Rain, roses and a restaurant search

We’re back in Pasadena for our second visit to the Rose Parade. Figuring out that it’s been 12 years since we first did this has reinforced the concept of quickly passing time. Lots of things are the same—most of the decorating locals, the floral aromas, LA traffic, marshmallow barrages while driving on Colorado Blvd. —and a few aren’t. Many of the stores along the parade route on Colorado Boulevard had boarded their windows in what I assume is a reaction to some sort of undesirable action in a prior year. Also, the crowds are bigger and many of the events are more structured with passes, badges, etc., but I guess that’s progress. The other bummer in the change column was the absence of a Monty’s in Pasadena, a classic steak and martini joint that we happened upon on our last visit. After 66 years in business, Monty’s closed in 2007 falling victim to the to-frequent tale of a successful restaurateur passing a thriving operation to ill-equipped heirs.

Most of Thursday was spent watching “Pedal Pusher” volunteers poking, gluing and hanging some of the millions of buds, seeds and fibers that make up the veneers of these incredible floral creations. There are three “official” viewing events, but we opted for the warehouses of Fiesta Parade Floats in Erwindale.  The site is not open to the public, but with a little charm, schmoozing, and a creative yarn, all aided and abetted by our radio station logo-festooned van, we scored a couple of guest passes.  Somehow, Hi-Def TV or even live route viewing just doesn’t expose the detail these odd works of art and advertising.

Today we were back for the roll-out and lineup of the Fiesta floats. The really fun part here came when we ended up at tucked in to the end of the caravan, followed by the posterior of the police escort. We could have gone all the way to Pasadena, but at about 1 mph, that probably wasn’t a really good option.

We need to be in our assigned parking location by 6:30 tomorrow, so we’re keeping the NY eve partying to a quick din and a bottle of champagne in the room.

Hau`oli la Hanau! Happy 2011. Time to start planning the next trip