllis Patterson RIP – She Changed My Life!

Phyllis Patterson RIP (photo and costume by Vicky Nebeker)

Phyllis Patterson RIP (photo and costume by Vicky Nebeker)

“We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” ~Japanese Proverb

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP June 14, 2014 “May the four winds blow you safely home!”

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP 2014

St. Paul’s Reunion in San Francisco! (and the Road Trip north and south)

San Francisco Civic Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

San Francisco Civic Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

St. Paul's Reunion in San Francisco

Old Friends! Stretch Limosine! St. Paul’s Reunion in San Francisco – June 2014

Return to the Paramount Ranch in Agoura 2014 – Visiting Old Ghosts!

Washing Well foreground, Twilziwop and DAW/SOB on the hillside

Paramount Ranch – Washing Well foreground, Twilziwop and DAW/SOB on the hillside

July – August

Summer “Staycation” in Los Angeles

San Fernando Valley #2 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

San Fernando Valley #2 – A view from Mulholland Hwy (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Box Seats for Four Great Summer Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl! Joshua Bell & Friends, Yo-Yo Ma and a nice Dinner on the patio at Patina, Beethoven (with Dudamel and the L.A. Phil doing the 5th Symphony) and “HAIR!”

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

A Celebration of Caitlin’s Life in Santa Monica

Celebrating Caitlin with Mardeen, Kevin, Janet & Bob in Santa Monica

Celebrating Caitlin’s Life and Memory with Mardeen, Kevin, Janet & Bob in Santa Monica

The Simpsons Marathon on FX

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl!

The Simpsons! Every Episode in Chronological Order…

September

Burning Man! (via the internet)

Burning Man 2014

Burning Man 2014 (via UStream) Screen Capture

Burning Man 2014 "Embrace" burns!

Burning Man 2014 “Embrace” burns!

The Simpsons Take the Hollywood Bowl! EXCELLENT FUN!

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Simpsons take the Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Happy Jewish New Year 5775!

Happy New Year 5775!

Happy New Year 5775!

Richard Edward “Ed” Whitchurch III RIP September 29, 2014 (a Vietnam Veteran)

“You can get anything you want, (exceptin’ Alice) at Alice’s Restaurant.”

“May the Four Winds Blow You Safely Home”

October

Road Trip! California-Oregon-Nevada (San Jose, Santa Cruz, Ashland, Reno, Lake Tahoe)

Going Home! US Highway 395 south in California

Going Home! US Highway 395 south in California

Great vacation! Saw old friends and family, visited UCSC and the Grateful Dead Special Collection, celebrated my father’s birthday and saw some great theatre in Ashland (“The Tempest”, “Richard III” and “The Cocoanuts”), partied in Reno, relaxed at Lakeland Village in South Lake Tahoe, and drove scenic US Highway 395 south to L.A.

(I’m still working on finishing the Road Trip Blogs! Please be patient.)

Lake Tahoe Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

South Lake Tahoe Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

November – December

Thanksgiving 2014 – The Feast! (Our annual family food fest)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 – The Feast! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 – Dessert! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Otis Redding RIP Dec 18, 2014 – Had to say goodbye to the old boy, very sad.

“He was a great dog. He had a good life. May the Four Winds blow him safely home.”

Otis Redding RIP

Otis Redding RIP

Dinner at the Border Grill & “Blithe Spirit” with Angela Landsbury at the Ahmanson Theatre

Los Angeles Music Center (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

At the Los Angeles Music Center (copyright 2104 JoshWillTravel)

Hannukah!

Happy Hannukah!

Happy Hannukah!

Festivus, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Dinner with Friends!

Ho! Ho! Ho! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas in North Hollywood (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

“Another Year Gone!
Say Buh-Bye 2014…
A New Year Ahead!”

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP

E. Caitlin Phillips RIP 2014 (she was there in spirit this year)

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” ~ T. S. Eliot

 

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Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year 2015!

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Baby New Year! She had a very good year too!

Baby New Year! She had a very good year too!

Best Place to See Fourth of July Fireworks in Los Angeles?

NOTE: Independence Day is only two weeks away!

Q: Where is the best place to see Fourth of July fireworks in Los Angeles?

FIREWORKS!

FIREWORKS!

A: July 4, 2014 – Independence Day Fireworks in Los Angeles

Grand Park BLOCK PARTY! Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90012

COST: FREE! 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm    www.grandparkla.org

From the Grand Park website: “Launching the biggest rooftop fireworks display in DTLA and expanding festivities from Temple to Second Streets, Grand Park’s 4th of July Block Party is bigger, better and FREE FOR ALL!

NOTE: Doors open at 1pm for early birds. Entertainment begins at 4pm. Prepared food picnics encouraged in the park. Grilling & cooking prohibited. Visitors may not bring alcoholic beverages into the event.” (but they’ll have some for sale I’m sure)

FIREWORKS!

