Fun things to do in California

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    San Pedro~Home of USS IOWA

    by Yaqui Updated Oct 26, 2013

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    June 27, 1940 the keel was laid at New York Naval Shipyard, in Brookl New York. It was launched on August 27 1942 by Sponsor Mrs. Mary A. Wallace, wife of the Vice President. USS Iowa has served this country proudly from 1942, till it was decommissioned 26 October 1990. It has a very fast and amazing history. Now USS Iowa serves as a maritime museum that has 46,000 square feet of teak decks, enormous engine rooms, huge galley that fed 3,000 sailors a day, a sophisticated gunnery, fire control room, armor belt over 16-inches thick, and, a 16 inch, 50 caliber rifles that could hurl a 2,700 pound shell almost 24 miles. U.S.S. Iowa holds the record at 26.9 miles. 

You can either do a self tour or take advantage of a docent led tour. It is located in amazing harbor and views.

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    San Gabriel Mission

    by Yaqui Written Oct 26, 2013

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    The church was built of cut stone, brick and mortar (1791-1805), and is the oldest structure of its kind south of Monterey, Ca. The pulpit, on the right as you face the sanctuary, is the original. The main alter was made in Mexico City and brought here in the 1790's. The wooden polychrome statues were hand carved in Spain. During the 1812 earthquake the altar and Crucifix were damaged. The statues fell and were broken into pieces. Repairs on these were completed in 1813. The statues and altar were again restored in 1993. The founding missionaries had made the long journey from San Diego, and just as they were delibarating as to an exact site for the mission they were met by a group of Tongva Inidans who seemed determined to drive them away. One of the priest took the approximately 300 year old painting of "Our Lady of Sorrows" and spread it on the ground for the indians to see. The indians were so impressed with the beauty they offered signs of friendship.

    Museum building was constructed in 1812 of adobe brick with a tiled roof and was almost 300 feet long. Originally composed of a series of rooms: weaving room, granary, carpenter shops, and sleeping quarters for the mission fathers. The Vestment Room contains a remarkable collection of garments dating back to the 17th century that were used by the mission fathers. Some other artifacts ae a small rosewood organ brought from France about 1821, book dating back to 1489, and a Spanish bedroom set dated 1623. The Aboriginal Paintings of the 14 Stations of the Cross are probably the oldest indian sacred pictorial art in California. It was said olive oil was used as the base and the colors were from wild flowers.



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    Rancho Mirage~The River

    by Yaqui Written Oct 26, 2013

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    The River is a beautiful shopping, restaurant, and premier development in Rancho Mirage. It consists of, 30 acres of beautiful waterfront and located along Bob Hope Drive and Hwy 111.

    The River is really decorated beautifully. Lots of beautiful fauna and fountains frame the whole shopping area. Many of the posh restaurants line along the river creating some really wonderful patio dinning experiences. Amenities here include, Borders Books and Music, sample wine & gourmet olive oil at the Tulip Hill Winery, view and purchase art at the Water's Edge, enjoy a movie at the 3,114-stadium seat Century Theatres Multiplex, shop at Loran Loran, or listen to various musicians that is Free in The River's outdoor amphitheater. 



    Dine in one of the many restaurants such as Yard House, Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Changs China Bistro, Flemings Prime Steakhouse, Babe's Bar-B-Que & Brewery, Piero's Acqua Pazza, Maki Maki California/Japanese cuisine and Baja Fresh.

    

If coffee is in order then there is a Starbuck's or Seattle’s Best coffee places or if you desire just dessert, indulge in Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Oh, the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is another wonderful place to quench the sweet tooth.

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    Rancho Cucamonga~Victoria Gardens

    by Yaqui Written Oct 25, 2013

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    Victoria Gardens is a area of high end department stores and eateries. They have laid it out like mini city with lots of wonderful plaza's with benches, tables, and lots of lovely landscapes. It just happened to stumble on it while I was exploring this area. There is lots of ample parking garages and metered parking along the streets. Just be careful of the brain dead shopper who do not pay attention while crossing the roads. There is plenty of cross walks and little light signals.

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    Newberry Springs~Route 66~Bagdad Cafe

    by Yaqui Written Oct 25, 2013

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    The signs reads: Bagdad Cafe', Newberry Springs, California. Originally built in the 1950's, this world famous restaurant was the location of the 1988 film, "Bagdad Cafe", which became the new name of the restaurant in 1995. Recognized by Hampton Hotels Save-A-Landmark program as site worth seeing.

