Saturday, January 1, 2011

Rose Parade 2011

For years my good friend Dyana has been inviting me to join her and her family at the Rose Parade. A family tradition, she had been going since she was a little girl, and for the last 10+ years she and Jim have been camping out, saving a sizable spot for all of her extended family. There is a science to camping out for the parade. It is very involved and requires much more sacrifice than any novice could imagine. The process begins two days pre-parade. Yes, TWO days. This is how it went down this year:

Thursday morning (early): Dyana’s sister arrives at the designated spot and chalks off the desired area.

Thursday mid-day: Dyana and Chanin arrive at the designated spot. Usually Dyana does this solo. This year Chanin succumbed. This would have been me as well, but I had my niece Tory staying at my house… it didn’t want to abandon her for two nights.

The pacing begins. The city doesn’t allow anyone to officially stake their claim (i.e. set-up their stuff) until noon on New Year’s Eve Day. They don’t even let you park your carcass in a chair to wait it out. Thus, you pace. All. Night. Long.

Thursday night: After hours of pacing, plus 1.5 run-ins with the local authorities (ask them how they hit the ground when the cop came around the second time), Dyana and Chanin were relieved for a brief period of time by Dyana’s sister and nephew.

Friday morning (early): I arrive with sausage egg McMuffins and a warm car. This is the scene:

Rose Parade 2011

Chanin and I leave for a quick trip to Starbucks (for the GOOD hot chocolate) and the Coffee Bean (for Dyana's gross hot chocolate).

Friday mid-morning: Jim and Skyler arrive. Jim has this system down pat.

Rose Parade 2011

Friday – noon: The set-up begins.

Rose Parade 2011

Once the set-up is done, we are good to go. Rose Parade etiquette dictates that people don’t encroach upon other people’s set-up spaces. While Jim holds down the fort, we run over to Dyana’s sister’s nearby abode so the girls could freshen up a bit, then over to Chipotle for a bite to eat, and back to the spot. While we were gone Chanin’s family arrives.

Friday night: We watch people, eat lots of crap, enjoy each other’s company, ring in the new year with horns and poppers, then get a few hours of sleep (some of us getting more hours than others, Jim getting minutes vs. hours). Dyana even manages to fall asleep while upright.

Rose Parade 2011

Saturday morning: The parade-goers converge on Pasadena early, some even wedging their buckets (upon which they sat) in the inches between people’s spots. We crawl out of our warm sleeping bags, organize our spot to accommodate the 30+ people who would be joining us that morning, and settle in to watch the parade. My adorable seatmate, Sophia:

Rose Parade 2011

Let me admit that I love a good parade. And this is a good parade. We see….

… fantastic floats,

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(this one being, in my opinion, the best one… due to the bulldog, of course)

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Rose Parade 2011

… HGTV celebrities,

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… a dude that looked like Jesus,

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… the back of Chuck Henry,

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…. fantastic bands,

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… male flag-twirlers,

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… a dude riding what appears to be a giant, angry bull,

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… and a fantastic pooper-scooper.

Rose Parade 2011

Thanks to Dyana and Jim for a great time!

3 comments:

  1. You are making me laugh! You have better described the comings and goings of the Rose Parade better than I could ever! No wonder no one ever wanted to come..I'm sure after this post people will be lining up. Maybe we'll start having to sell "public" ground/spaces.
    Thank you for making it so much fun!!! And yes, I can sleep upright when the occasion calls for it!!

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  2. Believe it or not...we actually had about 53 people maybe a couple more I'm forgetting!!

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  3. Hi Theresa! Dyanas sister here, great post! thx for the shout out. I had to share that I get starstruck every time I see chuck henry at church (in another ward, but same stake) and I often get made fun of for it, glad to see some chuck love on your blog. See you next year!

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