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We needed to drive less than 30-miles this morning to arrive at the predetermined staging area for organizing how the event leaders were going to manage loading 33 Airstreams and their oversized tow vehcles, plus two Airstream motorhomes over 30-feet long, all into the rented faculty parking lot of a small local high school.

With obstacles like parking bumpers, landscaping beds, light poles, storage sheds and a large event tent there was a lot to consider when choosing where to place everything. Luckily there have been forty previous events just like this one so they had a good idea with what works and what doesn't.

One thing they have learned from past events is you can't just have everyone show up at the same time and pick their own spot to park, it will never work doing it that way. Hence, the staging area idea at a larger college parking lot just two miles away. They sent the trailers over one at a time and the other half of the team would call when they were ready for the next trailer to be sent. It worked like a charm, except for a few that showed up at the wrong gate and drove through the parking lot in the wrong direction.

We were fortunate enough to get a nice quiet corner in the parking lot.

Only about half of the trailers have been parked in this photo.

This is where all the fun will occur next to the host's trailer.

Not much of a view here, but we get to see all the comings and goings through the gate.

By mid-afternoon everyone was parked and settling in for all the fun festivities. Around 6:30PM we all enjoyed salad and pizza provided by a local artisan pizza restaurant. There was plenty for everyone, even with me eating five slices by myself.

FRIDAY - Today we have tickets to go watch the horses and riders practice for the parade on Tuesday. Also today is the day when the local Los Angeles Airstream Dealership is sending over one of their technicians to perform small repairs and adjustments on anyone's trailer that requested work.

Since I didn't want to miss an opportunity to get FREE repair labor for a few issues we are having, Tricia found a ride over to the event so that I could join them later after our repair work was completed.

Ever since we were in Alaska our propane water heater has worked only sporadically. The Alaska repair shop we were at ordered the parts for us, but of course while we were there it workied just fine. So I purchased the parts and took them with us.

For the last couple of months it has just about quit working at all on propane, but works just fine on electricity, so it hasn't been a big problem. The first few months of next year though we will be without electic so getting it fixed here is perfect timing.

Since I already had all the parts the repair was done at no charge. Thank You very much Los Angeles Airstream!

By the time it was my turn for the repair technician it was early afternoon, so when he finished us up I called Tricia and asked if it was worth me driving 15-miles over to the Equestrian Center and paying the $15 to park?

In the end I decided not to go, but I did drive over to the Airstream dealership and pick up the necessary parts to finally fix our steps leading into the trailer. It was a simple fix, but impossible to do without the right parts!

Since I didn't go see the Equestfest event I'll have Tricia tell you all about it.
That's a special treat you don't get on this blog very often.
P.S. - She also picked out which photos and videos to share!

Equestfest opened with Clydesdales and a beautiful handcrafted replica of an
1880 Abbott Downing Hotel Coach full of Rose Parade royalty.
Rose President-Amy Wainscott and Rose Queen-Bella Ballard with her Rose Princesses.

Followed by all the ladies of the mounted drill teams for a tribute to America.

The Marines showed off their precision.

Norco Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team from Norco, CA perform.

Norco Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team from Norco, CA perform.

There was a team of 3 sharpshooters and only the woman hit all her targets!

I have forgotten who these guys are, but their costumes and horses are beautiful.
So don't quote me, but I think they are the group that performs an outdoor play
in Hemet, CA every year since 1923.

1st Cavalry Division Horse Calvary Detachment
is an official part of the Army that keeps the equestrian training alive.

The cavalry demonstrated 2 and 4 horse formations and transitions among other drills.

Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team from Lake View Terrace, CA.

Riders from a local Youth Group that puts kids on horses and keeps them off the streets.
After the horse refused the first attempt, this rider showed us how it's done.

Scripps Miramar Ranch, riding very special and shiny saddles on Pinto American Saddlebreds.

The New Buffalo Soldiers are a historical interpretation group that includes these
"Iron Riders" who represent 1,900 experimental riders from Montana to Ohio on bicycles
instead of horses to test the feasibility of bicycles as military transport.

Another Mounted Drill Team.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department Mounted Enforcement
demonstrating how they apprehend criminals on horseback.

Los Hermanos Banuelos Charro Team showing their stuff.

Los Hermanos Banuelos Charro Team showing their stuff.

Painted Ladies Rodeo Performers from Citrus Heights, CA.

The Painted Ladies were a lot of fun!

The Closing Act had all the Drill Teams parade in and hold in the center
while all the other performers paraded around the arena and exit.

After the show you could meet a few of the performers and pet their horses.

Once Tricia had returned from the Equestfest outing it was time to decide what to do about dinner. We (and about a dozen other Airstreamers) decided it was time to go and check out "The Hat", a local chain of 11 restaurants famous for their delicious pastrami sandwiches.

