5:30am and the alarm was going off… The parade started at 8:00am and we needed to be in Pasadena, California which is 22 miles from where we live by 7:30am. Up early morning before the sun rose we prepared for our day and soon were on the freeway, eating breakfast in the car and on our way. I stared at the car’s temperature gauge that went down to 41° wondering if we could brave the cold.
I have a friend who lives in Pasadena who was going to take us to the parade the “local’s way”, missing traffic and for free! She told us an alternate way of how to arrive to her place and where to park. It was a fun trip taking the back roads from the freeway. We arrived to her place by 7:10am. Awesome!! Bathroom break, gift exchange, and off we walked to the parade route.
It was exciting to see everyone walking to the route as we made our way. You really could feel the excitement in the air. I had bought camping chairs earlier in the week and they came to good use. Wrapped up in 3 layers and large blankets we settled onto the closed street and awaited the parades start. At that point Matteo realized where we were, as I hadn’t told the kids yet. “Are we at a parade? A 4th of July Parade?” A family sitting nearby gave the kids beads, English style cracker fireworks and little blow horns. My girlfriend made the best remark of the morning then, “The first day of the New Year everyone is nice. It’s the days following that people become real.”
Of note the Cars Land float from Disneyland’s California Adventure was a personal favorite for Matteo (see photo above). We spoke to the people on our other side throughout the parade. The lady was a cheerleader of sorts, every time a band would go by she’d say the band manager’s name and Happy New Year. The kids and a few other joined in as well. This information was in the program we had. One guy from a band in Indianapolis was so shocked that he stopped and said “hi” wondering how we knew his name. It was great fun talking to the people on the floats as well.
We left the parade a few floats early to try to beat the crowd. My toes were freezing, but other than that we really were bundled up well with scarfs, gloves, winter coats, and the kids in winter hats. I’ve been living in Southern California a little more than 20 years now and finally made it to the Rose Parade, and with my kids at that! It was a great to start the New Year with my kids and a friend at the Rose Parade in Pasadena. As we left the parade our neighbor said see you next year, and maybe we will be back!
Topic tomorrow: PARIS