HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019! 2018 is OVER! Our “End of the Year Review”

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019! 2018 is OVER!
Our “End of the Year Review”
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Another new year.
Three hundred sixty five days!
The future is here.

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Okay, so it’s January 10th, 2019. We’ve been working on this Blog Post since just before New Year’s and it’s not going to get finished… so we are posting it “AS IS”. Enjoy it!

JANUARY 2018

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019!

And so, GOODBYE 2018!
“Don’t let the door hit ya, where the good Lord split you!”
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We hope year 2019 kicks 2018’s ass, the way 2018 kicked ours!

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And Santa’s  job is done for the year. He’ll be back to judging you next week.

GOOD KHARMA for 2018:
Flooding in Montecito, California, near Santa Barbara, forced family to evacuate. They and their little dog were our houseguests for three weeks in January and February. They had previously evacuated during the Thomas Fire and also stayed with us then.

And the Not So Good News:
On January 13, an early morning ballistic missile alert was sent across Hawaii in error, and revoked after 38 minutes, prompting changes to the warning system.
On January 25, the “Doomsday clock” was moved by 30 seconds to 2 minutes to midnight by Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,  now the closest since the 1950s.

Kilroy Was Here! (pic from October 2017, read the Blog Post from January 2018)
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February

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY! February 4th, 2018
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Philadelphia Eagles 41 – New England Patriots 33
The second time that the Super Bowl was played in Minneapolis, MN
NBC’s broadcast had the smallest audience in 9 years,
with an average of only 103.4 million viewers

On Feb 6th, Elon Musk’s company SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket.

The XXIII Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea begin on February 9th.

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!
2018 was the Year of the Male Yang Brown Earth Dog

2019 will be the Year of the Female Yin Brown Earth Pig.

Mom’s Very Special Birthday Party at Melisse Restaurant
in West Los Angeles in February was a great event!

March

90th Academy Awards on March 4th:
“The Shape of Water” wins Best Picture and Best Director for Guillermo del Toro
Gary Oldman wins Best Actor for “Darkest Hour”, Frances McDormand wins Best Actress for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Mississippi”, and Jordan Peele wins Best Original Screenplay for “Get Out”. “Remember Me’ from the film “Coco” wins Best Original Song.
And a new envelope procedure was begun to make sure the presenters are given the correct envelope for the category they are about to present after “Envelopegate” in 2017.
The 2018 Academy Awards on ABC had 26.5 million viewers across the almost 4 hour show, a decline of 20% over 2017’s show and the worst viewership ever.

THE DAY OF THE DUDE March 6th
“You’re a Lebowski. I’m a Lebowski.”
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The oldest “message in a bottle” was found in western Australia. It was thrown from German sailing ship Paula on June 12, 1886, 132 years ago!
And they also found the sunken American aircraft carrier the USS Lexington in Australia. It was lost during World War II’s Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942.

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Sunset in Oakland, California

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the “Highest overdose death rates ever recorded in the US”: 142000 overdoses in year 2016-17.

On March 20th,  Donald Trump meets with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House.

“March for Our Lives” rallies held in Washington D.C., most U.S. cities, and around the world to protest gun violence on March 24th. Thousands and thousands of people attend.

In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” on March 26th, adult film star Stormy Daniels goes public about sex with Donald Trump, the $130000 payoff from Michael Cohen, and then later being threatened to keep quiet.

April

HAPPY REX MANNING DAY!
April 8th is always Rex Manning Day!
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On April 14th, Beyoncé Knowles is the first African-American woman to headline the Coachella Music Festival. Her performance is the most-watched ever on YouTube!

Donald Trump hosts his first state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron on April 24th.

Bill Cosby found guilty of sexual assault in Pennsylvania on April 26th. He and Roman Polanski are expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on May 3rd.

Things That Really Don’t Matter but are considered really important:
On April 26th, 4 quarterbacks were chosen in the top 10 during the first round of the NFL Draft for the first time in history. On April 27th, the Swedish band ABBA announced they have recorded new songs for the first time since 1982. On April 29th, “The Simpsons” animated series passed “Gunsmoke” (with 635 episodes) as the television series with the highest episode count. And on April 30th, “Avengers: Infinity War” set a new box office record for a film’s opening weekend earning $250 million in the United States and $630 million worldwide.

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Mt. Shasta

“Truckin’, got my chips cashed in.
Keep truckin’, like the doo-dah man
Together more or less in line, just keep truckin’ on.”

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Mt. Ashland in the Siskiyou Pass, Oregon

Ashland, Oregon – “A Gathering of Friends” Saturday, April 14th
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Dad 1

Lee Weisel RIP

In April we had a “Bilbo Baggins” party for my father Lee Weisel (now of blessed memory) at Beasy’s on the Creek in Ashland, Oregon. He was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other associated illnesses and passed in May. It was a swell party and good time was had by everyone!

We made three hard road trips from Los Angeles to Ashland and back between January and June. The first to take care of him, the second for the party and the third for the funeral. Rest in Peace Dad.

 

“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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Double Rainbow Over the Comfort Inn & Suites at Oregon Exit 19

 

The first LEGAL 4-20 celebration in California in April!
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Recreational use of marijuana became legal in California on January 1st.
And as of November, ten states now have legal “recreational” marijuana!

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CA, OR, WA, AK, NV, CO, MI, MA, VT & ME

The whole country of Canada legalized marijuana this year too!
The Canadian Cannabis Act made weed legal across the nation on October 17th!

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Oh Canada!

May

The Kilauea volcano on the Big Island Hawaii begins erupting and forces the evacuation of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and residential areas on May 3rd.

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Kilauea Volcano on Big Island Hawaii

California becomes the worlds fifth largest economy passing Great Britain on May 4th.

Justify wins the 144th Kentucky Derby On May 5th and the 142nd Preakness Stakes on May 19th! And on June 9th, Justify wins the 150th Belmont Stakes with 58 year old jockey Mike Smith and becomes the 13th Triple Crown winner!

 

Vladimir Putin is sworn in as Russian President for another 6 years on May 7, having won the election with over 75% of the vote (and the murder of his political rivals).

Global tourism accounts for 8% of the world’s carbon emissions according to a University of Sydney study.

On May 14th, the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal law banning sports gambling in most states.

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A $5 Bet wins $100000 Parley For New Years 2019!

 

American actress Meghan Markle married English Prince Harry at a ceremony in Windsor Castle, joining the British royal family on May 19th. Queen Elizabeth II grants them the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Donald Trump posthumously pardons boxer Jack Johnson on May 24th for a racially orientated criminal conviction: transporting a white woman across state lines. Johnson was convicted by an all-white jury in June, 1913, despite the fact that the incidents used to convict him took place before the passage of the Mann Act.
NOTE: Credit should go to Sylvester Stallone for convincing Trump!

