Bucket List

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

My bucket list contains dreams that one day I hope to do, or see, or participate in. Two weeks ago I checked off an item.

How many years have I watched the Rose Parade and marveled at the ingenuity and beauty of the floats? All my life would be the answer to that question. I’ve always wanted to attend the Rose Parade. I thought my chances got just a bit better when I married a Californian. However, we were never able to be in California for the New Year. Our schools in Missouri usually started back on January 2. This dream was relegated to the after I retire list.

Then I retired, but the parade was still elusive. The timing was never just right. Then add in the factor of getting tickets to the grandstand and facing massive crowds. It just didn’t seem likely, until my brother-in-law mentioned that they parked the floats along a few streets in Pasadena for the weekend. This sounded like a perfect solution!

We were in California to celebrate my granddaughter’s first birthday and we had a morning free before the party. The weather was sunny but still slightly cool. We headed to Pasadena. No traffic on the freeways until we exited. Slowly we made our way to the streets with the floats, joining hundreds of others. Fortunately, we found a parking place along the street, although it was a bit of a hike it was free.

A dream came true as we wandered the streets marveling at the beauty and clever use of natural materials. Photos don’t do it justice. This was better than watching the parade because I could stand there and take in every detail as long as I wanted. Plus I could see both sides, some had different designs on each side. So if you find yourself in southern California at the new year, I highly recommend taking a stroll to view the floats up close and personal.


As far as you can see there are people and floats.

Here are a few of the floats and details we saw:


Love the scales are slices of citrus and the fin has blueberries.



The animals captivated me!

The animals captivated me!


Who knew beans and peas could make a turtle?

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

A lion's face, a dragon's claw, and a sunflower

A tiger’s face, a dragon’s claw, and a sunflower



20 thoughts on “Bucket List

  1. Awesome! I love the Rose Parade! When my family went to the Rose Bowl when I was in 7th grade, we did a behind-the-scenes tour where we got to watch them finish putting the floats together, and it was amazing to see the painstaking detail! I’ve gotten to go to the parade twice, and it’s so much fun! I love that you found this unique way to see the floats!

  2. Wow! Such great photos! There is so much incredible detail in these floats! I totally understand why this was on your bucket list. So excited for you! Thanks for sharing these!

  3. Judy C. says:

    My parents went to the parade many years ago, but I have never been and probably won’t get any closer than your pictures. I find it amazing how these floats are created and decorated. The time, labor and material is unbelievable. Thanks for sharing.

  4. What a brilliant way to “see” the parade. As a short person who is not a fan of crowds this seems like the perfect solution. You can take you time and look at them from all angles. Amazing.

  5. Thanks for sharing a slice of life from Pasadena. Who knew such creativity was on display there every year. This close-up experience seems so much more fulfilling than watching the floats go by from a distance in a crowd of people. Something tells me you ‘ll be doing this again! Love the long views contrasted with the close-ups…great documentation skills.

  6. I will never see it in person, am so glad you got your wish finally! I had a student a long time ago whose uncle owned one of the businesses that created those floats, & he got to go & be a part of it every year! He gave us a presentation after he returned each year too. Amazing creations.

  7. Leigh Anne, I have a high school friend who is a tour guide and she takes a group to the Rose Parade every year. I love seeing those pics and the close details you shared. Love the citrus scales and blueberries too! Congrats on knocking something off your bucket list.

  8. I watch the parade every year and marvel at the floats thinking of the time and effort it takes to put one together. Glad you had the chance to cross this off of your Bucket List.

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