Back in the day (aka 2005), Ly's Dad got the inside track on helping decorate/construct an official Rose Bowl Parade float. Not only was it awesome to decorate a float, but it even had pandas on it!! Can we say Heaven for Lyanna?!
Anyway, Ly's entire family went to decorate the float (minus Alan because well this was the pre-Alan days) along with some of our extended family. It took three days to decorate, working around the clock because you can't place flowers weeks in advance or they will die. Fun fact, did you know most flowers (and all the roses) have their own individual water source? Anyway. A majority of the float building took place in these massive outdoor tents - which wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't raining the entire time and butt cold. It was VERY wet (as in people were walking around with wet sneakers) and super cold - good thing Ly's experiences in Boston had already taught her the value of layered clothing. Upon arrival, everyone got assigned various jobs. Ly crossed her fingers that she'd get to work on the pandas and luckily she and Lily got assigned to put white carnations on one of the pandas. This particular task involved Ly being forced to climb miles into the air to reach a particular panda's head. Needless to say, the idea of getting to actually work on a panda proved to be the proper incentive and Ly conquered her fear of heights and scampered up the scaffolding. Luckily, Lily soon joined her and not wanting to be left out so did their Dad. Their mother, however, choose to keep both feet on the ground and went to work on the float sign instead. Everything on the float had to be made out of some sort of plant so she made letters out of beans. They turned out pretty cool. The worse part of the whole float building experience (besides the weather) was that Lily and Ly got sick and had to spend an entire day in bed at the hotel instead of scampering up scaffolding. They did get to watch some TV though, so that it made it better.
Ly pausing from her work of putting flowers on the pandas head.
The girls taking a quick break before they go back to putting more flowers on the float...and in case you were wondering, yes we were forced to wear those bright blue t-shirts.
Mom's awesome 'R' out of beans
Lily and Dad putting some last minute touches on the pandas butt.
New Years Eve. After being relieved of their float building duties, Ly and her family did what any normal person in their situation would do - they went to Disneyland. Yes they went to to the Happiest Place on Earth on the busiest day of the year with a certain nameless individual *cough Lynda cough* who may or may not get grumpy when in large crowds. The glorious weather continued and it rained as soon as they pulled into the Disney parking lot. So they went to the movies in Downtown Disney. After the movie ended the rain had let up a bit so the family made their way to Disneyland and rode a ton of rides. Art, a family friend, met up with them that evening and spent a majority of time trying to convince Ly to ride the Tower of Terror with no success. Everyone had a great time despite the crowd level and the weather. In fact, after collecting a number of stylish hats to wear while ringing in the New Year, they went back to the hotel a little after midnight and crashed - Lily and Ly were, after all, still sick.
Due to the lack of Disneyland photos, here is a picture of the Disney float for your enjoyment.
New Years Day. A morning loving male member of the family forced everyone awake at the crack of dawn to prepare to watch the parade. This made certain individuals a little bit grumpy seeing as how they already had reserved bleacher seats which was supposed to allow them to sleep in. Nevertheless, they traipsed out to their seats and sat in the freezing misty rain to wait for the parade to start. Fortuitously, the rain stopped as soon as the parade began and the sun even made a brief appearance. Ly loved seeing the float she had worked so hard on come down the street -- and especially enjoyed the moving pandas and the waterfalls on the float. All that hard work must have paid off because the panda float won the sweepstakes prize for best overall design and most beautiful float. Awesome! Although with pandas on the float, it was a sure winner =)
The family in front of the float after the parade. Please note the stylish Disney hat Lily is wearing in this photo.