HAPPY TOWEL DAY! May 25th “Don’t Panic”
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June

Net neutrality is repealed by The Federal Communications Commission on June 11th.

Donald Trump and Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un meet in Singapore on June 12th.

FIFA World Cup begins on June 14th in Moscow, Russia.

On June 22, comedian John Oliver and the HBO website on the Chinese social media platform Weibo was blocked by censors after a hilarious 20 minute segment on Chinese dictator Xi Jinping ran on June 17th. Oliver made fun of the Chinese president’s apparent sensitivity over comparisons of his figure with that of Winnie the Pooh and called Xi the “creepy uncle who imprisons 800000 people in his basement” while criticizing China’s Human Right record and their crackdown on any form of political or social dissent.
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On June 28th, a lone gunman attacked the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, killing nine people,

July

“The Boss” joined the family in July.

Care and training for the new puppy!

August

Birthday Dinner at Larsen’s Steakhouse in August

Camp Envy – Burning Man 2018 (August September)

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CAMP ENVY PRIZE for BURNING MAN 2018

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TRAINWRECK! (via Camp Envy stream) at Burning Man 2018

We didn’t go to Burning Man in 2018 (read the previous Blog Post) but we participated in the event via Camp Envy (online webstream, webpage and fb group) on the interweb.
NOTE: We want to go back to Burning Man in 2019…. we think.

September

Happy Rosh Hashanah! (the Jewish New Year)
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October

Inktober!

Dinner Party at Mozza Osteria in October

LOTTERY FEVER!

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“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

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October 20th
Celebrate LA!
The Dodgers win the pennant!
World Series choke time

October 28th – CHOKE.
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World Series Game 5: Red Sox 5, Dodgers 1
THE RED SOX WIN THE SERIES!
And it’s all over now, Dodger Blue. They suckered you in again and took your money again. You bought your hats, jerseys, bobbleheads and other blue merch. You don’t get to watch the game on TV (FU TWC), and how much did you spend on tickets, parking and overpriced concessions to see them play at Chavez Ravine? And now when it counts, they fold like a bad poker hand and let you down again. But, maybe next year…..
THE CURSE OF TIME-WARNER/SPORTSNET CONTINUES.

Halloween

November

THE MIDTERM ELECTION on November 6th!

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WE VOTED!

 

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Veterans Day 2018!
100 Year Anniversary of the End of World War I on 11/11 at 11:11am.
Please remember and honor all the men and women, living and dead,
that have loyally served the United States!
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ArtRising in Reseda, California
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2018 was a Big Year for Natural Disasters!
2017 was a record year in the United Sates for cost of natural disasters: $306 billion
2018 will break that record.
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VOLCANOES!
The Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island has been active for 35 years and this year the eruption in May-June-July destroyed more than 700 homes and impacted the tourism industry. Kilauea continues to erupt at the summit and from the Puʻu ʻOʻo vent in the East Rift Zone, producing lava that flows to the ocean.
The Anak Krakakau volcano in Indonesia triggered a tsunami on Saturday, December 22, and killed more than 400 people. Airplane flights have been rerouted and the crater’s status was just raised to high alert, the second-highest level.
The Fuego volcano’s sudden eruption in southern Guatemala on June 3 killed 194 people and more than 230 people are still missing. ~21000 acres of farmland was also destroyed.
And volcanoes also caused fires, floods, smaller tsunamis and earthquakes.

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Lava Flow from the Kilauea Volcano On the Big Island of Hawaii

EARTHQUAKES!
There were 15 earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 7.0 in 2018:
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HURRICANES!
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season was an above-average and damaging Atlantic hurricane season with 15 named storms with 2 major hurricanes Category 3+: Florence and Michael. 154 people died and the cost of damages exceeded USD$33.3 billion (2018).

NOTE: Puerto Rico has still not recovered from Hurricane Maria in September of 2017. 4645 people died (as per a Harvard study in May) and it caused over $43 billion in economic losses.

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Puerto Rican Lives Matter Too!

FLOODS!
Flooding was a major problem around the world in 2018. North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and South America all experienced record floods this year.

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FIRESTORMS!

Big fires in California and Oregon this year: The Woolsey Fire in Thousand Oaks, the Camp Fire in Northern California (the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history killed 86 people), the Mendocino Complex Fire in July was California’s largest fire by burned area ever (and it destroyed nearly half a million acres), the Thomas Fire in Ventura County (December 2017), and the Crater Lake and other adjacent Oregon fires this summer broke all records. Wildfires also killed more than 70 people in Greece and following the longest sustained drought on record, more than 50 fires in the Swedish Arctic Circle burned uncontrollably in July.
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The Last Josh and Josh Show at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood

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The Last Josh and Josh Show at Bar Lubitsch

For 10 years the name only promised one thing, Josh and Josh….
and usually they were lying. All good things must come to an end, right?

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No matter where you go, there you are.

Rockabilly Retro Relief for Fire Victims
LIVE at Joe’s in Burbank on 11-16-18!
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In honor of Steamboat Willie and Mickey’s 90th:
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Disneyland - Mark Twain's Steamboat b&w

Tom Sawyer’s Island, Mark Twain’s Steamboat & Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland –  taken in Black & White in 1994

Tom Sawyer’s Island, Mark Twain’s Steamboat & Big Thunder Mountain
Taken in black and white in 1994 at Disneyland (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving Feast 2018

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Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake Thanksgiving 2018

and the REAL TURKEY and the bird he was “pardoning”:

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“Don’t worry Donny, he won’t talk to Mueller”

Haiku for nothing?
Now you must pay the piper!
Pony up some dough.

On November 20th, the Rolling Stones announced they would tour again in 2019!
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“If you start me up I’ll never stop
Never stop, never stop, never stop
You make a grown man cry”

December

90000 Unsolicited Hits on Our Blog in early December! THANK YOU!

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90000 Unsolicited Hits on Our Blog in December! THANK YOU!

And as of the date of this Blog Post was published
we have passed 92650 Unsolicited Hits!

December Holiday Season

December 21st: Happy Winter Solstice! A full “Cold Moon” and the Ursids meteor shower! The last time the full moon occurred on Winter Solstice was 2010, and it won’t happen again until 2094! Celebrate the first day of Winter!

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Egg Nog!

Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the study, not a creature was stirring except my little buddy. The cell phones were charging by the desktop hard drive, with high hopes that AmazonPrime would arrive. No children, just dogs asleep on the bed, waiting for dinner and soon to be fed. And me in pajamas, awake from a nap, drinking my coffee and writing this crap… Happy Christmas Eve! (just a little poem I wrote)

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Egg Nog!

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Had enough Christmas yet?

 

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2016, REMEMBER WHEN?

