Homer's Travels: Happy New Year And Friends

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Happy New Year And Friends

February 7th was Chinese New Years. Yesterday, Saturday, the Golden Dragon Parade was held in Chinatown to welcome the Year of the Rat. Our plan was just to go down to watch the parade but our plans changed after I received an e-mail from GeekHiker (GH). It turns out that Just A Girl (JaG) was visiting with GH and they invited us to go to Disneyland with them. We thought it over and, since this would be my last opportunity to see the Golden Dragon Parade and we both have been to Disneyland several times, we offered to meet them for Brunch instead.

At GH's suggestion, we met at the La Brea Bakery in the Disney Downtown district. We thought it might be a little difficult meeting up since we had never seen each other before but it turned out easier than we thought. Certain characteristics made them stick out from the crowd. Introductions were made, we bought something to eat, and sat outside to chat. We had a great time talking about hiking, travel, geekdom, and many thing in between. The Wife and I agree that they're good people and we enjoyed our almost two hours with them. It's nice to be able to call them friends without having to preface it with on-line, internet, or blog.

GH suggested doing a hike together near Mugu Peak. It just so happens I had one planned in the area for the middle of March so, I hope we can coordinate a hike together. I e-mailed him the information this morning so we can start planning the route.

We parted ways around 11:00 so they could enjoy Disneyland. Handshakes and hugs were exchanged and JaG took a group portrait that may appear in her blog sometime soon.

We ended up hitting traffic on the way to Chinatown but we managed to find good parking near the beginning of the parade route. We walked around and I took some pictures waiting for the parade to start at 2:00. The Wife scored some cool bracelets including one skull bracelet that looks like the skulls are carved out of teeth. There was quite a crowd lining Broadway and we found a good vantage point that allowed a clear view of the parade.

The parade was pretty cool. It started off with a bunch of motorcycle police clearing the way and doing coordinated motorcycle riding. This was followed by the Dragons, marching bands, some floats, martial artists demonstrating their skills, dancers, and cars carrying a multitude of honorary grand marshals, the Mayor of LA, the Chief of Police, the Sheriff, and other grand poo-bahs. One strange participant - an unplanned participant I think - was a lady carrying either Lady Liberty's torch or the sparkling plunger of Democracy. She was dancing around in front of the mayor's car. A bunch of bicycle cops surrounded her and, after chatting with her a little bit let her continue her dance to democracy. The mayor, who was talking to the crowd over a loudspeaker, referred to her as "our own goddess of Democracy."

Cool as it was it was too long. About an hour and a half in (the parade was three hour long) the Wife's medication (She's been fighting a bug all week) started to peter out and we were both pretty tired of it all. We made our way to the car and made a surprisingly quick getaway. I ended up with quite a few pictures. I've posted the
best here.

I have decided that I am not really a fan of Parades. I have been to three - The Rose parade, the Doo-Dah parade, and the Chinese New Years Parade. My favorite was the shortest and silliest - the Doo-Dah parade. I was kind of disappointed about all the non-Asians in the Chinese New Year Parade. I assumed it would be a lot more Asian feeling than it turned out to be.

On the way home we stopped at the Outback to have a steak dinner before heading home. We were exhausted when we got home. I am sad to say that we were in bed reading by 7:30 and the lights were out by 8:30. The Wife has an excuse - she's fighting a bug - but I have no excuse. We were both exhausted and ended up sleeping 12 hours! It felt good though.

I'd expected the parade to be the highlight of Saturday but I was wrong. The highlight of the day was meeting GH and JaG, enjoying good conversation, and having faces to match with the comments.


  1. And it was great meeting the two of you as well!

    We're strangers no more. :)

  2. Er, "certain characteristics"? Maybe I don't want to know.

    It was a pleasure meeting the two of you as well. I'm sure the hike will work out at some point, and the duplicate posts should be interesting.

    Twelve hours of sleep sounds soooooo good right now...

  3. JaG: Strangers no ... but I can be Strange at times. :-)

    GH: As I was looking for you guys I noticed that all the couples had a certain characteristic - the man was taller then the woman. Then you guy came around the corner. You guys were unique.

    The Wife suggested that you should do Topa Topa with me. You could spend the night at our place and we could tackle it on a Saturday morning. Something to think about. Oh, and your post will be hundred times better than mine.

    12 Hours of sleep always sounds good before you do it then you wake up all stiff, sore, and crabby.