We went to the Rose Parade!

IMAG0048_1 (2)After listening to me whine about going to the Rose Parade for the last twenty years Gordon bid on two prime Rose Parade tickets at a charity blind auction. Well, when we got the tickets the company gave us medium priced tickets with crappy parking. Hmmmm. Gordon mentioned to the manager of the organization that the auction benefitted that he didn’t feel he’d gotten what was promised. So she said, “No problem. I’ve had a block of seats for the Rose Parade for years.” And she offered us two seats. Of course, Gordon accepted. So Jan 1st we got up at 5:30 and left the house at 6. It was about 45 degrees outside which is cold for SoCal. Gordon and I were dressed in parkas and had hats, scarves, and gloves–I even wore two pairs of socks. We parked at Union Station downtown and took the Gold Line to the DelMar station in Pasadena. We walked about 3/4 of a mile and found our seats. They were in Row A, about three blocks from the start of the parade. They were even on the shady side so the sun wouldn’t shine in our eyes–which was good because Gordon had forgotten his sunglasses. We couldn’t have asked for better seats and I got settled in with our cushions and blanket while Gordon left to find a coffee shop (we couldn’t drink much because the lines around the port-a-sans were a block long). I got a kick out of the Iowa Hawkeye fans. They acted like it was warm outside. One couple was wearing bermuda shorts and sandals. I guess they were just happy there wasn’t a foot of snow on the ground. They looked at me and my arctic outfit like I was a wuss and I thought they were nuts. I think we were both right. Other Hawkeyes were wearing black & gold striped bib overalls. They flaunted their ag backgrounds and we all cheered them on. Stanford fans just wore red sweatshirts. Gordon got back with our coffee in time to watch the stealth bomber fly overhead. Then we had time to drink our coffee for 15 minutes. There was a show just for the TV audience that we couldn’t see then the bands and floats started. The parade was amazing. I’d seen the floats on display after the parade but it was something else entirely watching them in motion. “Wow” doesn’t begin to cover it. Elizabeth McGovern was on the Downtown Abbey float, Kareem was on the Laker float, and one of the Star Trooper bad guys on the Disney Star Wars float made the “I’ve got eyes on you” motion at me. I was thrilled. The bands were great, particularly the one from Japan. We were so close we had to duck the twirling flags; we got whipped in the face anyway. The parade took about 2 1/2 hours from where we were and I was starting to develop sensory overload. It’s a lot to take in. The ride home was uneventful (after seeing the traffic in the local garages I was glad we’d taken the Metro) so all in all it was a terrific experience. The organization head just offered Gordon the tickets for next year and I think we’ll be there with bells–and our parkas–on. It was just a wonderful experience. Recommend it highly. Oh, and we watched the parade on TV when we got home to get the commentary. We got the best of both worlds.


About Barbara Schnell

I've dedicated my life to full-time employment avoidance. I've been an actress, renovated a 1921 California Bungalow, set a cash-winning record on $25,000 Pyramid, and came in last on Jeopardy. I live in Los Angeles with my patient husband and two cats.
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