December 23, 2008 by Jamie
Five years ago Bryan and I went to see the Christmas lights at Hastings Ranch. I remember vaguely driving around this suburban neighborhood. What I do remember was Bryan telling me that we were close to the Arcadia Arboretum and that was where he wanted to propose to me. He didn’t, but I guess he couldn’t after telling me his plans, but more important to me was that he told me on that night that he wanted to marry me. At that point we had probably on
ly been together for a couple of weeks. Later on that night we went to a small coffee shop called Bean Town
and ordered white hot chocolates. It’s funny how the mind remembers those little details but that was a night I will never forget. Although I don’t remember the beauty of the Christmas lights, I do remember driving in the car with Bryan, listening to Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas album. Now every time I see a Charlie Brown Christmas I remember that night when my future husband told me we would be together forever. Oh what a night…okay I’m done reminiscing now.
Claudia & Jimmy
I wanted to go back to that place again, partly because I didn’t remember the lights and partly because it had a special place in my heart. Hastings Ranch is a neighborhood in Sierra Madre, a city just next door to Pasadena. This time around I invited our friends Claudia and Jimmy. They were a little confused about why I wanted to drive so far to see Christmas lights, I knew they would never really understand. The community of Hastings Ranch gets together every year and decorates each street based on themes. There are many different themes, from snowmen to Santa, stars to snowflakes. While there are many houses that decorate elaborately, the majority have very few decorations and some none at all. This is probably why I didn’t remember the lights. Also unlike other “Christmas light” neighborhoods I’ve been to, Hastings Ranch is meant to be driven. The other places we’ve been to are areas that you walk around, but this time we got to enjoy the Christmas lights by car. It was much warmer that way.
After we got our fill of lights we headed over to Bean Town
. Bean Town is a cute little coffee shop that also makes their own pastries. Bryan and I once again ordered their delicious white hot chocolates and got some gingerbread men. We all sat around and talked about how ridiculous I was for wanting to drive out so far to see mediocre Christmas lights. Maybe I am a little ridiculous but it was still a special time for me.