Thursday, September 30, 2010

Challenger Space Center

And so with nothing better to do on a Saturday morning when I got invited to go check out the Challenger Space Center in Peoria I jumped at the opportunity. For this particular day they had a Smithsonian exhibition and it was free to the public provided you pre-printed your ticket which allowed two people to go in on your computer. Regular fees are $8:00 for adults and $5:00 for kids.

Mon - Fri 9 am - 4 pm
Sun Closed

Their story as printed in the card they hand you as you walk in: Challenger Space Center Arizona is a four-story public museum and education facility that opened July 2000. The center is a private educational charity, and a living tribute to the astronauts who lost their lives aboard Space Shuttle 51-L in 1986. Their families founded Challenger Center for Space Science Education, and about 50 Challenger centers operate nationally.

I jumped on the 101 and 35 minutes later after following a detour I got to the museum. The building is pretty nice, and looks like some sort of modern structure. Lots of glass windows, metal walls, and concrete.

I didn't expect the place to be as packed as it was. Upon entering we only walked for about five minutes when this lady asked us if we wanted to watch one of the exhibits, although free it required tickets as the seating was limited. Again we jumped at the opportunity and took them. We only had to wait about 10 minutes and we were in. The show was about stargazing and they pretty much told us that we can see at least seven of the nine planets if we just go out to our back yards with a set of binoculars. They talked about the stars, the constellations, the moon, and so on. It was pretty informative and definitely something new to me. After all I never took astrology or anything like that in school.

Joe Cool suited up in his astronaut suit and is ready for take off.

The portable dome planetarium which they take to schools was fun. Do not go in there if you are claustrophobic tho. Inside the dome you are transported into a night sky environment for studying the constellations, the moon, the planets, the seasons, multicultural folklore/mythology and much more.

So if one day you find yourself with nothing to do and you want to take the kids to see something educational as well as exciting, consider visiting the Challenger Space Center, you will have a nice time. There are plenty of things to see, things to do, and exhibitions to watch.

Dare to Dream!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

On The Way Back to Phoenix -- Part II

Welcome to Quartzite.

So, a few hours after I left La Puente I'm still on the road and stopping everywhere I please. I got to Quartzite and went to the old car dealership behind the Love's Truck stop. They must have over a hundred old cars for sale there and every single one a true jewel. Of course I had to go trigger happy with the camera shutter and snapped a lot of pics through the fence of course. No matter the fence added character to my images, at least that's what I keep telling myself.

Here are some of my favorites:

This dealership really is like a kids toy store, I could walk up and down more than once.

I was going to gas up the car at Love's but as usual it was packed so I decided to go across the freeway and gas up at the Chevron. Good move cause that gas station was empty and I also took this opportunity to snap some more pics.

Got on the car and not even a few yards away I found another nice place for pictures. It was an old gas station that apparently served a company fleet. The place was totally open and it had a little signs saying no trespassing. I couldn't resist and caught a few images there.

You must admit it was a great prop for some car pictures.

Got on the car drove not even a fourth of the same block and I see this lady snapping pictures of an old gas station and the old building around it. She had a very nice camera so she could do it from the side walk. I went over and talked to her and then backed up my car and parked it in front of the pumps at the gas station.

I love this images.

Then noticed some of the structures around this place and I just pointed and shoot some more.

Random images from Quartzite.

Believe it or not it started raining on me so that was my last stop. After a traffic jam at Verado Way because of the road construction I finally got home at around 9:00 pm. I had lots of fun and bowed to do this again.

I say this time and time again. To me the jorney is just as important as the destination.


Letter K is for Kids and...

ABC Wednesday Letter "K"

For starters I want to post a picture of my perfect "K", that being K is for kids, and in my case grand kids to be exact. Nothing gives me more joy than to have them around, although they do tend to drive me a little crazy, yes all ten of them.

Pictured here, seven of my 10 grand kids.

Grandchildren are prescious gifts given to parents from their children.


"Life, the gift of nature, Love, the gift of life, a Kiss, the gift of Love"


Friday, September 24, 2010

On The Way Back to Phoenix -- Part I

Vintage gas station.

Coming back from California I decided to take the scenic route, which one is that you may ask? Well, in my case it's the same long and boring desert route except I decided to take my sweet time.

I left my sister's house at around 1:00 pm and after gassing up the Stang I headed towards I-10. As I hit the Pomona area I encountered lots of traffic, at first I thought it was due to the holiday weekend but then I realize that all the backed up traffic was merging right and exiting on two specific exits. I had no clue as to what was going on until I was back in Phoenix and I was told that the L.A. County fair started on that weekend.

