Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Seeing New York-Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

A few weeks before Thanksgiving I thought it would be really fun to go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. That is until I found out that we'd have to be at the parade around 7 am. So we decided to do the next best thing: go the day before the parade and watch the parade balloons be inflated! We got to see a lot of the balloons up close and personal. (And we even got a backstage view of the balloons, even though we weren't supposed to. More on that later.)

Blake and I hopped a train (well, a few) to Manhattan to meet Evan. (I make it sounds so effortless. I guess in a sense it's not really difficult to ride a subway train. For me it can just be nerve racking when I have a stroller and never know if the train will be packed or not. People aren't too happy to see a lady and a baby roll up on a train when they're already packed like sardines. Oh well, get over it, people.)

We were able to find Evan in the sea of people and off we went to look at balloons. As we pointed out Sponge Bob and Po (Kung Fu Panda), Blake seemed to be more interested in the leaves and buildings. You'd think huge colorful balloons would catch his attention. Apparently not.
(Click on the collage to enlarge it.)

Balloons from top left to bottom right: Greg (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Kermit theeee Frog, Kool Aid guy, Hello Kitty, Snoopy

After looking at the balloons we decided to stay and eat dinner at a delicious/over-priced Mexican restaurant. We had a seat by the window and Blake had fun eating his crackers and waving to people as they passed by. As we ate I could see the crowd building. Evan and I decided on a plan to avoid the crowd on our way to the subway. We shuffled along with everyone else (and I mean literally shuffled and bumped into people the whole time. Zero personal space.) until we arrived at the street we needed to cross only to find out it was blocked off and the police weren't letting anyone through. When people started to complain the police officer standing guard told everyone that wanted to cross that they'd have to turn around and go the other way. One man yelled, "No, they aren't letting people out that way. I just came from there. I've spent an hour walking around trying to get out of here! We're trapped! We're trapped!" His dramatics were kind of funny, but I really didn't want to have to walk the entire balloon route again just to find a street we could cross.

As we stood at the corner quietly, a gentleman crossed the street from the opposite side and told the police officer that several of the people were with him. I have no idea who this guy was, but Evan took the lead and just followed the people that random authority guy pointed out. I was sure the police officer was going to stop us, but he didn't and we crossed the street. We just kept following the people in front of us and that's when we got a backstage view of the balloons. Only people who lived on that street and their guests were allowed to enter, but no one stopped us so we just kept going. The street wasn't crowded at all so we took a few pictures of Kermit, Snoopy, and Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Finally after being turned away at a different crosswalk, we made our way to the subway a few streets away and headed home. All in all it was a great experience. We even made it into the Daily News! And one day when Blake is older and says he wants to go to the parade, I'll let his dad get up early and take him!


Lindsay said...

How fun! Remind me next year to get more details from you so we can watch the balloons inflate, too. :) And look at that -- you've only been here a few months and already you're in the paper! :)

Losing Brownies said...

I love reading about your adventures! Your pictures are great too!

Mrs. Dean said...

A similar thing happened when we were in Boston for the marathon. I didn't think I'd ever see David again because I couldn't figure out how to get to the other side of Boylston Street. Seriously, does New England know how often they are cut off from the rest of the country by these police officers who block the streets for major events?

Emily said...

You are famous!!