Friday, February 21, 2014

Olvera Street- a little bit of old LA

This week I took the train from Fresno to LA to finish the approval process for the US govt's Trusted Traveler program ( to help expedite passage thru US airports (I got approved! I will let you know how it goes when I first get to try it).  I had some time before I had to catch the bus from Union Station to LAX, so I walked across the street to Olvera Street, the original pueblo of Los Angeles (  I had lunch there- carnitas tacos with rice and beans that were quite good.  Then I walked around the area: mostly it is vendors selling touristy/tacky souvenirs, but that doesn't take away the fun!  The street does a pretty good job of providing historical information, and it is fun to check things out.  What was surprising is the main plaza had live music, and people gathered to dance!  It was refreshing to see!

 The street sign that lets you know you are on Olvera Street
 Hand Made tortillas added to the lunch

Entry to the vendors street- this is just off the main plaza

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Tanzanian Adventure

This is a link to my YouTube video of my trip to Tanzania with my friend Bart in November, 2013.  It is a little long (33 minutes), but it is my first, so forgive me:-).  BTW- it was awesome!

In Memoriam: Margarita Valenzuela

Margarita loved her beer!  Carta Blanca- room temperature
Guadalajara has great art, including these Angel Wings!
Today, February 15, 2015, marks the 1 year anniversary of the passing of Margarita Valenzuela, born June 10, 1910.  Grandmother to Rich and Emelio, Margarita was the kindest person one would ever encounter.  At the age of 101, she gladly went to Guadalajara Mexico with Rich, Emelio, Cody, and I. We had a great time.  You are very missed Margarita!!

Cambria, January 2014 with my brother Tim and his wife Karin: Karin's birthday, Hearst Castle, Elephant Seals, Cambria- Awesome time!

Tim, Karin and I at Hearst Castle over-looking the beautiful Pacific
Rich and I at sunset on Moonstone Beach
We always take a side trip to the totally cute town of Harmony!
Tim, Karin and Rich at Hearst Castle
Rich- always smiling and ready for a good time!
Gotta love the Elephant Seals!


    Rich and I have always enjoyed "doing things"!  Rich has an uncanny love of all things music.  His one favorite passion is live music.  I have always loved seeing places and things I have never seen before. Together, we go to all the local festivals, listen to music at different venues, travel around as much as we can, and generally keep busy:-).

    We are both now retired!  Rich retired this January, and I retired back in February 2012.  Now, we can start our dream vacation: live and travel in Europe for an extended period.  Right now, our plan is to travel around, with a block of 2 or 3 months where we want to rent an apartment and live in Berlin.

    Right now, we have a 2 week cruise from Ft. Lauderdale (never been to Florida, so we are spending 4 days there:-)) to Barcelona Spain!  Stops in Ponta Delgada, Azores (really- when would we ever get there if not for this cruise?), Cadiz, Malaga, Cartagena, and finally Barcelona!  We both love Barcelona, so this is a fun place to get off the ship and start our travels!

     So far, our plans are for a few weeks: Valencia, Cordoba, Granada, Seville, then to Portugal.  The fun of it- we have no specific plans of how long we will stay in each place!  Our only reservations at this time: Ft. Lauderdale for 4 nights, and Barcelona for 5 nights.

     Check my next post for more plans!  BTW- taking care of the prep work: auto pay for bills, getting a gardner and pool person (I was both), and setting up access for our money- ROYAL PAIN!!!  But worth it:-)

PatanRich's Excellent Adventure