Spontaneous or Poor Planning?

8:49:00 PM Unknown 3 Comments

In the course of hosting many guests over the last 5 years I have come to hate being "Tour Guide Barbie." I do not like being in charge of someone else's fun because what I might find interesting and worthy of spending money on is not the same for others. Also, I don't want the pressure of, "what's next?"  So when my sister said, "I know exactly what we can do in California," I was like "Yeah! I don't have to do any planning!" 

It was true, my sister did know exactly what there was to do in the area, but in the excitement of being on holiday with no children, having only ourselves to answer to and being completely free to say yes let's go here and there with out any kind of plan, we found ourselves back tracking quite a bit. We also found that our spontaneity (or poor planning) meant that things we could have done and seen, we missed out on because we arrived too late or didn't allow enough time.  Case in point, below are four places we dropped in on, but didn't get to actually see.  
The Gamble House Located at 4 Westmoreland Pl in Pasadena, this home was built by David B. Gamble of Proctor and Gamble fame in 1908. Situated in a historic neighborhood filled with Craftsman styled homes, it show cases a beautiful stain glass entryway and impressive wood works. We only saw the grounds from the outside, it was enough to whet the appetite. 

Pasadena Museum of History Not far from the Gamble House is the Pasadena Museum of History which showcases the Fenyes Mansion, built in 1906. The Beaux-Arts styled home houses original furnishings, period art, decor and clothing. Unfortunately for these two home touring lovers, we only got a glimpse through the windows. 

Pasadena is home to the Tournament of Roses which includes a nationally televised football game and parade, but more important to Leslie and I is the house--built in 1914 by William Wrigley Jr., the gum manufacturer. Apparently, the Wrigleys loved the Rose Parade, so upon the death of Ada, the family gave the property to Pasadena and requested it be used as the headquarters for the Tournament of Roses. Free tours of the property are offered, but on a very limited basis.
Lastly, the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens. The Huntington Library is not to be confused with your local public library. It is a massive property established by Henry E. Huntington in 1919. The property is home to acres of gardens, an impressive collection of books including a copy of the Gutenburg Bible and an art collection that rivals any other privately held collection.  With a $24 entrance fee, the Library isn't a place you go to kill 2 hours before your flight takes off. It's a day trip kind of destination.  Thankfully, there is a visitors center which is free to enter. It offers a video giving context to the property and its original owners and showcases some of the flora grown on the property.

So, as much as I hate being "Tour Guide Barbie" someone has to do it! With about an hours worth of planning my sister and I could have seen all 4 of these properties and avoided wasting time driving back and forth.

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  1. yes we really need to study our guide books and plan what we ae going to do around opening times etc. But not always easy when there is so much you want to see and do. Thanks for the tour and happy travels. And thank you so much for stopping by my blog this week. It was great to meet you.

  2. I love Pasadena! It is such a great city! Wish I had time to visit there when I was in California a couple weeks ago!

  3. I do like plans but sometimes I really hate being the one doing the planning. I have recently had a few people come to the area to visit wanting tours booked and to look around yet who waited to tell me they were here until they arrived. With my family visiting it is the same ... 'What do you want to see?' 'I don't know.' Sometimes that part is frustrating but it is always lovely to have the visitors and sometimes they just like to see what your favourite things/ places are. It is a shame you missed out on really seeing those places.