Today, I decided to enlist my honorary nephew, Brandon, to help me out with my personal challenge. On the Discover Los Angeles website under 100 Free things to do in Los Angeles, I found a link to the Pasadena Roving Archers group that offers free archery classes on Saturdays. The only downside is that you have to get there really early because it is on a first-come, first-serve basis (and the small parking lot fills up quickly. I recommend parking on Arroyo and just walking down the hill to the park).
Brandon is a Boy Scout and really interested in learning archery so I thought this would be a fun thing that we could do together. Unfortunately, since he is under the age of 10 (he is 9), he is required to take an evaluation and preliminary instruction course before he can participate in the other classes. The introductory class for adults starts at the same time (8:30 am–the time hasn’t been updated yet on the website for the kids evaluation class) but it is on a different range. So I decided I would just stay with Brandon and watch his first class. I could always come back and take the introductory class later on or take a one-on-one instruction course for $25.
I was impressed with the way the instructors, Jim and Terri ran the youth class. They were organized and patient with the children. That emphasized all of the important safety issues and they would complete stop the class whenever anyone was disobeying their safety rules. They explained everything step by step and they had additional instructors that would help the kids individually, if needed. It didn’t take long for the kids to get used to their class structure and whistle system. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who lives in Pasadena or the other local SoCal areas who have kids (or nieces and nephews) who are interested in learning archery. The introductory class is free and they request a $5 donation for any subsequent classes.
Jim mentioned that since the release of the films Brave and Hunger Games, classes on the range have increased in popularity and fill up quickly. Brandon and I realized this when we arrived and there were absolutely no parking spaces available in the parking lot so we chose to park on Arroyo Blvd and just walk down the hill to the park.
I asked Brandon what he thought of the class and he said he loved it. He definitely wants to come back (and since the “returning” classes start at 10am, my California sister will actually be awake in time and able to join us). He said that in Boy Scouts, when teaching archery, they just tell the kids to line-up and shoot. They don’t explain anything. Brandon said it was nice to have all the instructions and the helpers there to let you know if you were doing anything wrong. He also liked that all the equipment was provided. Each kid was fitted for an arm guard, a finger guard, a quiver with specific colored arrows, and a bow. And it was easy to see that Brandon wasn’t the only kid who enjoyed the class. There were plenty of parents asking about the returning classes and private lessons offered by the Pasadena Roving Archers. Again, I was really impressed by the instructors and the class. I would recommend this to any of my friends with kids.
Now since I had to start my Saturday much earlier than normal, I decided I would take the opportunity to have another first time experience before the day was out. Somewhere on Facebook, I read that today was “National Coffee Day.” As a coffee lover, this was something I could whole-heartedly support. After having lunch and running some errands with my California sister and Brandon, I decided I was in need of a coffee break. Many times, I have passed a local coffeehouse on N. Lake in Altadena called “The Coffee Gallery.” I have read reviews about how it is a local artists haven and hang out, complete with a backstage area for bands, shows, comedy, and open mic nights. So in honor of National Coffee Day, I thought I would check it out.
There is no parking lot for The Coffee Gallery so after finding street parking on Lake, I made my way over to the cozy coffeehouse. You can definitely feel the relaxed atmosphere the minute you walk into the door. This is nothing like the corporate designed Starbucks and don’t expect the same menu. I had no qualms asking the barista for recommendations. He asked me if I liked Lattes: Yes, I do. He asked me if I liked sweet drinks: Yes, I do. So he recommended the “Caramel Turtle” Latte or if I liked something a little more spicy, like Chai, then he recommended the “Filthy Dirty Chai” Latte. I chose the latter (I love Chai Lattes).
Now all I have to say is Starbucks, eat your hearts out because this little coffee-house blows you right out of the water. The Filthy Dirty Chai Latte was amazing. I can’t wait to go back and try other items on their menu. I definitely have a new favorite coffeehouse/hangout place/writing spot (they have free WiFi). If you live in the Altadena area, there is no need to go to the Starbucks located in Ralphs. Support our local businesses and go over to The Coffee Gallery instead.