2017 Soboba Pow Wow

Location: Soboba Indian Reservation, San Jacinto, CA
Cost: Free

The grand entrance was very vivid with movement and color.

It Denise’s birthday and we were a little low on cash and wanted to get out for a bit. Looking on the Internet we were able to find that the Soboba Indian Reservation was having a Pow Wow.

I had never been out to the reservation before because besides the casino, there isn’t much there for visitors. The casino (at least from the outside looked nice, just behind the casino was a resort with a very nice looking golf course. We did not go inside the casino so we can’t say much for the inside. We went to the stadium where we got to see the free pow wow.

We got there right as they were doing the grand opening. All I can say is it was flurry of sight, sounds, and color. It was very interesting. In addition to pointing out all the different types of dancers I thought it was interesting that they even had their own national anthem.

I was struck with the mix of the old designs with now pop culture.

The outside fair had a bit of everything.

The dole whip taco was definitely different.

A close up of a dole whip taco.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The detail on the dress was amazing.

They had a little fair going on outside the stadium. There were handicrafts, tshirts, nick nacks, and of course food. I was expecting fry bread, and they had it, but the unexpected was the Dole Whip taco. It cost about $6 and was kind of small. It was basically a small fry bread, mixed with pineapple dole whip (kind of like ice cream), and an apple cobbler. It was different but good.

 

 

 

 

 

A video of what we saw:

Activity List

This is a summary list of activities we have visited (or want to visit). The list has the name of the place, city, type of activity, cost per most expensive person, free day offered (if so check out the free or free day page).
LAST UPDATED 9/11/17

Arizona
Arizona State Capitol (Phoenix, historical, FREE, yes)
ASARCO Mineral Mine (Sahaurita, Nature, $8, no)
Mission San Xavier del Bac (Tucson, church, FREE, yes)

California
Los Angeles
California Science Center (Los Angeles, science, FREE, yes)
Cathedral of our Lady of Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Church, FREE, yes)
Dante’s Peak (Los Angeles, Trail, FREE, yes)
Griffith Park Observatory (Los Angeles, Science, $7, yes)
Italian American Museum of LA (Los Angeles, Cultural, FREE, yes)
Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Cultural, $12, yes)
LACMA (Los Angeles, Art, Monthly/Holiday, $15, yes)
Natural History Museum of LA County (Los Angeles, history, $12, no)
Olivera Street (Los Angeles, historical, FREE, yes)
America Tropical (Los Angeles, Art, FREE, yes)
Avila Adobe (Los Angeles, historical, FREE, yes)
Plaza Firehouse (Los Angeles, historical, FREE, yes)
Sepulveda House (Los Angeles, historical, FREE, yes)
Pacific Asian Museum (Pasadena, Cultural, $7, yes)
The American Military Museum (South El Monte, Historical, $5, no)
The Autry Museum in Griffith Park (Los Angeles, Western, $14, yes)
The Getty Center (Los Angeles, art, FREE, yes)
The Getty Villa (Pacific Palisades, art, FREE, yes)
Union Station (Los Angeles, art, FREE, yes)
Universal Studios (Hollywood, Amusement, $75, no)

Orange County
Disneyland (Anaheim, amusement, $120, no)
Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park, amusement, $75, no)
OCMA (New Port, Art, $10, yes)
Oso Viejo Park (Mission Viejo, trail, FREE, yes)

Riverside County
Corona Heritage Museum (Corona, history, FREE, yes)
Castle Park, (Riverside, amusement, $20, no)
March Air Force Museum (Riverside, historical, $10, no)
Mt.Rubidoux (Riverside, Trail, FREE, yes)
Mt. San Jacinto (Idyllwild, Trail, $5, no)
Orange Empire Railway Museum (Perris, historical, FREE, yes)
Palm Springs Air Museum (Palm Springs, historical, $17, no)
Riverside Metropolitan Museum (Riverside, historical, $2, no)
Riverside Art Museum (Riverside, Art, $5, yes)
Riverside Commemorative Air Museum (Riverside, Historical, FREE, yes)
Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve (Murrieta, Nature, $5, no)
Sherman Indian Museum (Riverside, Historical, FREE, yes)
Shields Date Farm (Indio, Nature, FREE, yes)