First stop, food stop.

A few years back on our way to L.A. mi chicaand I were getting hungry, she said she craved a particular type of food and she spoke of Lucy's a well known fast food Mexican/American food restaurant that has virtually over a hundred items in the menu, at the same time I saw a Harley Davidson dealership and so I took the next exit. The dealership happened to be closed but on our way back to the freeway she spotted a restaurant and said, "I bet you anything you want that that restaurant has what I want", you know what it did. Gus Jr. restaurant has one of those wall menus with over a hundred items, both Mexican and American and it did have what she wanted. A pastrami. After that time, we made it a point to always stop there to eat on our way back to Phoenix. This time I stopped by myself and enjoyed a pastrami and chili fries.

Love their pastramis and chili fries.

So on my way to West Covina I stopped at a Loves Truck stop and bought this cool basebal jersey I liked, unfortunately it didn't fit me so on my way back I stopped to exchange it. That was stop number two.


You know that famous stop by the freeway with the dinosaurs? That was supposed to be stop number two but thanks to a big rig that blocked my exit I couldn't do it, so I am saving that one for the next time. So back on the highway I headed towards Phoenix again and then had stop number three. Chiriaco Summit.

General Patton's Museum is there, so I parked the car and started taking pictures of all the war tanks on display there.


Then of course the mandatory car shot with the tanks on the background.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"J" Is For Joke, Joe, and Joy.

ABC Wednesday -- Letter "J"

"J" is for joke so here is one for you:

Ain`t Goin`

One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, "I`m not going."

"Why not?" she asked.

I`ll give you two good reasons," he said. "(1), they don`t like me, and (2), I don`t like them."

His mother replied, "I`ll give YOU two good reasons why YOU SHOULD go to church.

(1) You`re 59 years old, and (2) you`re the pastor!"

"Joe Cool"

Grand kids create a special kind of:



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ABC Wednesday La letra "I"

It's ABC Wednesday -- Letter I

Better late than never. I did not have a chance to post earlier but here is my entry for the letter "I".

The following picture I took after a rainy day, the grass was soaked with water and the tree reflected in the water, I though that if I posted it upside down it would create a great:


Our very own Jordin Sparks made it all the way in the show American Idol. I followed the whole season when she won and I was pretty happy as I was rooting for her since the beginning. Jordin Sparks is our:


Although I like to tell my son I don't like Chevrolets I do like the:


But psssst, don't tell him that cause I won't hear the end of it. lol


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Artesanias Mexicanas

Last year at my sisters QuiceaƱera X3 birthday party she introduced me to her friend Linda. She told me that a couple of the accessories she has in her house came from a store she owns in West Covina, Ca. I told her that I would go check it out the first opportunity I had.

Chely told me she needed to go return a sweater she had that belonged to her friend, as we started driving through the City of West Covina and being so close to the store I asked her if we could stop by the store to check it out. She immediately agreed and after returning the sweater we drove over to Linda's store.

Artesanias Mexicana. West Covina, Ca.

The name of the store is Artesanias Mexicans (Mexican Crafts) and it specializes in rustic and modern furniture, unique candle chandeliers, a wide viriety of authentic clay pots, a large selection of Mexican tiles directly imported from Mexico.

Artesanias Mexicanas
318 S. Glendora Ave.
West Covina, CA. 91790

Hours are Tue ~ Sat -- 11:00 am ~ 7:00 pm
Sundays 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
(626) 918-4303

When we got there, Linda had just stepped out the door to check out her new window display. So she spotted us right away. I started taking pictures and with her permission I caught a lot more images once inside of the store. So many cool things there I could be like a kid in a candy store.

Here are some examples of the products she offers:

Nothing depicts "Mexican" better than "The Mariachi" and the "farol or farolito" (a Mexican wall sconce).

Lots of colorful stuff. There is something for everyone here.

Linda is also an accomplished painter. She gets commissioned to do paintings out of photos and as you can tell by the one she has on process she is pretty good at what she does.

Linda's rendition of a Frida Khalo portrait.


My lil sit Chely, Linda, and I.

So if you are ever in the town of West Covina be sure and stop at Artesanias Mexicans. It is very conveniently located about two minutes from I-10 right off the St. Vincent off ramp. Those of you not in California, if you ever see a Mexican crafts store in your area make sure to stop and visit, you'll find out there are many treasures inside to be discovered.

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