12-30-18: Los Angeles Chargers 23 – Denver Broncos 9 (at Mile High)
Is Tim Tebow available?
And so ends another terrible season for the Denver Broncos…. 6 wins, 10 losses?
Someone’s getting fired.

December is cold
And still waiting for winter
A new year arrives

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Eat, Drink and Be Happy. We’re all gonna die.

Dad left us in May. And our old friends John “Wheels” Wheeler and Joreth Toropov left the party early this year too. John tragically in July and Joreth suddenly in October. Both left us way too soon. May the Four Winds blow them safely home.

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Tom Petty RIP

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Stan Lee RIP

 

 

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Roy Clark RIP

And WE REMEMBER THE VICTIMS OF MASS MURDER in 2018. Never forget.

On February 14th, 17 people were killed and 17 injured in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A shooting at Santa Fe High School in Houston, Texas killed 10 people, and wounded 13 more on May 18th. 11 people were murdered (including Holocaust survivors) in an anti-Semetic “hate crime” on the Tree of Life Jewish Temple in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 27th. The deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States’ history. 

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The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA

And the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks killed 12 people and the gunman, and injured at least 10 more on November 7th. Ventura County Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus was killed by CHP friendly fire during the attack.

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The Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA

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The Borderline Bar & Grill Victims

We Remember. “May their memory be a blessing!”

NOTE: There were many other “Shootings in 2018” with multiple victims, and these are just the two of the worst and most recent Mass Murders in the United States. So, THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS for the Victim’s friends and families and BUSINESS AS USUAL for the GOP Republicans, the NRA, the Gun Manufacturers and Retailers.

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It’s been four years and I still miss this guy.

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We are glad that 2018 is over. It was not a great year.
But, we did gain a new family member. And he’s such a good boy!

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And “The Boss” got bigger too! (a recent December pic)

Where were you 35 years ago? We were at the San Francisco (now the Bill Graham Memorial) Civic Auditorium for night number 4 of the 1983-84 New Year’s Eve Run and The Band was the opening act for the Grateful Dead on New Years Eve!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8vKVPx2-Lc

RECENT 2018 BLOG POSTS:

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2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Bottom’s Up!

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

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

LIKE us on Facebook> http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel

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RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW OUR YOUTUBE PAGE!>

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Plan for 2019 (cup of water… check):

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“Beef Jerky For Everyone”

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Happy Chinese New Year 2017!

恭喜發財! Happy Chinese New Year 2017! 新年好呀!新年好呀!

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“May all your wishes be fulfilled”

THE YEAR OF THE RED FIRE ROOSTER! 祝贺大家新年好!
(or Chicken, referring to barnyard fowl of either sex)

Roosters have these five virtues:
Literary skills, military prowess, courage, benevolence and trustworthiness

Roosters have these personality traits:
They are observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous, talented and
trustworthy with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work

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Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year 2017!

The Spring Festival begins on Saturday, January 28 at midnight.
The first day is for welcoming the deities of the heavens and earth.
It is tradition to light fireworks and firecrackers, burn bamboo sticks
and make as much noise as possible to chase off evil spirits.

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FIREWORKS! GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!

NOTE: The lunar year of the Rooster starts on January 28th.
The “Start of Spring” is February 3rd according to the Chinese solar calendar.

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The first day is also a time to honor family elders and visit the oldest and most senior members of the extended families (parents, grandparents and great-grandparents).

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For Buddhists the first day is also the birthday of Maitreya Bodhisattva, the Buddha-to-be. They also abstain from killing animals and meat consumption on the first day.

People walk under a Chinese Lantern display during a Chinese New Year eve celebration at Chinatown in Manila

People walk under a Chinese Lantern display during New Year’s Eve celebration in Chinatown Manila, Philippines  February 18, 2015 (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)

“May you realize all your ambitions”

According to ancient Chinese superstition, lighting fires and using knives is considered bad luck on New Year’s Day, so all food is usually cooked beforehand. It is also considered bad luck to use a broom during the New Year’s celebration.

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FIREWORKS! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

Usually the best way to avoid bad luck is to wear red, but because the fire element for 2017 is RED, do not use red in your clothes and accessories! Red colored stones like ruby, garnet and pink topaz should also be avoided. Instead, use colors that complement red and the fire element. Earth colored items (browns or yellows) are most suitable. Purple and lavender colors will also be lucky. Amethyst and topaz will bring luck and success.

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Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!

NOTE: There are 13 lunar months instead of 12, and 384 days in 2017. To keep the Chinese lunar calendar within half a month of the traditional solar calendar, there’s a leap month (a second lunar month 6 starting July 23rd) in The Year of the Rooster.

The Chinese Zodiac:

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The Chinese zodiac is a recurring 12-year cycle. Each year is represented by one of 12 animals. Sorry Roosters, those in their birth-sign year will supposedly have bad luck.

NOTE: You will need to work hard and be patient to achieve your goals this year! Maintain a positive frame of mind. Meditation will help keep you calm and serene.

“May your happiness be without limit”

祝贺大家新年好! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL! 恭喜發財!

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The San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival and Parade is the oldest and largest celebration outside of Asia, and the largest Asian cultural event in North America. Over 100 groups participate in the annual Chinese New Year Parade held since 1958. It is attended by ~500,000 people and watched by another 3 million television viewers.

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

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LIKE us on Facebook> http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel

FOLLOW us on Twitter and Periscope> http://www.periscope.tv/joshwilltravel

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

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW OUR YOUTUBE PAGE!>

The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)
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fireworks

FIREWORKS! HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!

fudao

The inverted character fu is a sign of coming blessings



Hello 2017…. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Hello 2017…. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 HOUSE PARTY!

December 31st, 2016 – 10pm PST – Burbank, California

The Annual HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE HOUSE PARTY at KJ and Steve’s!

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Not This Year’s Invitation, but You Never Know…

It’s 2017!

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Top Hat and Champagne Poppers for New Year’s Eve!

The last third of 2016 really kicked our ass. We really weren’t feeling up to a big party this year and were really prepared to stay home with the dogs and ring in 2017 quietly. We were invited to a couple of parties and a couple of big events, but at the invitation of an old friend, we decided to venture out into the night and attend the Annual Happy New Year’s Eve Party at KJ and Steve’s in Burbank once again. This party has been happening every year since the 1980’s…

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35 YEARS+ of Friendships! Old Friends who are now really old old friends! Marriages, relationships, divorces, births, deaths, illnesses, good times and bad.
There’s a lot of history, stories and good memories associated with the house and all the fun times we’ve had at the many birthday and holiday parties held there over the years.

