Thanksgiving 2018! The End of November.

Thanksgiving 2018!
The End of November. “Tempus fugit!”

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“Still Crazy After All These Years” – Paul Simon

HOLIDAY TRAFFIC in Los Angeles. This weekend will set new travel records!

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TravelTuesday in Los Angeles! 6pm at the 405 Freeway and Wilshire Blvd

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! A time to be thankful and grateful for all you have.
Celebrate with Family and Friends, but do not forget the less fortunate. Enjoy your bountiful feast, but remember there are many people who have nothing to eat.

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We always have too much food.
Thanksgiving Feasts!
“FOOD ORGY FESTS” from past years:

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Thanksgiving Turkey 2015

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

We have documented our Thanksgiving for the last four years (2014-2017), so if you are interested in HOLIDAY TRADITIONS, you can read our previous Thanksgiving Blog Posts!

NOTE: There are MANY GREAT RECIPES available here on this Blog! Check them out!

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Thanksgiving 2018 (Bird #1) – Resting quietly before meeting its plate.

Are you ready for some NFL Thanksgiving Day Football? Always fun!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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EVERY D*MN YEAR!

Thanksgiving Football 2018! All day Thursday, NFL morning to night.

Thanksgiving Day Final Scores:
Chicago Bears 23
, Detroit Lions 16 (played in Detroit)
Dallas Cowboys 31, Washington Redskins 23 (played in Dallas)
New Orleans Saints 31, Atlanta Falcons 17 (played in New Orleans)

NOW LET’S GET COOKING!

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Burn Baby…………………. Burn.

“I dont’ want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career.
I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed,
or process anything sold, bought or processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed.” ~ John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler in the film “Say Anything”

TIME TO MAKE THE CHEESECAKE! (Back By Popular Demand)

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Thanksgiving 2015 – Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake

ON THE MENU (the night before Thanksgiving): Thai Food for Wednesday Dinner – BBQ chicken, BBQ spareribs, Chicken Satay w/peanut sauce, Pad Thai noodles, fried rice, cucumber salad, mee grob noodles, and Thai iced tea to drink.
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Wednesday after midnight! Time to make the cheesecake!
And chocolate truffle & marshmallow brownies too.

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Time To Make The Cheesecake!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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Getting Baked! Cherry Cheesecake 2018 (in the oven)

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Frosty! Cherry Cheesecake 2018

NOTE: “No sleep ’til Brooklyn” We finished baking after 4am, the cheesecake cooled. and then we woke up early to refrigerate and then frost and decorate the cake. We tried to take an afternoon nap, but the dogs would not stop barking. The party was called for 4pm at the house, but people always show up early to prep and cook beforehand.

4pm TIME TO FEAST! 

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“Save us some white meat.”

TRADITION! We’ve been hosting the Thanksgiving Party for years and years. It’s a family affair with friends and guests of family and friends, so you never know who might be in attendance. The number of people varies each year, sometimes as few as 20, the record year was about 40. It’s always a major endeavor to prepare the party and all the food, and it’s usually also a group effort with people bringing prepared dishes, desserts and gift bottles of wine. As previously noted, the last four Thanksgivings are recorded in past Blog Posts with lots of pictures.

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THANKSGIVING FEAST 2018!

ON THE MENU: 2 Large Turkeys with gravy, 2 kinds of Stuffing/Dressing, Fresh Baked Challah Bread, Carrot-Butternut Squash puree, Corn Pudding, Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts, Vegetable Medley, Greenbean Casserole, Fruit Compote, Cranberry Sauce, Deviled Eggs, and Green Salad. Beverage choices: Wine, a selection of Single Malt Scotches (and other hard liquor), and soft drinks. And then Dessert: Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Chip & Chocolate Chip Blondie Cookies, and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge.

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THE AMAZING THANKSGIVING FEAST! Dinner and Dessert for 20 People.
(One year we had 14 different desserts for 20 people!)

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Mom baked a beautiful Challah! And it was delicious.

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(Homemade Fresh Baked) CHALLAH! (Bread)

AVOID A TURKEY DAY DISASTER!
Always cook with caution…… and a fire extinguisher.

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This year, the CDC and FDA have RECALLED ALL ROMAINE LETTUCE!
The food supply is vulnerable. Bureaucracy is impairing Public Safety.

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“WKRP in Cincinnati” – The “Turkeys Away” episode. A Thanksgiving Classic!

“Mr. Carlson comes up with a Thanksgiving promotional gimmick that involves a helicopter and live turkeys.” (with a wonderful homage to the Hindenburg Disaster)
SPOILER ALERT!

Recommended Classic T-Day Viewing:
The “Cheers” Thanksgiving Food Fight episode, John Candy and Steve Martin in “Planes, Trains & Automobiles”, and of course the “Addams Family Values” Thanksgiving Pageant.
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“I am a Turkey. Kill Me.”

Or there’s always the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
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WTF? What is this “Shimmer” crap and why are they all freezing their asses off? BOYCOTT MACY’S AND NBC AND SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE!

