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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Plan for 2019 (cup of water… check):

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“Beef Jerky For Everyone”

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“MALEFICENT!”, the promotional display at the ArcLight Cinemas

Disney’s “Maleficent!” – the promotional display at the ArcLight Cinemas

NOTE: This Blog is supplemental to the previous “Chef” the film, Sherman Oaks Galleria, ArcLight Cinemas, and Dinner at Versailles Cuban Food Blog.

I haven’t been to the MOVIES in a long time. There are a few real good reasons why….but I’m not going to go into that subject today. Instead I’m going to go into a little detail on “Maleficent”, a classic Disney character and villain!

"Maleficent!"

“Maleficent!” – I took this pic of the promotional art at the ArcLight Cinemas Sherman Oaks

Created for the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty and designed by Disney Legend Marc Davis, Maleficent is the “Mistress of All Evil”, Disney’s version of the wicked fairy godmother from the original French fairy tale. After not being invited to the royal christening, she curses the infant Princess Aurora to “prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die” before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday.

Disney's Maleficent (the original)

Disney’s Maleficent (the original)

In the Fantasmic! show performed at Disneyland & Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Maleficent is the true villain along with the Evil Queen. They decide it is time to take out Mickey Mouse, once and for all, and command the other Disney villains to strike at Mickey through his dreams and imagination. Maleficent is the final villain to attack Mickey. The battle between Maleficent in Dragon form and Hero Mickey serves as the climax to the show. Maleficent cries out before becoming the dragon, “Now you will deal with me, and all the powers of my imagination!” Notably different from the original film where she proclaimed “Now shall you deal with me, O Prince, and all the powers of Hell!”

Maleficent in Dragon Form

Maleficent (the original) in Dragon Form

That’s the basic history of the character, so now back to going to the movies….

As detailed in my previous Blog, on Memorial Day Monday, we went to the ArcLight Cinemas in the Sherman Oaks Galleria in the San Fernando Valley, and saw “Chef”.

"Chef" the film

Russell Peters and Jon Favreau recreate a scene from “Lady & The Tramp” in “Chef” the film

In the lobby of the ArcLight, there was a large promotional display for “Maleficent” with two costumes worn by Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning and conceptual artwork from the film. The display was enclosed in glass and it was hard to get a clean pic without the glare. It was an unexpected surprise, and it was cool, so I thought I’d share it here.

NOTE: Remember, “right-click” and open a new window to see a larger picture!

Maleficent! Costumes at the ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Costumes and Artwork at the ArcLight Cinemas (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent Costume (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Still photo of the costume as worn by Angelina Jolie (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Maleficent! Concept Artwork – Does the castle look familiar? (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Not something you get to see everyday! And I’ll probably update this Blog with a review of the film, which opens wide today, soon.

Twitter Ad! Reposting it here.

Disney’s Maleficent! From a Twitter Ad – Reposting it here.

And just for fun:

DMorte Disney Tarot 10 Wheel of Fortune (unauthorized)

DMorte Disney Tarot Card 10: Wheel of Fortune (unauthorized)

THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE TAROT CARD

Upright: Unexpected good luck. A raise in pay. A promotion at work. Prosperity may be coming your way. Good news about health issues. As always, good luck becomes better for the prepared and the proactive, but this card also represents providence. Traditionally, fortune, good health, and advancement.

Reversed: Ups and downs. Instability. Unpredictability. Apparent good fortune may not turn out to be so good after all. Traditionally, negligence, inconsistency, speculation, cruel fate.  Might suggest fluctuating health issues such as allergies or weight gain.

Correspondences – Element: Fire/Water – Zodiac: Jupiter

Read the previous Blog “Chef” the film, Sherman Oaks Galleria, ArcLight Cinemas, Dinner at Versailles Cuban Food

Click Here: https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/chef-sherman-oaks-galleria-arclight-dinner-at-versailles

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New Blog Under Construction!

Memorial Day, “Chef” the film, the Sherman Oaks Galleria, the ArcLight Cinemas*, and a great dinner at Versailles are the subject of the Blog Under Construction.

*NOTE: The “Maleficent” Costume and Artwork Display Blog is also Under Construction!

"Maleficent!"

