Friday, January 5, 2018

Travel News: Day 1 - Tournament of Roses Tour in California

In the past whenever I watched this Parade on TV I said to myself that one day I will go there.  My sons made it happen for me in 2018.  I am deeply grateful for their generous Christmas gift to me; it is a beautiful launch to my solo journey of my life.

A bit of the history of the Tournament of Roses. It was founded in 1890 by members of the Valley Hunt Club led by Charles Frederick Holder who sponsored the first Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California. They wanted to showcase the warm winter weather as well as the abundance of flowers and plants of California to their east coast friends. All participants in the Parade had to decorate their carriages with a variety of flowers and plants. 2018 celebrates its 129th year; this year's theme is Making A Difference. In 1902 the college football teams became part of the Rose Bowl Game making it their 104th year of affiliation with the Tournament of Roses Parade. (Source: 2018 Official Souvenir Program)

On our first day, December 30, 2017 we spent the morning at one of the many warehouses to observe the preparation of some of the floats for the Parade.  It was a fascinating walk through as we watched volunteers, identified as Petal Pushers work on the floats--inserting flowers, leaves and various plants onto the floats. See images below:
Petal Pushers at work

Roses waiting to be inserted onto the floats

Petal Pushers busy at work

A close-up of the natural flora and fauna
This tour created a curious sense of anticipation of what would be revealed on the day of the Parade on January 1, 2018.

In the afternoon of December 30, 2017 we had a guided tour of the Queen Mary ship, now converted to a hotel. It was one of the Cunard Line passenger ships that sailed from Great Britain to New York in the late 1920s.  It still boasts its original design and architecture inside the ship with minor modifications for today's needs and maintenance.

In front of the Queen Mary ship

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