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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
January 19, 2011     Times
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January 19, 2011

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10 Submitted by L0rcnc Stoll Britney Cowan, Chelsea Stoll and Lorene Stoll left early in the morning and flew into the Orange County airport, also known as the John Wayne Airport on Tuesday Dec. 28. We arrived there about 10:30 their time. When we walked out of the airport it was beautiful out. The temps were about 60-65 and sunny. What a nice welcome to California. We got a cab and drove to Newport Beach to our hotel. We are staying at the Marriott in Newport Beach. It is a very nice neighbor- hood. Checked in to the hotel, as have most of the afternoon before to meet up with everyone for a dinner cruise, we walked across the street to the big shopping mall to look around and get some- thing to eat. We found a restaurant with tables outside so we sat out there andate lunch. After lunch we strolled around the mall looking to see what was there. Then back to the hotel to get ready to go to our dinner cruise. When we met up with our group to on the cruise we also met up with fellow Logan Countians and fellow Petal Pushers Lorraine Sasse and her son David and wife Gale. We knew that they were also coming so it was nice to see them so far from home. We cruised Newport Beach Harbor while eating and got to see all of the houses that were deco- rated for Christmas. The lights were so pretty. It was cool this evening so we watched from inside the cruise ship. Then back to the hotel, as we have . to be up early in the morning to leave for the deco- rating barn to help decorate the Lutheran Hour Float for the Rose Parade. We left at 6 am for an hour drive to Pasadena so we could help decorate the Float. We are called Petal Pushers, because we volunteer to come and help decorate the The Lutheran Hours Float for the Rose Parade. The building where the float was being decorated was about 160 feet by 200 feet. It is used year around for building and decorating floats for the Rose Parade. There were 10 floats in this building and the Petal Pushers were decorating seven of the floats. Other companies hire the Petal Pushers to decorate their floats for them. This helps the Lutheran Hour Float commit- tee pay for our float. We spent an eight- hour shift that day decorating floats. It was raining outside, so we were glad to be inside where it was dry. It was so awesome to walk into this building and see these floats in their partially finished condition and to know that we would have the opportunity to help decorate them. When we left there we drove back to the hotel and ate there. Thursday morning we drove up the Pacific Coast hwy to where the Queen Mary is docked. It is now a hotel, but we walked around and looked at it. It is a beautiful ship and the views from its deck were outstanding, Upon leaw ing there, we drove thru the Beverly HiUs area on all of the famous streets that you have heard about. Not in this order, but here are some of Mt. Pulaski Times We Went to the Rose Parade them, Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Blvd, Wilshire Drive, Rodeo Drive, and Beverly Hills drive. Then we went to the J. Paul Getty Museum for a couple of Hours. This is up in the Hills about Beverly Hills and it is really pretty up there. Upon leaving there we drove into Los Angles to the Farmers Market, which is huge. We ate lunch there and then looked around. When we left there onto the Kodak Theater, where the Academy Awards are held. We got a tour of the theater. I want to tell you that the Kodak Theater is in a shopping center. We went out into the mall shopping center to see a good view of the "Hol- lywood" sign. Then we went down to street level to see the "walk of fame" with all the stars names on the street. These probably went on for two blocks. We also got to see the Manns Chinese Theater where this was first started with squares of each of the Hollywood stars with their names and hand or foot prints or both. It was really fun to see zifter hear- ing about it for so long. Then back on the bus to go back to the Rose Palace barn to see how much farther the floats have been decorated since we left and to have a light supper. It was interesting to see how muchhad been accomplished in the day and a half since we had left. Then back to the hotel. It was cold and windy today, and was glad that I had my winter coat with me. Friday morning we drove thru Concor- dia University campus and then on the Mission of San Juan Capistrano for a tour of the mission. What a pretty area this was. We spent about 2 hours here with a tour being giving to us. Then we visited their new Cathedral. Upon leaving there we drove up the Pacific Coast Hwy to Laguna Beach to eat lunch and spend some time walking around and enjoying the beach. It was beautiful here and nice and warm. Sweatshirt weather today. We spent a couple of hours walking on the beach and looking at the tidal pools to see what marine life that was hiding and also watching the pelicans on their big rock. January 22, 2011 It was so nice that we all hated to leave. We then drove back up to Newport Beach for a different tour of the harbor and got to see some of the same houses that were decorated with Christmas lights in the daylight. Our guide pointed out some of the homes that had once been owned by famous people. Back to the hotel for our New Years Eve supper. we celebrated the New Years with New York, which was 9pm Cal time, as we have to be up early the next morning to go to the Rose Parade. = i  ' Saturday we were indeed up early to drive to Pasadena to get our seats for the Rose Parade. It is cool this morning, but little or no wind now. We have reserved seats on Colorado Blvd, which is nice. There are people everywhere. Lots of Port-a- potties, vendors selling food, and vendors selling souvenirs. What a thing to say that we were there at the Rose Parade. It was so awesome to watch all of the floats, but especially Lutheran Hour Float and the other floats that we helped decorate. After the parade we drove back to the hotel and ate lunch at a Mexican Restaurant across the street from the hotel. The girls and I walked around the mall again and did a little shopping before going back to the hotel to rest a little before meeting the Sasses for supper at the Cheesecake Factory. What a wonderful way to spend the old and greet the New Year. This trip has given us a whole new appreciation of the time and effort that goes into presenting the floats for the New Year. These people work year around on these floats for a final presentation of just two and half hours. It was just awesome. Sunday morning we are once again up early to fly home. Our flight is delayed for about half an hour in Orange County because of bad weather in SanFrancisco where we are flying into before heading for St. Louis. We arrive here on time and then just have the drive home. Weather here is much colder, but did not give us any trouble get- ting home.