Upon deciding that since this is our last year hear in So Cal, what better way to bring in a new year than to head to Pasadena, CA for the 120th Rose Parade? (Thanks Grandpa and Grandma for taking us!!) We started planning early…like last January. The day the box office opened to sell the Grandstand seating tickets, which was Feb 15, we were on the phone making reservations. Results- reserved parking and seating to the most beautiful parade in the world!!
We started our day out early, 4:30 to be exact. Waking up 6 sleeping little children and reminding them that we were on our way to “The most beautiful and amazing parade ever” was a little of a challenge. Since we have never even watched this parade on TV before and the only exposure to a parade they have ever had was our little 20,000 population city’s annual parade, they were not really sure what to expect. They had figured out though, that as they announced to people that they would be going to be right there in the Grandstands, there was quite a lot of exictement from the one whom they were talking to.
Traffic was our biggest concern. It was estimated that there would be well over 1,000,000 people there and that can cause alot of traffic problems. And after living here for 3 years, we have learned to adjust our whole lives somedays around traffic. But much to our surprise we never even slowed down until….. we turned on to Colorado Blvd. And there was about 1,000,000 people camped out along the sides of the road. It looked as if there had been some disaster and the Red Cross should be around somewhere handing out food and blankets. People had been camping there for days!! There were tents and sleeping bags and fire pits and cookstoves. The list went on and on. The streets were covered with trash. And the Mexico flag was flying everywhere I seemed to look.
We found our parking lot, beautifully positioned about 100 feet from the bleachers we sat in. It was block parking, so you were “blocked” in once you parked by the car that followed you in. We were about an hour early and then we had another 30 minutes from the time the parade started until it reached us. We roamed the streets taking in all the sights and sounds for awhile and then settled in to see the parade.
Grandma Beth and the children behind the Grandstand.
Buying Hot Cider from a shopping cart vendor.
Keeping warm by the firepit.
I hope that when I am this old, my great-grand sons will take me for a ride like this!! Right down Colorado Blvd!
The biggest sleepover I have ever seen.
This Bell Tower stood tall over us all. Eric and Maryann
Selling Mexican flags. Sadly, there was not an American flag to be seen waving.
Grandpa Luke and the boys trying out their new horns!
The Tow Trucks just waiting for you to park somewhere you should not.
These bleachers held some 20,000 people
And since Xanga is doing Maintaince on their system, the rest of this story will come another day!!