We had a later wake-up call...6 or 7 maybe? I really don't remember. I know we had breakfast, and then the kids had to dress for the parade and be on the buses by 9'ish. Let me digress for a second and say that breakfast was the least desirable meal of the day. Day one was scrambled eggs, potatoes and toast. Day two was the boxed breakfast...the three-inch pastry-granola bar-cup of juice debacle. Day three was eggs, potatoes and pancakes. Day four was cereal and toast. For the quality of the resort we were staying in, it was a dismal presentation. We would have eaten better at the Hampton Inn. A little bacon and some fruit would have gone a long way. That being said, people live on far less. Of course, they aren't paying an arm and a leg, either. I really miss my arm and leg.
Okay...so Saturday, January 3rd, was Fiesta Bowl Parade Day! We drove to the staging area in Phoenix and unloaded the buses. I tried to snap a few quick pictures...Mindy had finally had enough, and I got the "MOM!" scolding, accompanied by a wonderfully executed look of disdain. So I waited until she wasn't looking and snapped a few more. My roomie, Deb, leaned over and said she would take a few, too. Hee. Then they loaded all of the chaperones onto one of the buses and dropped us off along the parade route. It was already pretty crowded, and we were a bit panicked, at first, that we wouldn't be able to find a good spot. I really wish our tour agency would have purchased bleacher seating for us. It would have alleviated a lot of stress. Plus, we didn't have any blankets or chairs with us, so we basically stood for two hours.
She'd kill me for posting this picture...
You feelin' the love?
At least somebody's kid liked
having his picture taken...
It was a beautiful southwestern themed parade. We couldn't have asked for better weather. It was a balmy 75 degrees, with not a cloud in the sky. Just perfect for parade watching! Because our band had won the championship two days before, they were marching as the "featured band", which meant they marched last. With each band that passed by, we got a little more excited! It was pretty cool to see all the bands go by...we gave a huge shout out to Homestead High from the northern part of our state. We also enjoyed seeing the Ohio State and Texas bands. There were a few floats, but giant balloons were the popular parade item. I wonder if this happens in the Macy's parade...as each balloon would go by, the crowd would shout, "SPIN!" More often than not, the people holding the balloon's strings would stop and run in a circle, spinning the balloon! It was hilarious after a while!
Finally, it was our turn! I think we all just about burst with pride! Again, I wouldn't have missed this for the world! It was just so cool! Of course, we were on the wrong side of the street for me to get a picture of Mindy...I totally forgot that she was on the other side. Not that I could have gotten over there anyway. I got a great picture of her backside as she passed by. After the fact, I found out that there were a couple of parents on the other side of the street somewhere along the route, and I'm hoping they got a picture of her. Thankfully, there was a close-up of her in the TV coverage.
After the parade, we walked back to the bus and drove back to the high school to meet the kids. I have no idea where we were along the parade route, so I don't know how far they had to go when they passed us. I know that it took forever for them to get to the high school! We waited and waited and waited. We did pose for a group picture of the chaperones while we waited. I wanted to get a good picture of Mindy and Alex in uniform, but they had all changed on the buses by the time they got back. Drat! Then it was time to kick it in gear and get all the equipment and uniforms packed up, organized and loaded onto the trucks that were soon to be homebound. Shakos, plumes, uniform boxes, instruments...sheesh.
Hey, guess what we got to eat? You guessed it...a boxed lunch. Bleh. I ate a bit of it when we got back to our room, but it was so late that I wanted to leave room for dinner. I headed down to the pool to do a little chaperoning...and, of course, take a few pictures. It was so nice to finally see our resort during the day! It was quite a beautiful place. Look for pictures in the next post. There were quite a few kids in the hot tub...a few crazies in the pool. The beautiful day had clouded over, and it was chilly! They had about an hour of downtime before they had to dress for dinner. And back to the buses we went. I thought it was just me, but even Mindy commented that it seemed a lot like our time in China...a big group loading on and off a bus every day. And, being charter buses, they were exactly like the ones in China. At the end of every day, we'd get a briefing on the next day's agenda and our morning report time. Had our guide been Chinese and spoken in "Chinglish", I'd have been expecting someone to hand me a Chinese baby!
Pool pictures...next post...
The drive to Rawhide was about 45 minutes. It's a really cool place, and it can accommodate a LOT of people! Thirteen of the 14 bands were there for the annual Fiesta Bowl celebration. And the pavilion had room to seat everyone! I wish I had taken a picture. How many times have I said that on this trip? We had (not the best) steak and chicken for dinner...actually, it was pretty much a repeat of our dinner the first night. We ate what we could and waited for the parade awards to be announced. The bands were judged on their performances during the parade. We won first place in our division, but the overall prize went to Grove City, the school that came in second at the competition. We also got first or second in all the caption awards. Our kids only parade march in the annual 4th of July parade here at home, so, overall, it was a decent finish. It was nice to see how excited Grove City was about their win, though!
After the awards we had an hour or so to walk around the 1880s theme town. There were shops to shop in, so we scouted out some souvenirs for the kids back home. As nice as it was to be in one place with all the bands, it was a little chaotic. Long lines of teenagers everywhere! We made our purchases, grabbed a Coke and headed back to the bus. It was pretty close to curfew by the time we got back to the resort, so I changed into some comfy yoga pants and a sweatshirt and headed to Mindy's room. I was a bad chaperone and let the girls stay up and play cards with me for a while! It was so fun! Two of the girls were new to our family game of Grump, and they caught on quickly. They were in it to win within a few minutes! Then, at almost 1 am, I headed back to my room. I thought they were all headed to bed...I thought wrong...
I'll leave you in suspense until the next post.
Suffice it to say that Mindy was innocent and truthful.
Now...if you'd like to see all the fabulous
Now...if you'd like to see all the fabulous
parade pictures I took, click here.
You'll feel like you were there...
Or like you never want to see another
parade picture in your life...
If you just want to see pictures of our band, click here.
And I just want to make a note for myself that this
post took me about a week to get done...
And I'm either going to have to change
the format of my blog or
repost all these pictures
in a smaller size.