Boat Parade

9 12 2006

Tonight, I wanted to get Eliana and everyone in the spirit of Christmas by taking them to a local holiday event, the Festival of Lights at the Tempe Beach park at Tempe Town Lake.

We had a late start and didn’t make it to Downtown Tempe until the early evening. It was dinner time, and we were hungry. We ventured down Mill Avenue looking at a place that would be ok with two kids. We finally agreed to some deep dish pizza at Uno. I had seen one of these in Boulder while we lived there, but never had the opportunity to grab a bite. If we had known the pizza was that good, we would have eaten there more often. Needless to say, we’ve found a new place for pizza.

After dinner, we headed for the main event. I didn’t know there were other things going on down there. There were many activites for the kids. There were snow makers making snow for the kids. I’m sure many of the kids there had never seen snow living in the desert. There was also a concert featuring local high school bands. But, the main attraction was the boat parade.

Being the main attraction, the crowd was rather large. We found a spot toward the end of the line, and waited. We got there around 6:15 or so, and tried to make the best of the wait. There were some kids rolling down a nearby hill. Eliana was hesitant to join them, but I was trying to encourage her. She is a shy person, she takes after me.

After that got old, we waited, and waited, and waited some more. I thought the parade of boats was supposed to start at 6:30 pm. At about 15 minutes until the parade, the railroad bridge lights went on, making some neat patterns. They were little consolation to many eager 2 and 3 year olds, including mine. Eliana was quite antsy, and was having a hard time waiting for the boats to arrive. Once they finally sailed by, she quickly lost interest. I had to wade through many people just to get into the clear, and find her mom and sister, who were waiting far behind the crowd. I was a little upset that Eliana didn’t enjoy the main attraction as there was uite a bit of effort involved in getting everyone over to the right place to be able to enjoy the festivities.

We left a little early, and headed for the car. It seemed like everyone else had the same idea, because we became trapped in the garage parking space because the traffic wasn’t moving properly. I guess that happens when every single car in the garage tries to leave at the same time. We figured that our time would be better spend waiting in a cafe or restaurant rather in in a parked car. So off to Mill avenue we ventured, again. This time, we went to a coffee shop that was serving some italian ice cream. We had a good time as a family sharing one cup of ice cream. I think it was the best part of the evening, and did make up a little for missing the boat parade.

Things don’t always go your way, but it’s up to you to make the best of a situation you didn’t plan for…

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