San Bernardino
Desert Discovery Center (Barstow, nature, FREE, yes)
Graber Olive House (Ontario, historical, FREE, yes)
Indian Trail Rock Trail (Lake Arrowhead, Trail, $5, no)
Kelso Depot (Baker, historical, FREE, yes)
Kimberly Crest House (Redlands, historical, $10, no)
Lake Arrowhead Village (Lake Arrowhead, amusement, FREE, yes)
The Mountain History Museum (Lake Arrowhead, Historical, FREE, yes)
Mt. Baden Powell (Wrightwood, trail, $5, no)
Original McDonald / Route 66 Museum (San Bernardino, historical, FREE, yes)
The “Asistencia” (San Bernardino, historical, $5, no)
Redlands Bowl (Redlands, cultural, FREE, no)
Route 66 Museum (Victorville, historical, FREE, yes)

San Diego County
Asistencia Santa Ysabel, (Santa Ysabel, Church, FREE, yes)
Mormon Battalion Center (Old Town San Diego, historical, FREE, yes)
Palomar Observatory (Palomar, Science, $5, yes)
San Diego Zoo (Balboa Park San Diego, Nature, $58, no)
Timken Museum of Art (Balboa Park San Diego, art, FREE, yes)

Sonoma County
Train Town (Sonoma, Amusement, $5, no)

Ventura County
Heart Castle (San Simeon, Historical, $25, no)

Illinois
Millennium Park (Chicago, Park, FREE, yes)

New York
Grant’s Tomb (New York, historical, FREE, yes)

Free Day Activities

This is a list of activities (museums, parks, etc.) that usually cost money for admission but have a free admission at least once a month. The Format for each entry is the name of the museum, the type of museum, the frequency of free admission, the day of free admission, and the regular admission price).

The goal is continually update the list. If you see a place on the list that we have missed (we want to go too), no longer offers a monthly free day, or closed please let us know.

California

Los Angeles
Japanese American National Museum (Cultural, Monthly, Third Thursday, $12)
LACMA (Art, Monthly/Holiday, Second Tuesday/Federal Holidays, $15)
The Autry Museum in Griffith Park (Western, Monthly, Second Tuesday, $14)

Orange County
OCMA (Art, Weekly, Fridays, $10)

Riverside County
Riverside Art Museum (Art, Monthly, First Thursday, $5)

Free Activities

Many of my friends ask me how we go to so many places. The secret to our success is the amount of free museums. This is a list of free museums we know about.

All of the places listed below have a general admission that is free. Sometimes museums have special exhibits or show and those exhibits and shows may charge an extra fee but you can still go to the general admission for free.

Some of places require online tickets prior to going, but if they are on this list the online ticket is free.

All of the museums accept donations, but I purposely didn’t list any museum that has a “suggested” donation. Technically, “suggested” donation museums are also free but my experience is that docents at those museums get kind of pushy if you don’t pay the “suggested” price, which means it really is not a free museum. I only have included museums we know to be completely free to enter without question.

The goal is continually update the list. If you see a museum on the list that we have missed (we want to go too), no longer free, or closed please let us know.

Arizona
Arizona State Capitol (Phoenix)

California
Los Angeles
California Science Center (Los Angeles)
Olivera Street (Los Angeles)
America Tropical (Los Angeles)
Avila Adobe (Los Angeles)
Plaza Firehouse (Los Angeles)
Sepulveda House (Los Angeles)
Union Station (Los Angeles)
The Getty Center (Los Angeles)
The Getty Villa (Pacific Palisades)

Orange County
Oso Viejo Park (Mission Viejo)

Riverside County
Orange Empire Railway Museum (Perris)

San Bernardino
Graber Olive House (Ontario)
Original McDonald / Route 66 Museum (San Bernardino)
Route 66 Museum (Victorville)

San Diego County
Mormon Battalion Center (Old Town San Diego)
Timken Museum of Art (Balboa Park San Diego)

Illinois
Millennium Park (Chicago)

New York
Grant’s Tomb (New York)

The Orange International Festival

Traveling to different countries is awesome. Unfortunately, it is not free and lot of times not practical (if only I didn’t have to be a responsible adult). Thankfully I live in Southern California and in California you don’t have to travel. No, and it doesn’t involve “medical prescriptions”. What it does involve is the many cultures.