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Happy New Year House Party Pic – Late 1990’s (with lots of children – not my pic)

The parties are not as rowdy as they used to be in the 80’s and 90’s, and all the children who used to run around the house are all grown up (some with children of their own), as are most of the adults now…

Tempus fugit! Time flies! In the old days this was a “destination” party and people would come from out-of-town and camp in the backyard! There were years when it was standing room only and other years when there wasn’t an invitation sent out and only a few people showed up. You never knew who might be in attendance from year to year, or who might stop by on their way to another party. And then some people stopped coming. A lot of the “regulars” from the past have moved away, found other parties, grown old or now only celebrate with us in spirit. And some of the younger party guests weren’t even born when the celebration first took place!

And so, with the coming of the New Year,
THE HAPPY NEW YEAR HOUSE PARTY CONTINUES!
Here are some Happy New Year 2017 House Party pics!

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Happy New Year Tradition! Old Friends by the Fire!

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

In the old days the party would continue until dawn and guests would literally be passed out on the floor. We last attended this party at the end of 2013 when everyone went home just after midnight and a family card game broke out in the living room. We always bring a nice bottle of champagne or fine wine as a gift for our hosts whenever we visit for New Years. In the past we’ve also brought a bottle of Stolichnaya vodka (size might vary from year to year and decade to decade) for our own consumption and to share, along with mixers, snacks and other refreshments. This year we just brought a big bottle of nice wine (a Malbec from Argentina) for our hosts and a single can of coke that we plugged with a single shot of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum for old times sake.

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Have an Adult Beverage! Beer! Wine! Champagne! Cocktail! Choose Your Poison!

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

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Gather Around the Fire and Catch Up With Old Friends!

The tradition of the circle of friends around the fire began when the firepit was just a hole with a gas pipe sticking out of it. In the old days when the gas was off we burnt wood in the red brick firepit (and often things that were not wood would be thrown in the fire). Now it’s a large cinderblock pit designed for a party with an adjustable gas flame, but the tradition continues. (Who threw the plastic champagne popper in there?)

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The Old Red Brick Fire Pit

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

The house is designed for a party. There’s a large living room, the kitchen and the food table, the covered back patio and bar area, the firepit, the pool area and hot tub, the office and the bedrooms. In recent years, modular units (more rooms) have been added as additional party space. The house and backyard are always decorated with a lot of festive lighting and there’s always a real fire in the indoor fireplace.

Regardless of the weather conditions in December, it’s always been an indoor-outdoor event. Some years it’s been “California freezing” cold or there’s been rain, but the party goes on regardless and the celebration adjusts accordingly. And just like the Rose Parade, the weather has never prevented those in attendance from having a good time!

This year it was cold outside, but not freezing. And someone who won’t be named turned the gas for the firepit all the way up to “Viking Funeral” level so it was nice and warm around the outdoor fire. Everyone ate and drank and some of the boys smoked cigars.

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Single Malt Scotch and Fine Cigars with Old Friends

Tradition also has everyone gathering in the living room and on the patio for the Midnight Countdown and “Stroke of Midnight”. Helium balloons filled with glitter and confetti are popped, people are kissed and everyone toasts the New Year at twelve o’clock. There’s also a large artist pad and box of colored pens, and anyone can sign or draw on the page for the current year. And the old pads and pages going back to the 1980’s are available for viewing (and reminiscing about the past).

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Balloons Filled with Glitter and Confetti…

There’s always too much food! It’s sort of a potluck, and some people bring food, but our gracious hosts always provide Dinner and Snacks for everyone! It’s also BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer or Alcohol) but there’s always a full bar too. In the old days, there used to be a row of “personal coolers” filled with people’s own preferred drinks and snacks.

On The Dinner Menu: Cheese Lasagna, “Navy Boy’s macaroni & cheese”, ham, green bean casserole, chips, more chips, nuts, cookies, carrot cake and more. An assortment of non-alcoholic beverages: coffee, tea, sodas, juices and bottle water are provided too.

Food, Drink and Other Pics from the House Party:

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

We ate some lasagna, reheated in the microwave, then enjoyed an adult beverage: a Coke&Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, and then a wee bit of McCallan Gold blended scotch, and then a really wee bit of Glenfidditch single malt scotch, and then later we ate some good munchies: Doritos nacho cheese chips & honey roasted cashews.

NOTE: We tried it and it was not the “Best Damn Root Beer”… sorry. It was “hard” root beer (with alcohol) and tasted like diet soda, so we only had a sip and then gave it away. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! We stopped drinking before midnight (and we really didn’t drink very much at all) and then waited until after 2am when the party was done before driving home (and there’s always room to crash at the house if you’ve had too much!).

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The Road Home – Don’t Drink and Drive!

It was great to see our old friends and celebrate together again! It was a warm and fuzzy place to ring in 2017 and a good time was had by all. Thanks to everyone for the fun party!

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel (unless otherwise noted)

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Post-Party Breakfast at 3am

January 1, 2017 – 3am PST – Breakfast at Home
On The Menu: 3 eggs over medium, crispy bacon, pink grapefruit, a leftover donut with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, and an espresso with whipped cream


A New Year’s Message for all My Friends!
READ THE BLOG “HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!”> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-6eN

This Blog first posted on Monday, January 2, 2017 at 4:20pm PST
HAPPY NEW YEAR! KEEP ON TRUCKIN’!

 


 

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 from JoshWillTravel!

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Goodbye 2016! Hello 2017!

We wish you the Best of Everything in the coming New Year!
Good Health, Happiness, Good Fortune and Prosperity for You in 2017!

SATURDAY NIGHT! DECEMBER 31st, 2016 – NEW YEAR’S EVE!

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ARE YOU READY FREDDY?

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LET’S CELEBRATE! LET’S PARTY!
GET DOWN, GET FUNKY! ROCK AND ROLL!

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Happy New Year!

Some Past Memories (and pics) of New Year’s Eve:

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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!

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Champagne: a sparkling wine produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France following rules that demand secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation, specific vineyard practices, sourcing of grapes exclusively from Champagne and specific pressing regimes unique to the region. The term Champagne is used as a generic term for sparkling wine, but in many countries it’s illegal to label any wine Champagne unless it comes from the Champagne region and is produced under the special rules of the Champagne winemaking community (under the auspices of the Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne – CIVC).

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!

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Sunday, January 1st, 2017 – HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Monday, January 2nd, 2017 – New Year’s Day (Observed) Federal Holiday

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses! – Beautiful Pasadena, California

“In New York, people are buried in the snow.
Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear.
Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise.”
~Professor Charles F. Holder, 1890

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The 128th Annual Tournament of Roses Rose Parade 2017

The parade has never been held on Sunday. Local tradition has it that “the Tournament has a deal with G-d; we’ll never hold the parade on a Sunday, and He’ll never let it rain on the Rose Parade.” According to the Tournament of Roses Association this “Never on Sunday” policy was instituted in 1893 in order “to avoid frightening horses tethered outside local churches and thus interfering with worship services.”  The Rose Bowl Game and other bowl games usually held on January 1st are also never held on Sunday to avoid competing with the NFL.

