The first day of SELF on the Road 2017 began with the senior cohort meeting at Kansas City International Airport before dawn in order to catch a plane to the beautiful city of Los Angeles, California. Once the plane had arrived and we had all gotten our luggage, we piled into the rental vans eagerly awaiting our first stop – brunch. After braving the notoriously awful traffic of Downtown LA, we reached the Green Street Restaurant and had some wonderfully delicious food.
Now that everyone had filled their stomachs with tasty food, it was time to depart for our first real stop of the week – the Rose Bowl Stadium. We were greeted at the front gates of the stadium by our tour guide, Perry McCoy. We watched an informative video about the history of the Rose Bowl Stadium: who designed the stadium, how it was constructed, when different renovations were undertaken to improve the stability and increase the number of seats and other interesting details. One particularly exciting and slightly terrifying thing we learned was that the extra rows of seating added to make the top of the stadium level, were not actually attached to the stadium. These rows of seats had their own separate support system and, in the case of an earthquake, would swing away from the stadium and then crash back into the side of it which would destroy a structure designed to separate the addition from the original stadium, but in doing so, would safely dissipate the energy from the earthquake. We were also allowed to see some parts of the stadium that are not open to the general public such as the press boxes and the locker rooms.
Once we finished up our tour of the Rose Bowl Stadium we were off to the hotel to check and have some rest and relaxation time before meeting up again for dinner. We went to Slater’s 50/50 for dinner and enjoyed some amazing burgers and beer while we discussed the schedule for the week.
After dinner we all headed back to the hotel to prepare for our tour of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory the next day.