1973 was the hundredth anniversary for the city of Orange. Drawing on inspiration from the street fair of 1910, the city of Orange decided to create a  free (but the food is not free) International fair as a place where friends and family could get together and enjoy international vistas, food, and music without having to go far from home.

Chapman University

AJ vs the Bounce House

I taught AJ how to win the bottle ring toss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It fit the bill for our family and we decided to go to the fair. The fair was great and we really enjoyed eating bratwurst while listening to a German band play Juan Talavera (and if that isn’t multicultural I don’t know what is), the problem was part of the tradition is that the city of Orange always holds this fair during labor day weekend. I don’t know why but for some reason labor day weekend in Southern California is always hot. This weekend was no exception. It was in the high 90s when we got there. Everything was extremely fun but we didn’t last very long due to the heat.

 

After the fair we accidentally found a YouTube meet and greet with Justin Scarred at the historic Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana. We were in Santa Ana because we were looking for missions on Ingress, an online game we play, I would explain it but that would take a lot of explaining, but for those that do play, go green!

After meeting Justin Scarred we ended up at Genki Sushi. It is sushi place but instead of waiters bringing you the sushi, you order sushi rolls on a tablet and they come out on a little express train to your table.

Video:

Mel’s Diner, Phoenix, AZ

“Kiss my grits!” says the menu . Well, I ate them so that is close enough I figure. The sitcom Alice was ran from the late 70’s until about 1981. It featured a recently divorced lady named Alice who was heading west with her son but car broke down in Phoenix, Arizona. Seeing a help wanted sign she applies for, and immediately gets a job as a waitress in a tiny diner. Of course the rest of the staff is ultra quirky and all the customers are a bit essentric. Classic formulaic comedy. 

Recently I had to go to Arizona for training and was able to bring along the family. On the way out of town we heard that the actual diner from the show was still standing. Just like in the show we found the diner to be kind of away from the center of action and just like the neighborhood it was in it all looked like it had seen better days.

Inside the restaurant, most customers were kind of oblivious to why the diner had once been so popular, but Mel’s Diner had not forgotten and there were plenty of tributes to the show along the wall showing filming locations and signed pictures from the actors.

The food was pretty good. Very typical of what you would kind in an Americana greasy spoon type of place. I went with a very typical plate with eggs over easy, sausage, and of course grits.


AJ has this thing where if there is counter he has to sit at the counter. For the most part he was alone at the counter and he spent most of his time flirting with the waitresses, who were more than willing to play along with him and help him color his placemat.

In a way I kind of envy the locals at Mel’s Diner. The was a nice reminder of things that once were and a fine example of Americana. It felt like a place that if you went there enough times you could get your own mug, they would remember your name, and ask if you were ordering the “usual” (whatever that is). 

Parcel 203-54-122 Willcox, Arizona

Willcox, Arizona was established in 1880.

Willcox, Arizona was established in 1880.

Willcox, Arizona is best described as a town that has been around for a long time that not many have heard anything about. My favorite band is a group called America. Their #1 song is “A Horse With No Name.” I now wonder if they were in Willcox, Arizona when they wrote that song.

The town itself is kind of nice. It basically has two claims, Wyatt Earp who was shot there in 1900 and Rex Allen “the Arizona Cowboy” who called the town home until he died in 1999 in Tucson, Arizona.

Downtown Willcox is very quaint. As far as I could tell there was only one stop light.

Downtown Willcox is very quaint. As far as I could tell there was only one stop light.

Apparently Rex Allen narrated a lot of Disney nature films.

Apparently Rex Allen narrated a lot of Disney nature films.

For the $2 they charge, the Rex Allen Museum is a nice way to spend an hour or two.

For the $2 they charge, the Rex Allen Museum is a nice way to spend an hour or two.

Apparently if you live by a gun, you will eventually get shot by one.

Apparently if you live by a gun, you will eventually get shot by one.