 

ANOTHER TRADITION! (Arlo Guthrie sings “Alice’s Restaurant” LIVE)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FRIENDS!
“You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant!”
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From the Berkshire Eagle

Thanksgiving, an annual national holiday in the United States, celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year. The “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated in October 1621 by English colonists (the Pilgrims) of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the Wampanoag people, after their first harvest in the New World. The feast lasted 3 days, and (as per a written account by attendee Edward Winslow) it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims.

The Continental Congress proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving in 1777.

NOTE: “They didn’t just Massacre a group of Indians and then have a feast to celebrate it there were so many massacres and so many feasts that George Washington created one single day for celebration. And that celebration isn’t celebrating a feast of mutual celebration it’s a celebration of multiple massacres. These massacres were the beginning of the genocide of the North American population.” – Glenn, telling the historical truth

Credit for our modern Thanksgiving goes to Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, a popular women’s magazine.  In 1827, she began a campaign to reinstate the holiday, she petitioned the Presidents, and finally succeeded in 1863 when President Lincoln declared two national Thanksgivings in 1863, one on August 6th celebrating the Civil War victory at Gettysburg and a second holiday for the last Thursday in November.

In 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt lengthened the Christmas shopping season by declaring a Thanksgiving holiday for the next-to-the-last Thursday in November. And two years later in 1941, Congress permanently established a national holiday on the fourth Thursday of the month. Happy Thanksgiving Americans!

And in other news, we passed 88000 unsolicited Hits on our Blog this week!
BIG THANKS TO ALL OUR LOYAL READERS! And thanks to everyone who just drops in!

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88000 Hits! Eighty-Eight Thousand Hits! 88000 Hits On This Blog!

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PUMPKINS!

Whitchurch’s First Law of Human Dynamics:
“The difficulty factor of any task is directly proportional to the number of people involved, squared. (1 person = difficulty factor of 1, 2 people = factor of 4, etc.)”

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UPDATED PHONE NUMBERS FOR SELF-HELP:

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away!

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.

1-888-633-3239 Addiction Hotline
1-800-442-4673 Eating Hotline
1-800-273-8255 Selfharm Hotline
1-800-273-8255 Depression Hotline

Read our previous Blog Post>
DEPRESSION: Questions to ask before giving up
www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/07/12/depression-questions-to-ask-before-giving-up/


 

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

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Thanksgiving Feast 2017

It’s the holiday season again, so that means it’s time for our annual Thanksgiving party and feast. It was warm and sunny, just another beautiful day in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles and Southern California, and time for a celebration. We always wonder why people want to face traffic and crowds to travel to miserable weather for the holidays when they can have summer here in late November and December!

We had about 20 guests this year (family and friends) and the party started an hour earlier at 3pm in the afternoon. The agenda for the evening (as always) is welcome, drinks and appetizers as the meal prep is finished, and then dinner and dessert served buffet style.

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Thanksgiving 2017 – Pretty Flowers!

Would you like to start with an adult beverage?

 

On The Menu: 2 large turkeys, 3 kinds of stuffing, corn pudding, creamed spinach, asparagus, cauliflower & brussel sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato & carrot puree, homemade challah bread, cranberry sauce, and dessert. I made Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake (big hit!), a Costco apple pie, a pumpkin pie, 3 kinds of cookies, 2 kinds of fudge and lots of booze. We also baked cornbread & muffins (see our previous Blog Post) and froze them, but there was too much food so we didn’t serve them and they will be saved for another day (or days as there are 4 batches in the freezer). And there was a bread and hummus appetizer which we didn’t eat because who wants to fill up on bread and garbanzo bean paste before a fantastic meal like this?

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Thanksgiving Feast – dinner plate 2017

Pictures of the Thanksgiving Feast:

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Thanksgiving Feast 2017 – CHALLAH!

 

Desserts:

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Thanksgiving Feast – Dessert! 2017

We usually make our Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake for the Thanksgiving Feast.

Last year we didn’t. So everyone asked about cheesecake and they were sadly disappointed… and then we got some good Jewish guilt for the holiday. This year, by “royal decree” we were instructed that there had to be cheesecake and we did some “midnight baking” without big mixing bowls (because they were all in use for meal prep). And so there was Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake for dessert, and it was a Big Hit and everyone was very happy!

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake 2017

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake recipe>
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Costco Apple Pie and a Pumpkin Pie too! (not pictured)

NOTE: We are so blessed to have it so good! We are so thankful for our friends and family, and the wonderful food we have to eat, and all the modern conveniences that are usually taken for granted everyday. We also think of the less fortunate living on our city streets without homes and food and hope you will too this holiday season.

Also Thanksgiving means NFL FOOTBALL all day long on a Thursday!

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Minnesota Vikings 30 – Detroit Lions 23

and the Halftime Spectacular Show at the Dallas Cowboys game:
(the Cowboys lost, but it was a helluva halftime show)

 

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Los Angeles Chargers 28 – Dallas Cowboys 6

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Washington Redskins 20 – New York Giants 10

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Thank you “South Park”

Hope You Had A Happy Turkey Day!
More great recipes here on my Blog! (see the sidebar>>> or use the search box^^^)

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stuffing in the oven – someone hit BROIL by accident, almost burned them all

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Turkey dinner leftovers for breakfast on Friday, so a toasted chicken&cheese sandwich for dinner and a piece of leftover pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert.
Happy Pie Day and Good Shabbos!

