Family fun

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Preparing for the 125th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade

This afternoon I headed out to Fiesta Parade Floats in Irwindale, CA to check out the progress on the float building for the upcoming 125th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade which will be held Wednesday, January 1, 2014. As I have been donating time towards helping the Torrance Rose Float Association (TRFA) raise the funds needed for building the float, I figured I would go out to where the float is being built so people can get an idea of what goes into a project like this.

Fiesta Parade Floats builds award winning floats and has for several years; as such, they were actually building about 10 floats. I went a few times last year, but today had the fewest number of people on-site that I can recall. I asked one of the builders and he said that the floats are all pretty much ready for the decorating to begin; that starts the day after Christmas and must be completed by the evening of December 30 as the floats will be judged on December 31. I will go back out in a few days after the decorating has begun so you can see the difference.

The theme of this year’s Rose Parade is “Dreams Come True.” The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), which began in Torrance is a primary sponsor for Torrance’s entry to the parade this year; so you will notice a definite soccer theme with “Everyone Plays”, which is the first of AYSO Soccer’s Six Philosophies and the theme of the 2014 Rose Parade float. Continue reading

Sleepy Hollow brings back the Christmas lights

With a tradition that has gone on since 1985, the Christmas lights in the Sleepy Hollow section of Torrance have been put back up in its transformation to Candy Cane Lane. While it is still a couple of weeks until Christmas, our visit to Sleepy Hollow last night revealed that most of the Christmas decorations seem to be up and those in the know about the Christmas Light Extravaganza have already started showing up to view the lively decorations. While it was a little chilly last night, at least it was not wet or windy, so walking up and down the streets was a pleasant affair.

The lights at Candy Cane Lane are on from 6:00 PM until 10:00 and will be on every night through the evening of January 1, 2014. If weather permits, I recommend parking and walking through the neighborhood. Even if it is chilly there are plenty of people selling hot chocolate, home-baked cookies and other snacks to help warm you up. There are carolers, musicians and if you look closely, Santa Claus may even be found. It is great family fun for all ages. It does not matter how many times you have visited Candy Cane Lane, it is always a good time. If you are unfamiliar with the area, you can read my detailed directions on how to get there from anywhere in the Los Angeles area. Merry Christmas. Continue reading

One last Champagne Brunch at the Proud Bird

Last week my Facebook feed lit up with the news that the Proud Bird Restaurant, an aviation-themed restaurant by Los Angeles International Airport for 48 years, will be closing effective November 21, 2013. Apparently they are closing because the landlords, Los Angeles World Airports, want to increase the rent to such an extent that the restaurant cannot afford to stay open. As the Proud Bird and I go back about 35 years and Tanya and I had been talking about going to a champagne brunch anyway, we decided that we would go for one last brunch at the Proud Bird yesterday since we already have plans for next week.

I could not count the number of brunches I have gone to at the Proud Bird as we used to get a group of friends to ride over there almost every Sunday for a few years. There was a pretty decent crowd yesterday, which I guess was the reason for the slower than usual service; or it could be that the employees know their time there is dwindling so there is not a lot of enthusiasm. After a couple glasses of champagne, the wait did not seem too bad and as least I could say we were there at the end.

The last champagne brunch at the Proud Bird will be Sunday November 17; if you want to be there for the last one, I recommend getting there early (they open at 9:00 AM) and stick around the hostess’ desk. They may tell you there is a 20 minute wait, but it will likely be shorter and if they call your name and you are not there, they will move on to the next party. The brunch is $38.00 for adults and $17.50 for children. They have a wide variety of foods available and the champagne is poured freely, so have a good time but drink responsibly. The Proud Bird Restaurant is located at 11022 Aviation Blvd in Los Angeles just north of Imperial Highway. Continue reading

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