Happy New Year a day late! Gordon and I got up at 5:30 this morning to catch a train to Pasadena for the Rose Parade. The train was packed with parade goers but I managed to get a seat while Gordon stood. All those years of riding BART in San Francisco stood him in good stead. We got off at the DelMar station and walked about a mile to our seats. As we threaded our way through the crowd I heard a man say, “I’m not from California, I’m from Oakland.” Okay. Another success for the CA public school system. We got to the same seats we had last year and settled in with coffee and a paper. I had my usual rant before the parade started. I almost missed the stealth bomber until people started pointing. It’s so quiet I hadn’t heard a thing. Stealth indeed. The rest of the parade followed. It never gets old. I’m always amazed at how beautiful and intricate these floats are. And the bands were great. Those high school kids really work hard and it shows. One thing I’d never noticed before: when the Marine and Air Force bands passed the entire audience stood up in respect. It was moving and the military members seemed to appreciate it. We were a long way from Hollywood–maybe not in distance but in every other way. But the people who got the most applause were the pooper-scooper crews. They follow the horses and clean up so the band kids don’t have to march in poop. One group put on a little show. The one with the shovel danced over to some poop, another dramatically swept it in, and the shoveler flung it into the garbage can. Then they clicked broom and shovel together over their heads and took a bow. The crowd went nuts. Oh, and we were close to a speed bump; when one of the floats went over some flowers would fall out. The kids (young and old) in the stands would run out and scoop them up. I think roses were probably better for their teeth than candy and they seemed delighted.
I was chilled through by the time the parade ended at 10 . The sky stayed overcast and the temperature never exceeded about 50 degrees. I’d prepared by wearing pantyhose under my jeans with thick socks, a sweater, scarf, parka, hat, and gloves but I was still cold. The PA people thought the weather was balmy but I’ve been in SoCal too long. I loved the parade but was ready to go home. I also had to pee and the lines to the porta-potty were too long. We walked back to the train station and only had to wait five minutes before the train came. We were home in twenty minutes. Gordon asked me if I wanted to do it again next year and I said, “Sure!” Maybe the sun will come out.