NOTE: The day after Thanksgiving is known as “pie day” around my house. Not to be confused with “Pi Day” on March 14, but it is a Friday and we always have leftover pie because everyone eats all our cheesecake….

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Leftover Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream


This Day In History: On Nov. 25, 1965, Arlo Guthrie took out the garbage…

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THANKSGIVING TRADITION! “ALICE’S RESTAURANT” by Arlo Guthrie
“You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant (exceptin’ Alice)”


 

Post-Playa Depression!

Post-Playa Depression!

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Black Rock Desert, Nevada

So, it’s been a month 2 MONTHS since we got back from our road trip….

We didn’t go to the L.A. Decompression event or any of the other local “Burning Man” related post-event activities. Instead we saw Pete Townshend’s Classical “Quadrophenia” at the Greek Theatre (see our previous Blog post) and went to the L.A. County Fair.

And we bought a NEW AUTOMOBILE!

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“You Get A Car!” – “You Get A Car!”

And then DEPRESSION set in….

There are almost finished Blog Posts almost ready to publish, and we can’t even finish them. We haven’t told the stories of Burning Man and the Total Solar Eclipse of the Sun.

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JoshWillTravel Eclipses the Sun!

We cleaned Vanessa (the van) and cleaned a bunch of stuff and did laundry, and then cleaned a bunch of stuff including our bike (which we didn’t leave on the Playa).

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We’re still not done cleaning stuff…. and we have too much stuff.

It’s raining!! It was raining briefly just now (4am Friday morning)

We were in Ashland, Oregon for a week, between the Eclipse and Burning Man, and have a few stories to tell. We lost most of our pictures from the first part of the trip when we crushed our iPhone and we’re still pretty bummed out about that.

We had such a good time on our summer trip and then we got home. We were SO HAPPY and we didn’t expect the post-adventure “return to real life” to be so difficult to process.

9 days in the desert and other “interesting” experiences during our 3 weeks on the road.

We haven’t been able to get stuff done. Feeling sad and lonely all the time….
except for our three dogs, who are our constant loyal and loving companions.

The current Government and political climate are also contributing to our depression and anxiety. There is no end in sight. We don’t even want to talk about it or blog about it.

If you are interested in politics,
please visit www.facebook.com/USADumpTrump 

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And it’s the Holiday Season…. Thanksgiving is next week!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake recipe>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/grandmas-cherry-cheesecake-recipe/

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake – Thanksgiving 2015

 

We cooked a nice dinner tonight (Thursday).

On The Menu: Stirfry shrimp, sautéed asparagus, brown&wild rice and an iced espresso

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What’s for Dinner?

That’s all for now.
It’s Saturday afternoon, I’m going out on this beautiful day.
Posted on Monday Morning.


p.s. Saturday afternoon we found this painting at Goodwill while “Thrifting”:

 

We also found an unpriced PYREX pie plate and when I asked “how much?” they wanted $6.99, so we passed.

NOTE: Actually we found 2 Glasbake and one PYREX glass pie pans that weren’t priced and took them to the Manager who was standing nearby with a Clerk. He instructed her, “Go look these up in the Back and if they’re Pyrex jack up the price, jack it up.” This happened right in front of me. When she came back the 2 Glasbake pans were taped together and marked $4.99 and the PYREX pan was marked $6.99. So, NO THANKS.

We did buy this signed, original painting titled “Bernie Sanders and Moth Orchid” by Peter Gullerud for $7.99 though. He’s an ex-Disney animator and fine artist, who confirmed Sunday via email that it was indeed his work. SCORE!



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Shadow of a Man – Total Solar Eclipse in Madras, Oregon

Fruit! Fruit! Fruit!

Fruit! Fruit! Fruit! (and it’s good for you too)
All these “Still Life” fruit photos taken by JoshWillTravel

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Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit Group.
Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen or dried and whole, cut-up or pureed.

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 “How do ya like them apples?” (An expression of gloating when someone turns the tables on someone else, the phrase originated in World War I with the “Toffee Apple” trench mortar used by British troops, in the 1959 film Rio Bravo a guy tosses a hand grenade and says the line, and it is used again famously in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting)

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“You Talkin’ To Me?” – Banana DeNiro

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“Is that a banana in your pocket?
Or are you just happy to see me?” – Mae West
(usually said when it appears someone has a boner to embarrass and draw attention to them)

 

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Baking Banana Bread pt 1 – Recipe, Instruction & Prep:
Baking Banana Bread pt 2 – “The Banana Bread is Baked”:

Mrs Hochmeyer’s Banana Bread recipe (live on Periscope, and now on YouTube)

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Mrs. Hochmeyer’s Banana Bread!