“Maleficent!” – I took this picture of the display artwork at the ArcLight Cinemas at the Sherman Oaks Galleria

 

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“Be an actor, not a waiter.” ACT NOW!

**Goodbye 2013! Hello 2014!** – My Year in Review.

Happy Holidays!  Season’s Greetings!  Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!

Mr C. Hotel - Beverly Hills (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Happy New Year!  The Champagne is Chilling! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Another year in the history books, and since it’s my blog, here’s my past year in review.     (RIGHT CLICK the links and OPEN A NEW WINDOW to read my blog stories and see more pictures from each event!)

In December 2012, we got a new Cavachon puppy, so all year long it was the Year of the “Little Fuzz Ball”, as she grew up, was loved, learned to be good dog, caused (mostly minor) trouble, and was just plain adorable everyday!

My new puppy - 10 weeks old

My new puppy the “Little Fuzz Ball” – She’s 10 weeks old here and just too cute for words! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

January – New Year’s Eve 2013: I kicked the new year off with a champagne toast at the annual New Years Eve Party with a few old friends in Burbank, California!

Champagne Toast - New Years Eve 2012-2013

Champagne Toast – New Years Eve 2012-2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

January 11th – I saw a shooting star! I was outside and looked up at the clear night sky and thought “Gee, it would really be cool to see a shooting star”. And as if on cue, the most amazing shooting star I have ever seen came blazing from the heavens exactly where I was looking.  It was awesome and it kind of freaked me out too.

January Trip to Ashland, Oregon https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/my-january-trip-to-ashland-oregon/

Leaving on a (prop) jet plane!  Since this is a travel blog, I’m going to share my travel experiences from the past year.  Horizon Air – Alaska Air (codeshare) LAX to Medford, Oregon for a winter visit.  There was a little snow in the morning the first day I was there.

Horizon Air - Alaska Airlines at LAX (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Horizon Air – Alaska Airlines at LAX (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ashland, Oregon Visitor's Map

Ashland, Oregon Visitor’s Map – https://www.facebook.com/theatreinashland 

Lithia Park - Ashland Creek - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland Creek – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Ashland is incredibly beautiful in the winter.  The Oregon Shakespeare Festival runs February to November, so in December and January it’s relatively “tourist free”.

To kick off the New Year in 2014, I’m officially launching my new facebook page Food, Wine & Theatre in Ashland, Oregon with JoshWillTravel: Visit https://www.facebook.com/theatreinashland for more info!

FebruaryBIG NEWS! NEW JOB. 

Travel Advisor, Independent Travel Consultant & Travel Agent

I spent most of this year learning the travel business, working, meeting new people, making new contacts, traveling, and enjoying my new career and all the wonderful perks!

Launched the JoshWillTravel brand and started this BLOG in February 2012!

email: joshwilltravel@yahoo.com http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel – http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravelhttp://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com

From February until July, I posted a regular “Pic of the Day” featured photo on my blog daily, please look back and see them in my older posts!

Trade Day at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/trade-day-at-the-la-times-travel-show-2013/

Los Angeles Times Travel Show 2013 at the L.A. Convention Center

Los Angeles Times Travel Show in February 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Badges?  We don't need no....oh, yes you do!

Badges? We don’t need no….oh, yes you do!

Mom’s 70th Birthday Party at the house in Bel Air

Skyline - Century City and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Skyline view from Bel Air – Century City and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California
(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I baked a cheesecake! Grandma's Cherry Cheesecake (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I baked a cheesecake! Grandma’s Cherry Cheesecake (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A private performance by Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A private musical performance by Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys in the living room (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

March – A month of education that continued throughout the year: The Willett Travel Academy winter class of 2013 three nights a week, continuous online learning and webinar training, a lot of reading, and events and seminars to increase my industry and product knowledge.  I studied hard and earned special Travel Specialist designations with many of our suppliers, vendors, and other travel partners this year. RIGHT CLICK to see my new credentials: https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/about/im-a-travel-agent-luxury-travel-advisor-independent-travel-consultant/

AprilOpening night of “Assisted Living” at the Odyssey Theater and dinner at Nan Ban Kan in West Los Angeles  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/dinner-show-nan-ban-kan-assisted-living-opening-night-odyssey-theater/

