Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Best 123rd Annual Tournament of Roses

The keynote activity of our family Christmas-time trip to California was to go to the Rose Parade.  It was the first time in ages and ages we had been to it together.  Mom grew up just down the road from the parade route, it’s like a tradition and a way of life for Pasadenaers/San Marinoans/Others.

The early morning walk to Colorado Blvd.

This is Penny, from Grandma’s church, she’s the brains behind a major space-securing operation that got us our chair spaces.  She is not yelling here, she is directing and making it happen.

Our chair neighborhood's pre-parade scene.

Colorado Boulevard.  The Pink Line is the Rose Parade route, it's there year round.  Float drivers can see it through the floor of their hidden driving compartments.

With Colorado closed off to traffic and everyone around in high spirits, there's plenty going on along the boulevard before the parade begins.

Plenty of contingencies of old timey bicycles.

Our neighborhood from the middle of the street.

Never too early for the Taco Truck.  I took this picture to remember forever that they had a torta called the Ilegal.

Just making new friends as we push our carts through people's chairs at the side of the road.

That guy yelled "Hey, Picture Man" at me and so I took his picture.

Boy Scouts selling parade programs, like they always do.

Who's laughing at your Taco Bell job now?

Plenty of joggers enjoying the five mile route.

An early Rose Parade memory of mine is receiving a quarter from a balloon salesman for returning to him a balloon that had sort of come loose from its cluster.

I don't know where all the temple workers got those nice red ties from.

There was a gentleman distributing suspicious looking hundred dollar bills.  (I am not the gentleman in question.  I am a recipient of one such bill).

It is very hard to convince a kid to try to buy something with the giant bill.  Impossible, actually.

Don't worry, Pasadena Snookie got her tacos.

This is the sheriff that kept us under control.  Stern yet fair, this officer of the law.

Roller Blading through to save our souls.

Do you see that dark, airborne thing in the distance?  Do you?

It's a B2 Stealth Bomber flying in slow, low and silent over the parade route.  When you've seen one of these with your own eyes, you will understand UFO sightings a lot better.

Goodbye, B2 bomber.  I'll never forget you!

I can't remember this lady's name, but I recognize her from my early youth.

She's got her homemade Rose hat and her Shape Ups so she's doing pretty well this morning.

Another face from my early youth years.



Bless Ellie for being the one willing to wear my Ben Franklin hat.

That's what I've been trying to tell you!

Attention hog.

Aaand here it is! The Rose Parade!

And there it goes, the Rose Parade.  Awful short this year.

Just kidding!  It was long.  And I took so many pictures!  Please believe me I edited my collection down as much as I could.  Please also believe me that I took over 4gbs of photos and had to put a new battery during the parade.

Also, would you believe me if I told you Kenny G blew beautiful music into my face from the very first float of the day?  How were the others going to measure up to this?

Trying to catch up with the B2, I suppose.

I don't understand why this guy was tearing down that building.

Li'l Sebastian!  Li'l Sebastian!

Li'l Sebastian's helpers!

No one could figure out who this guy in the NASA jumpsuit was.

Grand Marshall: JR Martinez, a guy from Dancing With the Stars.

This float is a pretty good example of your standard Rose Parade float.

And this Xbox Kinect float is a good example of your standard super-corporate Rose Parade float.

However, this Trader Joe's float bridged the two tastefully and was a fan favorite.

Royal Swedish Marching Band.  They played Dancing Queen as they passed by.  I kid you not and I tell you no lies.

The Rose Queen and her court.

The Quill and Sword Club.

As the Rose Parade is directly associated with the Rose Bowl, Oregon and Wisconsin were both represented in the parade.  Based on their parade presences, I chose Wisconsin as my team for their more tasteful and Apple Pie cheerleader apparel and because their band did not play a Lady Gaga song.

Puerto Rican band.

Calgary Stampede Band.  Red boots on everyone.

Additional corporate presences.

The Power Rangers still exist?!

Humble royalty, but not not majestic.

This is the very popular, extremely long Surfing Dogs float.  It had dogs that surfed on it.

A marching band from Kyoto with absolutely no regard for proper parade decorum.


Always there's Mexican cowboys twirling lassos.

The blimp!  Even in the age of the B2 bomber it's still exciting to see the dear old blimp.

The All-Lubbock High School(s) Marching Band.  Great kick-action there in the front.

Towards the end of the parade, the La Cañada float has an undeniable charm about it.

Elizabeth Taylor float.

The Girl Scout float.  Quite the presence.

Land Before Time reunion.

Roy Rogers 100th Anniversary Float featuring the real dead bodies of Trigger and Bullet, his horse and dog.

"Is that it?" "Yeah, that's it."

After the parade: The parade of broken down floats.

And the walking home parade.

Grandma's Drive Way: We do our part by letting friends and friends of friends park there.

Rocko likes the bear.

Traditional after-parade feast of Chinese Chicken Salad and Chili.

Oh wait, you know what else Rocko likes?  The tables at the Boat.  Which is where we ate that night.  Just before I went to the airport and flew back to New York.

So, if you can believe it, that means this was the last of my Christmas break posts.  It's time to embrace 2012 and get on with our internet lives.


sarah said...

I would like a pair of red boots, like those Canajans.

Ginger said...

I'm always kind of amazed that people have heard of the Calgary stampede. It's a rodeo. Big whoop. But yes, the red boots are pretty cool.