Some Rex Allen posters.

Some Rex Allen posters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I however was not visiting Willcox for either. About a year a go I bought a piece of property sight unseen and now it was time to see it. I bought it off a land website from a bulk land seller. The guy that I bought the property from had never seen the land either. This was evident when after I had obtained the deed I ended having to pay back taxes to clear the dead. In all it cost me a few hundred dollars for this land.

So the question becomes, what did I get? The answer is not a lot. Getting out to the land was interesting. There were roads, but they were of course all dirt road. Using my GPS I was able to get pretty close to the land, but I had to walk the last .25 miles. The land was flat but that is about it. The features are pretty much dirt and scrub brush. The closet tree was at least a mile away.

The original plan for Twin Lakes is that it was going to be a beautiful master planned community. All that got built was the golf course.

The original plan for Twin Lakes is that it was going to be a beautiful master planned community. All that got built was the golf course.

The only tree seen within miles of my property.

The only tree seen within miles of my property.

According to my GPS this marker is on the corner of my property. My guess is it shows where the street should be.

According to my GPS this marker is on the corner of my property. My guess is it shows where the street should be.

Notice I brought my own water.

Notice I brought my own water.

There is a lake with water, but it is waste water. Only suitable for the birds.

There is a lake with water, but it is waste water. Only suitable for the birds.

 

I have no idea what I plan to do with this land. To develop the land would probably require more money. That I really don’t have. My best hope is that some developer comes in and starts to buy all of the parcels, but then with my luck I would probably lose my land to eminent domain. In the meantime I plan on just keeping up the $20 a year property taxes and every once in a while visiting it.

A 360 shot from my property.

A 360 shot from my property.

 

 

 

A video about the land:

 

La Fonda, Baja California Mexico

1985 Zilpha and John in La Fonda, Baja California, Mexico

1985 Zilpha and John in La Fonda, Baja California, Mexico

It is funny how time and space play with your memories. The farther you get from a certain point the memory starts to fade and you start to fantasize about what really happened. Case in point this picture. Taken very long ago this pictures marks a half way point to one of our numerous car trips to Ensenada. Back when this picture was taken there was no express way into Ensenada. The one road that did exist was a two lane road that was very bumpy and windy. To get where this photo was taken from the border it took us about 3 hrs. of driving. I remember along the way we would see people selling stuffed armadillos,coconut vendors and countless souvenir shops.

Fast forward 32 yrs. from this picture my Aunt Zilpha has continued on in her eternal journey and I am now a grown man with a wife and child. I have a fast paced career that keeps me very busy. Yet, in the back of my mind I have this picture of me and my aunt sitting on a beachfront restaurant listening to a man slowly strumming a guitar as we eat lunch. It is something that haunts my memory in almost a taunting way. I have learned with many memories things have faded or changed. I remember when Puerto Nuevo was not “lobster capitol” but just a sleepy fishing village south of Rosarito with only three restaurants. Rosarito was the only town south of Tijuana back then, but now it is a full grown city with a Walmart and movie theater, although it still could use more traffic lights. So while the memory might be fun I have learned to temper what is in my head with what is reality. Though the question always lingers, what is out there?

The entrance to La Fonda.

The entrance to La Fonda.

So with the question in my mind I do what any modern millennial does, I googled it. Using my faded memory and my internet research skills I learn that there was a place called La Fonda but the news doesn’t look too good. I read some articles about how the original owners have sold the place and it now has been divied out into to three places: two hotels and two restaurants with the same name right next to each other. It sounds strange to me. I find a website for the “Original” La Fonda Hotel, but it doesn’t work. I then find a Facebook fan page, it has an email on it. Success!

Traffic going into Mexico was something new for me.

Traffic going into Mexico was something new for me.

