Ever since I watched it on TV as a kid, I have wanted to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in person. Since I have two stepsisters who now live in the greater NYC area, this year was the year to do it. So we did.
I can report that going to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a lot like going to see a major golf tournament in person. You see a heck of a lot more on TV, but it's still fun and exciting to be there.
The weather for this year's parade was glorious -- sunny and unseasonably warm. As a result, I think everyone in the New York City area went to the parade. The people I chatted with (don't believe the myth about New Yorkers being unfriendly) said that it was the biggest crowd they had ever seen for the parade.
This photo gives you an idea of the crowds ... so we didn't see all that much. We saw the tops of the floats that went by -- and without Matt Lauer telling us what we were seeing, there was lots of speculation about who was on those floats. Someone near us thought they spotted the Jonas Brothers (the latest teen boy band) on one float. D., who is a big Jonas Brothers fan, said with absolute confidence that it wasn't. We heard kids cheer for "Aunt Dolly" on one float -- what a surprise that the cheers were for Dolly Parton! Apparently she appears on Hannah Montana as Aunt Dolly. We heard the bands marching by -- they sounded great but we didn't see much more than glimpses of the tassles on their hats.
And we did see the big balloons. They were cool, but it would have been cooler and easier to see if they were a bit higher up in the air. Darn safety regulations. We didn't see two we were expecting -- Big Bird and Spiderman. One of my parade route buddies told me they were the biggest ones. I wonder if it was too breezy for them.
This being a food blog, I feel like I have to comment on something food related. Well, we got up very early to catch the train from Connecticut, and decided to have breakfast when we got to Manhattan. In hindsight, we should have grabbed something when we switched from the train to the subway in Grand Central Station, but the lines seemed long and we wanted to get to a spot for parade watching. When we got off the train at 70th and Central Park West, our only culinary alternative was a vendor selling hot dogs and hot pretzels. We opted for the pretzels, which we had with bottled water. I didn't even have my morning coffee! I don't want to make a habit of having hot pretzels for breakfast, but they actually were pretty yummy.
After that, we visited beautiful Central Park and checked out Strawberry Fields (for B., a Beatles fan) and the statue of Balto (for D., an Iditarod nut). Then it was back to Connecticut for Thanksgiving dinner.