Parade Day!


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January 1st 2015
Published: June 20th 2017
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Rose Parade Souvenir ProgramRose Parade Souvenir ProgramRose Parade Souvenir Program

Rose Parade Souvenir Program
Geo: 34.1472, -118.144

Rose Parade day!

As expected our alarm went off at 5am, and as expected we hit the snooze button twice before finally muddling ourselves out of bed and into clothes. Lots of clothes. Layers of clothes. The low 30s isn't that cold, especially if you're moving, but we are going to be sitting for hours.
Dressed in my outdoor jacket over a fleece jacket over a long-sleeved t-shirt over a turtleneck my upper body was thoroughly encased and almost immobilized. Jeans and wool socks completed my ensemble. Glasses, sunglasses, hats, scarves, gloves? Ready to go!
The hotel, which offers a free breakfast beginning at 6:30am also has free coffee 24 hours a day, so we headed down to the lobby to fill up our thermal coffee cups. Whoa! Look at all the people!! Looks like the hotel started their breakfast service VERY early. If only we had known, we might have gotten out of bed sooner. No worries, we have breakfast plans.

Into the car, we head to our specially reserved parking spot close to our reserved seats. There is no traffic! This is great! We get to the parking garage, and walk back the way we came 3/4 of a mile to
Pokey and Gumby enjoying breakfastPokey and Gumby enjoying breakfastPokey and Gumby enjoying breakfast

Pokey and Gumby enjoyed the pancake breakfast
a local Methodist church for a pancake breakfast. Apparently this is THE big fundraiser for this church and it is obvious that they've done it before. It is super organized and the lines move very quickly. Pancakes, sausage, coffee and juice - not exactly vegan fare, but I skip the meat and go the vegetarian route. We shared a table with a group of eight folks who have driven to Pasadena from Anderson, SC. My mother lives about 30 minutes from Anderson - how weird!

After breakfast we have a mile to walk back to our seats, but first a pit stop. The porta potties we stop at are locked. You need to show your seating ticket to the attendant to use one. (Public porta potties were about 1/2 block away). These organizers really have their act together.

As we walk to our grandstand seats, we see people starting to stir in their sleeping bags, families huddled around their fires as mom or dad cook over the camp stove. It is an amazing scene.

Our seats are 3 rows down from the top of the bleachers, seats 1 & 2. We were happy to have aisle seats, but noooo...seats 1& 2 are on
The first float - this year's themeThe first float - this year's themeThe first float - this year's theme

The first float - this year's theme
the other side of the row - and it looks like everyone is already seated so we climb over the whole row, "sorry, sorry..." Here we are! If we needed to get out we're going to have to rappel down. Happy we already visited the potty and I vow not to drink any more liquid. The seats worked out well. Jeff was on the very end so he could stand up sideways to take photos and not be in anyone's way. The crowded bleachers are actually cosy and everyone is happy.

Then KA-BOOM!!

In front of the bleachers beside us there has been an explosion! There are police and swat team personnel there in a split second and they form a circle around a smoking mass. Zoom lenses on cameras are great! It looks like someone's little propane stove has exploded. Fortunately (unbelievably) no one was hurt. The stove was on the street side not in the "blue" zone where people had been camping. It was reassuring to see the fast response from security and all the bleachers clapped and cheered them.

Then, ZOOM!!

We knew there was going to be a flyover but we didn't know it was going to be a Stealth!
The Goodyear blimp - a high flying floatThe Goodyear blimp - a high flying floatThe Goodyear blimp - a high flying float

Goodyear blimp - a high flying float
Wow, first of all it was really low; second, it was like a giant shadow passing over and third, it was so quiet we didn't hear it coming and by the time we realized what was happening it was too late to get a photo.

It would be a serious understatement to say that watching the parade was fun - it was REALLY fun! We got a kick out of seeing the floats we had seen being decorated. They looked so different rolling down the street, much bigger and brighter than in the cavernous warehouses. There are photos of some of our favorites below.

The bands were good, the horses and old cars fun to see and too soon (well, not too soon for our knees - those bleachers are a tight fit) the Rose Parade was over. After the end of the parade there were a dozen or more large tow trucks rolling out. Apparently they were standing by "just in case."

It took quite a while to work our way down and out of our seats. The gigantic mob of people moving down Colorado Blvd was impressive, and those campers? Gone! Sleeping bags, couches, mattresses, fire pits, buffet tables, camping
Fun to see this float all finishedFun to see this float all finishedFun to see this float all finished

It was fun to see this float all finished and rolling down the street. The bird's head moved back and worth and it had a 30 foot wingspan
stoves and chairs all gone. Amazing.

We knew traffic, foot traffic and traffic traffic, would be a mess so we decided to walk around Old Pasadena for a bit. Off came the gloves, hats and scarves and into the backpack with our seat cushions and official Rose Parade souvenir programs. If you ever go to the Rose Parade and have bleacher seats make sure to have a seat cushion!

It was fun to walk around in the crowd and suddenly those pancakes seemed a long time ago. We ducked into a local cafe for a bite to eat. I had a vegetarian omelette and Jeff had an egg, bacon, cheese, and avocado breakfast sandwich.

Back to the almost empty parking garage and we were back in our hotel room 20 minutes later.

We finished off our wonderful Rose Parade morning with glasses of champagne and a nap!

That's all for today. Tomorrow we are going to a "post-parade" viewing of the floats. I hope you'll come back for the last blog entry of "Everything's Comin' Up Roses"


Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


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Princess Cruises' 50th anniversary floatPrincess Cruises' 50th anniversary float
Princess Cruises' 50th anniversary float

Princess Cruises' 50th anniversary was celebrated by this float manned by the original cast of "The Love Boat"
My favorite floatMy favorite float
My favorite float

My favorite float!
Great detailGreat detail
Great detail

Great detail
Beautiful fishBeautiful fish
Beautiful fish

Beautiful fish - all organic material
The aftermathThe aftermath
The aftermath

The aftermath
The bands were musical and colorfulThe bands were musical and colorful
The bands were musical and colorful

The bands were musical and colorful
The parade is over...The parade is over...
The parade is over...

The parade is over...
Pokey and Gumby liked the parade!Pokey and Gumby liked the parade!
Pokey and Gumby liked the parade!

Pokey and Gumby liked the parade!
Super cute Shriner bearSuper cute Shriner bear
Super cute Shriner bear

Super cute Shriner bear


2nd January 2015

I love the bird float.

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