FIREWORKS!

The Rose Bowl Stadium and outside the Rose Bowl – Pay to see the 88th Annual “Americafest” show inside, pay for parking to see the fireworks show from the outside. It’s the biggest and longest running party in the L.A. Area.

2 PM: The 1st annual America’s BBQ & Brews Festival begins outside the stadium. This 2-day event showcases 200 vendor barbeque competitors from all over the U.S along with national and local Breweries presenting over 55+ brands of beer and wine. 7 PM: Live motorcycle stunts and musical performance by Liverpool Legends, the Ultimate Beatles Experience.

9 PM: The largest fireworks show in Southern California by Pyrospectaculars by Souza http://www.rosebowlstadium.com/events/detail/americafest

3-Day July 4th Celebration at the Hollywood Bowl – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers will be headlining the three-day Independence Day celebration with fireworks each night at the Hollywood landmark. July 2-4th, 7:30 pm $15-$243 + fee www.hollywoodbowl.com

FIREWORKS! Hollywood Bowl 4th of July!

FIREWORKS! Hollywood Bowl 4th of July!

Santa Monica Pier and Marina Del Rey

Celebrate America – Sat., June 26 5pm at Santa Monica College Corsair Field – Fireworks salute to America and our nation’s independence. Call (310) 434-3005.

4th of July Parade 9:30-11:30am Main Street – The entire stretch of Main Street in Santa Monica will be closed. After the parade there will be a refreshment area at Ocean View Park, including one band that will continue to play until noon. Call (310) 564-1968

Marina del Rey Fireworks 9:00pm Burton Chace Park & Fisherman’s Village – Fireworks shot over the Marina’s main channel. Park early most public spaces are filled by 6pm.

So there are five good options for the 4th of July in L.A., but there are many other smaller celebrations, both public and private events, happening all over Southern California. Check the local listings! LA Weekly, LAist, LA Times & google.

The Queen Mary and Disneyland both have special events and extra-special fireworks for the holiday. Disneyland has special fireworks all week long!

Disneyland Fireworks!

Disneyland Fireworks!

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FIREWORKS!

FIREWORKS!

 

World Cup Facts!

Every Four Years…WORLD CUP SOCCER! (aka Futbol)

World Cup!

World Cup!

The World Cup or Coupe du Monde” is the most viewed sporting event in the world exceeding even the Olympic Games.

FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014

FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014

Tournament Kickoff: 12 June, 2014

Final (Championship) Game: 13 July, 2014

732 Players on 32 National Teams

A record 204 countries entered qualification for the 2010 World Cup.

BRAZIL is the host nation in 2014 

World Cup 2014 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

World Cup 2014 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

FIFA -Fédération Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Membership: 209 national associations

FIFA Headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland

FIFA President is Sepp Blatter

FIFA was founded in Paris on 21 May, 1904. Founding Members: Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain (the Madrid Football Club; Spanish Federation wasn’t created until 1913), Sweden and Switzerland. The same day, the German Association telegrammed its intention of affiliating. Membership expanded beyond Europe with South Africa 1908, Argentina and Chile 1912, Canada and the United States 1913.

In tournaments from 1934-1978, 16 teams competed except in 1938, when Austria was absorbed into Germany after qualifying, and in 1950, when India, Scotland and Turkey withdrew. The tournament was expanded to 24 teams in 1982 and then to 32 in 1998 allowing more teams from Africa, Asia and North America to take part.

FIFA World Cup Trophy

“Coupe du Monde” FIFA World Cup Trophy

The 1974 FIFA World Cup, the tenth staging, was held in West Germany. The tournament marked the first time that the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Italian sculptor Silvio Gazzaniga, was awarded. The previous trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, had been won for the third time by Brazil in 1970 and was awarded permanently to the Brazilians.

Largest official attendance at a World Cup match: 173,000 in Maracana, Brazil, July 16, 1950 (unofficial attendance: 220,000)

WORLD CUP!

WORLD CUP 2014! USA! USA! USA! USA defeats Ghana 2-1 on 16 June, 2014!

The next two World Cups will be hosted by Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

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World Cup! United States - One Nation One Team!

World Cup 2014! USA! USA! USA! United States of America – One Nation One Team!

UPDATE: 1 July, 2014 United States eliminated. Belgium 2 – United States 1

Great game! – Extra time! – Heartbreaking loss! – Belgium wins. Thank you and good night! Tim Howard played an amazing game as Goalkeeper, making 15 saves and keeping the U.S. in it until extra time. Too many opportunities for Belgium and too many missed opportunities for the United States. It was a good run, but now the U.S. is out of the competition. Congratulations Belgium. Good luck against Argentina.

CHEERS!

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