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Road to the Rose Bowl Part 1

Dec 17 (published in retrospect)
It was a beautiful blue sky – cotton ball cloud kind of day, so I decided to bike across Pasadena to visit the Wrigley Museum and Tournament of Roses HQ. It was a nice ride through a part of the city I’d never seen! The Wrigley mansion – yes, that’s the billionaire guy who started Wrigley’s bubblegum – definitely stuck out on the street. Imagine a pristine white two story building sitting on a wide, manicured grassy lawn surrounded by tall palm trees that I’m sure had to inspire Dr. Seuss’s Truffula trees and a multi-colored rose garden spanning the entire side of the house. Eh, why imagine? Here are some pictures!

The Wrigley mansion isn’t open to visitors during the fall and winter months because it acts as Headquarters for the organizers of the Tournament of Roses. It was really cool to see the official Tournament of Roses vehicles filling the parking lot – this is going to be a massive event.

Can’t wait for Jan 1!

Dec 20
A good friend of mine– and hardcore bike fanatic – told me about a sweet biking trail that circles the Rose Bowl stadium. Finally, I’ve found time (and a bicycle) to check it out for myself! The hills are much steeper than I’m used to, so the going was rough for a while. The loop is about 5 kilometers around a small valley with fancy houses on the surrounding mountains. Strangely enough, there were signs all over telling drivers to check twice for equestrians! Turns out that there are horse-riding trails all over the Pasadena mountains! It was getting close to dusk, so there was a red and pink haze accompanying the fleeting rays of sunshine in the basin. From the outside, the stadium is framed by mountains on all sides and looks tiny but I’m sure that once I’m inside things will be quite different! Such a beautiful afternoon! Here are some photos!

Did I say truffula trees? I meant it. ^

**Dec 27**

A public pep rally for Stanford was held tonight on the Santa Monica pier. We headed over early to try and combat bad parking but – alas – still had to walk about 10 blocks. They had set up a massive stage on the pier with banners and balloons and a surprising number of people showed up! From the stage they called out for everyone to yell if they’d attended previous Stanford Rose Bowl games – there were fans from games even back in the 60s! I thought that was pretty hardcore. We also saw a lot of Stanford gear, of course, but the best was a hand-knit red sweater vest with big green trees on the belly being worn by a Stanford Grandpa. I couldn’t get a picture without seeming incredibly creepy, but you can imagine this dude. The Stanford band, of course made their wild and wacky appearance. Afterwards, I got to catch up with two of my very good friends from high school that had ended up at Stanford and joined the band. They told me that not only did you not have to try out, you didn’t even have to know how to play an instrument! I guess they’re just all about that #swag.

So nice to see old friends, and a fellow sax player!! ^
The fun will continue in my next installment!

Until next time,

Alison Lui