"Assisted Living" starring Paul Dooley & Winnie Holzman

“Assisted Living” starring Paul Dooley & Winnie Holzman

The Hollywood Expo (Hollywood Chamber of Commerce) at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/tuesday-night-at-the-hollywood-expo-in-hollywood/

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel - Hollywood, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – Hollywood, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Blvd  Darth Vader, an Imperial Stormtrooper and Bumblebee the Transformer on The Walk of Fame in front of the Chinese Theater and the Disney El Capitan Marquee (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Blvd – Darth Vader, an Imperial Stormtrooper, & Bumblebee the Transformer on The Walk of Fame in front of the Chinese Theater and the Disney El Capitan Marquee (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I also attended great Hollywood Chamber of Commerce events at Fabiolus Restaurant in Hollywood, Spoonful Restaurant in Universal City, and the Infusion Lounge at Universal Citywalk in 2013.

Fabiolus, Cucina Italiana Verona - Hollywood, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Fabiolus, Cucina Italiana Verona – Hollywood, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Mixer at Spoonful (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Universal CityWalk Hollywood (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Infusion Lounge at Universal CityWalk Hollywood (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Return to the Paramount Ranch in Agoura, California https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/return-to-paramount-ranch-01-apr-13-part-1-western-town/

Paramount Ranch Park - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A trip to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, California to see old friends.

Old Friends at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Old Friends at the Renaissance Faire in Irwindale (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and The Brewery Art Walk in Downtown Los Angeles  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/pic-of-the-day-29-apr-13-brewery-art-walk-downtown-los-angeles/

The Brewery Art Walk in Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Brewery Art Walk in Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“A Comfortable Skin” Multimedia Art by Kristine Schomaker: www.kristineschomaker.net

Brewery Art Walk - Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Brewery Art Walk – Downtown Los Angeles  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

MayWillett Travel Academy Graduation Celebration at The Six in Studio City  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/celebration-at-the-six-restaurant-in-studio-city/  Six of us graduated, and at the end of the year only two remain (myself and Lena).

Celebration at THE SIX - Studio City, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Graduation Celebration at THE SIX – Studio City, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Road Trip to San Jose – Ann’s Birthday and UC Santa Cruz Friends Reunion https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/do-you-know-the-way-to-san-jose-reunion-roadtrip/

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Do you know the way to San Jose?  Road Trip! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Annie's Birthday Cake! Santa Cruz Gang Reunion Party!

Annie’s Birthday Cake! Santa Cruz Gang Reunion Party!

Santa Cruz Gang Reunion 2013

Santa Cruz Gang Reunion 2013

My 30th High School Reunion at the Oakwood School in North Hollywood.

The Oakwood School 30th High School Reunion

The Oakwood School Reunion in North Hollywood (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

the Southern California Hotel and Lodging Conference in the City of Industry at the Palm Pacific Hotel Resort  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/trade-show-time-socal-hotel-and-lodging-conference-at-the-palm-pacific-hotel-resort/

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Palm Hotel Resort (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and Memorial Day Weekend  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/pic-of-the-day-27-may-13-san-fernando-valley-sunset-memorial-day-2013/

Memorial Day 2013 - Sunset in the San Fernando Valley (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Memorial Day 2013 – San Fernando Valley Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

JuneThe L.A. WineFest at Raleigh Studios https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/la-winefest-2013-in-hollywood/

Wearing the Hawaiian Shirt & Panama Hat! Working our table at the LA WineFest in Hollywood 2013. (Thanks Debrah!)

Wearing the Hawaiian Shirt & Panama Hat!
Working our table at the LA WineFest in Hollywood 2013. (Thanks Debrah!)

A Good Week in June!