I email the owner (who turns out bought back half of the original hotel) and they said they do have a room and it will cost me $100 a night cash, no credit. With follow up emails and a phone call I am told I need to be there early, no later than 4 p.m. Kind of funny to me. Usually hotels it is the other way around, you get charged more for early check in, not for later check in, but I roll with it because this is Mexico and in Mexico you just roll with it.iving to San Ysidro to Tijuana I see something I have never seen before, traffic going into Mexico. I panic slowing while we slowly inch our way to Aduana (customs), so we call the hotel to explain the situation. The owner thanks me for the call and we proceed along our way. With the new toll roads we make good time and get to the hotel only about a half an hour later than we were supposed to be there. In Mexican fiesta rules this is practically considered early. The very nice lady takes our money. The whole transaction is done in paper and cash. The hotel key is an actual key, no plastic at this place.

We find our room, which is up a flight of stairs. As far as hotel rooms go you need to understand that this is Mexico. There is paint that is chipping, there are signs of past leaks looking at the bathroom sink, the water pressure is low, the TV doesn’t work, and towels are thin. If you are looking for luxury, you have come to the wrong place. If you are coming here, you are coming for one thing, the view. Can’t beat it anywhere. There is nothing like opening up your door, having your own little balcony and just listening to the waves roll in.

I don't think the decor of the La Fonda has changed much in 30 years.

I don’t think the decor of the La Fonda has changed much in 30 years.

This is why you get a room at La Fonda.

This is why you get a room at La Fonda.

 

For drinks you have to go to the OXXO across the street.

For drinks you have to go to the OXXO across the street.

For dinner we walk to the tiny town of Alisitos and eat a never ending supply of dollar shrimp and fish tacos. Before bed we play on the beach which are all ours as we watch the sunset.

Next morning we get up for breakfast and go to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. The waiters have started the fireplace and out on the balcony we can see it. The same place from all that time ago. The waiter turns on the radio and a gentle guitar rift fills the air and for a brief moment I am once again 9 yrs. old and I am enjoying a lunch with my family on the beach. I come back to my senses as the food comes. Banarama pancakes with coconut syrup and chilaquiles by the beach. Sometimes the memory is just a fantasy,but sometimes it is not, and that is when you know life is good.

For breakfast the waiters made a fire which was nice.

For breakfast the waiters made a fire which was nice.

Chilaquiles with the best flour tortillas.

Chilaquiles with the best flour tortillas.

Many things change but it is nice to see that balcony and if I ever need it I know where to go to find it.

Many things change but it is nice to see that balcony and if I ever need it I know where to go to find it.

#11 Visit the Statue of Liberty

It doesn't matter at what angle you view the statue, it always inspires.

It doesn’t matter at what angle you view the statue, it always inspires.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

-Emma Lazarus

Denise in front of Castle Clinton

Denise in front of Castle Clinton

We were anxious the morning we were to go and visit the Statue of Liberty. We got to Battery Park very early, too early. Arriving at Clinton Castle Fort (which is also a national monument) we found the line where we needed to confirm our reservation tickets, but we told that we could not get in the line until 30 minutes prior to our start time. I wasn’t sure why this was, when we finally did get to the line we found out that your start time doesn’t really matter. The ferrys just constantly run and when you get to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island you are allowed to stay on each island as long as you want.

The closest metro stop the Statue of Liberty is Staten Island Ferry.

The closest metro stop the Statue of Liberty is Staten Island Ferry.

An early morning view of the Statue of Liberty as seen from Battery park.

An early morning view of the Statue of Liberty as seen from Battery park.

The sea glass carousel at Battery Park is definitely different than other carousels I have seen.

The sea glass carousel at Battery Park is definitely different than other carousels I have seen.

This statue is dedicated to the immigrants who arrived at Battery Park.

This statue is dedicated to the immigrants who arrived at Battery Park.

AJ boards the ferry after passing security.

AJ boards the ferry after passing security.

AJ in front of Battery Park that used to protect New York.

AJ in front of Battery Park that used to protect New York.

On the way to the statue you can see the one world trade center.

On the way to the statue you can see the one world trade center.

This building used to be the immigration building for non-immigrants.

This building used to be the immigration building for non-immigrants.

Denise in front of Castle Clinton

Denise in front of Castle Clinton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as we got to Liberty Island we headed straight for the crown. You are not allowed to bring anything with you into the statue except a camera and one bottle of water. They have lockers you can rent for $5.00 at the gift store at the base of the statue.