The 128th Tournament of Roses Rose Parade “Echoes of Success”

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A US Air Force B-2 “Spirit Flyover” from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri!

44 floats, 19 equestrian units with ~400 horses, and 22 marching bands!

And these beautiful restored cars will be used in the 2017 Rose Parade to drive the Grand Marshals, Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Inductees and special guests down Colorado Blvd:

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

A BLAST FROM THE PAST!

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Valley Hunt Club – Tournament of Roses – January 2nd, 1893.

Members of Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club first staged the Rose Parade on January 1, 1890. Watched by hundreds of thousands of spectators on the parade route down Colorado Blvd, it is broadcast on multiple television networks in the United States and seen by millions more on television worldwide in more than 100 international territories and countries! It is produced by the nonprofit Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association established in 1895. The Valley Hunt Club still enters a flower-decorated carriage in the parade.

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Colorado Street (now Boulevard) near Fair Oaks Ave 1890. Carlton Hotel is center-right

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1890 Colorado Street (later Boulevard) looking east from Fair Oaks. San Gabriel Valley Bank on right (S/E corner). A streetlight hangs over the middle of the intersection.

NOTE: Colorado Street was renamed Boulevard through Old Town Pasadena from Arroyo Parkway to Orange Grove Boulevard in 1958.

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Rose Parade – Colorado Street (later Boulevard) – Pasadena, California 1925

The Italian Renaissance-style mansion of William Wrigley Jr. (of Wrigley’s chewing gum) was offered to the city of Pasadena after Mrs. Wrigley’s death in 1958, under the condition that the home would be the Rose Parade’s permanent headquarters. Tournament House is now the name of the home office where the organization is headquartered.

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Tournament House – Pasadena, California

The 2017 Tournament of Roses Grand Marshals
Greg Louganis, Allyson Felix and Janet Evans
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The 99th Rose Queen and the 2017 Royal Court
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Miracle-Gro will have 4 former Rose Queens on their float in the 2017 Rose Parade!
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The 103rd Rose Bowl! (2pm on ESPN)

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The Rose Bowl football game was added in 1902 to help fund the cost of staging the parade. Originally titled the “Tournament East-West football game,” it is considered the first Rose Bowl. The next game wasn’t played until 1916 and they have been played every year since then. The Rose Bowl Stadium was built for the 1923 game.

University of Southern California Trojans

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Rose Bowl – Pasadena, California

UPDATED JANUARY 6, 2017: USC won the game 52-49, in a see-saw battle, with the winning field goal coming at the very end of the fourth quarter!

NOTE (if you’re going to the game):
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NOTE: NEW LAWS IN CALIFORNIA!

Even though it’s already illegal to hold a phone and talk or text while driving, Starting January 1, 2017 motorists cannot hold their phone for any reason! Phones must be mounted on the windshield or dashboard and “hands-free” functions (one-touch) will still be allowed as long as conditions are safe for use.

Senate Bill No. 880 & Proposition 63 = Stricter Gun Control Laws in California!
The new laws include expansion of the assault weapons ban, background checks for bullet buyers at the point of sale, adds new felony charges for stealing firearms, broadens a ban on large capacity magazines (over ten rounds) and requires all felons to surrender their guns effective January 1, 2017.

California approved Proposition 64 to legalize “recreational” adult use of marijuana!
Even though there is still Federal Prohibition and marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 Drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency, as of November 9, 2016, the State of California made it legal for any adult 21 years or older to:

    •  Possess, transport, obtain or give away to other adults 21 or older no more than one ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.

•  Cultivate up to six plants per residence and possess the marijuana produced by these plants.  All plants and harvest in excess of one ounce must be kept in a locked space not in public view at one’s residence.  Local governments may still forbid cultivation outdoors, but must allow it inside a private residence or accessory structure that is “fully enclosed and secure.”

• Medical marijuana patients keep their existing rights under Prop 215 to possess and cultivate as much as they need for personal medical use so long as they have a doctor’s recommendation, regardless of the Prop 64 limits for adult users. Beware though that local governments may still restrict cultivation via nuisance ordinances (except for the six indoor plant minimum allowed for personal use).

•  Retail sales for adult use will not begin until licensed stores are in operation after Jan 1, 2018.  In the meantime, Prop 215 patients with a doctor’s recommendation can continue to purchase at medical collectives and dispensaries.

•  Tax Tip for 215 Patients:  Patients who have a state medical marijuana ID card will be exempt from the state sales tax immediately, according to the State Board of Equalization.  If you spend more than $100 per month on medicine, it should pay you to get a state ID card.  State ID cards are available from county health departments;  under Prop 64 the card fees are capped  at $100 ($50 for Medi-Cal patients).

Prior offenders:  If you have been convicted for a marijuana felony or other offense that has been downgraded by Prop 64, you may petition the court to have your record changed to what it would be if Prop 64 had been in effect!

NOTE: Visit the California NORML website for all the details > http://www.canorml.org/news/what_will_be_legal_and_what_wont_after_Prop_64

And in 2017, salons and barber shops will legally be allowed to serve complimentary alcohol! The measure legalizes a practice already commonplace at many salons.

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Baby New Year 2017

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

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

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CHEERS! Here’s to a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR in 2017!

http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

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Historical Photos and Early Views of Pasadena > http://waterandpower.org/museum/Early_Views_of_Pasadena_(Page_1).html

NOTE: 2017 has been designated as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 from JoshWillTravel! (MMXVII A.D.)


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HAPPY NEW YEAR BABY 2017!

 


Happy Holidays! Goodbye 2016!

Goodbye 2016!
Happy Holidays from JoshWillTravel!

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Here’s my “Internet Holiday Card” to all my online friends:

HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE!
HAPPY FESTIVUS, CHRISTMAS, HANNUKAH & KWANZAA HOLIDAYS!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!
HAPPY TRAVELS IN THE NEW YEAR!

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James Kahlo RIP – Father Time/Old Man New Year – Dickens Christmas Fair – San Francisco

It’s Monday, December 19th and we can’t wait for this year to be over…

HAPPY TRAVELS!

Cold Rain & Snow = Winter Holiday Travel Delays! Be Careful Out There!

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Monday’s Holiday Week Forecast: “Baby it’s cold outside!”

Well, the weather outside is frightful for a lot of people.
Here in Los Angeles it’s really delightful! We are having our West Coast Winter again.

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Flights Cancelled! Baggage Claim at Denver International Airport

People just have to travel for the holidays. You must know that traveling during the Winter Holidays is a crazy thing to subject yourself to… bad traffic, long lines, weather delays, irritated crowds and overworked staff are guaranteed to be part of the experience. We always advise you plan ahead, use a travel agent and buy travel insurance, especially if you’re flying or cruising during the holiday season.

