2013 Travels travel blog

The first float of the parade

USMC Honor Guard

Dole's float featured a "flaming volcano"

Closeup of "lava" on Dole's "volcano"

Hawai`i Pa`u Riders

La Canada & Flintridge Float

Shriner's Childrens Hospital
The bear's heads bobbed back and forth

Wells Fargo

Kaiser Permanente

The Rose Parade Queen and her court

Closeup of Queen's float roses

Downey Float Association

Canada Cowgirls Precision Drill Team

Every horse unit was followed by a cleanup crew

China Airlines float
This is the float we helped decorate

China Airlines float
Closeup of "our" pistachio nuts on a palm tree

China Air float roses

City of LA float featured LAX

The double float Disney entry
We saw this float being decorated

Lions International float

HGTV float had loads of penguins

Closeup of HGTV float penguins

Indonesia float

Indonesia entry

DoD float honoring Korea War Vets

Air Force B2 flyover

Closeup of DoD float

City of Hope float

City of Hope float microscope

Hermanos Bañuelos Charro Team

Cal Poly float

Cal Poly's float also featured penguins

Cal Poly float "penguplane"

Cal Poly float penguins

RFD-TV classic tractor

RFD-TV float

City of Sierra Madre float

Rose Bowl Legacy float is last one
We also saw this being decorated

Closeup of float flag

Closeup of float books

Tue, 01 Jan: Happy New Year 2013

Today was an exhausing, yet exhilarating day. We set our alarm for 0430 and at 0600 the bus departed for Pasadena and the Rose Parade. We arrived at the bus parking area at Pasadena City College a few minutes before seven. We walked about ½ mile to our bleachers at 1650 E. Colorado Blvd. The throngs of people was far larger than is our liking but we finally arrived at our seats shortly before eight.

The scene was part New Years in Times Square, part Mardi Gras, and part sheer bedlam. Folks were walking the parade route with signs urging us to "Repent" and other advising us that "Christ is NOT the answer". We're confused. It was, however, very Southern California as the parade of gays was preceded by a megaphone-bearing fellow informing us that homosexuality was an abomination.

The parade started at 0800 but the first unit didn't pass us until 0900 sharp. In a nutshell, the parade was awesome. Seeing it on TV, even in HD, doesn't do it justice. The floats were magnificent and the bands inspiring. The parade took exactly two hours to pass our grandstands, at which point all of the tow trucks followed honking their horns. Then more repenting and non-repenting...

It took us about ½ hour to return to the bus, and another ½ hour for the bus to leave the parking lot. We drove to Altadena where the floats were parked for viewing. We had tickets to view the static floats, but before we entered the viewing area we visited with long time friends Lorraine and Chuck who live a few blocks from the park. It was wonderful to visit and catch up. Bob worked with Lorraine in the mid '70s at General Dynamics and we've kept in touch ever since.

We rested for an hour and then walked back to the static float display area and spent another hour viewing the floats up close. The details were amazing and the aroma heady. We got close up pix of the floats.

We rendezvoused at the bus at 1600 and were back at our RV park a few minutes after 1700. Dinner was at 1800 so we had a very quick "happy hour" and then off to our final group meeting. Dinner was good but we were so exhausted we left right after the final door prize drawings.

Back at the coach we turned on channel 5 which was replaying their Rose Parade coverage. We watched until the president preempted the show. By then we had showered and were watching in the bedroom. It was lights off at 0830...

Wed, 02 Jan: Today was a really neat day. We had received an e-mail from Carlton & Julie, old friends from St. Paul, MN, that they were in Culver City and would like to visit with us. Would we ever!

They drove up to Castaic shortly after noon and visited Carpe. We had a late lunch at a mom-&-pop Mexican place in Castaic (Lupita's) and talked, talked, and talked until they had to leave. As with many in our age group they'd prefer not to drive after dark and they had a long way to go. It was great visiting with them. Thanks guys.

Thu, 03 Jan: We were scheduled to leave today but the Santana winds are blowing and they predict gusts up to 60mph in the canyons. Our route is through "the canyons", so we elected to stay another day. Sure enough, as this is written it is sunny, cool, and very windy. We're glad not to be on the road. And, the best part about retirement is that we don't have to!!!

Between the two of us we took in excess of 680 pix of the Rose Parade. It took us most of the morning to pare them down to a "mere" forty, which are posted here and on our web page (swansongrp.com). Later today we'll do laundry and start getting Carpe ready for the road.

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