Happy Holidays! Season’s Greetings! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
Another year in the history books, and since it’s my blog, here’s my past year in review. (RIGHT CLICK the links and OPEN A NEW WINDOW to read my blog stories and see more pictures from each event!)
In December 2012, we got a new Cavachon puppy, so all year long it was the Year of the “Little Fuzz Ball”, as she grew up, was loved, learned to be good dog, caused (mostly minor) trouble, and was just plain adorable everyday!
January – New Year’s Eve 2013: I kicked the new year off with a champagne toast at the annual New Years Eve Party with a few old friends in Burbank, California!
January 11th – I saw a shooting star! I was outside and looked up at the clear night sky and thought “Gee, it would really be cool to see a shooting star”. And as if on cue, the most amazing shooting star I have ever seen came blazing from the heavens exactly where I was looking. It was awesome and it kind of freaked me out too.
January Trip to Ashland, Oregon http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/my-january-trip-to-ashland-oregon/
Leaving on a (prop) jet plane! Since this is a travel blog, I’m going to share my travel experiences from the past year. Horizon Air – Alaska Air (codeshare) LAX to Medford, Oregon for a winter visit. There was a little snow in the morning the first day I was there.
Ashland is incredibly beautiful in the winter. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival runs February to November, so in December and January it’s relatively “tourist free”.
To kick off the New Year in 2014, I’m officially launching my new facebook page Food, Wine & Theatre in Ashland, Oregon with JoshWillTravel: Visit https://www.facebook.com/theatreinashland for more info!
February – BIG NEWS! NEW JOB.
Travel Advisor, Independent Travel Consultant & Travel Agent
I spent most of this year learning the travel business, working, meeting new people, making new contacts, traveling, and enjoying my new career and all the wonderful perks!
Launched the JoshWillTravel brand and started this BLOG in February 2012!
From February until July, I posted a regular “Pic of the Day” featured photo on my blog daily, please look back and see them in my older posts!
Trade Day at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/trade-day-at-the-la-times-travel-show-2013/
Mom’s 70th Birthday Party at the house in Bel Air
March – A month of education that continued throughout the year: The Willett Travel Academy winter class of 2013 three nights a week, continuous online learning and webinar training, a lot of reading, and events and seminars to increase my industry and product knowledge. I studied hard and earned special Travel Specialist designations with many of our suppliers, vendors, and other travel partners this year. RIGHT CLICK to see my new credentials: http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/about/im-a-travel-agent-luxury-travel-advisor-independent-travel-consultant/
April – Opening night of “Assisted Living” at the Odyssey Theater and dinner at Nan Ban Kan in West Los Angeles http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/dinner-show-nan-ban-kan-assisted-living-opening-night-odyssey-theater/
The Hollywood Expo (Hollywood Chamber of Commerce) at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/tuesday-night-at-the-hollywood-expo-in-hollywood/
I also attended great Hollywood Chamber of Commerce events at Fabiolus Restaurant in Hollywood, Spoonful Restaurant in Universal City, and the Infusion Lounge at Universal Citywalk in 2013.
Return to the Paramount Ranch in Agoura, California http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/return-to-paramount-ranch-01-apr-13-part-1-western-town/
A trip to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, California to see old friends.
and The Brewery Art Walk in Downtown Los Angeles http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/pic-of-the-day-29-apr-13-brewery-art-walk-downtown-los-angeles/
“A Comfortable Skin” Multimedia Art by Kristine Schomaker: www.kristineschomaker.net
May – Willett Travel Academy Graduation Celebration at The Six in Studio City http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/celebration-at-the-six-restaurant-in-studio-city/ Six of us graduated, and at the end of the year only two remain (myself and Lena).
Road Trip to San Jose – Ann’s Birthday and UC Santa Cruz Friends Reunion http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/do-you-know-the-way-to-san-jose-reunion-roadtrip/
My 30th High School Reunion at the Oakwood School in North Hollywood.
the Southern California Hotel and Lodging Conference in the City of Industry at the Palm Pacific Hotel Resort http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/trade-show-time-socal-hotel-and-lodging-conference-at-the-palm-pacific-hotel-resort/
June – The L.A. WineFest at Raleigh Studios http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/la-winefest-2013-in-hollywood/
A Good Week in June!