Out here in California it’s cool and clear with blue skies and sunshine while most of the nation is suffering Arctic cold and blizzard conditions. We had a rainstorm or two come through last week, and it’s definitely “sweater weather” in Southern California with some nighttime temperatures getting into the 40s & 50s! We’ll just say “Sorry” for all you folks shoveling mountains of snow, driving in dangerous conditions, or just freezing your asses off. Stay warm and safe!

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Happy Holidays! Yosemite Valley – First Snow of the Season!

We are “home for the holidays” again this year. White Christmas? Green Christmas? Here in Los Angeles you can decide. There was snow on the Grapevine (the top of the 5 freeway north where it crests on the way to Bakersfield) during the storms last week. There’s snow and skiing/snowboarding in the nearby San Gabriel mountains, Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear; or you can have cocktails at the beach or picnic in the park….
or both on the same day.

And currently, as we write this part of the Blog, it is 71 degrees at 2:30pm on Tuesday, December 20 and there’s a puppy asleep in my lap and another asleep in the playpen next to me. They are such sweet little girls! (and at 5pm today in Chicago it’s only 28 degrees)

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Puppy Laptime Naptime!


HAPPY FESTIVUS! December 23rd – 
“the festival for the rest of us”

A family tradition of “Seinfeld” writer Dan O’Keefe, Festivus entered popular culture in 1997 in the episode “The Strike” The holiday celebration includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum Festivus pole, the “Airing of Grievances”, “Feats of Strength” and easily explainable events witnessed as “Festivus Miracles!”

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Happy Festivus! “We Shall Begin With The Airing of Greivances!”

“I’ve got a lot of problems with you people, and now you’re going to hear about it!”

The English word festive derives from Latin “festivus” an adjective meaning “excellent, jovial and/or lively” which in turn derives from festus “joyous; holiday, feast day”.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS! December 24 & 25

Happy birthday Jesus! December 25 was the date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar. The prominence of Christmas Day celebration increased gradually after Charlemagne was crowned Emperor on Christmas Day in the year 800 and then William I (the Conqueror) of England was crowned on Christmas Day 1066. In Colonial America, the Pilgrims of New England shared the Protestant’s (Puritan) disapproval of Christmas, and in 1620, they spent their first Christmas Day in the New World working to demonstrate their complete contempt for the holiday. Christmas observance was outlawed in Boston in 1659 by the Puritans and the ban wasn’t revoked until 1681. George Washington crossed the Delaware and attacked hungover Hessian (German) mercenaries during the Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776, the day after Christmas. The holiday being much more popular in Germany than in America at the time.

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Happy Holidays! The Citadel Outlets in Commerce, California 2016

The practice of special decorations at Christmas began in the 15th century: in London it was the custom at Christmas for every house and all the parish churches to be “decked with holm, ivy, bays, and whatsoever the season of the year afforded to be green.” Holly was seen as protection against pagans and witches: its thorns and red berries represent the Crown of Thorns and the blood Jesus shed.

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Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas 2014

The traditional Christmas colors are red, green, and gold. Red for the blood of Jesus shed at his crucifixion, green for eternal life and the evergreen tree, which does not lose its leaves in the winter, and gold for royalty is associated with the three gifts of the Magi.

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Kevin Brown RIP as Charles Dickens at the Great Dickens Fair in San Francisco

In 1843, Charles Dickens wrote the novel “A Christmas Carol” credited with reviving the spirit of Christmas, seasonal merriment and emphasizing family, goodwill, compassion and redemption. The term Scrooge became a synonym for miser, and “Bah! Humbug!” a statement dismissive of the festive spirit. Also in England in 1843, the concept of sending greetings cards at Christmas was created and the first commercial Christmas card was produced by Sir Henry Cole.

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The first commercially produced Christmas card made by Henry Cole in 1843

The Christmas tree was introduced in the early 19th century in England. In 1832, the future Queen Victoria wrote about having a Christmas tree hung with lights, ornaments and surrounded with presents. An image of the British royal family with their Christmas tree at Windsor Castle created a sensation when it was published in the Illustrated London News in 1848. A modified version of this image was published in the United States in 1850 and by the 1870s putting up a Christmas tree had become common in America.

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The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree 2016 Arrives in NYC!

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

The Christmas tree is considered by some as “Christianization” of pagan tree worship tradition and ritual of the Winter Solstice. The English language phrase “Christmas tree” was first recorded in 1835. Other traditional decorations include garlands, mistletoe & holly, poinsettia, bells, candles, candy canes, stockings, wreaths, snowmen and angels.

Where’s Waldo? Mele Kalikimaka!

A number of figures are associated with Christmas and the giving of gifts. Among these are Father Christmas aka Santa Claus from the Dutch Sinterklaas for Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle; Père Noël, Saint Basil, the Weihnachtsmann, the Christkind,  Joulupukki, Babbo Natale and Ded Moroz. The Scandinavian tomte is sometimes depicted as a gnome. Of course, the best known of these figures today is red-dressed Santa Claus.

The exchange of gifts is the modern commercial Christmas celebration, making it the most profitable time of year for retailers and businesses throughout the world. Gift giving is based in the Roman celebration of Saturnalia, the Christian tradition associated with St. Nicholas and the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh which were given to the baby Jesus by the three wise men.

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

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Thursday’s Holiday Item: Bendable Santa and a Happy Xmas Peanut M&M

 

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Mele Kalikimaka! Wishing you a Happy Christmas!

Christmas Day is the least active day of the year for business and commerce in most Western nations. Retail, commercial and institutional businesses are closed for the holiday and almost all industries cease activity (more than any other day of the year).

HAPPY HANNUKAH! December 24-31

Hannukah is the Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt (167-165 BC) against the Seleucid Empire. Also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication it is celebrated for eight nights beginning on the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar (late November to December on the Gregorian calendar).

Hanukkah became more widely celebrated in America in the 1970s, when Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson called for public awareness and observance of the festival and encouraged the lighting of public menorahs. And for secular Jews it became an alternative to Christmas celebrations, a celebration of religious freedom and a symbol of Jewish identity.

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Happy Hannukah! Light the Menorah!

The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of the nine-branched Menorah (also called a Chanukiah/Hanukiah). The extra candle is called a shamash (Hebrew for attendant) and is given a distinct location usually above the rest. Light the shamash candle first and then use it to light the others. Three blessings are recited when lighting the candles: On the first night recite all three blessings and on all subsequent nights recite only the first two.

The tradition of lighting one additional candle on each night of the eight night holiday commemorates the miracle declared by Jewish sages: According to the Talmud, unadulterated and undefiled pure olive oil with the seal of the kohen gadol (high priest) was needed for the eternal flame in the Temple, which was required to burn throughout the night every night. One flask of oil was found, only enough oil to burn for one day, yet it burned for eight, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply.

