|3:30 was our wakey-wakey time on New Year’s Day and based on the attitude of the rest of the crowd, it was universally unpopular. But, in the interest of getting the bus parked close to our bleacher seats along Colorado Boulevard we mustered all the energy and tepid enthusiasm we could to make it happen.
After about a 90 minute bus ride, made longer by the roundabout way our driver had to go to get into the lot with all the closed and one-way streets to “improve” the traffic flow, we were the first bus into the lot about a 100 yard walk to our seats.
Since we pulled into the lot so early we had quite a while to sit in the bus and watch the pre-parade activities as the sun slowly rose over the parking lot of the Ralph’s grocery store at the corner of Terrace Drive and Colorado Boulevard that eventually was taken over by at least 20 huge buses. Some of us wandered around, some hung out near the bus gabbing and snacking on danish and cookies and some tried unsuccessfully to catch on their missing sleep...me, I wandered and had a meat danish...also known as a hot dog, some tater chips and a Coke.
Just before 8:00 we all headed to our seats in preparation for the start of the events which kicked off with the pretty awesome flyover by a B-2 bomber followed shortly afterward by some police motorcycles then the first of the floats, marching bands and mounted riders. Our float, as predicted, was the second one and it was resplendent in the cool but sunny skies with it’s awesome fake kelp and colorful flowers. I’m sure that those of you that watched at home would agree that it was awesome.
I would have to guess that watching it on TV gives you more info and detail about each participating float and band, but most of them as they passed by us were a bit of a mystery. But as you can imagine it is quite the spectacle; it’s very interesting and very colorful and it was a unique opportunity for us to see it in person along with about 750,000 new friends.
The last of the parade passed by our seats a little after 10:00 and thanks to the crush of 750,000 of us leaving at the same time and the myriad of closed and one-way streets, it took us a bit over 3 hours to get home. Since everyone was sleep-deprived and hungry, it seemed to take even longer than the 3 hours that my watch showed.
We hung out at the house for a while till shortly after 3:00 when they brought out pizza, wings, garlic rolls, snacks and drinks for those that wanted to eat and watch the Rose Bowl game under the tent. We didn’t care much about the game so we gabbed with some folks and then had a short meeting with the staff to discuss our future Alaska plans then, as the daylight – and us – both started to fade, we headed home.