This unique piece of Route 66 icon, which is also famous for the cult movie "The Bagdad Cafe."



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    Kelso~Depot & Visitor Center

    by Yaqui Updated Oct 25, 2013

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    Kelso Depot Visitor Center has loads of information, exhibits, orientation film, art gallery, bookstore, restrooms, lunch counter, water, picnic area. You have to see it to really appreciate it!



    Hours of Operation
Open daily (except Christmas Day), 9 a.m.–5 p.m.


    Entrance Fee~Free

    

In August 1900, Utah Senator William A. Clark, a wealthy mine owner, bought a small railway in Los Angeles. With this purchase, he then started construction on what would become the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad. In 1902, UP made a deal with Clark and purchased half the stock of the railroad before it was even completed.

Construction of the line, known as the Salt Lake Route, began at the two ends near Salt Lake and Los Angeles and spread across the Mojave Desert in between.

    By 1905, the route had grown to nearly 235 track miles and reached Siding #16. The site gained its present name when two warehouse- men put their names into a hat along with that of a third worker, John Kelso. They drew out a name and Siding #16 was renamed “Kelso.”

By the end of 1905, the track stretched from the west coast port of San Pedro to Salt Lake City, giving UP access to markets in southern California. Later, UP persuaded Senator Clark to sell his stock in the Salt Lake Route, giving UP full ownership of the line.

The first depot at Kelso opened in 1905, followed a few months later by a post office, an engine house, and an “eating house” to serve railroad employees and passengers on trains without dining cars. Over time, the town grew as more workers were needed and their families moved to Kelso to join them.



    Railroad civil engineers in Los Angeles drew up plans in 1923, labeling the drawing “Kelso Club House & Restaurant.” For UP, a “Club House” was a company rooming and boarding house with recreational facilities (in later years the building was commonly called the Kelso Depot). The building would have a conductor’s room, telegraph office, baggage room, dormitory rooms for staff, boarding rooms for railroad crewmen, a billiard room, library, and locker room.

    Construction started in 1923 and the depot opened in 1924.

 Originally, the restaurant (sometimes called “The Beanery”) and telegraph office were operated around the clock. This continued through the boom years of the 1940s and ‘50s, when Kaiser’s Vulcan mine contributed to Kelso’s growth. In those years the population grew to nearly 2,000. When the mine closed, and diesel engines replaced steam, jobs and families moved away from Kelso. The depot function ended in 1962, although the restaurant and boarding rooms remained in use.

    In 1985, with a dwindling need for crew members to eat or stay overnight, UP decided to close the Kelso Depot. 

With the passage of the California Desert Protection Act of 1994, the East Mojave National Scenic Area became Mojave National Preserve, and the Depot passed into the hands of the National Park Service. Renovation began in 2002. Kelso Depot reopened to the public as the primary visitor center for Mojave National Preserve in October 2005.

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    Mojave National Preserve~Teutonia Peak Trail

    by Yaqui Written Oct 25, 2013

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    The Mojave National Preserve was established by the 1994 California Desert Protection Act. The 1.6 million acre park encompasses much of the Mojave Desert. It is the third largest unit of the National Park System in the contiguous United States, as well as transitional elements of the Great Basin and Sonoran deserts. About half of the park is congressionally designed wilderness. Willderness areas, marked by signs, are open to hikers and horseback riders, but off limits to motor vehicles and bicycles.

    Explore the world's largest and densest Joshua tree forest en route to a rocky peak with expansive views of Cima Dome and beyond. 3 miles round-trip. We didn't do the whole trail, but explored it a little. We had our little dog, so we didn't want him to get too many thorns in his paws, so we had to carry him off and on. Yet, he enjoyed exploring with us.



    For more information:
Kelso Depot Visitor Center
Information, exhibits, orientation film, art gallery, bookstore, restrooms, lunch counter, water, picnic area.
Hours of Operation
Open daily (except Christmas Day), 9 a.m.–5 p.m.



    Entrance Fee~Free

    

Location
From I-15: Exit Kelbaker Road at Baker, Calif. Continue 35 miles southeast on Kelbaker Road to Kelso, Calif.


    From I-40: Exit Kelbaker Road (about 29 miles east of Ludlow Calif., or 28 miles west of Fenner, Calif.). Continue 22 miles north on Kelbaker Road to Kelso, Calif.

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    Kramer Junction~Antiques & Military Rentals

    by Yaqui Written Oct 25, 2013

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    Next door to the wonderful antique shop is a hanger filled with a huge selection of ClassicCars and Military Memorabilia. Some of it they even rent out. Ask one of the folks in the antique store if you can take a look. A really wonderful collection!

