This past weekend was a busy one for us with much of our time spent across the bay in San Francisco. In fact, we spent the entire day in the city catching up with friends visiting from Australia on Sunday. But let's have a look at Saturday...
On Saturday we headed into the city for the extravaganza that is the Chinese New Year Parade. In the past we had been able to watch the parade from Kim's office which was located along the parade route. It's the curved white building you can see in the background with the Citibank at street level. With Kim no longer working there we had to watch the whole thing from the street. I was worried that it might be a little cold but we were in for a beautiful evening. In fact, the girls and I wore Summer dresses and needed little more than a hoodie or cardigan for warmth when the sun set.
The girls and I staked out a good spot near the start of the parade route on Post Street about an hour before the scheduled start time. The girls were a little bored having to wait so long but they were kept entertained with snacks (thanks to the Pocky truck just down the street giving out free Pocky!), the music played by the people sitting next to us, and the popping fireworks we bought in Chinatown. I'm glad we arrived early, as within ten minutes of us sitting down we were completely surrounded by other parade goers. Had we waited much longer we may not have been able to get a spot right along the edge of the street.
Pretty much right on the scheduled start time of 5:15pm we heard the loud banging of fireworks and within minutes the parade was making its way past us. Marching bands, dancers, dragons, lions, floats, fire trucks, local dignitaries... You name it, it was part of the parade! Here's a look at some of the highlights.
Several of the parade participants handed out goodies to the crowd. Lola was pretty pleased with the whistle that she was given by a police officer - even if her constant tootling drove Ava crazy! They were also given stickers, red envelopes containing chocolate coins and green tea Kit Kats. The Kit Kats got a big thumbs up from Lola but a thumbs down from Ava.
The girls had fun throwing their little popping fireworks onto the street between floats/marching groups. At one point Lola was a little gung ho with her fire work throwing and accidentally launched Ava's water bottle onto the street along with her firework! We got the water bottle itself back but the lid snapped off and rolled toward the middle of the street. It was then kicked along by parade participants for quite some time until it made its way back toward the curb about 10 metres down the road! Ava made sure to keep an eye on it so I could squeeze through the crowd and scoop it back up!
Mathilde was asleep for the first part of the parade but she was soon woken by the fireworks. I had been worried that she would be scared but she was actually pretty excited about the parade. Once she'd eaten her dinner she was keen to get out of her wrap and watch from the curb with Ava and Lola.
The end of the parade always features several large lions and the longest dragon. Last time we saw these from above and I wished that I'd had the chance to see them from the street. We got that chance this time. They certainly were impressive.
We all had a great time at the Chinese New Year Parade. I can't believe just how excited Mathilde was about the parade. She danced along to the music, she clapped her little hands, and she made an awful lot of happy oohing and aahing noises.
I love that we get to take part in so many fun events like this here in the Bay Area. We are lucky to live in such an exciting place where there's always something fun happening. In fact, this weekend we'll be back in the city for the St Patrick's Day Parade.
Hooray for parades!