Thursday, January 1, 2009

Tournament of Roses Parade

If you are like millions around the world today, you may see all, or parts, of the annual New Year's Day parade that is the highlight event of the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California (probably some of you thought the football game was the highlight--but not for me!). The parade was started in 1890, and it has been televised nationwide for about as long as televisions have been in existence. So, ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of seeing that event some day. It seemed like an attainable goal when my father told me that his brother, who lived in California, had driven him down the famous boulevard of the parade route, whenever he visited that brother years ago. So when that brother's son, my first cousin, asked me to come out to California to help deal with the loneliness I experienced following my husband's death, I didn't hesitate! I was on a plane headed for the west coast as soon as I could arrange it! My cousin and his family have lived in California all their lives, so they knew all the ins and outs of parade logistics and provided me the wonderful experience of viewing each and every float at the exhibition grounds that open, once the parade is over. (I didn't arrive in time to go to the actual parade that year). I guess I must have talked about my good time quite a lot, because my sister convinced me that we needed to make a trip out to Pasadena in the future, and take in the full Tournament of Roses experience, including tickets for grandstand viewing of the entire parade. We used a company called Main Street Tours, headquartered in Torrance, California, ( because I had met the folks that run that company, and I was very impressed with their operation. They did an excellent job of getting us where we were supposed to be, and added lots of fun activities to the tour, in addition to the parade. Of course, there are several companies that sell tour packages to the Tournament of Roses, and a quick check on my Internet search engine listed another company ( that is involved in getting people there. (Although I have not actually traveled with Cartan Tours, that is on my travel calendar for the future, as I have already put down a deposit with them for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.) If after viewing the parade on television today, you decide you would like to see it in person, check out the official website, , and start planning now for how you will spend New Year's Day next year! Unless you have a friend or relative that can help you once you get to the Pasadena area, I would recommend using a professional tour operator to assist you in transportation and other details, that only an "insider" can anticipate. Miles of smiles! Tricia
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