Years ago when I was growing up, we had the pleasure and privilege of attending the Tournament of Roses Parade every single year. My mom was fortunate enough to work at a car dealership on Colorado Boulevard and all of the employees were given seats in the grandstands. What made it even more special is that, because mom was an employee, we could go inside and use the restrooms, take shelter in the warm building if it happened to be a cold year, and (best of all!), we were treated to hot chocolate and donuts upstairs!!
We went to the Rose Parade every.single.year until I was in high school. During high school, I'd grown too accustomed to our yearly ritual, and went out on the parade route with my friends. I did that for a few years and then, sadly, we pretty much stopped going to the Rose Parade altogether. We watched it on TV every year, but it's not really the same thing.
Many years have passed and I realize what a rare and special treat we enjoyed for so many years. Not just watching the Rose Parade itself, though that was a major part of it, but all of the charming and delightful memories we made going to the parade as a family. Bundling up in the rare years it was cold for the parade. Mom and dad shuttling us inside to use the restroom when needed. All of us going upstairs to enjoy delicious hot chocolate and donuts. How lucky we were!!
It's been a very long time since I last saw the Rose Parade in person. This year, though, I was feeling very nostalgic for those wonderful times we enjoyed all those years ago, and I suggested that we go to the parade. The boys have never seen it in person, so that made it even more special.
In an odd turn of events, though I bought the tickets online and wasn't exactly sure of their whereabouts, our grandstand ended up being just across the street from where we sat years ago! We had what we considered to be magnificent seats! There were 6 of us - Deb, Bill, Pat, Drew, Kevin and myself - and the ticket company was very clever and gave us three seats directly in front of /in back of each other. It made it much easier to talk to each other than having to holler down a long aisle. Additionally, we lucked out even more; our seats were right at the end of the aisle!
No, the experience wasn't exactly the same. Mom and dad were unable to join us. Grandma and Grandpa are long gone - as is the business where we created all of those fond memories. However, we all had a wonderful time!!! Kevin and I have another wonderful experience to share and add to our history. The boys were excited to see the parade in person for the first time. Deb and I got to regale everyone with our tales of seeing the parade long ago.
...and I brought the hot chocolate and donuts. (Can anyone please tell me why I'm making this face? Please?)