Here are some travel tips for Stanford fans heading to the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade in Pasadena:
1. Do a dry run. Drive the route to your Rose Parade seats and/or the Rose Bowl stadium on Dec. 31. Identify the best route from your hotel -- as well as an alternative route. Your best bet may be to overshoot your destination to avoid gridlock, then back-track. If you're going to the parade, it will help you to figure out on which side of Colorado Boulevard your assigned parking space is situated.
2. Plan for comfort. Trust me on this: Every sporting goods store within 10 miles of Pasadena will be sold out of seat cushions and snap-on stadium seats, as will every souvenir stand you pass. So bring yours from home or buy one the first opportunity you get. Also, don't forget to dress in layers and to bring sunscreen.
3. Plot your celebration. If you want to ring in the new year in festive Old Town Pasadena -- which will be slammed with Stanford and Wisconsin fans -- make dinner reservations now. (If you get shut out of Old Town, head for nearby Glendale's Brand Boulevard.) Find restaurants at www.oldpasadena.org; New Year's Eve events at http://events.pasadenastarnews.com; tourism advice at www.pasadenacal.com; and parade/game info at www.tournamentofroses.com.