As you can see in the photo below they don't skimp on the meat when it comes to building their World Famous Pastrami Dip sandwiches. The Pink Lemonade ain't so bad either!

SATURDAY - With such a busy day planned it is important we start off with a big breakfast to fuel us throughout the day.

This was easily accomplished seeing as how the event hosts prepared us all a filling breakfast of Huevos Rancheros (Campground Style).

Your meal began with a warmed up tortilla shell, then you cover it with a ladle full of hash brown potatoes, red or green salsa, chili and shredded cheese, before you topped it with two perfectly fried eggs thanks to Chef Brian.

I definitely went back for seconds before heading out to Bandfest!

This was the only rainy day we had during our 4-day visit, but the poor kids had to put on the Bandfest Show anyway.

It sounds like they had lots of fun regardless with trips to all sorts of tourist spots, including a "band only" evening at Disneyland.

What an experience for the kids from the U.S. and all the other countries performing and marching in the 2023 Rose Bowl Parade.

NOTE: Once again the following videos and captions are courtesy of Tricia because, well, she has experience in this area having been a member of the color guard in her High School Marching Band, whereas I only briefly played the cornet in elementary and junior high school.

This is the Pella Marching Dutch from Pella, IA.
We met some of the band member's parents while waiting in the line to enter.
They were rightfully excited for their children to have the chance to perform,
plus the band choreographed a great story through their performance.

Banda de Musica La Primavera from Santiago, Veraguas, Panama. They were colorful and fun.

Rockford High School Marching Band from Rockford, MI.
They told the great classic story of Sleeping Beauty with their performance.
This clip is during the sad portion while the castle sleeps.

(more Rockford H.S.) Here is where the prince awakens the princess and everyone celebrates.

(even more R.H.S.) I love how the band dances a bit too. Can you tell I really liked this one?

Los Angeles Unified School District "All District Honor Band" from Los Angeles, CA.
Now that is the way to take the field!! I love the energy!!

L.A.U.S.D. just keeps the energy flowing and plays beautifully.

After Bandfest we headed back to THE POD to grab a quick lunch before heading out to visit the Float Decorating Place inside the Rosemont Pavilion, which happens to be right cross the street from the Rose Bowl Stadium where the big game between #11 Penn State and #8 Utah will be played on Monday.

Once we arrived at the float decorating place and found a parking spot we started walking towards the entrance gate.

There was a long line of people waiting to get in with an estimated wait time of over an hour. We were in the midst of trying to decide whether it was worth the wait (we'd already spent $40 on tickets) when it started to rain, which made the decision easy.

We headed back to the truck and left. We have a party to get ready for!

One of the things I love about a rally is there are more people to share food with. All the things that are too big for the two of us or that Phil won't eat, I can make for the rally. It's a Win-win!

I happen to love making little bite size stuff – go figure!! So there was a happy hour every day at 4:30PM and I decided I would make an app for each happy hour and some for the requested "heavy apps" for dinner at the New Years Eve party.

I made Pesto Toast (twice since it went over so well the first night), charcuterie board, cheese puffs stuffed with linguica (tip – don't use whole wheat flour even if it's the only flour you have as it doesn't puff), and 3 warm dips with crackers – spinach/artichoke, crab, and blue cheese/green onion. So much fun!! - Tricia :-)

I on the other hand, have been doing research and development of a new cocktail that I've tentatively named the "Captain Delicious", you know, after the red apple variety, even though the label clearly shows a Granny Smith apple.

I'm open to renaming it if you have any better suggestions! Here is my latest recipe:

Fill a 10-ounce highball glass with ice and add a ¼-teaspoon (or a pinch) of the Alpine Spiced Apple Cider powder.

Next add 1½-ounces of Captain Morgan Sliced Apple Rum plus a ½-ounce of the Torani Salted Caramel Coffee Syrup.

For the "biggest kick in flavor" make sure you top it off with Canada Dry BOLD Ginger Ale, believe me, it makes a huge difference!

Most of these items can be found in your local grocery store supermarket, with the exception of the Captain Morgan Sliced Apple, you may need to visit a true liquor store to locate that item.

SUNDAY - What a busy day we had yesterday and a fun night last night.

Seeing as how we are all "old folks" around here we celebrated New Years at 9:00PM, it was midnight in New York at Times Square after all!

Today is a free day and everyone had their own special plans for the day. Some drove over to gander at the HOLLYWOOD sign up on the hill, others visited the nearby museums or just went out to eat. We hung around the rally site where Tricia attended an impromptu "knit and talk" group and I began the task of preparing this blogpost.

One thing everyone agreed upon was to be back in time for the catered Taco Bar at 6:00PM.

The Taco Bar was amazing! To start with they offered four different proteins to choose from, shrimp, pork, beef and chicken.

