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Pasadena, CA, USA

Passing through Pasadena

When the 1872-73 Indiana winter was particularly harsh, a group of friends formed an investment group looking to head south. They moved to a part of Rancho San Pasqual, now known as Pasadena, California. The name means "valley" in the Ojibwa Indian language. People thought that an area in Texas resembled the city so much that they named the California locale Pasadena. You'll have to visit both to see if you agree! Drive a Los Angeles rental car to Pasadena to explore its unique culture and get a feel for the original.

Rose Bowl Stadium
Before the Rose Bowl existed, other games were played at the site of this stadium. There were chariot and ostrich races, and once elephant and camel races. These games were replaced with football when the first stadium was built in 1922. Funding for the new facility was raised by selling 10-year box seats for $100 a seat. Things sure have changed! The stadium underwent a $152 million renovation in 2011, and construction is slated for completion before the 100th Rose Bowl and BCS National Championship Game in January 2014. If you don't want to wait for the next Rose Bowl, come see a home game of the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins football team. Or check out the R.G. Canning Flea Market. Held every 2nd Sunday of the month, the market hosts 2,500 vendors and over 20,000 buyers. It's a great opportunity to see the stadium and get a good walk in while going from vendor to vendor!

Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Drive your Los Angeles rental car to South Pasadena to visit this NASA lab at the California Institute of Technology. America's first satellite, Explorer 1, was built here in 1957 to compete with the Soviet Union's Sputnik in the great Space Race. Tours of the lab are available with advanced reservations and include a multimedia presentation called "Journey to the Planets and Beyond," which provides an overview of the lab's past and present happenings and accomplishments. Guests can also check out the Karman Visitor Center, Spacecraft Assembly Facility and Space Flight Operations Facility, all on site. Wear comfortable shoes for the tour - it's several hours of walking - and dress for the weather as the tour is not entirely inside. This is a great destination for aspiring astronauts of all ages.

The Ice House
Comedy fans will get a kick out of this club! Many famous comedians have passed through this venue's doors in it's over 50 years of existence. Robin Williams, George Carlin, Bob Newhart, Ellen DeGeneres and many more have entertained audiences in the 200-seat Pasadena club. Famous musicians like Linda Ronstadt and Kenny Rodgers have also played here. From variety shows to open mics, standup, improv and even a hypnotist, this venue has a show for everyone. Come early and eat at the Comics Restaurant. Don't worry about hurrying to get to the show, restaurant attendees have preferred seats. They are reserved so that once you finish dinner and head to the theater, great seats will be waiting for you!