Lunch at the Four Seasons Westlake Village https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/pic-of-the-day-13-jun-13-four-seasons-westlake-village/

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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Four Seasons Westlake Village (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Limo trip and Private Gulfstream 4 Jet at Santa Monica Municipal Airport https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/who-else-needs-a-limo-and-a-private-gulfstream-g-4-jet/

(copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Black Limosine and a Gulfstream 4 Private Jet at Santa Monica Municipal Airport (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

the Art Party in Beverly Hills  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/saturday-evening-at-the-art-party-in-beverly-hills/

The Art Party In Beverly Hills (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Art Party In Beverly Hills (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

T.H.O.R. Reception at the Mr. C Hotel in West Los Angeles  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/pic-of-the-day-20-jun-13-mr-cs-hotel/

Mr. C's Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Mr. C Hotel in West Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and Opening night of “Absolutely Filthy” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/pic-of-the-day-21-jun-3-friday-night-at-the-formosa-cafe/

Friday Night at the Formosa Cafe

Friday Night at the Formosa Cafe in Hollywood (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Best Play I Saw This Year: “Absolutely Filthy” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Other notable Theater Perfomances this year: “Dreamgirls”, “Our Class”, “Assisted Living” at small theaters in L.A. and “The Liquid Plain” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

JulyRoad Trip to San Jose, Santa Cruz, Pacifica, San Francisco and Ashland 

This Old House, Santa Cruz, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

This Old House, Santa Cruz, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Ocean from Highway 1 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Pacific Ocean from Highway 1 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

San Francisco from the Bay Bridge (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

San Francisco from the Bay Bridge (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley, Oregon

Rogue Valley, Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Rogue Valley, Oregon (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

August – GBTA 2013 (Global Business Travel Association) convention in San Diego

Global Business Travel Association Convention 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Global Business Travel Association Convention 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Petco Park from above - San Diego, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Petco Park from Altitude Lounge – San Diego, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

GBTA 2013 - The Gaslamp District in San Diego (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

GBTA 2013 – The Gaslamp District in San Diego (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

GBTA 2013 – Monday’s Keynote Speaker: Jewel performs “Who Will Save Your Soul” live at the San Diego Convention Center https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=703198789706690&set=vb.337421319696080&type=2&theater (facebook video)

Eagle and Badge Foundation “Summerfest” at the Los Angeles Police Academy

Los Angeles Police Academy - Elysian Park, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Los Angeles Police Academy – Elysian Park, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

SoCal ASTA (American Society if Travel Agents) Premium Luxury Symposium and Showcase at the Montage Beverly Hills Hotel

ASTA-Logo

ASTA - Luxury at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, California - Owner's Panel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

ASTA Luxury Symposium at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA – Owner’s Panel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

My Birthday Dinner at Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica (the best and most expensive meal of the year) https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/dinner-at-melisse/

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!  Dinner at Melisse! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Other notable meals: Dinner at Mozza Osteria in Hollywood, Dinner at Beazy’s on the Creek in Ashland, Birthday Dinner at Arnie Morton’s, Sushi at Sushi Ichiban Kan and Okumura Sushi in the San Fernando Valley, Lunch at the Four Season’s Westlake Village and On Sunset at the LUXE on Sunset, Brunch at Bistro Gardens, and many great buffets and food presentations at the wonderful hotel events I attended this year (read about them and see the pictures in my previous blogs).  The “worst meal of the year” loser award goes to the dinner at the MGM Grand Buffet in Las Vegas, everything was overcooked and underseasoned.

I also attended a couple of great Concerts at the Hollywood Bowl this summer.

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl - Hollywood, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl – Hollywood, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Here are video samples (but you might have to be my friend on facebook to see them):

Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot at the Hollywood Bowl 20-August-2013 with members of the L.A. Philharmonic and the Klezmer Conservatory Band perform A Yiddishe Mama (A Jewish Mother) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=712946625398573&set=vb.100000497266600&type=3&theater

Overture! Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart performed live at the Hollywood Bowl by the L.A. Philharmonic 03-September-2013 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=721038357922733&set=vb.100000497266600&type=3&theater

Hollywood Bowl 20-AUG-13 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hollywood Bowl 20-AUG-13 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

SeptemberI sold my car and got a brand new motor vehicle! Then I drove it to LTX (the Luxury Travel Exchange) at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/luxury-travel-exchange-ltx-trade-show-in-las-vegas/

Venetian Hotel - Las Vegas, Nevada (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Venetian Hotel – Las Vegas, Nevada (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Venetian Hotel - Las Vegas, Nevada (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Venetian Hotel – Las Vegas, Nevada (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

October The ARTA 50th Anniversay Gala Dinner at the Radisson LAX  https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/arta-50th-anniversary-gala-dinner/

ARTA 50th Anniversary Party (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

