Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos on Olvera Street

Last month we carved pumpkins the night before Halloween. We decided to do traditional jack 'o' lanterns this year.
Dan hollowing out his pumpkins
 Dan bought candy for the trick 'r' treaters and we lit our pumpkins and turned on the porch lights, but sadly we didn't get a single ghost or goblin ringing our bell. Dan's students benefited from our leftover candy stash!

Mary and our pumpkins
 On the day after Halloween we took the Metrolink to the Union Station in downtown LA where we walked over to Olvera Street - the oldest street in Los Angeles and an area of Mexican restaurants and Mexican street vendors.

A person dressed up for Dia de Los Muertos
 We had a great time listening to the Mexican music, watching the dancers, and walking around the area where we encountered lots of people in traditional Dia de Los Muertos attire, face paint, and even dogs dressed up!

A Dia de Los Muertos Vigil 
There were lots of vigils set up in the traditional fashion paying respects to the dead by displaying foods the deceased loved, photos of their loved ones, and candles illuminating the vigils.

Even the animals were celebrating!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Getaway to Palm Springs

Last month during Dan's fall break weekend we booked a weekend getaway in Palm Springs. We found a deal on Groupon for a hotel and off we went! In addition to exploring the Palm Springs downtown, our hotel pool and the impressive Palm Springs Art Museum we did a lot of hiking.

Palm Oasis in Indian Canyons
 We went to the Indian Canyons where we did some desert hiking through the Palm Oasis - basically just a giant palm tree forest.

Before we headed back to Claremont we took the Palm Springs aerial tramway up 8,500 feet to the top of Mt San Jacinto where we did a nice long hike in the wilderness before grabbing a hot cocoa to warm up!
 Palm Springs Aerial Tram
Mary and Dan hiking in the San Jacinto Wilderness