Thursday, January 13, 2011

Building Dreams,Friendships&Memories--The Finale

I spent my snow day on Tuesday in my jammies, making a pot of cream of leek-potato-smoked ham soup, watching Bette Midler's HBO Vegas special and blogging the trip finale...then my hand hit some unknown button and, poof, all was erased.  Frustrated I closed the computer and told myself to try again tomorrow.

Well, it's past tomorrow.

So here goes.

After the band's crazy loud New Years Eve bash, which ended promptly at 9pm in order for everyone to set the cell phone alarms for 330am...let me just say a chaperone needs more than 3 hours of sleep to function.  I tried to trick my body into believing that a hot shower (no time to wash hair, ball cap to the rescue) and a fresh pair of panties would make me feel alive.  Truth is there isn't enough Bath and Body Works floral scented  body wash and not even the silkiest pair of Victoria Secret panties could make any human feel alive at 330am.  But I fooled the kids with a perky act that could have had Hollywood talent seekers hunting me down on Colorado Blvd.  By 4am I was bunning the hair of Color Guard girls.  By 430am I was swishing the girls to the elevators for breakfast and a bus ride.

Before leaving Saint Louis I prepared these beautiful trash bag coats for the girls

here you go, the full length view...I'll take orders later. 
Once out of the buses everything on your person is either part of your parade materials or is going to the trash.  They were ever so grateful for these hobo coats as it was yet another COLD California morning.

We arrived at the parade route around 630am to a throng of coach buses
 While the 208 kids were in their parade holding pattern; we chaperones, family and friends hunkered down in section

where our resident equipment/cheerleader dad lead us in our customary Lindbergh spirit cheer F-L-Y...E-R-S (repeat x3), flyers,flyers are the best.  Then anyone sitting around us, say like the Wisconsin fans knew we were a crowd pumped with pride.        

Here's what you don't see on HGTV

the die-hard folks who camped out all night for that perfect spot on the parade route, all ready for
and to see...who else but the queen of cooking with butter herself--Paula Deen.
This is how Paula Deen looked before section 1680 started chanting Pau-la, Pau-la, Pau-la...she stopped smiling and just looked at us all shaking her head like, you silly grown-ups, and then waved to us.  She felt our love. We melted her heart like a stick of butter in a hot pan.  Of course I wanted to run down, hop in that fancy old time car covered with flowers telling about how her bourbon beef tenderloin I served for Christmas Eve dinner was a smashing hit or that her dark chocolate truffles Princess A and I made for a dessert choice were so heavenly they spiked Uncle Al's blood sugar out the roof...but I didn't.  I left her to her royal duties.

As mine and Tina's handy float work approached I belted out "look at that raccoon, with its macaroon coconut and black onion seed"...we laughed while those unaware of our float decorator talents sat amazed at my ability to tell the natural material used from a distance.

I didn't want to brag to much to the crowd so I'll brag to all of you instead...look at our little pig hay house work.  Those bundles of hay are so perfect.
you need a better look? 
They kept on coming--the floats, the bands, the horses 
and with horses come...
pooper scoopers with corsages and a strike a Vogue take-our-photo pose.  Classiest pooper scoopers ever!  These must be very skilled pooper scoopers to be doing this sh*+ job dressed in white.


Then in the blink of an eye the kids marched right on past us 

Ask any of us parents what tune the kids were playing as they passed us...we couldn't tell you.  Why?  Because we were cheering and whistling for them so loud nothing else could be heard.  Ask a kid what was the greatest part of the parade and they will all tell you it was marching past section 1680 and feeling the oozing over-flow of parental pride and love. (Don't worry we watched the video later to hear what we drowned out.) It was better than knowing they were on TV.   

What they didn't tell us until after the parade was that our band director struggled to keep the pace walking in his ill health.  That he was chauffeured on a scooter along the route, stepping back onto the pavement as he approached our section.  He rose to the occasion for everyone else...but mostly for the kids.  Sitting by his elderly mother, who joined us on the trip, she had tears in her eyes.  It must have been both difficult and joyous for her to see her son on that day of accomplishment for his young students.  
Now what I want to know is who got stuck cleaning up after all those curbside campers?  Those parade watchers are some messy folk!
(See the blue line? If you dare to step over that line during the parade you are subject to arrest.)

Then it was back to the hotel.  To pack up the truck. Uhg!  (yes turth be told this was the point when I got totally verklempted packing those rose flags; as I realized the Tournament of Roses Parade was forever the final band performance that one of my offspring would be a part of). 

Then kids came with lots and lots of suitcases!!

Since our body's fuel tanks were running on empty the best way to fill them up again was with a party.  It's time to celebrate on the Queen Mary! Which meant fancy party clothes for a special dinner.  It meant time to thank a band director who made the trip in the name of the kids with the seniors performing the Alma mater..
 it meant dancing...

   and more dancing...
and even more dancing.

We drug our worn out selves back to the hotel for one last night and this time a good nights sleep (okay well not me because I tended to vomit explosions all night) where dreams of memories made will be treasured forever.

Especially for these thirty-two teens of the Class of 2011

The End


ThE MidLiFe CrUiSeR said...

Oh man! That was SOME parade!! Great narration too, Jodi :)

I love how Paula Deen looked totally UN-Caucasian! Me thinks she dipped her face in self tanner for a reeeeally long time!

The kids looked gorgeous marching! This is something they're gonna remember FOREVER!! And no doubt you're gonna be part of that memory.

Way to make everything go smoothly chaperons! Looks like all your hard work paid off.

ThE MidLiFe CrUiSeR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lin said...

Oh, these are wonderful photos, Jodi! I haven't had a minute to sit and enjoy them until now.

Isn't it amazing on how fast those kids walk by you???! Criminy--all that work and it is a mere split second. Ugh.

Love the rose flags though--I'm glad your show flags were spot on for the parade! Or was that planned?

JODI said...

Nellie- I think Ms. Deen came to Cali a little early to get that bronzed glowon the beaches. LOL NOT!

Lin- When Alee was in the TOR Parade in 2005 we got lucky that the parade had a back up and the kids stopped right in front of us and gave us a little private concert. Not so lucky in 2011--like you say, they pass by all to quickly!

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