Here is Mrs. Hochmeyer’s Banana Bread Recipe!
Right Click “Open In New Window” for the Recipe Blog>
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1DR

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“Who wants an orange whip?
Orange whip? Orange whip?
Three orange whips.” 
– John Candy in “The Blues Brothers”

“Everyone should wake up and have a fresh-squeezed orange every day. By having a fresh glass of orange juice with American oranges, you are supporting the local economy, you have all the vitamin C you need in a day, and you support the environment because you don’t use any plastic from bottles or bags.” – Jose Andres

 

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FORBIDDEN-FRUIT-TREE
“The Trunk, Leaves, and Flowers of this Tree, very much resemble
those of the Orange-tree.
The Fruit, when ripe, is something longer and larger than the largest
Orange; and exceeds, in the Delicacy of its Taste, the Fruit of every
Tree in this or any of our neighbouring Islands.
It hath somewhat of the Taste of a Shaddock; but far exceeds that, as
well as the best Orange, in its delicious Taste and Flavour.”

—Description from Rev. Griffith Hughes’ 1750 Natural History of Barbados.

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The grapefruit is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour to semi-sweet fruit. Grapefruit is a hybrid from Barbados (an accidental cross between two species, sweet orange and pomelo, both were introduced from Asia in the seventeenth century). The grapefruit’s name alludes to clusters of the fruit on the tree, which often appear similar to grapes, but it was known as the shaddock or shattuck until the 19th century. Further crosses have produced the tangelo (1905), the Minneola tangelo (1931), and the oroblanco (1984). Varieties of Texas and Florida grapefruit include: Oro Blanco, Ruby Red, Pink, Thompson, White Marsh, Flame, Star Ruby, Duncan, and Pummelo HB.

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“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin;
what else does a man need to be happy?”
– Albert Einstein

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Tangerine, she is all they claim
With her eyes of night and lips as bright as flame
Tangerine, when she dances by, senoritas stare and caballeros sigh
And I’ve seen toasts to Tangerine
Raised in every bar across the Argentine
Yes, she has them all on the run, but her heart belongs to just one
Her heart belongs to Tangerine
Tangerine, she is all they say
With mascara’d eye and chapeaux by Dache.
Tangerine, with her lips of flame
If the color keeps, Louis Philippe’s to blame.
And I’ve seen clothes on Tangerine
Where the label says “From Macy’s Mezzanine”.
Yes, she’s got the guys in a whirl, but she’s only fooling one girl
She’s only fooling Tangerine!
“Tangerine” by  Johnny Mercer & Victor Schertzinger (1941)

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“The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” – Moliere

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Fruit Juices, Canned Goods & Apple Cider Vinegar

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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“You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.”
– Will Rogers

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“Life is just a bowl of cherries…”
Definition of “life is just a bowl of cherries” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus: something that you say that means that life is very pleasant. This phrase is often used humorously to mean the opposite.

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“Life is just a bowl of cherries/Don’t take it serious; it’s too mysterious
You work, you save, you worry so/But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go
So keep repeating it’s the berries/The strongest oak must fall
The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries/So live and laugh at it all”
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Fruit Stand at Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake

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Homemade Jelly Donuts

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“I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill,
On Blueberry Hill when I found you.” – Fats Domino

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The strawberry fruit was mentioned in ancient Roman literature in reference to its medicinal use. The garden strawberry was first bred in the 1750s in Brittany, France, via a cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America and Fragaria chiloensis, which was brought from Chile in 1714.

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Fresh Strawberry Donuts from The Donut Man!

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Berry Panna Cotta & Berry Sorbet

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Strawberry Margarita at El Torito

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Mango Chutney

 

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Fruit Compote for Thanksgiving

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Fruit Stand at Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco

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Angel food shortcake w/buttercream, fruit& almond slices

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lemons

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” ― Elbert Hubbard (a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune)

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Drink – Frozen Mango Lemonade

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Fresh made raspberry lemonade

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The Cranberries are an Irish rock band who formed in Limerick, Ireland in 1989.
The band consists of vocalist Dolores O’Riordan and three other guys.

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Life is Just a Bowl of Kumquats.

 

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AVOCADO?
Fruit or Vegetable?

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And what about Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Corn?
(“that keep us on growing once we have been born”)

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“Mine’s bigger. My cucumber. It’s bigger. I think vegetables (fruits) can be very sensuous, don’t you?” – Eric “Otter” Stratton in “Animal House”

ALL PHOTOS COPYRIGHT 2017 JoshWillTravel (yes, we took them all)

Use the links below to FOLLOW and LIKE us on other social media!

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And what about the Pumpkin?

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NOTE: This Blog is still UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

MONDAY February 29, 2016 Leap Day!

Leap Day! MONDAY February 29, 2016 (published March 1st…)

Hey, it’s Leap Day. Tell facebook you’re excited about the extra day.

“It’s Leap Day. Real life is for March.”

A complete orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365.2422 days, but the Gregorian calendar uses 365 days. Leap seconds (and thus leap years) are added to keep our clocks (and calendars) in sync with the Earth, its seasons and our calendar system.

NOTE: On February 29, 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award for her Best Supporting Actress role in “Gone with the Wind”.

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F*CK THE KKK! If you don’t condemn racism and hate, get off my Blog!

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F*CK YOU DONALD TRUMP! If you support Trump, you are a RACIST.

LIKE> Tell the USA to Dump Trump on facebook! (Unless you’re a racist)
RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”> www.facebook.com/usadumptrump

———————————————————————-

Did you watch the Academy Awards? #OscarsSoWhite or #OscarsSoWhat?
Did Chris Rock do a good job as host? Or did his lynching jokes go too far?
Who wore what? Who said what? Who won? Who lost? Who cares?