Homemade Jelly Donuts

Jelly Donuts (Sufganiyot)

Traditionally, fried foods, potato pancakes (latkes) and jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot) are eaten to commemorate the importance of oil during the celebration of Hanukkah, gifts are given each night and children are gifted with cash money called Gelt (Yiddish for money). Giving Hannukah Gelt dates back to the East European custom of children gifting their teachers money at this time of year as a token of gratitude.

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Friday’s Holiday Item: Dreidels and Hannukah Gelt ($)

Dreidel: a small four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side, a gambling game played with a dreidel, especially at Hanukkah. The dreidel is a Jewish variant on the teetotum, a gambling toy found in many European cultures. Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (He), ש (Shin), which together form the acronym for “נס גדול היה שם” (Nes Gadol Hayah Sham – “a great miracle happened there”) Nun stands for the Yiddish word nisht (“nothing”), He stands for halb (“half”), Gimel for gants (“all”), and Shin for shtel ayn (“put in”)

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Hannukah! Eight Crazy Nights!

In the United States and Israel it is common to give and/or exchange presents with friends and family. In addition, many families encourage giving tzedakah (charity to those less fortunate) during Hannukah.

In 1951, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion gave Harry Truman a Hanukkah Menorah. In 1979, Jimmy Carter held the first public Hanukkah candle-lighting of the National Menorah on the White House lawn. In 1989, George H.W. Bush displayed a menorah in the White House. In 1993, Bill Clinton invited a group of schoolchildren to the Oval Office for a small ceremony. In 2001, George W. Bush held an official Hanukkah reception at the White House, along with the candle-lighting ceremony, and it has become an annual tradition attended by the United States’ Jewish leaders. In 2008, George Bush linked the occasion to the 1951 gift by using that menorah for the ceremony, with a grandson of Ben-Gurion and a grandson of Truman lighting the candles.

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Saturday’s Holiday Item: YUM YUM raspberry jelly filled, cinnamon roll & (not pictured) chocolate custard filled donuts!

HAPPY KWANZAA! December 26th – January 1st

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Kwanzaa celebrates its 50th year in 2016!

Created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate family, culture and heritage, the name Kwanzaa comes from a Swahili phrase meaning “first fruits” and is modeled after the harvest celebrations of Africa. The colors of Kwanzaa reflect the Pan-African movement and people of African descent worldwide: Black for people of color, red for blood that unites people of African ancestry, and green for Africa. 7 Principles and 7 Primary Symbols emphasize a unique set of values and ideals during the 7 days of Kwanzaa which is spelled with 7 letters. The first US postage stamp to commemorate Kwanzaa was issued in 1997. There have been 5 more designs released since.

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AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017! December 31st – January 1st

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San Francisco Civic Auditorium – New Year’s Eve 1984-85

AULD LANG SYNE
First recorded in 1939: Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians performed it every New Year’s Eve for decades until his death in 1977. His version is played immediately following the dropping of the ball in Times Square every year.

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup! and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne. CHORUS
We two have run about the slopes, and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne. CHORUS
We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne. CHORUS
And there’s a hand my trusty friend! And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne. CHORUS

“Auld Lang Syne” is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song traditionally used to bid farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. (Hogmanay, the Scots word for the last day of the year is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year).

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Happy New Year 2017! Pour the Champagne! Don’t Drink and Drive!

Champagne: a sparkling wine produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France following rules that demand secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottle to create carbonation, specific vineyard practices, sourcing of grapes exclusively from Champagne and specific pressing regimes unique to the region. The term Champagne is used as a generic term for sparkling wine, but in many countries it’s illegal to label any wine Champagne unless it comes from the Champagne region and is produced under the special rules of the Champagne winemaking community (under the auspices of the Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne – CIVC).

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Happy New Year!

Me at the beginning of 2016 versus me at the end of 2016:

“The Dude Abides”

To all my Friends and Followers,

The end of 2016 is a welcome relief. It has not been an easy year.
We are still struggling with the tragic loss of our precious little girls in August,
and now we have the new beautiful little girls in our life to love and train.
We are angry, anxious and depressed about the outcome of the 2016 election.
We are worried about the current condition and future direction of our country.

This year was also full of lots of fun, entertainment and good times.
(Read our past Blogs and visit our facebook and Twitter pages to see the fun!)
We hope to expand and increase our “fun tolerance level” in the coming new year.
There’s a secret plan ahead for JoshWillTravel in 2017,
so if you haven’t yet, be sure to “LIKE”, Follow, and stay connected with us. 

We wish you and yours a Happy Winter Solstice, a Happy Festivus,
a Happy Christmas-Hannukah-Kwanzaa and a very Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2016, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

What does the FUTURE hold for us in the year 2017?

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Donald J. Trump – Baby New Year – New York City

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

TELL THE USA TO DUMP TRUMP!
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Our Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe> 
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-23h

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Festivus Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

The earliest Latin Christmas hymns appear in 4th-century Rome. Christmas Carols in English first appear in 1426 written by John Awdlay, a Shropshire chaplain, who lists twenty-five “Caroles of Cristemas” probably sung by groups of wassailers going house to house. The songs were originally communal folk songs sung during harvest celebrations as well as Christmas. Carols like “Personent hodie”, “Good King Wenceslas” and “The Holly and the Ivy” date back to the Middle Ages. “Adeste Fideles” (O Come all ye faithful) appears in its current form in the mid-18th century, although the words may have originated in the 13th century. Secular Christmas songs emerged in the late 18th century: “Deck the Halls” dates from 1784 and “Jingle Bells” was copyrighted in 1857.

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
~ Buddy the Elf

Musical Merry Christmas Countdown! Playlist 2015
CLICK HERE TO HEAR AND SEE THE MUSIC!

Buddy:
[thinking Miles is an elf]
Did you have to borrow a reindeer to get down here?

Miles Finch:
Hey, jackweed, I get more action in a week than you’ve had in your entire life. I’ve got houses in L.A., Paris and Vail. In each one, a 70 inch plasma screen. So I suggest you wipe that stupid smile off your face before I come over there and SMACK it off! You feeling strong, my friend? Call me elf one more time.

Buddy:
[after a pause]
He’s an angry elf.

[Miles promptly attacks him]

milesfinch

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Hollywood film studios release their big movies during the holiday season always including new Christmas films, big budget “blockbuster” fantasy movies and megastar powered dramas for consideration for the Academy Awards. And YES, “Die Hard” and “Lethal Weapon” are Christmas films.

Clarence:
Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives.
When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?

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“It’s A Wonderful Life” 1946
produced & directed by Frank Capra,
based on the short story “The Greatest Gift”

Teacher says,
Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.”

 

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Mele Kalikimaka!

Mele Kalikimaka! (written in 1949 by Robert Alex Anderson)
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Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day
That’s the island greeting that we send to you from the land where palm trees sway
Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night…

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Mele Kalikimaka!


