Friday, February 7, 2014

It wasn't on my Bucket List...the Extraordinarily Long Story about My Experience with a Super Bowl Parade...


I can’t believe that I have participated in an official Super Bowl Victory Parade…myself, and 749,999 others…In downtown Seattle (The BIG BIG City) no less.

I have to be honest and say I would never have PLANNED to do it, but I was there when it happened, and I enjoyed it, and will never forget it!

The fact that we were in the middle of the action yesterday was actually a fluke. Whatcom Farmers’ Co-op Board of Directors, of which my Farmer is a member, had planned their annual Board Retreat for February 3, 4 & 5…in downtown Seattle. Yippee-ki-aye! I would get to go shopping in the BIG BIG City!

And then, those mighty Seahawks kept winning, and winning, finally annihilating the competition in the SUPER BOWL!!!! SUPER BOWL CHAMPS!!!! AND THERE WOULD BE A VICTORY PARADE!!!!

…that would just happen to pass right by the window of the conference room where the WFC Board was conducting their meetings…

Oh for goodness!! This could be exciting…

I decided that Dutch practicality, which would require that you leave the scene before the event because time would be wasted trying to get out of the heavy traffic and home in an efficient manner -- Yes – Dutch people do that – skip once-in-a-lifetime events for the sake of convenience -–That honorable inclination would be ignored.

We began to get an inkling of the enormity of the event when it was reported that they expected 300,000 people to attend. Then, Tuesday night as we made our way back to the hotel after dinner, rows of chairs, and even couches were found on the sidewalks. The hotel, which had been quiet on Monday night, was now bustling with new arrivals.

Even my sisters had decided to make the trek! They were in a hotel just down the street. We got together with them and talked strategy. They were planning to be on the street, and I wanted to be as well because I wanted to yell…uh, YELL! However, the Board was meeting in that warm and perfectly located room – second floor, overlooking the parade street…My sisters absolved me of any guilt should I choose the cushy comfort of this amazingly situated opportunity. We agreed to consult in the morning. They planned to head to the street at 8am. As our hotel room looked right out on Westlake Park, I agreed to inform them should there be a lot of early morning activity that warranted earlier action on their part.

During the night, I woke often, and checked out the window to see what was happening, wondering just how early people would appear. Most of the night, it was pretty quiet. I saw city workers lining the streets with barricades during the 4 o’clock hour, but at 5AM, I began to see people moving around and staking claim to their territory here and there. I went back to bed, but by 6am, the 12th Man began to make his presence known. Sporadic, but loud, cheering commenced “Sea – HAWKS!, Sea – HAWKS!”

Honestly, I thought, “Save it people! We’ve got 5 hours to go!”

Not much sleep was had after that. I knew that Dillon, and the KPUG Sports crew were coming down to do their shows from the parade route, so I was getting nervous about whether they would find a place to park that was close enough for them to pack in their equipment.

At 7AM, I reported to my sisters that the spots next to the barricades were still available but getting sparse. Dillon texted to say they had arrived and were set up, so I bundled up and headed out to join him.

Unfortunately, the valet service at the hotel had to park our cars off-site, and I had forgotten my headband in the car. I had looked for a cheap replacement on Tuesday, but couldn’t find one, and foolishly decided that I would wait and buy one on Wednesday, before the parade.

But, DUH!, nothing was open at 7:45AM – so I am now the proud owner of a “Seattle Champions” hat (not even licensed merchandise), bought from a vendor on the street. $32…Freezing ears encouraged me to abandon my Dutch principles, and put it on, though I did kick myself that I had not bought something I liked the day before.

I made my way 8 blocks to the other end of the parade route where Dillon was. What a fun walk! Everyone was cheerful, laughing, celebrating every 12th Man flag that went by. Everyone was having a good time, and politeness was expressed on every side…because the population was growing exponentially, and the sidewalks were filling up.

I had a fun time watching the guys do their show, and was even interviewed by The Radio Guy that is my son. He asked if I would have allowed him to skip school to go the parade, and I had to confess that I likely would not have, because I would not have driven 100 miles to go to a Super Bowl Parade.

And yet, here I was, right in the middle of one.


Part 2 and more pictures to come....

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About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)