Rose Parade, January 2, 2012.

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Jan 4th, 2012, 09:22 AM
  #1
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Rose Parade, January 2, 2012.

I flew Southwest on Sunday, coming back Monday – couldn’t take additional time off work, so it was just a short trip for the Rose Parade. Southwest gave us peanuts, pretzels and drinks – all in one hour flight! I don’t look trustworthy, was taken aside for a manual pat down as usual.

Paula picked me up at the Ontario airport. What I’ve noticed right away, walking from the plane to luggage area, how few and far away the restrooms are. This is the first thing the passengers are looking for, and in SFO/OAK I don’t think we have this issue.

We drove along Colorado Blvd in Pasadena – Paula is an excellent host, she was showing me around, the city was getting ready for the Rose parade and game by boarding up the stores’ windows with plywood. This looked familiar from all the protests here.

Young and not so young people were already lined up on the sidewalks, sitting in chairs, on blankets, or even on mattresses! Some of them still slept there when we walked to the bleachers at 7 am. The side streets parking spaces were all taken by parked campers.

Had a great get-together with posters on Fodor’s website. “MaiTaiTom” and Tracy were our generous hosts in their home, Paula and Iregeo I knew from before, others met for the first time, and the evening went by fast.

Paula and I stayed in Doubletree in Monrovia. We had a room with 2 beds, 5 pillows on each bed! The beds were low, need an arms’ push to get up. Fridge and coffeemaker in the room. In the morning, when everybody was in a hurry to leave for the Rose parade, one elevator was out of order! A nightmare before dawn. The breakfast is not included, but the line for coffee was short, unlike in the parade area where any opened place had a line out of the door and around the corner.

We were told in the paperwork accompanied the tickets that we must park the car before 7 am as the parking lot will be closed. This is not true, I could see from my seat the opened gate, and the cars moving in much later. Wish we knew! Our assigned parking lot was across from the seating area.

The bleacher seating was tight, to say the least. Imagine the seats tighter than airline coach. I was lucky, somebody in front of me didn’t come, so the family put a cooler on the bench. This allowed me to take photos – I hope I can post them. Any time I prepared to take a photo, somebody’s hand or head would suddenly move into the shot.

We sat so close to each other that I felt the knees of the man behind me bumping into my bottom, and my knees were in the cooler. “Imagine that” – now I know why it was the theme of the parade! And when somebody had to go to the port-o-potty below the bleachers, it was a mini-disaster to get out of the packed row. It seemed, all seats were sold out, imagine that!

The parade was interesting, a float and a marching band, a float and a marching band… 2 of them broke and were towed along the parade route. Horse riders were followed by 3-people teams of “pooper scoopers” – they got loud applause. The Marines’ marching band got everybody on their feet. The unused tow trucks were parading behind the floats, and everybody thought it’s the end, and started leaving. It was impossible to stay and wait with so many people all moving out, so we left too – and missed the occupiers who marched at the very end of the parade.

Got home in the evening, and now it’s time to get ready for the next trip – Costa Rica.
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Jan 4th, 2012, 10:43 AM
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I love the Rose Parade - glad you had a nice time.
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Jan 4th, 2012, 11:25 AM
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Sounds like a fun two days, Dayenu, and of course being with dear Paula is always a fun time. And I can only imagine how enjoyable MaiTaiTom's and wife's GTG was on Sunday evening. Good times!
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Jan 4th, 2012, 11:41 AM
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I spent the night on the bleachers once when I was in college; we moved to the curb for the parade. Glad you all had a good time, Dayenu!

Lee Ann
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Jan 4th, 2012, 12:57 PM
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I always love reading your reports and will be awaiting the one for Costa Rica.

Have a great trip!
Sandy (in Denton)
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Jan 4th, 2012, 12:58 PM
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Did you get to see Bucky Badger? The UW band was of course the highlight for me (as seen on TV), being a life-long Badger myself. The band director has been at it for 30? years - more/less. His daughter was my sister's BFF growing up, and he's something of a legend in Cheeseland.
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Jan 4th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Thank you, all!

Susan, I don't know who Bucky is. There were people cheering for some individuals, and I think one of them was Jerry Rice - not sure why I remember this name.
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Jan 4th, 2012, 01:59 PM
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Jerry Rice was wide receiver for the 49r's in their "hay days", one of the best. You don't have to be a football fan in SF to be familiar with his name.

Sounds like a fun trip, especially the GTG.
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Jan 4th, 2012, 06:13 PM
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I think that everyone who is able to make the trip should see the parade....once. As we sat in our recliners flipping between two channels to avoid commercials and getting close-ups and replays, we recalled how crowded the bleachers were and how doggone cold it was that morning. As the television zeroed in on specific areas of the floats and explained the materials used, we recalled standing in line for two hours to get into one of the barns where the floats are prepared...you get shuffled along an overhead walkway, never closer than 30 feet or so to the floats themselves (but if you just stand in the street where the floats exit the barns you get an arms-length view. As I said, once is wonderful, and once is enough...for us, anyway.
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Jan 4th, 2012, 08:40 PM
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Bobmrg, I agree, once is enough, but you should experience this once
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Jan 4th, 2012, 08:59 PM
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So wish I had been part of the GTG, but we were watching the festivities in Mexico City.

I agree that seeing the Rose Parade once in person surpasses seeing it 15 times over and over in one morning on t.v. by miles.

I have fond memories of seeing it up close and personal in the halcyon days when my two buddies were living in Pasadena with their two kids and we crashed on their floor the night before to get up early and in the front row at the end of the parade. Back in the days before they decided to remodel their wonderful home. Right before she ran off immediately following the remodel with the architect. Well, it was a stunning job, I'll give him that.
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Jan 5th, 2012, 08:38 AM
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Well it looks far more comfortable and a lot warmer than a parade in Chicago, LOL! Any season's parade at that.

But just about as crowded.

Those low beds, Dayenu, are becoming "in"- it seems.

My girlfriend stayed for a wedding last week at the old Ambassador East in Chicago- now called THE Public Chicago or THE Chicago Public. I've seen it in print both ways.

Well, it holds the Pump Room, which after a name changing contest is now going to be called da-da- THE PUMP ROOM. (There was a large yell out to try to keep some history for God's sake.)

Well, she says the decore is minimalist and taupe/grey completely and the beds are ON THE FLOOR. Almost Japanese.

She and her husband are 4 foot 10 and 5 foot 2- the little people of our crowd. And she said (she is also the fashionista plus amongst us)that even they were "floored" by the levels of this style. And that she could not imagine how the maids and room service people deal with the cleaning and bending.

So when you mention the lowness aspect- I just thought I'd let you know that it could have been worse.
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Jan 5th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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glad you had a good time Dayenu. The GTG sounds wonderful. Wish we could have been there. Doubt we'll ever make it to a parade, but I certainly understand the feeling that everyone should see it in person.
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Jan 5th, 2012, 02:31 PM
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The photos:

http://www.worldisround.com/articles/369514/index.html
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Dec 29th, 2012, 09:07 AM
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Sorry the photo link doesn't work any more: the space is limited, had to delete to make room for next photos.

Paula, what a great memory of that trip! I will be watching the parade on TV this year.
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