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January 3, 2024: Looking For A Cup Of Joe On New Years Day Was Not To Be

There was a time when we braved the morning chill, traffic, and crowds on New Year’s morning in Pasadena, California, where we used to venture for merrymaking on Colorado Boulevard, home of the annual Rose Parade, a local tradition for 135 years. Attendance for 2024 was just reported to be an astounding 800,000. Now, we kick back inside the warmth of our living room to watch the parade on television, hear detailed commentary on the parade floats, marching bands, and other entries, not to mention fantastic aerial views.


New Years 2024 Rose Parade on TV

But on this New Year’s Day I had the itch for outdoor adventure. Truthfully, this creature of habit  was thirsty for a hot cup of Joe. While at my coffee hangout the day before, I made sure to read the holiday hours on a typed sheet of paper taped on the front door.

My eyes caught “January …8:00a.m. - ….” Got it. (That’s all I saw because the bottom right side had curled up slightly covering some of the text.)

Beautiful clear skies made for quintessential New Year’s Day Parade weather. I drove along Del Mar Boulevard that runs south of and parallel to Colorado Boulevard. Side streets were blocked off to car traffic but open to parade-goers on foot. A  sight for sore eyes, I recalled our parade-going days. It’s the West Coast’s equivalent to New Year’s Eve at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. At each stoplight, I smiled as people wrapped in blankets crossed the street in front of me. Others pulled wagons loaded with gear, kids and dogs. Resourceful ones brought ladders as their own bleacher seating. And the parking lot at Pasadena City College was filled with shiny tour buses and a long row of porta potties.



At the Del Mar Metro Station trains were coming and going. It was a non-stop day on the rails.


The industrial area of Raymond Avenue, where Jones coffeehouse is located, looked like a ghost town. Three cars were in the parking lot. I am early, I thought to myself. It was not yet 8:00 a.m. But I didn’t see anyone else hanging around. So, before schlepping my computer with me, I got out of the car to read again the holiday hours sign taped on the door: 

In bold letters was, “JANUARY 1:  CLOSED.” Oops.

I turned around and headed home to my French press.


About a mile past the parade route, I saw folks standing on the sidewalk holding their cell phone cameras towards the mountain. What are they photographing, I wondered.


Then I decided to get off Del Mar and take a residential side street named Lotus. Suddenly, above my car, appeared the incredulous B-2 Stealth Bomber – passing over as if in slow motion and so low I could see details on its underside. My mouth dropped. Before I could say, “Holy ----,” the black wing-shaped military plane -- that looked more like an alien ship – was gone.


Stealth Bomber flyovers have been highlights of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football games since 2005. And each year when it completes the flyover, we attempt to catch a glimpse of the stealth bomber passing over our house at higher altitude. Half the excitement is hearing it before we see it.


Later, I reflected on that Stealth Bomber sighting. Hmm, perhaps my itch to get a cup of Joe was just the lure. The drive to Pasadena, watching happy parade-goers, and checking the coffee shop’s holiday hours again was the journey -- and veering onto Lotus was the destination -- where I came “eye-to-eye” with the B2.


I reflected once more. The last time I detoured onto Lotus (around Thanksgiving) was also a magical moment:  As I drove, the end of a rainbow appeared against the mountain. Not the arch, but the end, something I have never seen before. It planted itself into the foothills. It is said that a pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow.


A rainbow over the San Gabriel Mountains

I will have to turn onto Lotus more often. Lotus is the name of a flower. At night its petals close as it returns to dark waters. When the sun rises at dawn, it blooms again. It’s no wonder that in some cultures the mysterious Lotus is a symbol of resilience, strength and rebirth.


My New Year’s Day adventure saw serendipity at its best.


HAPPY 2024!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sounds delightful Athena!


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Athena Lucero
Athena Lucero
04 de jan.
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Thank you, Jeannie!❤️

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