Tuesday, January 31, 2012

LA Woman Weekend, Part 1: Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade
I'd been wanting to go to the Chinese New Year parade in downtown LA for a few years. It always seemed like a lot of trouble. Each year I'd make tentative plans to do it. Then, each year, I'd chicken out at the last minute. But this year I had someone prodding me. My friend Paula was determined to go. That did it! I was convinced! I was still somewhat put off by the idea of the traffic and closed roads (including some freeway exits) so we decided to take the train. Yeah! More adventure.

Now I realize for many people taking a train is no biggie. But I live in socal where we love our cars and avoid mass transit at all cost. For us, taking a train is big! :-) It worked out pretty well. G loves trains so she was happy as can be. It was nice for Bobby to avoid the drive and not to deal with traffic. But, it was inconvenient having to depend on a train schedule and, truthfully, some of the people on the train were a bit, let's say, sketchy. Yeah, I know, sounds kind of snobby but when people are swearing very loudly a few feet from you and there are no empty seats to move to... kind of affects the experience.

Anyway, G loved the train! I brought her a little craft kit and she was set for the 1.25 hr trip.
As soon as we got there we met up with Paula and her family. After we scoped out a good spot to lay our blankets, we left Bobby to stand guard and did a bit of shopping. My little one loves to shop and immediately found this little fan that she HAD to have. Luckily, it was very inexpensive $1.99!
G and Sophie waiting for the parade to begin.

We brought our swing drum with us!

In true LA style the grand marshalls of the parade were none other than Mulan and Mushu :-)

Author Lisa See was also there. I really enjoy her books so that was kind of neat. I'm not usually a big fan of parades but this one was really fun. There were lots of lion dancers and several very long and impressive dragons. We bought some poppers for G and she had a good time tossing them down and hearing their crack! It didn't hurt that the weather was absolutely gorgeous. It was a stereotypical January day in California: sunny and low 70s.

Being with friends added to the fun!

Georgie loves the lions

After the parade we got a bite to eat. We came across this very cool angel statue. I wish I could read the characters written on the wings.

If I didn't know I was in downtown LA, all I had to do was look at the guy ahead of me...

We were going to check out some of the other stuff they had going on but it was really crowded so we decided to call it a day. Back at Union Station we realized that we missed our train by about 10 mins (oops!) so we walked over to Olvera Street. Bobby had never been there and it seemed like a handy spot to get some dinner. G found a little purple guitar she couldn't live without and spent the majority of dinner alternately playing it and being serenaded by Daddy.

We finally caught our train and made it home pretty late. It was an exhausting but fun day!

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