Despite having gone through intense security before getting on the boat, to go to the statue you have to pass through security again. Inside the base of the statue, the first thing you see is the old torch, which is nice because from inside the statue, even at the crown, it is hard to see the torch. Not to mention the passageway up to the torch has been closed to visitors since 1916 when German spies blew up some ammunition and the shrapnel got lodged in the torch in what is now known as the “Black Tom” incident.

Going inside the base you can see the original torch.

Going inside the base you can see the original torch.

A view from the crown up to the torch.

A view from the crown up to the torch.

The ladder goes up to the torch, but it is closed off to visitors.

The ladder goes up to the torch, but it is closed off to visitors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After climbing a lot of steps you get to the pedestal. The pedestal viewing area is very windy and cramped. There are a lot of people and it can sometimes be hard to get past them. From the pedestal you can get a good view of the base of the statue and see the old walls of what used to be Fort Wood, which was what was on the island before the statue.

As Denise demonstrates there is not much passing room at the pedestal.

As Denise demonstrates there is not much passing room at the pedestal.

From the pedestal you can see the outline of what was Fort Wood.

From the pedestal you can see the outline of what was Fort Wood.

This archway is leftover from Fort Wood.

This archway is leftover from Fort Wood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing upward in a very narrow (only one person can go at a time) spiral staircase, you get to the crown. There is very limited space at the top. When we went up there were two rangers keeping a watch on the statue and stairs. They were very informative and told us an interesting story about the real intentions of the statue.

Here is a video:

 

The beginning of the stairs up to the crown.

The beginning of the stairs up to the crown.

As you can see the stairs are very curvy, but every so often there are areas to stop and rest.

As you can see the stairs are very curvy, but every so often there are areas to stop and rest.

This shot kind of shows how many steps to the top.

This shot kind of shows how many steps to the top.

The port holes at the crown are not very big.

The port holes at the crown are not very big.

This is a side of the statue's face that not many see.

This is a side of the statue’s face that not many see.

It took some effort but the Pedrozas made it to the crown. No elevators inside.

It took some effort but the Pedrozas made it to the crown. No elevators inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AJ got a souvenir coin than is the thickness of two pennies, just like the statue.

AJ got a souvenir coin than is the thickness of two pennies, just like the statue.

Going back down we got our backpacks once again out of the lockers. There are two gift stores at the island. The one at the base of the statue of liberty is very crowded, compared with the store at the landing with the food court, that has most of the same stuff (Denise said they had different postcards) and is less crowded.

AJ always enjoys doing the Junior Ranger program every time we go to a national park. It is a free activity and you get a cool badge for your adventure. The junior ranger program is much shorter than other junior ranger programs. We completed it rather quickly with the audio tour that is included with all tickets. The audio tour looks like a phone receiver with a lanyard and at different points you put in a number and the virtual guide explains what you are looking at. At the end of junior ranger program we got to meet ranger Louie, which was cool. He is one of three rangers that go up to the torch to make sure it is always lit (except for that one day, but that is another story).

statajonetower statjuniorrangeroath statrangerlouie

 

 

 

 

 

From Liberty Island the ferries run every 30 minutes to both New York and Ellis Island.

These are the bolts that keep the statue attached to the pedestal.

The ferries run every 30 minutes.

Denise and John arriving to Liberty Island.

AJ poses in front of the statue.

My favorite view was from the base upward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was #11 on my all time goals list. For the rest of the list please go to goaltravels.com

#17 See a Show on Broadway, Welcome to Broadway, NYC

It is fun to read the Playbill before the show.

It is fun to read the Playbill before the show.

As a kid growing up in Southern California I was no stranger entertainment. We are indeed the Entertainment Capital of the World. Radio, television, music, and film making, as well as the abundance of tourist and amusement attractions in the region, undoubtedly makes us the #1 entertainment place in the world, except for one thing, the stage.

Denise and AJ in front of the theater.

Denise and AJ in front of the theater.

To find the best musicals, the greatest musicals, there is only one place to go, and that is Broadway, New York City. They know, we know it, and if you ever go to a show on Broadway your pocketbook will know it.