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    Hollywood Bowl Museum~Free

    by Yaqui Written Oct 25, 2013

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    Edmund D. Edelman Hollywood Museum can be enjoyed by whole family during the museum's public hours since it sits outside the bowl. The exhibits are very "kid-friendly," and interactive, with music-making, computers, earphones to listen to music, slideshows, movies, TV shows, and cartoons featuring the Hollywood Bowl. There were not many people enjoying the museum since it is free. I don't think folks were aware of it since there were hardly anyone the museum. There are two floors of wonderful exhibits covering the history of the bowl.

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    Hollywood Sign 1923

    by Yaqui Written Oct 25, 2013

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    Designed by Thomas Goff and built for H.J. Whitley in 1923 a land developer who was advertising Whitley Heights, spelled it Hollywoodland. It was originally 30 feet wide and 50 feet high and consisted of 4,000 light bulbs and costed $21,000. It soon became recognized as a symbol of the American cinema of Hollywood. By the 1940's the sign was deteriorating, and had extensive repair and "land" was left off. Yet, by the 1970's once again the sign was deteriorating and celebrities were contacted and donors gave $27,000 each to replace the letters with steel. The letters measure 45 feet tall and 31-39 feet wide, but the sign is 350 feet long in painted white steel.

Hollywood sign has been designated as a landmark and considered a American cultural icon.



    The sign is fenced off with many security cameras, but you can see from the city views. 

The link below shows you how you can see it from different locations.

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    Hollywood Bowl~Josh Groban

    by Yaqui Written Oct 25, 2013

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    Once called Bolton Canyon, the Hollywood Bowl began in 1922 when it's audience sat on wooden benches and its stage was nothing more than a couple of sheets of wood where it's entertainers would perform from. Since its simple beginnigs the Los Angeles Phiharmonic has been performing here. Such celebrities such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Elton John, Phil Collins, Cher, Glen Campbell, and Josh Groban who was performing on a beautiful 4th of July night.

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    Irvine~Spectrum Center Ferris Wheel

    by Yaqui Updated Oct 25, 2013

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    What an impressive thing to see among a shopping mall. I bet it is beautiful at night with it all lighted up. Nice to having something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

    

GIANT WHEEL:
 Weekday Pricing (Monday to Friday 4:59PM):
1 ticket: $5 (per rider, including children)
6 tickets: $27
12 tickets: $51
Military discount: $4 per ticket*

Weekend Pricing (Friday 5PM to Sunday):
1 ticket: $5
Military discount: $4 per ticket* Check the web site or call to see if any of the pricing or hours have changed.

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    Irvine~Spectrum Center Carousel

    by Yaqui Written Oct 25, 2013

    I love to see a beautiful Carousel and this one is lovely. It is only fair to having something fun for the little ones.
 Check the web site or call if pricing and if hours have changed.

    Weekday Pricing (Monday AM to Friday 4:59PM):
1 ticket: $3
6 tickets: $15
12 tickets: $27
Military discount: $2 per ticket

Weekend Pricing (Friday 5PM to Sunday):
1 ticket: $3
Military discount: $2 per ticket.

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    Irvine~Turtle Rock

    by Yaqui Written Oct 25, 2013

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    Archeological research establishes prehistoric man in the Irvine area at least 12,000 years ago, possibly even 18,000 years ago. Scattered evidence of early campsites and rock shelters can be seen in the undeveloped parts of the city where they establishing dozens of villages. This rock has the shape of the front of a turtle's carapace and is considered very sacred and was used for ceremonial purposes. It is located with the Turtle Rock nieghboorhood.

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    Guasti~Historical Plaques

    by Yaqui Written Oct 25, 2013

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    Present by the Ontario Airport Towers these plaques are located on the north side of the street. There is no parking other than at the Towers parking lot or along the street where they have not developed the roads yet. It's a lovely walkway with some really nice landscaped areas. Each of the plaques talk about the history of the Guasti Wine Vineyards. The plaques are done in bronze which is a nice touch, which will stand up to the elements. 

The Plaque Reads: Standing here in 1904, you would see the Guasti Stone Cellar to the south. Many of these workers were migrant and lived in a large tent city south of the railroad tracks at Turner Avenue. During World War II, Italian prisoners of war worked in the fields and werer welcomed by the village residents as secured through the Bracero program. Wages were a jug of wine a week, and company scrip redeemable at the company stone.

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