It's the Rose Parade

Talking to my New York friends I'm surprised to find out that they don't know everything about the Rose Parade. Many of them all they know is that there is a Rose Parade, but what it is, or why it is special, they do not know. Fortunately, I know what the Rose Parade is and why it is special. As its route is just a walk away from Grandma's house, Mom grew up going to to and I went to it all while living in California and have caught many since then. 

Traditionally, our family would stake out a spot at Allen and Colorado, but those days have kind of passed. Fortunately we've become associated with associates of Grandma's and the spot they stake out. The way it goes is early in the morning the day before the parade you're allowed to put your chairs out and then someone from the crew keeps an eye on the spots throughout that day. I was happy to protect the chairs from 4:30 to 6:30 that night. There's a whole lot of pre-parade cruising up and down Colorado the night before the parade. It's a regular car show.

A note of family business: Cousin Scotty had a one-night layover on his way to Hawaii. Good to see you, Scotty! Or Scott now, probably.

Ok then on the morning of the parade (which is usually on the 1st unless the 1st is a Sunday, then it's on the 2nd, as was the case this year) you get to your spots nice and early because you don't want to miss all the pre-parade excitement along closed-down Colorado and you especially don't want to miss the B-2 stealth bomber fly over. So spooky and amazing, hard to believe these planes are from the 80's. Or 90's. 

Some of the street sights before the parade...

Uh oh, Parade's about to start!

And here we are. The Parade.

And that was it for the Rose Parade. We went home to Grandma's to party with relatives and eat Chinese chicken salad, for which I had the honor of deep-frying the rice noodles. A real coming of age experience.

Also: Did you know that the floats in the parade are 100% completely covered in flowers or other vegetable matter? That's the rule. It's one of the things that makes this a classier parade than most. Also: No musical performances besides bands. That helps, too.

New Year's Time in California

Having finally made it to Los Angeles, we were soon getting down to activities like piling into cars and visiting Uncle Bob. When we found him someone said "It's good to see you, Uncle Bob" and he responded "Well, I'd rather be seen than viewed."

That night a Kogi Truck was in Alhambra.  So Mom, Greg, Owen and I placed a small order there. 

Friday. Friday was rainy and dreary, we were going to go see nature but instead we saw a nature center. WITH A REAL LIFE ALIVE RATTLE SNAKE (and plenty of dead animals).

Then, with the Rose Parade just a few days away, we went to the Rose Bowl and watched the decorating of floats.

For lunch we followed up on a lead from Greg and tried out a place in Highland Park called El Huarache Azteca and it was spectacular. Every single thing that came out of kitchen, from taquitos to tacos, huaraches to sopes, pambazos to tostadas, was perfect. 

Oh and I guess I didn't take a lot of pictures because I was too busy eating and enjoying?

Shoot, you know what I just realized? All that stuff I posted happened on Saturday, not Friday. I could either switch around my photos and text or just power through this. Ok. I'm going to just power through this.

On FRIDAY, for real, we had lunch at Twohey's and I tried the Lil Stinko for the first time in my life. It's a simple little burger topped with raw onion and pickles. This was Twohey's trademark creation back in the day. Trademark creations sure have changed.

And then we rolled up on the Huntington Library to see what was good.

Then, for dinner, Lucky Noodle King!

Ok, NOW, Saturday night, New Years Eve. For real. I met up with some socially-generous Los Angelenos that let me tag along to "drinks" and jazz in Hollywood (no pics, really) and the big Los Angeles New Years celebration downtown in a park that's by City Hall. Listen, I don't live in LA. I don't remember the name of every big park/plaza I go to. 

Ok, that's it for 2016! I should have the next to LA posts up before April!