Everything’s coming up Roses [Part 3 of 4]

Parade Day – alarm set for 4:30 am; on the bus at 5:45; bus departed at 6:00; in a traffic jam at 6:30; at our bleacher seats at 7:00; parade started at 8 a.m. Our $95 seats were 1 block down from the tv cameras so you couldn’t see us on tv – but I’m sure you could hear me squeal!

Temps were near freezing, everything frosty and some people looked and walked like the “Michelin Man”. We were encouraged to dress in layers and many were in multiple layers! It was chilly enough for our down coats, scarfs, gloves, seat cushions and a lap blanket.

The 5 1/2 mile parade consisted of 41 floats (including opening and closing shows), 21 marching bands, 18 equestrian groups, 5 decorated vintage cars carrying parade dignitaries and officials and 1 B-2 Spirit fly-over! Chuck had the camera and I had the i-pad so we have hundreds of duplicate photos and videos of all the marching bands! OMG – which photos to share – they are all so spectacular!

The parade ended at 10:00 am and then the spectacle really begins! Protestors, religious fanatics, animal rights groups, political fanatics, anyone with a cause – interspersed with police, SWAT teams and emergency vehicles – all follow the last float down the street carrying their placards and yelling and cheering! You don’t see that on tv!

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Two blocks back to our bus and this was definitely when we were glad that someone else was doing the driving. It was “a sea of humanity” – cars, chartered buses, city buses, free shuttles to the football game, a million people – jockeying to get out and go nowhere fast.

We finally got back to the rally site at 11:30, lunch was ready in the tent and back on the buses at 12:30 to ride to the post parade float viewing of the “Showcase of Floats”. These masterpieces are all parked on the boulevard for close up viewing and photo taking. You really get to check out the unique and creative materials used to decorate these floats.

It was a little anti-climactic and sad to see them just parked there – so still and quiet. The floats are way more magical in the parade with the music, people smiling and waving, mechanical parts moving, special effects and everyone yelling ‘Happy New Year”.

There were a couple of $200 football tickets for sale but we opted to watch the game on the big screen in the rally tent. Chuck was rooting for Florida State – but after having just come from Oregon I was a new “duck” fan!

What a great parade – no other will ever compare!  What a great day!


6 thoughts on “Everything’s coming up Roses [Part 3 of 4]”

  1. We watched it on tv. I texted you but realized it was your canadian number and didn’t go through. I was looking for you and wish I could have heard you squeeling. Im so glad you got to celebrate your new years tradition there in person.
    The floats are amazing. Such an etravaganza for only 2 hours of glory. What happens to the floats when they are finished. Are they kept and reused for the following years just adding how many new flowers to spruce them up? or do they create new ones every year? The colors are fantastic and I would love to see the materials used to create such beauty.

    I miss you both a ton. You are doing everything you want to and spend each day to the fullest. I envy you both for what first must have been a little terrifying to begin with to “everything will be ok” Mom and it is.

    I hope you get your data figured out at a cheaper rate because I just love reading what you have to say.

    Loves you Moms and Pops…

  2. Following the 2 day display the floats are dismantled, the flowers and fruit/vegetables are donated and the chassis are moved back to their float barns to start over for next year. Each year the parade is a different theme so they have to start from scratch. It is amazing for such a short period of display but it is such a long-standing New Year’s Day tradition. This was the 126th rose parade!

  3. Wow, what an awesome experience for you guys to have together! Happy New Year! I have so enjoyed reading about this leg of your trip and the pictures are fabulous!

  4. Gorgeous pictures. When I watched the parade I imagined that I could almost smell the roses. The millions and millions beautiful roses that are used are spectacular. Thanks for including behind the scene photos. I’m so happy that you are both enjoying your adventure. You are both looking rested and happy. Happy motoring.

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