Next were the sauces with four different levels of HEAT. You could add guacamole, pineapple, cabbage slaw, cilantro and onion. There were nacho chips and a delicious beverage called Horchata. Their version is made with almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and lots of ice.

This trio from Tacoholics Anonymous were fabulous! Their food was fresh and delicious and their name is too clever! - Tricia

MONDAY - Finally, the moment we've all been waiting for! And it was everything we hoped for!

Floats, bands, equestrian groups, and old cars. Since we've already posted about horses and bands (and Phil was crying when he saw how many videos I wanted to include) I've mostly only included floats in the parade pics.

As always, there are a few exceptions!! - Tricia ;-)

Whats that up in the sky?

It's the Goodyear Blimp! It hovered over the beginning of the parade route the whole time.

Such a fancy way to clear people from the street.

Marine Corp – Ooh-Rah!

Oh, and the Marine Corp Band too.

I may be partial, due to my brother Jim being a Marine, but I think these guys were the only band in perfect step and perfectly straight lines in the entire parade!

San Diego Zoo – I thought the lady was either going to fall out of the truck or put her back out.

After every equestrian group, and there are lots, there is a pooper scooper crew.
They get just as big a cheer as the performers.
Some of the pooper scoopers are quite the entertainers themselves!

Western Asset won the Judges Award.
Every time I look at it, I see something I missed before. The cats are ocelots.

Trader Joe's is a favorite of mine and there was one across the street from us at rally site.
Then to see their amazing float, so imaginative. Keep in mind these floats are all made up of flowers, seeds, grasses, leaves, bark, and other natural materials.
So it's no surprise they won the Wrigley Legacy Award for most outstanding display
of floral presentation, float design, and entertainment.

Kiwanis had a fun one, the music playing was "Catch a Wave" by the Beach Boys.
The surf shorts are made up of many nations flags, as they are an international organization.

Amy Wainscott, President, Tournament of Roses Association.

Some of the actors of California's Official State Outdoor Play, performing annually since 1923.

Rose Queen Bella Ballard and her court of princesses.

Rose Queen Bella Ballard

"There's No Place Like Home"
by the Healthy Housing Foundation and AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Expanding Hope for life after cancer.

So the bees get a day off on Rose Parade Day – good to know!

I included this one as Phil got a kick out of the fact the Mayors car was in need of a tow down the parade route. We have been told there are tow trucks along the route and a fleet following the parade, all on hand to keep the parade moving should anyone break down.

The City of Burbank float features all 55+ riders because age is just a number.
I can get on board with that!

The "stone wall" on the back of this float is made entire out of potatoes.

If this float doesn't scream Louisiana to you, then I will whisper it to you.

The Elks - It's amazing how realistic some of the animals are on the floats,
even more so when you remember they have to be covered in natural materials.

The City of Torrence has been in the parade 65 times since 1914. I love the animation.

City of South Pasadena – Spark of Imagination.
Many of today's floats have hired an outside company to build them,
however this is a self built float. That's impressive!

Had to share a photo of the Famous Budweiser Dalmatian, plus he looks so calm!

And here is the rest back of the Budweiser entry.
If you zoom in you can see the wagon is filled with wooden cases of beer.

Taipei First Girls High School Marching Band from Taipei, Taiwan. These ladies rock!
They came the closest to matching the Marine's precision and straight lines,
so I had to make an exception and include them with the floats!!

Downey Rose Float Association (another self built float).
I love the bees on this one and look at the honey comb,
there are all sorts of stuff in each cell – flowers, citrus fruit, and I'm not sure what else.

Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.
Just try and count the number of animals on this float. It's crazy how many there are. I Love It!

Launching our Future Generations – fun and colorful. Even more impressive when I read it includes lentils, rice, split peas, seaweed, poppies, and more than 10,000 roses.

Lifting Each Other Up – is celebrating organ donation.
All the riders are organ donors or recipients and the arch is made of florographs
of those who have given the gift of life. This was my favorite float.

Buhos Marching Band from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.
Another band I made an exception for as their monarch butterfly skirts were amazing.

Mickey and Minnie on a Disneyland fire engine.
They are here to toss the football at the Rose Bowl Stadium to start the Rose Bowl festivities.

Mansion Entertainment Group hosted the finale performer, country music legend Tanya Tucker.

The official end of the parade!
The locals look forward to it every year as all the tow trucks who are there to make sure the parade keeps rolling passes them by!

With over 86 parade entries, including 36 floats, 21 bands and 16 equestrian groups,
we couldn't even begin to share them all here on the blog.

THE END of THE END, to the parade and the rally. We now have to hoof it back to the trailer, hook up and go, so they can clear the lot and have it ready for school on Tuesday.

We met so many great people here at the Rose Parade Rally in Pasadena.
The hosts did a phenomenal job organizing every detail of this event.
We look forward to signing up again if our route brings us back to SoCal for the holidays.

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