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Well? Chris Rock hosts #OscarsSoWhite

The rich and famous celebrating being rich and famous for our entertainment.

Having once been part of the “Hollywood Machine”, an entertainment industry professional and a talent representative, I had to care about the award ceremonies.
As an agent and manager for talent, I had to know everything about the industry:
read the Hollywood Reporter and Variety daily, scan all the entertainment news and websites online, follow the trade news and listen to the gossip just to stay current.

Watching the Oscars and the industry from the outside is a much healthier way of life! These awards don’t matter in the big picture. They are marketing and advertising wrapped up in a pretty package and spoonfed to the public by the media they own and control.
Minions and Toy Story (PIXAR) are ABC/Disney characters and were featured prominently in the Academy Awards telecast as presenters! The opulence, the extravagance, the parties, the black tie and designer gowns and jewelry, the “bling” and THE WASTE!

It’s good that it provides jobs and tax revenue for the city! There is definitely an economic impact from all that money spent. The film industry gets a big bump from the promotion and Pizza guys and Girl Scouts get a cash infusion thanks to the publicity.

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I’m LOVING the Periscope App! Last night I watched Elton John perform at the Oscar party in West Hollywood from the front row, then watched from the stage as Joe Satriani performed in concert at the Fox Theatre in Oakland, and watched my online friend LiterallyAnika riding in a Rolls Royce down “Sheik Street” in Downtown Dubai.

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Elton John perfoming LIVE at the Oscar Party in West Hollywood

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@ChickenfootJoe LIVE onstage at the Fox Theatre in Oakland

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@LiterallyAnika riding in a Rolls Royce in Downtown Dubai

NOTE: The periscope videos expire after 24 hours, so I’m not posting the links.
Please visit and FOLLOW us on Periscope!
RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”> www.periscope.tv/joshwilltravel

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Last week I met an old friend who lives in New York for a drink at the Sherman Oaks Galleria in the beautiful San Fernando Valley. He had a meeting across the street so we met up at The Cheesecake Factory and went to the bar.

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Sunset at the fountain at the Sherman Oaks Galleria (Ventura & Sepulveda)

After a brief wait and a little maneuvering we got a couple seats at the bar, ordered a fried calamari appetizer and enjoyed an adult beverage and some food while catching up on the past in person.

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The Bar at the Cheesecake Factory at the Sherman Oaks Galleria

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Waving for a cocktail does work at the Cheesecake Factory Bar!

On the Menu: Stoli rocks with a splash of pineapple, my friend had a draft beer and a Manhattan straight up with Woodford Reserve, and we shared an order of fried calamari and the complimentary bread & butter.

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Stoli Rocks with a Splash of Pineapple Juice

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Fried Calamari

 

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The world famous Sherman Oaks Galleria in the beautiful San Fernando Valley

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NOTE: I periscoped the walk through the Galleria from the parking garage to the fountain at Ventura & Sepulveda and saved it to www.Katch.me/joshwilltravel

RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LINKS>

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And on the way out to the self-parking garage I stopped at the Starbuck’s in the courtyard and got a Venti Mocha Frappuchino with whipped cream to go.

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Venti Mocha Frappuchino – Starbuck’s Sherman Oaks Galleria

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Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

Thirty guests for the holiday feast this year! We host our large annual gathering of family, friends and friends of friends. Visitors to our home included folks from faraway places: Finland, France, Scotland, the Czech Republic and West Hollywood.

You can compare this year to last year’s pics (in the previous Blog post), it was another very good year for food. I am truly thankful for this bountiful feast and the family and friends I shared it with. I am truly thankful for many things, including you reading this blog!

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – A Dozen Beautiful Roses! “There’s gonna be a party tonight!”

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” to view larger pic!

Thanksgiving dinner,
Our annual food orgy,
A friendly feast!

Preparations begin early in the week and continue all the way until the meal is served. The party was called for 4:00pm pst on Thursday and we always allow time for our guests to arrive before the dining commences.

The turkeys are thawed and prepared the night before. This year we had two 18 pound organic turkeys, seasoned with a herb & butter rub under the skin. One bird cooks at our house and the other at my sister’s kitchen. She also makes the garlic mashed potato, chocolate bread pudding and fudge. This year her vegetarian friend was visiting so they made the summer squash as well.

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Turkey #1 BEFORE

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Turkey #1 AFTER

Thanksgiving 2015 Dinner Menu:
Two 18 pound organic turkeys, gravy, two kinds of stuffing, garlic mashed potato, corn pudding, yam puree, asparagus, creamed spinach, mixed grilled vegetables, summer squash, fruit compote, cranberry sauce and cornbread muffins.

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving Feast 2015!

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” to view larger pic!

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving Feast 2015!

And there was some wine and other beverages:

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Wine and Finnish chocolate brought by our guests from Finland

Thanksgiving 2015 Dessert Menu:
Pumpkin, pecan and apricot pies (we also had an apple but didn’t bake it); chocolate chip cookies, 2 kinds of fudge, blondies, chocolate bread pudding & fresh whipped cream, Czech cake with marzipan, a chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream (someone brought a flourless chocolate cake but we didn’t even put it out) and Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake!

