After struggling to get through work on Saturday, I had my mind set on attending our local Christmas parade. We planned on meeting a friend to grab dinner and find a sit somewhere along the parade route. Unfortunately I forgot how crazy it gets and we had to park several blocks away. First mistake - I wore my fake uggs to keep my feet nice and warm, but they are not very good for walking any type of distance. We finally got to the pizzeria and had a bite before the parade actually started, but we were too late to find a place up front. Second mistake - we did not bring any chairs and ended up standing behind several people to see anything. Maybe fifteen minutes into the parade and my feet were in serious pain. I did my little dance hoping from foot to foot, but most people just thought I was moving to the music of the fifteen different marching bands that performed in the parade.
After about an hour I began to pray for the end of the parade, but it just kept going. Our local public television station always broadcasts the parade and they had a little booth that details the parade for the viewers. They definitely took their time, so they had to stall the parade every few floats to prevent a backup. And then it started to get cold and my hands ached just sitting in my pockets. Third mistake - I was not paying attention and dropped my gloves on the walk to the parade. At some point we all decided to start walking back to our cars because I hurt everywhere and my friend's daughter was tired.
Despite all that complaining though, I was glad we went. The small main street covered in twinkling lights was beautiful and would put anyone into the holiday mood. We got to see a helicopter fly by several times with Santa waving out the side of it. Several of the local schools had marching bands that participated and I was amazed that the middle schools were so good. The best part was seeing all the children that participated. A local Korean group had their children in traditional dress and they were all so lovely, especially the really little ones. Plus I was able to spend time with my friend and her little girl, which is always a treat.
Today we decided we would take the dogs for a short walk and stop to have Sunny's nails clipped at the mobile vet clinic because I am way to nervous to do it myself. They were so happy to be out that they completely exhausted themselves pulling us along.
Then we headed to the Art from the Ashes exhibit. They are a non-profit organization that shows the work of local artists to benefit communities and individuals that have been affected by fire. From what I understand, the donations the gallery makes from visitors goes to charities and the artists receive exposure and a chance to sell their work. I know that the last exhibition raised enough money to replace signs in a local wilderness area that was destroyed in the Station fire last summer.
There were more than forty artists participating, each exhibiting several pieces. Many of the artists incorporated burnt remains, such as metal and glass, into their work. One of my favorites was one that used a large forked section of a tree that had been charred. The artist made it into a standing piece with two hanging lamps. Gorgeous. My favorite artist was probably Valery Milovic. Her work has a dark loveliness about it, if that even make any sense.
Obviously I could not take pictures inside the gallery, but I wanted to include something so I took some of the neon art outside the gallery.
We finished the day at the Disney store to pick up a toy for the toy drive we are having at work. Then we hung some Christmas lights outside and brought out the BBQ.
It was a completely exhausting and at times painful weekend, but definitely a good one.