The Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses Parade, is an annual tradition in Pasadena, California, that takes place every year on New Year’s day (or on Monday, January 2 if New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday.) The event was started in 1890 by members of the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club who wanted to showcase California’s beautiful winter weather. “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” they said and this is how it all began. The Rose Parade is one of the most awaited events of the year and is watched by hundreds of thousands of spectators from all over the United States, either in person or on multiple television networks. The parade includes flower-covered floats, marching bands, and equestrian units. The day before the parade, the streets and the neighborhoods on the route of the parade are sealed off and reserved for the marshaling floats and bands. Continue Reading
Just a few miles north of Paso Robles, in the middle of the Hunter-Liggett Military Base, lies the most remote mission in California. Mission San Antonio de Padua was the 3rd mission build by Father Junipero Serra, the Franciscan priest who founded the first nine of the 21 Spanish missions between San Francisco and San Diego.
A Brief History
The site was chosen specifically due to the large number of Salinan Indians that inhabited the area, whom the Spanish priests wanted to christianize. The story says that in his zeal to continue north and establish more missions, Padre Junipero Serra hang what was to be the church bell on an oak tree and after a short Mass of dedication, left Padres Buenaventura Sitjar and Miguel Pieras to build the mission. The construction lasted a couple of years (1771-1773).
Between 1801 and 1805 the mission enjoyed a lot of prosperity. There were about 1,300 Indians working on the premises, in the wool spinning shop, the tannery, the carpenter shop, or at the stables. In 1834, after taking over California, Mexico decided to end the mission and sell the land. But after the Spanish left, the Indians couldn’t take care of the mission and the value of the Continue Reading
Many people think the North American Desert region is this arid land where nothing grows. A landscape dominated by sand and rocks. Moreover, the mere thought of walking through the desert creates visions of sun-bleached bones and ill-fated travelers struggling to survive under the merciless sun. But in reality this desert hides a lot of nice surprises. It can be stunningly beautiful, quite green and really enjoyable. You just have to choose the right place and the right time to visit it.
One of my favorite hikes in California is the Tahquitz Canyon in the Sonoran Desert of the Coachella Valley, next to Palm Springs. This is a moderate hike that follows a narrow valley and culminates with a really beautiful waterfall. Continue Reading