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – the Dessert Table is waiting!

I did a little baking the night before as I mentioned in the previous Blog post:

Thanksgiving 2015 - Baking (the night before)

Thanksgiving 2015 – Baking cornbread muffins & Grandma’s cherry cheesecake (the night before)

2 Dozen Cornbread Muffins and 1 Dozen Mini Cornbread Muffins:

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – A Bowl Full of Cornbread Muffins!

And this year, by request, I baked my Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake:

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake!

It was a great meal! And complete dessert overkill as usual. I had a full plate of tasty food for dinner and then only had a small piece of cheesecake and a couple pieces of fudge for dessert. And a good time and meal was had by all.

We have the whole process down and this year we used plastic (for dinner) and paper (for dessert) plates, so there was less to clean up and we saved some water in exchange for creating some additional trash.

I finished eating, helped with the clearing and clean up, watched the end of the Bears-Packers game and fell asleep. When I woke up, most of the final cleaning was done, the guests were gone and the tables and chairs were put away. So, BIG THANKS go out to my Step-Brother for helping out while I was napping!

It was an okay day for football. Detroit beat Philadelphia and Carolina beat Dallas, but Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers couldn’t finish and lost to Chicago, so I went 2 out of 3 on my picks. Bad news for Cowboy fans because Quarterback Tony Romo was seriously injured in the game and is out for the rest of the season. Sorry Bob.

Thanksgiving 2015 - Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Thanksgiving 2015 – Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys

Okay, we have “to go” boxes for our guests to take home leftovers from the feast if they are so inclined. I had cranberries with my brunch leftovers, but there wasn’t enough left for dinner the next day… we also sent most of the desserts home with our guests too.

Day After Leftovers for Brunch: turkey, stuffing, garlic mashed potato, cranberry sauce, gravy and cornbread muffins. (repeated for dinner without the cranberry)

Thanksgiving 2015 - Leftovers for Brunch the morning after!

Thanksgiving 2015 – Leftovers for Brunch the morning after!

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” to view larger pic!

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” to view previous Blogs:
Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake Recipe – Read the Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1SV
Read last year’s Thanksgiving 2014 Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1mW

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Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 – Pretty flowers on the dining tables too.

Happy Thanksgiving, Let’s Feast! What’s on the menu?

Happy Thanksgiving, Let’s Feast! What’s on the menu?

WISHING YOU AND YOURS A VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING! CELEBRATE GRATITUDE!

It’s that time again. It’s TurkeyTime! This year we’re having 30 people for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner feast and then I’m invited to another smaller dinner party after that. It’s a fine time to be a foodie.

Pictures and the menu from last year’s feast: (see more in the previous Blog, link below)

Thanksgiving dinner menu: Roast turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potato, corn pudding, candied yams, carrot & yam puree, 2 kinds of stuffing, asparagus, brussel sprouts, creamed spinach and home baked challah bread. Red wine, white wine, coke, cherry coke and coffee to drink.

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving Dessert menu: Apple-Pecan torte, Lemon cheesecake, Chocolate-mocha Parisian cake from Bea’s, Pumpkin cheesecake, 2 kinds of cookies, 2 kinds of fudge, and my sister’s Chocolate-Cherry bread pudding served with fresh made whipped cream.

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2014 (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

That’s our traditional menu, give or take a dish or dessert or two. I’ll be making Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake and (maybe) cornbread muffins this year:

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake!

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake ingredients!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake ingredients!

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” to view previous Blogs:
Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake Recipe – Read the Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1SV
Read last year’s Thanksgiving 2014 Blog> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1mW

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RETURN TO HOMEPAGE: http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

p.s. I’m picking Detroit, Carolina and Green Bay to win. Have a great day!



 

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake Recipe

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

(Recipe for a small spring-lock baking pan)

Graham Cracker Crust:
2 ½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 cup butter (melted)
4 tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons White Sugar
½ teaspoon Cinnamon

Grease the small spring-lock cake pan all around with a stick of butter. Mix ingredients in large bowl and press on bottom and sides of spring-lock pan to form 1/4″ thick crust. (avoid loose crumbs if possible)

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake ingredients!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake ingredients!

Cheesecake Filling:
4 ¾ packs of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (8oz. each)
1 small carton of Knudsen’s Sour Cream (8 oz. or ½ of a large carton, use other half for topping)
½ small carton of Half-and-Half
4 Eggs
1 cup White Sugar
Punch of Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Juice from a small lemon
½ Can of Comstock Cherries (use other ½ for topping)

Blend all ingredients except cherries (or mix by hand for thicker texture). Pour into crust. Spoon in cherries at various locations and depths. Bake in preheated oven at 300 degrees for 1 ½ hours. Cool. Note: butter in the crust will cook off, so make sure to use a drip pan, cookie sheet or tin foil to catch the melted butter.

Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake!

Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake! Chillin’ in the fridge.

Topping:
1 small carton of Knudsen’s Sour Cream (8oz. or other ½ of large carton)
½ cup of sifted Powdered Sugar
½ Can of Comstock Cherries

Beat together and top cake (once it is cool). Decorate with remaining cherries around the top of cake. Heat oven to 450 degrees and put topped cake in for 3 minutes only. Chill and serve when ready.

