Yesterday, James bought me a much-needed and even more appreciated new bicycle! It's an absolute wonder, feeling like my ride is working *with* me instead of against me! And I'm riding it everywhere I can find the excuse to ride.
This morning, my brother-in-law, Ken, dropped my sister and their kids off downtown and came over to park at our house. Then we both rode our bikes downtown to join them at the Chuy's Children Giving to Children Christmas Parade.
We had a very cool adventure before the official parade even started! We needed to clear the Capitol from the north before heading down toward 3rd, because Congress south of the Capitol was closed for the parade. Brazos doesn't go through, so my plan had been to take San Jacincto, which was also closed to traffic. There was a police officer standing there, and I asked if it would be okay for us to bike through. He said, "Sure!" There were people walking, too, from wherever they'd parked.
As Ken and I made our way down San Jacincto, we passed the Angry Birds balloons, cheer teams, a unicycle club, and other parade participants. They were actually starting on San Jacincto, getting the bands geared up, getting the kids psyched up ("Let's smile! It's show time!"), and making sure that they were all on the same page before they burst onto Congress.
The organizers were very intent on what they were doing, and we almost got run into several times, but we weaved in and out of the parade entrants. There were people taking pictures and filming, so I was glad I had on my festive zebra-print Santa hat, because maybe it helped me fit in.
We rode past the 501st Legion and Darth Vader and some friends... and finally broke clear of the parade route after several blocks. It was fun, though!
We met up with my sister's family and watched the parade from a lot closer than I'd anticipated, having gotten there literally as it was starting (obviously).
|Shades of "The Music Man." Anyone?|
|If that were diet and if I weren't already married, we might have something special.|
|Excited to see a greyhound adoption group representing!|
After the parade (actually, a bit before it was officially over, but we were all about beating the crowds), we went a couple of blocks over to the Four Seasons. Every Christmas season, they have a gingerbread display in the lobby. They actually have open houses with cider, and where you can chat with the pastry chefs, on December 4 and 5 from 5-6PM.
This year's theme is Whoville from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." Each of the pieces is for sale, with proceeds benefiting Seaton Shiver Center, which treats cancer. Here are pictures of the village and each piece, in case you want to decide on which to bid before you head over.
Stay tuned! There are more Christmas festivities to come from...