2009 Tournament of the Roses: Part 2

6 01 2009

Rose Bowl LogoAfter returning home from Pasadena, I gotta say that despite Penn State losing the actual Rose Bowl game, I still had an awesome time, as did pretty much everyone else in the group that I traveled with.

After getting off the plane which flew us out from State College, the first thing that got me was how beautiful the weather was there. For the whole trip (more well put, a vacation), the temperatures were in the mid 70s throughout the day, and evenings were nice and cool, just cool enough to be able to wear jeans and a t-shirt outside comfortably. Couldn’t find a cloud in the sky my whole time there. The scenery of the area also caught me as quite breathtaking. Temperate zone plants would cover pretty sweet looking hills off in the distance where civilization had yet to hit, with snow capped mountains even farther off which gave a neat contrast from this place which seemed like paradise.

Some palm trees in Pasadena

Picture I took of some palm trees in Pasadena

Upon leaving the airport, we filed into some buses to get to our hotels. The highways in and around Los Angeles were kinda neat, just seeing how many luxury cars there were.  I’d never seen so many Ferraris and Porsches in my life.  One got the feeling there was a lot of money circulating around this area.  I mean it is home to Beverly Hills, Hollywood, etc.  We even got a brief look down some of the nicest real estate in the U.S. down Sunset Boulevard.

Then we got to our hotel (The Sheraton Universal) which was more than nice, and had great location as it was only a short walk away from Universal Studios.  After settling in, and a band practice section at a local community college, we played at and went to Disneyland and Universal Studios in the following days.  Both were really great experiences, and Universal Studios even had the park open a couple hours late for us, decked out with PSU decorations, and celebratory things to bring in the new year of ’09.

Disneyland castle at night

Disneyland castle at night

The next day was the largest of them all, as the Blue Band was marching in the Rose Parade.  It was 5.5 miles long, and despite that, it actually wasn’t too bad for me.  Our whole band got through without a single member passing out, which against the odds I believe (a total of 30 were hospitalized for heat prostration – http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_11350952)  It took over 2 hours of playing an instrument, dancing, and marching, but was worth it, and an honor to march in.  Directly after the parade, we played at a pep rally outside the Rose Bowl stadium, and then we were straight off to the game.

Upon entering the stadium, I wasn’t all too impressed with the size of the place (nothing seems big after performing in Beaver Stadium the whole season) but they had the place done up very nicely.  We proceeded to perform our pregame show, which went very well, and was quite a rush for me with all the surrounding media coverage and devout fans.  Then the game began, and I was…frustrated, to say the least…about how things were going for the team.  USC was a very skilled team with a lot of talent.  After the second quarter we ran our halftime show, and after that watched as we had a small bit of a comeback, but lost in the end, final score 38-24.

Despite that loss, I still had one of the best experiences of my life during the days I was there, and hope to get the opportunity to make a trip out to Pasadena once again.

Here’s a link to us marching the Rose Parade, courtesy of KTLA —  http://www.ktla.com/roseparade_landing/?Penn-State-Blue-Band=1&blockID=172772&feedID=2050

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2 responses

7 01 2009
russwbeck

Great pictures dude. I like this layout too. Very cool looking.

3 02 2009
Dennis S

Wow, dude. Nice pictures….I’m really jealous of the class schedule you have posted on Facebook, btw.

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