Happy Memories!

A toast to absent friends and family,
and a toast to the blessed memory of everyone who left us in 2016!

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E. Caitlin Phillips RIP

“Another Year Gone!
Say Buh-Bye 2016…
A New Year Ahead!”

WE WISH YOU & EVERYONE YOU KNOW,
HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

joshwilltravel

JoshWillTravel PO Box 18376, Encino, CA 91416 joshwilltravel@yahoo.com

“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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The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
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Pop A Cork! (Photo By Niels Noordhoek)

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2017


 

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Sunday’s Holiday Item: 2016 Tournament of Roses – Rose Parade Drum Head

NOTE: The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl football game will be held this year on Monday, January 2, 2017, the New Year’s Day federal holiday!


http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel

 

 

L’Shanah Tovah! Happy Jewish New Year 5777!

L’Shanah Tovah!
Happy Rosh Hashanah! It’s the Jewish New Year!

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On the Menu: Apples & Honey for a sweet New Year! Matzah ball soup with chicken, challah bread, beef brisket with brown gravy, brown & wild rice, carrot-sweet potato puree, sautéed asparagus and a cherry coke.

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

Happy Jewish New Year 5777!

 

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

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The “JoshWillTravel AdventureScope” is now available on Youtube!>
(And our Periscope videos from Katch are now posted on YouTube)
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Happy Chinese New Year 2016!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year 2016! Year of the Yang Red Fire Monkey!

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Chinese New Year 2016 (according to the lunar calendar) begins on the New Moon on February 8th. Chinese New Year is celebrated by millions of people all over the world in countries and territories with Chinese populations, including the United States, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius and the Philippines.

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Chinese holidays and events for 2016:
1st January Friday – New Year’s Day National holiday
2nd January Saturday – New Year’s weekend Common Local holidays
3rd January Sunday – New Year’s weekend Common Local holidays
7th January Sunday – Spring Festival Eve National holiday
8th January Monday – Chinese New Year National holiday
9th January Tuesday – Spring Festival Golden Week holiday National holiday
10th February Wednesday – Spring Festival Golden Week holiday Common Local holidays
11th February Thursday – Spring Festival Golden Week holiday Common Local holidays
12th February Friday – Spring Festival Golden Week holiday Common Local holidays
12th February Friday – Spring Festival Golden Week holiday National holiday
13th February Saturday – Spring Festival Golden Week holiday National holiday
13th February Saturday – Spring Festival Golden Week holiday Common Local holidays
22nd February Monday – Lantern Festival Observance
8th March Tuesday – International Women’s Day Observance
10th March Thursday – Zhonghe Festival Observance
12th March Saturday – Arbor Day Observance
20th March Sunday – March equinox Season
4th April Monday – Qing Ming Jie National holiday
1st May Sunday – Labour Day National holiday
4th May Wednesday – Youth Day Observance
1st June Wednesday – Children’s Day Observance
9th June Thursday – Dragon Boat Festival National holiday
20th June Monday – June Solstice Season
1st July Friday – CPC Founding Day Observance
11th July Monday – Maritime Day Observance
1st August Monday – Army Day Observance
9th August Tuesday – Double Seven Festival Observance
17th August Wednesday – Spirit Festival Observance
10th September Saturday – Teachers’ Day Observance
15th September Thursday – Mid-Autumn Festival National holiday
22nd September Thursday – September equinox Season
1st October Saturday – National Day National holiday
2nd October Sunday – National Day Golden Week holiday National holiday
3rd October Monday – National Day Golden Week holiday National holiday
4th October Tuesday – National Day Golden Week holiday Common Local holidays
5th October Wednesday – National Day Golden Week holiday Common Local holidays
6th October Thursday – National Day Golden Week holiday Common Local holidays
7th October Friday – National Day Golden Week holiday Common Local holidays
9th October Sunday – Double Ninth Festival Observance
8th November Tuesday – Journalists’ Day Observance
21st December Wednesday – December Solstice Season
25th December Sunday – Christmas Day Observance

Happy-Chinese-New-Year-Wishes-Messages-2016

People walk under a Chinese Lantern display during a Chinese New Year eve celebration at Chinatown in Manila

People under a Chinese Lantern display – Chinese New Year eve celebration Chinatown in Manila Feb 18, 2015 REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

 

READ THE NEW BLOG> HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR 2017! CLICK HERE>
https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/happy-chinese-new-year-2017/

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016! HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016! HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016! 

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**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.

RIGHT CLICK AND THEN OPEN IN NEW WINDOW TO SEE A LARGER PICTURE!

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!

RIGHT CLICK AND THEN OPEN IN NEW WINDOW TO SEE A LARGER PICTURE!

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

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

12-13-14 New BLOG Posted!

13 December 2014 (posted Sunday 12-14-14)

12-13-14

The last sequential date this century, made up of four sequential digits: 1, 2, 3 and 4.

You may be wondering “What happened to Part 4 of the Roadtrip?” (see previous blog)

Well, it’s been weird around here lately. Once again I apologize to my loyal readers for being absent from my own Blog and leaving the story unfinished…

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I promise to continue the story of my trip to Ashland, Oregon very soon with tales of Lithia Park, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, antique shopping & fine dining in Ashland, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Reno, Lakeland Village, Harrah’s, Harvey’s, the Montbleu, and the road trip home on US 395 south (a beautiful 8 hour drive through central California).

So, it’s December again. Hooray for the winter holidays and holy days.

Happy Christmas! – Happy Hannukah! – Happy Kwanzaa!

Happy Festivus! – and Happy New Year! (almost)

I wish you, my readers, a wonderful, safe and happy holiday season!

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

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

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Home for the holiday in Los Angeles and shared a wonderful feast with family and friends. (see previous Blog – just posted)

There were two big storms in the last week here in Southern California, and another one expected on Monday. We’ve gotten a lot of good rain, and as they say “We need the rain”. There was also a SMALL TORNADO hit south Los Angeles and someone got it on video!

Here’s the link to KTLA’s New Report: http://ktla.com/2014/12/12/tornado-strikes-south-l-a-neighborhood-rips-roof-off-building-residents/

And the full video with censored commentary from ABC: http://abc7news.com/434831/

We have a lot of fresh snow in the local mountains and all across the United States. Crazy conditions in the midwest and northeast! Winter is finally here. Stay warm and dry!

Talked about the weather and I’m not going to Blog about Politics, War and Racism today.

NOTE: Please read my previous Blog: “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” Today there were massive rallies across the country to protest the POLICE STATE, VIOLENCE AND ABUSE OF POWER. I will update my previous blog very soon, and will title it “I Can’t Breathe!”

St. Louis County Police Stormtroopers in Ferguson, Missouri

St. Louis County Police Stormtroopers in Ferguson, Missouri

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