Lunch at the Four Seasons Westlake Village http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/pic-of-the-day-13-jun-13-four-seasons-westlake-village/
Limo trip and Private Gulfstream 4 Jet at Santa Monica Municipal Airport http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/who-else-needs-a-limo-and-a-private-gulfstream-g-4-jet/
the Art Party in Beverly Hills http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/saturday-evening-at-the-art-party-in-beverly-hills/
T.H.O.R. Reception at the Mr. C Hotel in West Los Angeles http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/pic-of-the-day-20-jun-13-mr-cs-hotel/
and Opening night of “Absolutely Filthy” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/pic-of-the-day-21-jun-3-friday-night-at-the-formosa-cafe/
The Best Play I Saw This Year: “Absolutely Filthy” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Other notable Theater Perfomances this year: “Dreamgirls”, “Our Class”, “Assisted Living” at small theaters in L.A. and “The Liquid Plain” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
July – Road Trip to San Jose, Santa Cruz, Pacifica, San Francisco and Ashland
August – GBTA 2013 (Global Business Travel Association) convention in San Diego
GBTA 2013 – Monday’s Keynote Speaker: Jewel performs “Who Will Save Your Soul” live at the San Diego Convention Center https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=703198789706690&set=vb.337421319696080&type=2&theater (facebook video)
Eagle and Badge Foundation “Summerfest” at the Los Angeles Police Academy
SoCal ASTA (American Society if Travel Agents) Premium Luxury Symposium and Showcase at the Montage Beverly Hills Hotel
My Birthday Dinner at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica (the best and most expensive meal of the year) http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/dinner-at-melisse/
Other notable meals: Dinner at Mozza Osteria in Hollywood, Dinner at Beazy’s on the Creek in Ashland, Birthday Dinner at Arnie Morton’s, Sushi at Sushi Ichiban Kan and Okumura Sushi in the San Fernando Valley, Lunch at the Four Season’s Westlake Village and On Sunset at the LUXE on Sunset, Brunch at Bistro Gardens, and many great buffets and food presentations at the wonderful hotel events I attended this year (read about them and see the pictures in my previous blogs). The “worst meal of the year” loser award goes to the dinner at the MGM Grand Buffet in Las Vegas, everything was overcooked and underseasoned.
I also attended a couple of great Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl this summer.
Here are video samples (but you might have to be my friend on facebook to see them):
Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot at the Hollywood Bowl 20-August-2013 with members of the L.A. Philharmonic and the Klezmer Conservatory Band perform A Yiddishe Mama (A Jewish Mother) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=712946625398573&set=vb.100000497266600&type=3&theater
Overture! Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart performed live at the Hollywood Bowl by the L.A. Philharmonic 03-September-2013 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=721038357922733&set=vb.100000497266600&type=3&theater
September – I sold my car and got a brand new motor vehicle! Then I drove it to LTX (the Luxury Travel Exchange) at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/luxury-travel-exchange-ltx-trade-show-in-las-vegas/
October – The ARTA 50th Anniversay Gala Dinner at the Radisson LAX http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/arta-50th-anniversary-gala-dinner/
The 90th Anniversary Party at the Millenium Biltmore in Downtown Los Angeles! http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/the-90th-party-at-the-millennium-biltmore-hotel-in-downtown-los-angeles/
The best hotel party event of the year! Dress in Black or White or Roaring 20’s.
and LWH Hotels presents “The Art of Hospitality” at the LUXE Hotel on Sunset http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/the-art-of-hospitality-lwh-hotels-event-at-the-luxe-hotel-on-sunset/
November – Dinner at El Torito Grill in Torrance courtesy of AeroMexico, CostaBaja Resort, and La Paz, Mexico. I won a trip to the Sea of Cortez! http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/thank-you-aeromexico-costabaja-and-la-paz/
I also won hotel stays in Tempe, Arizona and Lake Tahoe, California this past year, so look for new blogs about the upcoming trips here next year.
Signature Sales Meeting and Trade Show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/signature-sales-meeting-and-trade-show-at-the-mgm-grand-in-las-vegas/
and One Night at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas
and a Party at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City http://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/party-at-the-intercontinental-hotel-20-nov-13/
Family Thanksgiving! (and Hannukah 2013) Family, friends, football and a feast!
Finally got an iPhone! Please note the improved picture quality.
GO BRONCOS! It was a great year to be a Denver Broncos fan because it was a great year for the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning!
The Broncos clinched the AFC West Division with 13 wins, 3 losses and broke a new record every week including the record for the NFL’s highest scoring team during the regular season. Peyton Manning has thrown a touchdown pass in 39 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NFL. https://www.facebook.com/DenverBroncos
Frank & Diane’s Annual Christmas Cocktail Party in Hawthorne
Christmas Cocktail Party Video (but you probably have to be my friend on facebook): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=788317794528122&set=vb.100000497266600&type=3&theater
The Holiday Party at Spark Italian Woodfire Grill in Studio City
Holiday Mansion Party in the hills of Los Angeles!
and a wonderful Christmas Dinner with a few old friends to celebrate the holiday.
It was a good year! A toast to all my friends and readers! Wishing you and yours safe travel and a happy, healthy, and wonderful new year in 2014!
“Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.” ― William Shakespeare
p.s. She had a good year too!