Finally the Rose Parade. Let me tell you, it seemed like the entire world showed up in Pasadena for this parade. Just getting to the parking area was an effort, but we can't complain too much because we had a parking pass for a garage right by the route. Our seats were right along the curb of the parade start and we could reach out and touch the floats and bands and animals. We could stand out in the street and take pictures and talk to the participants. It was other worldly.
Look at all the people just walking in!
Honestly we couldn't believe where we were sitting.
The Marine Corps band led off the parade and they lined up right in front of us. Nick was thrilled by all this and notice how sweet the marines were to him.
The Stealth Bomber came ahead of the parade step off and was a thrill as always.
This Singapore float was first and it was a chilly, gray day but these guys were really really not dressed for it but happy just the same.
The HGTV crew was around all the time as they did interviews for the telecast.
See the woman in red in the picture above? She was the producer and she was definitely a take charge person keeping all the men in her crew in line. She barked out orders and basically kept them doing on the straight and narrow.
I think this float promoting reading with a giraffe was a favorite of our kids.
Well, the surf board riding dogs were probably a close second.
But of course the reason we were there, the Lutheran Hour float with Dale riding. It meant the world to us that we were able to be right on the street when this float came along.
Most of us in the family ended up with pictures of Dale with his phone in front of his face as he took pictures of us.
Here's what he shot while we were shooting him.
And as often happens these days at any major national event, there was a protest group following while yelling and pounding on drums and carrying signs no one understands.
Since we were at the beginning of the parade we were able to get back to our car before most of the crowd was just beginning to see the action. However, there were still tons of people in our position and in the end it took us almost an hour to get out of Pasadena. Streets were blocked, traffic was stopped on each block and it took some stamina to keep trying one way or another. But we rewarded ourselves with lunch at an In and Out burger in a town not far from our hotel. Never having been to one of these but all of us having heard the raves realized quickly how the name came to be. The "in" is the window where food is ordered and the "out" is where you sit to eat. There is no inside seating and there are only 3 food options. Burger, double burger and either of these with cheese. We all agreed as we mostly stood outside to eat because it was almost too cold to sit, the burgers were delicious. The best part about them was the slight crunch of the outer edges of the buns.
What a morning this was.