Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Parties and Parades

This morning I got up, made a cup of coffee and turned on the Rose Bowl Parade.  I love this parade.  It's so much better than Macy's for Thanksgiving, mainly because of the beautiful, incredible floats, lots of sunshine (how can Pasadena always have perfect New Year's Day weather?), and loads of memories.

During the Seattle Years, no matter how I spent New Year's Eve--always at a party of some kind--I would drag myself out of a stupor awake and watch the parade.  I don't have a clue why this event always means the start of a new year to me, but it did back then and now that I'm back in the States, it does again.

While I was drinking my coffee this morning, admiring the ingenuity and cleverness of the floats, a memory slipped across my mind and made me smile...

At one point in time I lived in an area of Seattle called North Beach.  It was not well-known, off the beaten track and a beautiful little enclave of older homes with stunning views of Puget Sound.  My roommate and I shared a small cottage at the end of the road and that year we decided to host a New Year's Eve party.

It was wild and wonderful.  Good drinks, excellent food and lots of friends.  As it got later, and designated drivers were becoming more scarce, J (the roommate) and I began to call for taxis.  Seattle had a really good don't drink and drive campaign back then with a multitude of cabbies on hand and extra buses to take drunken fools home.  Well, at 3:00 in the morning, in an obscure part of Seattle, we couldn't get a cab and there were no buses.

So, being the conscientious hostesses that we were, J and I confiscated the keys from the dozen or so folks left.  We handed out blankets and pillows and everyone just crashed where they could.

A few hours later, I woke to my alarm.  I wasn't about to miss the parade.  Tiptoeing down the hall, stepping over a few snoring bodies, I made coffee and went back to bed.  Just as I was settling in, J came in with her boyfriend and they snuggled in beside me and we began to watch the first floats coming down the road.  My bedroom door opened again and two more party-goers came in and sprawled at the foot of the bed.  A few minutes later, three more plopped on the floor with their blankets and pillows.  Within half an hour everyone was either on my bed or the floor.  We drank coffee and judged the floats, then when the parade was over, J's sister, a chef who worked at one of the big hotels in town, made a most wonderful breakfast.

By early afternoon everyone was ready to leave.  J and I stood at the front door and with kisses and wishes, we gave everyone back their keys and watched them make their way safely home.

It was one of my best New Year's ever.  Just the memory of those friends as we watched the parade--piled on my bed, lounging on the floor, the laughter and great food--has made me smile all morning.

What a very good way to start the New Year...


  1. That's a lovely new year's memory. I'm glad you still recall it so vividly.

    1. Just don't ask me to remember names! ;D