I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Ours turned out well. I cooked a lot so I have plenty of leftovers which means I won't be in the kitchen for a few days. Woo Hoo!!
Since I knew I'd be cooking all day and wouldn't have a chance to get down to see the parade, I thought it would be fun to go see the balloons being blown up Wednesday night. I thought it would be a great photo op as well.
When I lived on 78th & Amsterdam, each night before Thanksgiving, the floats would come up Amsterdam Ave making their way into Central Park. I had the perfect view and it was always fun to watch.
My sister and I decided to take the kids down to see the balloons being blown up. We THOUGHT this would be a fun adventure for them. Riding the subway, seeing the balloons, the energy of the holidays in the city. We thought it would be great.
We prepared - my sister left the baby with a babysitter and only took her older son. This was the best call of the night. We made sure they were fed, dressed warm and went to the bathroom before we left. We thought we had all bases covered.
I was really looking forward to a magical evening filled with fun photos.
My girls started out ok.
We started out at 79th & Columbus. There was a huge line set up to go see the balloons.
The streets were crowded but believe it or not, it was a controlled chaos. At least the lines kept moving.
Then it all started:
"This is boring"
"Where are the balloons??"
"My feet hurt"
I tried to ignore it and luckily we got a little closer where you could actually see some balloons through the trees.
This was promising. It meant we were getting closer.
We made our way down to 77th street and just had to turn the corner heading east. The balloons were all lined up along 77th street.
It was hard to juggle 2 kids and a camera in this huge crowd. I constantly had to make sure the girls were right next to me. You can get separated in a matter of seconds. This made it almost impossible to get descent photos. It was basically a point and shoot scenario. No time to set up that perfect shot.
On 77th, we managed to see Shrek, Hello Kitty, Spongebob, Ronald McDonald, Kermit The Frog, and a couple of others I didn't recognize.
Then I saw this...
I knew all hell was about to break loose. I had to make a decision - my camera or my sanity. It took a few moments but I finally decided, my camera had to go back in my bag. It was over.
The whining, crying and complaining from my little one was at its peak. I thought I was so prepared! I guess I was wrong.
We got as close to the balloons as we were allowed and I thought seeing Spongebob would elevate her mood.
"Pick me up. Pick me up. PICK ME UP!!!!!"
I ended up having to carry her as much as I can, taking breaks every few minutes so my arms wouldn't fall off. We made it to the end of 77th street, had to turn up Central Park West and head back across 81st street where there were more balloons. We whizzed through this side but I managed to see Spiderman, Buzz Lightyear, Energizer Bunny, Pillsbury Dough Boy, Snoopy and others less recognizable.
We made it out of the crowds, back over to Broadway and 78th and went to New Pizza Town, my favorite pizza place in my old neighborhood.
As if a miracle occurred, the mood changed and everyone was happy again.
Pizza. The miracle drug.
Who was that demon I was with for the past hour?
I learned my lesson. Next year it's just, me, my older one and my camera.
Have you ever been to this event? What was your experience? Did you go to the parade?