ARTA 50th Anniversary Party (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The 90th Anniversary Party at the Millenium Biltmore in Downtown Los Angeles!   https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/the-90th-party-at-the-millennium-biltmore-hotel-in-downtown-los-angeles/

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The best hotel party event of the year!  Dress in Black or White or Roaring 20’s.

and LWH Hotels presents “The Art of Hospitality” at the LUXE Hotel on Sunset https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/the-art-of-hospitality-lwh-hotels-event-at-the-luxe-hotel-on-sunset/

LUXE Hotel on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“The Art of Hospitality” at the LUXE Hotel on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

November – Dinner at El Torito Grill in Torrance courtesy of AeroMexico, CostaBaja Resort, and La Paz, Mexico. I won a trip to the Sea of Cortez! https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/thank-you-aeromexico-costabaja-and-la-paz/

AeroMexico and La Paz dinner: I won a trip to Mexico at the CostaBaja Resort!

AeroMexico and La Paz dinner: I won a trip to Mexico at the CostaBaja Resort!

I also won hotel stays in Tempe, Arizona and Lake Tahoe, California this past year, so look for new blogs about the upcoming trips here next year.

Signature Sales Meeting and Trade Show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/signature-sales-meeting-and-trade-show-at-the-mgm-grand-in-las-vegas/

MGM Grand in Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

MGM Grand in Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

MGM Grand in Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

MGM Grand in Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and One Night at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

The view from the 36th floor at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshwillTravel)

The view from my room onthe 36th floor at the Rio All-Suites Hotel in Las Vegas (copyright 2013 JoshwillTravel)

and a Party at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City https://joshwilltravel.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/party-at-the-intercontinental-hotel-20-nov-13/

Party at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Party at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Party at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Party at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Family Thanksgiving! (and Hannukah 2013)  Family, friends, football and a feast!

Thanksgiving 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Thanksgiving 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Finally got an iPhone!  Please note the improved picture quality.

December

GO BRONCOS!  It was a great year to be a Denver Broncos fan because it was a great year for the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning!

GO BRONCOS!

GO BRONCOS!  www.denverbroncos.com

The Broncos clinched the AFC West Division with 13 wins, 3 losses and broke a new record every week including the record for the NFL’s highest scoring team during the regular season.  Peyton Manning has thrown a touchdown pass in 39 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NFL.  https://www.facebook.com/DenverBroncos

Frank & Diane’s Annual Christmas Cocktail Party in Hawthorne

Christmas Cocktail Party in Hawthorne, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Christmas Cocktail Party in Hawthorne, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Christmas Cocktail Party Video (but you probably have to be my friend on facebook):  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=788317794528122&set=vb.100000497266600&type=3&theater

The Holiday Party at Spark Italian Woodfire Grill in Studio City

Spark Italian Woodfire Grill in Studio City (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Spark Italian Woodfire Grill in Studio City (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Secret Santa at the office holiday party! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Secret Santa at the office holiday party! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Holiday Mansion Party in the hills of Los Angeles!

The Scene of the Crime!  Holiday Mansion Party in the hill of Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Scene of the Crime! Holiday Mansion Party!  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Holiday Mansion Party - Los Angeles, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Holiday Mansion Party – Los Angeles, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and a wonderful Christmas Dinner with a few old friends to celebrate the holiday.

Christmas Dinner: egg nog and bourbon, cheese and crackers, NY Steak roast, carved duck with cranberry sauce, potato and carrots, rice, green beans and red onions, biscuits, homemade apple pie, champagne and Martinelli's carbonated apple-cranberry juice

Christmas Dinner: egg nog, cheese & crackers, NY Steak roast, carved duck with cranberry sauce, potato & carrots, rice, green beans & red onions, biscuits, homemade apple pie, champagne, and Martinelli’s carbonated apple-cranberry juice

It was a good year!  A toast to all my friends and readers!  Wishing you and yours safe travel and a happy, healthy, and wonderful new year in 2014!

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“Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.” ― William Shakespeare

p.s. She had a good year too!

My puppy the "Little Fuzz Ball" - 15 months old and still too cute for words!

My puppy the “Little Fuzz Ball” – Now 15 months old and still too cute for words!

 http://www.facebook.com/joshwilltravel – http://www.twitter.com/joshwilltravel