 

All photos copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel

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Late Lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas

Late Lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas

After the long drive into Las Vegas, and after checking in at the Palazzo and dealing with the room, luggage and housekeeping, we decided to grab a bite at the Grand Lux Cafe.

The restaurant is “Casino adjacent” at both The Venetian and the Palazzo hotels, the food is good and it’s reasonably priced for luxury hotel restaurant dining.

We were quickly seated in the dining room and I ordered the Fried Chicken & Waffles and the Asian Nachos. We received a basket of their fresh baked bread and drinks, and the food was delivered in a very short time.

Late Lunch at the Grand Luxe Cafe

Late Lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas

Late Lunch at the Grand Luxe Cafe

Late Lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas

Late Lunch at the Grand Luxe Cafe

Late Lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas – The Bar!

The portions are huge! It’s a Cheesecake Factory enterprise, so you know it’s going to be good and there will be leftovers. The fried chicken strips were tasty and the waffle was cooked just right. It was served with a maple-pecan syrup which was a little sweet, but that’s what syrup is all about.

Late Lunch at the Grand Luxe Cafe

Late Lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe – Fried Chicken & Waffles with maple-pecan syrup

The Asian nachos are really good too. I only had a taste, but I would order them again.

Late Lunch at the Grand Luxe Cafe

Late Lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe – Asian Nachos Appetizer

We enjoyed our meal, and ate quickly, anticipating the Las Vegas adventure ahead! The service was excellent and the food was tasty and delicious. A good start to the party!

AND

Before leaving Las Vegas on Saturday, we had another late lunch. I had the Asian Chicken Salad. The “lunch size” was enough for two people and it was very good.

Grand Luxe Cafe at the Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas

Late Lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe at the Palazzo Hotel – Asian Chicken Salad (lunch size)

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel

NOTE: You can get food “TO GO” and take it up to your room for a private dining experience or any-hour meal. I like their pizzas.

Grand Lux Cafe – Locations at both the Palazzo and Venetian Hotels 

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Monty Python’s “Spamalot” and “A Midsummer Night” at the Hollywood Bowl

Monty Python’s “Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Saturday night performance at the Hollywood Bowl on a beautiful, warm, summer night in August! And what a great show! The celebrity cast was awesome! It was so much fun!

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – A Beautiful and Warm Summer Night!

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Picnic on the bench:

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – No ham, jam or spam. (there was bacon)

On the Menu: steak & bacon sandwich, potato chips, celery, carrots, cucumber, dill pickle, pineapple juice, Heineken, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

NOTE: Our bench seats were in section K2, which is high up and way off to one side. The wood benches are really uncomfortable, even with seat cushions. I prefer the Box Seats!

FINGER OF SHAME! This couple insisted on using bench space for their bag! And when asked if they would make more room, they refused and copped an attitude! This is a picture of their shame after being TOTAL A**HOLES in a fun place!

Look at their facial expression and body language!

FINGER OF SHAME

FINGER OF SHAME! – They know they’re being Total A**holes!

Well the show must go on! And the a*ssholes were ignored.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl - Sunset!

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Sunset!

It was great from the opening national anthem, when the orchestra began with “Hail Brittania” before being interrupted and playing the Star Spangled Banner, to the “England” introduction by Eric Idle as The Historian, and the opening number celebrating Finland with the Fish Slapping Dance!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

The Historian: “I SAID ENGLAND!”

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – “What happens in Camelot, stays in Camelot!”

Loosely based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail there were great bits from the film: “He must be a king”, debating the airspeed of the European swallow, taunting by the French, “large tracts of land” and storming the castle, the Trojan Rabbit, the Ballad of Sir Robin, the Knights who say Nee, Tim the Enchanter, the Vorpal Bunny and of course Camelot!

Warwick Davis gave a fantastic performance as Patsy, King Arthur’s squire complete with coconut shells and amazing facial expressions! He is such a gifted actor.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Tom Deckman was hilarious as Not Dead Fred, Prince Herbert and the French Guard. Merle Dandridge was dazzling as the Lady of the Lake and her musical numbers were mesmerizing!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

Kevin Chamberlin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rick Holmes and Christian Slater were just terrific as Arthur’s Knights (and the many other minor roles they alternately played). And Craig Robinson was a very entertaining King Arthur, smiling and “tap dancing” his way through the whole thing.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl press photo

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – King Arthur & his Knights on a Quest for the Holy Grail

There were wonderfully entertaining musical numbers with inspired dance and fun choreography. And a number of jokes were tailored to the Hollywood Bowl audience including a jab at “overpriced dinner in the Pool Circle” and a little “Uptown Funk”.

Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – “The Ballad of Sir Robin” on the big video screen

Wonderful performances by the entire cast! You could tell they were having a great time performing. I was really impressed by how great they all were!

And big kudos to the Hollywood Bowl for their live video on the big screens, as well as the costumes, sets, sound, lighting and projections which really make the musical productions special.

Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

The Grand Finale with the entire cast and chorus was an audience sing along to Eric Idle’s

“Always Look On The Bright Side of Life”

Some things in life are bad…They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle,
And this’ll help things turn out for the best……….
And, always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle)

Always look on the light side of life…(Whistle)

If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten!
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing!
When you’re feeling in the dumps don’t be silly chumps,
Just purse your lips and whistle, that’s the thing.
And…always look on the bright side of life! (Whistle)

Come on. Always look on the right side of life! (Whistle)

For life is quite absurd and death’s the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin, give the audience a grin!
Enjoy it! It’s your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death. (Whistle) 

Just before you draw your terminal breath. (Whistle)

Life’s a piece of shit, when you look at it.
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.
You’ll see its all a show, keep ’em laughin’ as you go,
Just remember that the last laugh is on you!

And…Always look on the bright side of life…(Whistle) Always look on the right side of life…

I mean – what have you got to lose? You know, you come from nothin’.

You’re going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing.

Always look on the right side of life…

Nothing will come from nothing ya know what they say?
Cheer up ya old bugga c’mon give us a grin! There ya go, see!

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Finale sing along “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life”

Everyone knows the words! Whistle and sing along! A good time was had by all! The full Blue Moon was shining brightly overhead as the large crowd exited the Bowl at 10:30pm. It was packed and we were on the far side, so I sat and waited for the audience to disperse a little and then cut through the seats directly to the exit. I went right when I should have gone left and ended up half-stepping down the hill with the crowd to the escalator and made it back to the car in about 15 minutes.

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl – Full Blue Moon over the departing audience

It was warm and humid all night, so by the time we got back to our parking space I was really looking forward to going home and taking a shower. (and yes, my shower was really refreshing later after midnight…)

"Spamalot" at the Hollywood Bowl

“Spamalot” at the Hollywood Bowl

They stacked parked the cars (unnecessarily) for this performance, so it required a little maneuvering to exit the lot. Traffic is always tough after a full house, but we were able to get back to the freeway and headed home in a reasonable amount of time without too much trouble. A wonderful evening, a nice picnic and a great show. Huzzah!


And the week before we went to

“A Midsummer Night” at the Hollywood Bowl

Tuesday night and we had great Box Seats with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra playing Mendelssohn on a warm summer night in July!

Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl – Midsummer Night’s Dream with Dudamel & the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Terrible traffic on the 101 freeway from the San Fernando Valley to Hollywood. The price of Parking at the Hollywood Bowl has increased $2 this year from $18 to $20 per car.

TIP: GO EARLY! Traffic is always unpredictable, but you can bet it will take at least 20 minutes to get past the light coming off the 101 freeway at Cahuenga and Highland. Provide extra travel time for walking uphill, bag check, ticket turn stalls, refreshments, restrooms and managing your picnic dinner.

NOTE: It is really bad form to arrive 5 minutes AFTER the performance begins and then start your meal! Finish eating before the Star Spangled Banner (snacks and beverages are acceptable during, but avoid any packaging that makes noise. Wait for intermission if you need to have that dessert! And please don’t set up your picnic blanket in front of the restrooms (seriously, they were sitting on the concrete in front of the restroom doors!).

Midsummer Night's Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night's Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

Dinner in the Box Seats is great because they provide removable folding tables, trash service and if you choose, expensive catered food delivered directly to your Box.

We ordered from Amer’s Mediterranean restaurant in Encino and picked up our “to go” food on the way. They recently changed ownership again, and the menu changed too. We also packed in our own beverages (advisable at events when they’re permitted) and also brought dessert and ice. The only refreshments we bought were a couple bad cups of coffee at intermission.

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl - Middle Eastern food: the wrong order!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – Middle Eastern: the wrong order!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl - Cheesecake for dessert!

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl – Cheesecake for dessert!

On the Menu: Middle eastern food, it was supposed to be an “Amer’s Special” shwarma meat with hummus, tabouli, rice, falafel and pita bread. They screwed up the order. I hate beets. They gave us a “mixed grill” with chicken and ground beef kebabs. And they forgot the rice and falafel. At least there was good cheesecake for dessert.

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Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

The first act was Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor with an exceptional performance by Gil Shaham on violin. The second act was “Midsummer Night’s Dream” accompanied by dramatic Shakespearean readings by Bryce Dallas Howard, and guest vocal performances by Deanna Breiwick and Jennifer Holloway with the Women of Los Angeles Master Chorale. It was beautiful.

Hollywood Bowl

Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl

The lighting and inspired projections enhanced the wonderful musical performance. The first act was better than the second, and I thought it was a little weird to hear the wedding march played as a classical piece in concert. There was also a lot of noticeable cricket noise during the quiet parts of the show, which I found distracting during the second act.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show! What’s not to like about Tuesday night at the Bowl with Dudamel and the LA Phil? It was a real good time.

Our box was positioned close to the exit, so we were out of there fast. We quickly traveled the long walk to the car and made a fast getaway from the parking lot and onto the 101 freeway home.

The Hollywood Bowl is a great venue! And once you know the “procedure” and tricks to traffic, parking and picnicking it’s a very pleasant experience. I’m looking forward to seeing more shows at the Bowl this summer.

Hollywood Bowl - Parking Lot after the show

Hollywood Bowl – Parking Lot after the show

All Photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel (except the Cast Press Photos)

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