Shows on Broadway are expensive. There are ways to try to mitigate. You can do what we did and try to find a show like Groundhog’s Day that is previews and rush it. That is when you go to the theater the day of the show you want to go to and see if there are any discounted tickets. There is a cost to that, in our case it cost us $119 dollars when we walked out during intermission when we discovered how much bad language can be crammed into a 4 minute song (it is a lot). It also means that you can you can find yourself 3 rows behind comedian Caroline Rhea. You just never know what is going to happen when you follow your dreams and perhaps that is why Broadway is so magical, because it is a not only a place of dreams, but it comes with a soundtrack.

Today (4/23/17), Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is opening on Broadway. It is amazing show. It brings in that magical mystical musical adventure that is Broadway. A mix of new and old songs, it brings new twist to the Roald Dahl classic. It is very different than both the 1971 Gene Wilder and 2005 Johnny Depp version.

It has the “Pure Imagination” song, it has some definite dark moments (when the oompa lumpas start singing you know something bad is going to go down), but it is unique, and they are my favorite part in the musical. How they do them is something you have to see for yourself.

As magical as seeing a show on Broadway was it was kind of eye opening. First of all the theaters are very close to each other, which is good because they are all in walking distance. The second was that they are all very small, or at least smaller than their Los Angeles counterparts. The term Broadway show does not necessarily mean that the show plays on Broadway, which is a street in New York, it more refers to how many seats the theater holds. If the theater has over 500 seats it is considered a Broadway show. The largest is the Gershwin Theater (currently playing Wicked) at 1,935 seats and the smallest is the Helen Hayes Theater (currently under renovation) at 597 seats. Compare that to the 2,703 seats at the Pantages and you notice the difference. The third thing was parking. At $38.01 an hour, you are not parking on Broadway. You are going to take public transportation in, which is fine because the streets.

 

Paying full prices were not so fun.

Paying full prices were not so fun.

It is very bright outside at 11 pm on Broadway.

It is very bright outside at 11 pm on Broadway.

Rush tickets can be a great deal if available.

Rush tickets can be a great deal if available.

The Neil Simon Theater currently playing a revival of Cats

The Neil Simon Theater currently playing a revival of Cats

The Wonka Emporium did sell chocolate but not Wonka bars, kind of weird

The Wonka Emporium did sell chocolate but not Wonka bars, kind of weird

Did not buy the soundtrack.

Did not buy the soundtrack.

A pre-show selfie at the Lunt-Fontanne

A pre-show selfie at the Lunt-Fontanne

Hamilton playing at the Richard Rogers Theatre, next to the Marques playing On Your Feet, as seen from the Lunt Fontanne Theater

Hamilton playing at the Richard Rogers Theatre, next to the Marques playing On Your Feet, as seen from the Lunt Fontanne Theater

Caroline Rhea sat three rows up from us during the show.

Caroline Rhea sat three rows up from us during the show.

A lot of people were pushing the button that was clearly labeled "Do Not Push."

A lot of people were pushing the button that was clearly labeled “Do Not Push.”

At $38.01 an hour, you should really find another way than your car to get to the theater

At $38.01 an hour, you should really find another way than your car to get to the theater

Apparently musicals run on Macbooks.

Apparently musicals run on Macbooks.

The production poster for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The production poster for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

We waited at the door to the Lunt-Fountanne Theater at 10am to get discount tickets but there were none.

We waited at the door to the Lunt-Fountanne Theater at 10am to get discount tickets but there were none.

We were that close to the Groundhog day show.

We were that close to the Groundhog day show.

Side view of the Lunt Fontanne Theater showing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Side view of the Lunt Fontanne Theater showing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Look, a car elevator

Look, a car elevator

The inside of the August Wilson theater.

The inside of the August Wilson theater.

The August Wilson Theater playing Groundhog Day.

The August Wilson Theater playing Groundhog Day.

A look into the box office of the August Wilson theater.

A look into the box office of the August Wilson theater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am very happy to have been able to have finished this experience for the list. Saying that however I am OK watching the new musicals preview at the Macy’s Thankgiving Day parade and waiting for the good ones to come out to Los Angeles.

Thanks for reading

Thanks for reading